The process of enrolling in your dream Australian university as an international student can be tiresome and very expensive. Besides the long list of documents you must prepare and submit, and the essays you must write, there are additional requirements that other students don’t have to worry about. One of these is English proficiency, which is often required to be proved through IELTS. The problem is that IELTS can be very expensive, and it isn’t the only thing you’ll have to pay while applying. There are some universities that don’t have IELTS certifications as the only way of proving your English proficiency, so if you want to save some money, applying to them is a great idea!

Australian universities ask international students to submit some sort of English proficiency proof to ensure that the language won’t be an obstacle while studying. This way there are no doubts about your English listening, speaking and writing abilities. In order to prove it, many universities usually prefer receiving a certification of specific standard English proficiency tests, like IELTS. This means that you’ll have to add from $215 to $240 to your budget, which is the cost of the test.

However, if you are trying to save money, many Australian universities have other alternatives to IELTS.

Ways to Study in Australia without IELTS

Before listing the specific Australian universities that don’t require IELTS certification, let’s explain the common ways in which you can be exempted from it.

  1. Having another English Proficiency Test certification. These alternatives to IELTS, like TOEFL or PTE, are much cheaper.
  2. Taking the English Proficiency Test of the university. Many universities have designed their own tests, so you’ll be able to completely skip this step when preparing your documents because you’ll have to take their test when applying.
  3. Being a citizen of an English-speaking country. Each university usually has a list of the countries they accept in order to be exempted from IELTS.
  4. Studying secondary and/or tertiary education in English. This applies even if you come from a non-English speaking country, but you’ll have to prove that the education you received was completely in English.
  5. Having a degree from a university in an English speaking country or from a program taught in English.
  6. Studying in one of their English programs before starting your career courses. This is a good option if the university decides your English level is insufficient or if you can’t prove your English skills.

Now that you know if you meet any of the criteria mentioned, let’s jump into the specific universities to see which universities in Australia accept alternatives to IELTS.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Universities in Australia that Don’t Require IELTS

1. Australian National University

When talking about quality education, the Australian National University (ANU) is definitely one of the best options. Ranked as the best university in Australia, ANU offers a wide variety of options in many areas, and it is considered to have one of the best research centers in the country. It also offers flexible studying options, giving you the opportunity to study two bachelor’s or master’s degrees at the same time, or a bachelor’s and a master’s degree simultaneously.

Regarding English language requirements, they have a long list of options. If you are a citizen of an English-speaking country AND have studied secondary or tertiary education there, it will be considered proof of your language proficiency. They have a list of 25 countries that qualify. This also applies if you studied in another country but can prove that your education was in English.

ANU also accepts other language proficiency tests, such as TOEFL, PTE and Cambridge CAE Advanced. They also accept local certificates from countries like Sweden, India or Austria. Lastly, the university has the ANU Access Program, which is a ten-week intensive program for international students.

Scores and grades may vary depending on the program you’d like to enroll in, so check their English language requirements page for more information.

2. University of Melbourne

With over 13,000 international students, The University of Melbourne offers great opportunities for students outside Australia. Important public figures, like four Australian prime ministers, have been educated here. It offers amazing facilities, a wide variety of activities that include sports and arts, and flexible options to study.

To satisfy their English language requirements, you can submit a TOEFL, PTE, or CAE certificate, besides IELTS. They also have their own test, called Diagnostic English Language Assessment (DELA). In case you don’t get the score required, they offer different programs so you can improve your English.

Their requirements vary depending on the type of degree you are going for (graduate or undergraduate), but in general, you will be exempted from IELTS if you have an English background or education. Visit their English requirements page for more details.

3. University of Queensland

Last year, The University of Queensland (UQ) was in the Top 10 of universities in Australia. It has three stunning campuses and over 15,000 international students from 170 countries. This university has the biggest number of Australian University Teaching awards and is part of Universitas 21.

As for English language proficiency requirements, they accept certification from other tests besides IELTS, including TOEFL (iBT and PB), CES, PTE, and BEP. They also accept certification from certain local tests and interstate subject equivalents.

You are also exempted from IELTS if you completed secondary schooling in one of the 30 English-speaking countries specified on their website. This also applies if you’ve studied in an institution recognized by UQ or if you worked for three years or more in an English-speaking environment.

Check their English language proficiency requirements page to learn more. Read carefully as it has a lot of information and many documents with their regulation.

4. University of New South Wales

Placed within the Top 50 universities of the QS Global World Ranking, the University of New South Wales Sidney is a leading university in the research field. It’s a member of Universitas 21 and is internationally ranked 28th in terms of employability.

They have a lot of options for proving your English language proficiency besides IELTS. Other tests they accept include TOEFL, PTE, CAE, and CPE. If you took the ANU College Access Program, you are exempted from this. You can also take their English course, called UNSW Institution of Languages University English Entry Course (UEEC).

UNSW accepts candidates who have studied senior secondary or tertiary education in one of the 29 English-speaking countries on its list. If you have 2 years or more of relevant work experience using English, this can also be used to prove your English proficiency. They even accept candidates with a professional translator or interpreter certificate, so check their website for more details.

Remember these English proficiency requirements are different from the English requirements you must have to get a student visa. And don’t forget to check the scholarship section of these universities, they also offer them to international students!


We hope that this article on universities in Australia without IELTS was helpful. If you are interested in studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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