English Language requirements and support


All studies undertaken under Australia Awards are in English and, for postgraduate studies at an Australian University, a high level of English proficiency is required.


English requirements for Masters Awards: Candidates for Masters Awards may be required to sit a language proficiency test as part of the selection and course placement process. Language proficiency is tested through the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), an internationally recognised practical English language assessment used by those seeking international education. Alternatively, candidates requiring evidence of English Language Proficiency may also use Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) results. If you are submitting IELTs or TOEFL scores with your application, they should not be more than one year old at the time you make your application.


To progress through the selection process to the ‘shortlisting’ stage, Masters Award applicants must meet a minimum English proficiency requirement equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 5.0, with no individual band score lower than 4.5. To then be eligible for a Masters Award, candidates must also meet the minimum English level required by the Australian university they wish to attend generally this is equivalent to IELTS 6.5, with no individual band lower than 6.0. Candidates prioritised for a Masters Award may receive supplementary English training of up to nine months duration to be completed in Africa prior to taking up the Award in Australia.


The countries for which IELTS or TOEFL results are required for entry into an Australian university are subject to change but currently include (but are not limited to): all North African countries, Francophone and Lusophone countries, Ethiopia, Gambia, Liberia and Sierra Leone.  If your country is not on this list you may still be required to provide an IELTS or TOEFL result as required by the particular university you are applying to or the course you wish to study.


Candidates for PhD Awards must demonstrate English Language Proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.5. Some universities will require a higher score for entry into a PhD program. Applicants should provide proof of English Language Proficiency, if available, with their application. Applicants who do not prove their English Language Proficiency with their application may be tested as part of the selection process. Note that PhD candidates are not eligible to receive supplementary English training, nor can their Award include any period of pre-course English.


English Language requirements for Australia Awards – Africa Fellowships: Fellowship candidates must also demonstrate proficiency in English to participate in the programs; however, the level of competency required is lower than that of Australia Awards Scholarships. Additional English language support may be provided for those candidates who require it.