University of Canterbury

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The University of Canterbury (UC), founded in 1873 by scholars from Oxford and Cambridge, is in Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand.

Christchurch is situated on the edge of the South Pacific Ocean and the Southern Alps mountain range, thus giving students at UC access to all the amenities of a cosmopolitan, international city while still being just a few minutes from great beaches and the ocean, and within an hour’s drive of alpine mountains, national parks, ski fields, rivers, and wineries.

This institution is represented by Study Options in the UK
  • The University of Canterbury's campus. Photo credit: University of Canterbury

    The University of Canterbury's campus. Photo credit: University of Canterbury

  • Study engineering at the University of Canterbury. Photo credit: University of Canterbury

    Study engineering at the University of Canterbury. Photo credit: University of Canterbury

  • Study art at the University of Canterbury. Photo credit: University of Canterbury

    Study art at the University of Canterbury. Photo credit: University of Canterbury

  • The Canterbury mountains. Photo credit: University of Canterbury

    The Canterbury mountains. Photo credit: University of Canterbury

  • Using the electron microscope. Photo credit: University of Canterbury

    Using the electron microscope. Photo credit: University of Canterbury

What can I study?

UC’s programmes, teaching and research are all recognised internationally as being of the highest quality. In 2014 QS ranked the civil and natural resources engineering programme at 19th in the world while University’s programmes in history, geography, law and education all ranked in the world’s top 100. UC's programmes in linguistics; computer science and information systems; chemical engineering; mechanical engineering; psychology; statistics and operational research; modern languages; communication; earth and marine sciences; sociology; and environmental sciences all rank in the top 200 worldwide.

Studying at the University of Canterbury gives students from all over the world the opportunity to gain a world class education and a pathway to a potentially global career. Several UC programmes have UK professional accreditation, including all those taught by the Faculty of Engineering. All of UC's engineering degrees are accredited by the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ), a signatory member of the Washington Accord. The degrees are therefore recognised in all signatory countries, including the UK, USA and Australia. Education graduates (early childhood, primary and secondary) are able to receive registration in the UK, provided they attain full Qualified Teacher Status in New Zealand. The Bachelor of Speech and Language Therapy is also fully accredited in the UK while the Master in Professional Accounting allows its graduates to become members of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Studying at UC also opens up opportunities to stay in New Zealand and work after graduating. Graduating with an undergraduate or postgraduate degree from the University of Canterbury makes students eligible to apply for a year of work rights in New Zealand and many international students spend time after graduating developing and building on their education by working in New Zealand. Students come to the University of Canterbury from all over the world and quickly find campus life engaging, with world quality research, teaching facilities and a welcoming, inclusive community that involves over 100 clubs and societies. The University of Canterbury Students' Association (UCSA) provides entertainment, events and student support.

Living in Christchurch

Christchurch, located on the South Pacific Ocean and just 60 minutes' drive from the alpine beauty and popular ski fields of the Southern Alps, is New Zealand's second largest city and the economic and cultural centre of the South Island.

Christchurch has the highest economic growth rate in New Zealand and one of the country’s lowest unemployment rates. The city has an entrepreneurial spirit and many of the University's international students find work and opportunities to establish their talents within the city’s vibrant cosmopolitan community.

Christchurch is a great place for those who enjoy urban life, with many cafés and shopping districts throughout the city.

As part of the ever-changing process of renewal and regeneration since 2011, new entertainment districts have appeared throughout the city, such as Victoria Street, featuring Smash Palace, the Harlequin Club and Revival; Historic Addington, the site of the Addington Coffee Co-op, the Pedal Pusher, Morrell & Co, the Dux Live music venue, the professional Court Theatre, AMI Stadium and Tower Junction shopping centre. In the centre of the city, C1 Espresso, Alice Cinematheque, Vespa, Winnie Baggoes and the Re:Start Mall all offer exciting dining and entertainment options; while the Ministry of Awesome, an entrepreneurial collective, regularly hosts networking and information events around the city. Closer to the main University campus, the Riccarton and Bush Inn shopping centres are popular destinations for food and entertainment, including Westfield Mall and Hoyts Cinemas.

Christchurch is also renowned for its outdoor lifestyle. Hagley Park, near the city centre, is the third largest urban park in the world, with the Botanical Gardens, public sports fields, tennis courts and even a public golf course located inside. The park is used throughout summer for public concerts and festivals, and the newly redeveloped Hagley Oval is New Zealand’s newest test cricket venue. Christchurch has surf beaches on its eastern side and is close to Akaroa, New Zealand’s only French settlement, the thermal pools at Hanmer Springs, wineries, and a dozen ski fields in the Southern Alps.

Christchurch is the one of the most navigable of New Zealand’s cities with a large bus-based local transport system providing regular access to destinations. It also has designated cycle pathways, safe pedestrian walkways and pavements throughout the city.

Christchurch International Airport is the gateway to the South Island and international flights arrive and depart daily. Australia, the South Pacific and other New Zealand cities are all only short flights away.

As Christchurch moves forward it needs talented, entrepreneurial and creative international students and graduates. Joining the University of Canterbury family provides opportunities to become a member of a vibrant student body and an exciting community full of prospects.

Flagship undergraduate degrees

Sport coaching

UC offers a Bachelor in Sport Coaching which seeks to train students for life in a sporting environment but also to inspire them to learn from their sporting background and become team players and leaders in the world of business and innovation. Several members of the New Zealand All Blacks have already enrolled in this programme, with a desire to extend their sporting leadership and business acumen into the wider community.


Undergraduate engineers can choose from nine professional disciplines at UC:

  • Chemical and process engineering
  • Mechanical engineering 
  • Electrical and electronic engineering
  • Mechatronics
  • Software engineering
  • Computer engineering
  • Forest engineering
  • Natural resources engineering
  • Civil engineering

As an integral part of the degree students must spend 100 days on a practical work placement, often within large international engineering companies, giving them invaluable real-world experience.

Each year UC offers 15 scholarships exclusively to undergraduate students applying from the UK to study engineering. Each scholarship is worth a total of NZ$60,000 ($NZ 15,000 per annum for the four years of the degree).

Visit this page for more information or contact Study Options.

Speech and language therapy

The Bachelor of Speech and Language Pathology, a degree accredited in the UK, equips students for a professional education in what is a highly mobile and developing field. Students gain first hand practical knowledge in laboratories and during field work, including working with speech and language therapists all over New Zealand and around the world.

New taught postgraduate options

UC is launching an exciting new range of postgraduate programmes for 2016. Taught masters, postgraduate and graduate diplomas will be offered in academic areas from across the University’s five colleges.

The new courses, which include the Master of International Law and Politics, the Master of Engineering Studies, the Postgraduate Diploma in Health Sciences and the Master of Teaching and Learning, are accompanied by generous Dean’s Awards of up to NZ$8,000.

Many of the new programmes have an internship or project embedded as an integral part of the course, and in some cases enable a change of career direction as they may not need applicants to have a background in the same field of study.

These courses are a select sample of the many study options on offer at UC and are designed to address some of New Zealand’s and Christchurch’s short and long term skills shortages.

For detailed information on the new courses, including how to apply, please contact Study Options.

Student Testimonials