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University of Canterbury – All you need to know

The University of Canterbury started as an academic institute in 1873. Thus, it is the second oldest Academy in New Zealand. Since its establishment, the institution has gained wide recognition as a research institute. This is due to the high standard of excellence it maintains.

The University of Canterbury offers several courses for its students. The courses cover all aspects of the sciences and humanities. Thus, a student has several options for study. Aside from this, the university has several qualified lecturers. Each of these individuals puts students first and so gives them the best of their knowledge.

Its courses and teaching techniques are not the only things that students love. The university also has a vibrant campus that suits every person. So, a student feels comfortable even in its environment.

The University of Canterbury also offers a chance to learn outside the classroom. Here, you get to enjoy real experiences through their external programs. With all this, the institution produces some of the best graduates in the world. These graduates are sound and equipped to face the future.

But, to study at the university, you have to follow some processes. Like other schools, there are application guidelines an applicant must know. Aside from this, you must understand the university, its programs, and the cost of attendance. Also, you should know if New Zealand is a suitable place for you.

If you’re considering studying in New Zealand, this guide will be of great help. So, here’s what you should know about the University of Canterbury.

All you need to know about the University of Canterbury

The university is one of the oldest in New Zealand. Still, it remains one of its best. Its programs aim to foster the best in students.

But, this academy started as a part of the University of New Zealand. In 1874, it had three professors that formed its foundation. As it grew, it changed from Canterbury College to the University of Canterbury. Since then, it has served as a platform for students to learn.

Also, its course programs have expanded over the years. Therefore, it now offers several undergraduate and graduate programs for students.

There are other important things to learn about the university. To find out, keep reading.


The ranking of an institution helps you understand the standing of the university. It also enables you to check its academic performance. Thus, it is important to know where a University falls among the long list of others.     

The University of Canterbury is one of the highest-ranked in the world.  For 2022, the international agency QS placed it among its top 200. This is after a complete evaluation of its courses.  

Another ranking agency is the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF). PBRF bases its rankings on the level of research in an institution. For UC, PBRF has ranked it first in the following:

  • Public health
  • Political science
  • Public police
  • International relations
  • Marketing and Tourism
  • Ecology, evolution, and Behavior   

In 2021, UC was among Times Higher Education (THE) top 500 universities in the world. It also ranked at the same position for Global Research University Profiles.

Times Higher Education301-350  401-500    350-400    351-400  351-400  401-500  501-600  
QS University Rankings242211214214231270258  
Academic Ranking of World Universities401-500300-400401-500401-500401-500401-500Currently Not Available

Available courses at the University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury is quite versatile with its programs. As a result, it offers several learning programs for all kinds of students. These programs include:

Transition programs: The program is ideal for people with little or no qualifications. It is also for students who don’t have an English test result for admission. With this program, you take a step towards getting a degree.

STAR: The program is for students in rear 12 or 13. These students can enroll for first-year degree studies. Also, students can take the courses on campus or distance-study.

Bachelor’s degree: These programs award students with B.SC or other graduate certificates. Some of its popular courses include:

  • Bachelor of Music
  • Bachelor of communication
  • Bachelor of Fine arts
  • Bachelor of Law
  • Bachelor of commerce
  • Bachelor of engineering
  • Bachelor of Data Science

Undergraduate certificate and diploma: Here, students study a particular course of interest. But, it does not award a degree.

Postgraduate certificate and diploma: though short, it is pretty extensive. It is for graduates looking to further their professional studies.

Master’s degree: Furthermore, UC offers master’s degrees for graduate students.

Ph.D. and Doctorate degree: For further advancement, students can take their professional programs.

Fascinatingly, some courses available in the university guarantee employment in New Zealand and there are lots of career paths in the country for you.

Canterbury is also a good place to study accounting.

The acceptance rate at UC

An institution’s acceptance rate is the percentage of applicants it admits. Thus, a university with a high acceptance rate tends to accept more students.                  

For the University of Canterbury, its acceptance rate is 50%. So, UC admits half of its total prospects into its programs.

Admission requirements

Due to its diverse programs, there are diverse application methods.

For domestic students, you can apply through any of the following

  • University entrance with NCEA
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Other New Zealand school qualification
  • Discretionary Entrance
  • Transition Entrance

However, if you are above 20 years, there are other methods of application. You can browse through the university’s site for more information.

For international students, you will need an English language test. It could Be TOEFL, IELTS, or any other the university approves. Also, you will need transcripts of your high school education.

After you have all the necessary documents, you can submit your application online. Additionally, ensure that you apply before the deadline. These deadlines vary for courses and seasons. However, most deadlines fall during the first and last months of the year.

Cost of living 

The cost of living and studying at the University of Canterbury depends on your course. It also depends on your lifestyle and other circumstances. While New Zealand, in general, is one of the good places to live, international students’ tuition and living costs are slightly higher.

Tuition and fees

Tuition varies for every course. Thus, there is no general tuition fee. But, it is important to note that international students pay extra fees. So, their tuition is higher than domestic students.

Campus and other facilities

The University of Canterbury sits in the suburb of Illam, which is ten minutes away from the city center. The university is close to the sea and mountains. Thus, it has a very comfortable environment.

The university covers 87 hectares of beautiful landscapes. Yet, the living spaces are only a few meters away from the campus. Furthermore, it features well-equipped laboratories and research spaces. All these have gone through refurbishment. Therefore, they are modern and up-to-date.

To facilitate learning, there are other clubs and societies. This helps to develop students intellectually and socially.

Hall of residence

There are several accommodation options for every student. These options are available regardless of your study course. You can choose to apply for anyone depending on your budget. They include the following

  • Arcady Hall
  • College hall
  • Hayashi
  • Ilam Apartments
  • Kirkwood Avenue Hall
  • Kirkwood flats
  • Rochester and Rutherford hall
  • Sonoda Christchurch Campus
  • Tupuanuku
  • University hall

Arcady hall

Since 1917, this residence has operated within the campus. However, it is still under refurbishment and will be complete by 2022. The residence is only seven minutes away from the university by foot. So, it is close to the lecture rooms and other facilities.

Also, the hall features a study center and a central courtyard. As a result, it is one of the best residences for students. 

College hall

The college hall allows you to mix with like-minded individuals. It has 11 residential houses where over 159 students live. Also, it features several spaces and a tennis court for recreation. Here, students can enjoy the view of the streams at their boundaries.

As one of the oldest colleges, it still retains some traditional elements. Thus, there are three formal dinners in a term organized for students.


Hayashi is for students in their second year at the university.  It is strategically located next to Sonada and 15 minutes away from campus.

The structure is a 16-story townhouse built in 2018. Thus, it has 90 rooms and 10 self-contained apartments. Each unit has a shared kitchen and bathroom. Furthermore, there are laundry services with functioning appliances.

Also, the residence has three units with wheelchair facilities. Thus, the institution looks out for people with disabilities.

Ilam Apartments

These apartments give every student their own private space. It offers these living spaces to students irrespective of the degree and course. Here, students have easy access to the campus and its facilities. This is because the apartments are five minutes away.

Kirkwood Avenue hall

For special students, this residence is the best option. Here, there are special services for students with dietary needs and allergies. Also, students who prefer to cater for themselves can settle here.

Also, it offers a variety of amenities for students. These include study spaces and several social spaces.

Kirkwood flats

Together with Kirkwood Avenue Hall, this suite offers accommodation for students. However, this option is for married couples only. The residence consists of four different units. Each of these units features one-bedroom apartments and 2 studio units.

Rochester and Rutherford Hall is ten minutes away from campus. With its big trees, the environment is a conducive one for students. The residence consists of three 4-story buildings and two other houses. As a result, it can accommodate up to 192 students.

Sonoda Christchurch Campus

Located next to Hayashi, this residence is a quiet and peaceful one. Its grounds are Japanese-styled which aims to make the place feel more comfortable.

Also, the residence has several facilities that students can enjoy. These are the common room, laundry services, and seminar room.


Tupuanuku is the largest of all residences. So, it offers 504 furnished rooms and other facilities. Furthermore, it is a five-minute walk away from the main campus.

University Hall

If you love to interact with other students, the University hall is ideal for you. Here, there are over 500 students from various departments. As a result, you get to socialize with others with similar interests.

Hall of residencePrices per year ($)
Arcady hall18,203
College hall21,568
Hayashi11,616 – 13,056
Ilam Apartments10,125-17,505
Kirkwood Avenue Hall10,535-11,765
Kirkwood flats13,400-14,050
Rochester and Rutherford hall17,700
Sonoda Christchurch Campus8,979-10,512
University Hall16,170-16,826

Scholarships at the University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury offers part and fully-funded scholarships for domestic and international students. But, you must meet up with their requirements to qualify. Thus, you should browse through their database for more information.

So, here are scholarship offers that are currently open at UC

  • UC Hiranga Scholarship for academic excellence
  • UC Horomata Scholarships for emerging leaders
  • UC product design
  • UC College of Engineering International scholarship
  • UC International First Year Scholarship

You can browse through the school’s scholarship portal to find out more options that fit your needs.

As an international student, you can also access several scholarship options, including:

Check out this guide to know all about New Zealand scholarships for international students.

Common questions applicants ask before applying

Is the University of Canterbury suitable for international students?

Yes. The institution welcomes students from anywhere in the world. With its flexible programs, international students can access necessary learning facilities.

Does the University of Canterbury offer online studies?

The University of Canterbury offers online studies for students. Thus, it allows students to work while earning a degree. Also, with the current international condition, it is a platform for uninterrupted learning. 

Are UC fees the same for online studies?

For each course, the tuition remains the same. Also, it saves some of the costs of living. This includes medical fees and travel insurance.

Do I need a student visa to study online at UC?

No. You don’t need a student visa to study online. But, you will need one when going over to the university. So, it is important to be sure that you’re eligible for a student visa.

Why should I study at the University of Canterbury?

Studying at the University of Canterbury has several advantages. First, you get to interact with students from several parts of the world. Thus, it opens you to several opportunities. Next, it has a high standard of education.

Also, it provides a comfortable living space for students. So, you don’t have to feel like you’re far from home.

Can international students get scholarships?

Yes, and there are several fully funded scholarships in New Zealand and Australia that international students can apply for. Yet, you must meet the necessary requirements.

Studying at the University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury is an institution that offers only the best. So, if you plan on applying for its programs, this article provides all you need to know.

Even better, you can apply for any of their scholarship programs. However, you can only do this after a successful application.