Opportunities in New Zealand with 5.5 IELTS Band Score

New Zealand as a country is quite famous for cricket and rugby. However, this country is also quite popular among international students looking for a job-oriented education, especially the three years diploma courses. As English is the official language of New Zealand, educational institutions ask for an IELTS exam scorecard to check for proficiency in the English language.

Also Check Average IELTS Scores in Best Universities in US

Application of IELTS score

IELTS (International English language Testing System) is a well-recognized examination and the IELTS scores are used as a benchmark for admissions, migration, and employment in many developed countries where English is the primary language. This test is globally recognized by over 10,000 organizations and educational institutions across 140 countries.

In most of the universities in English speaking countries, an IELTS exam score of 6 and above is required for admissions. However, a score of 5.5 is also accepted in some colleges but these may not be for the top courses. The table below highlights the IELTS requirements for specific courses in New Zealand.

Also Check Average IELTS Scores at Top B-Schools in Canada

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What band score do you need to study in New Zealand?


Degree / DiplomaEligibilityIELTS Requirement
Diploma L1 and L610+2 above 50% marks6.0 but band not less than 5.5
Bachelor L710+2 above 60% marks6.0 but band not less than 5.5
Graduate Diploma L7Bachelor above 55%6.0 but band not less than 5.5
PG Diploma L8Bachelor above 60%6.5 but band not less than 6.0
Master Program L9Bachelor above 60% + 2 yrs work experience6.5 but band not less than 6.0



Though an IELTS score of 5.5 band is acceptable, your university choices are greatly limited. Also, most of the best universities do not accept a score that is less than 6.5 or 6. A good number of international students look for countries that accept an IELTS band score of 5.5.

As already mentioned above, a 5.5 IELTS band will limit your choice of Universities and Courses. A few good universities may still accommodate this score but you will be compelled to pursue special English courses like ELICOS to improve your proficiency in the English language.

Here is a list of the colleges in New Zealand that accept an IELTS band score of 5.5.

  • Auckland University of Technology: For diploma only
  • Otago Polytechnic: Diploma in Tourism
  • University of Otago:  Foundation course leading to graduate studies
  • Pacific International Hotel Management: For diploma level 5
  • University of Waikato: Foundation course leading to graduate studies
  • Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology: Diploma in tourism and travel
  • New Zealand Management Academies: Diploma in campuses located in Auckland, Hamilton, Christchurch, and Wellington
  • Lincoln University: Only Diploma

Other Countries Accepting 5.5 IELTS Band:

There are a host of universities in other countries like USA, Canada, and Europe that consider 5.5 IELTS band for admission, but the same principles applicable to New Zealand are applicable in these universities. Here is a list of such universities at random for academic information. The list is not exhaustive but only indicative.

  • University of Missouri (USA)
  • Ohio University(USA)
  • Washington State University (USA)
  • Capilano University (Canada)
  • Canadore College (Canada)
  • Royal Roads University (Canada)
  • Karlsruhe University of Technology (Germany)
  • University of Essex (UK)
  • Budapest Metropolitan University (Hungary)

Though a TOEFL or IELTS score in the range of 6 or above is a prerequisite for admission at the top universities, there are plenty of opportunities for students who score under 6 in New Zealand and in other countries.

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