English Language Requirement

English Language Requirement

English Language Requirement (ELR) for higher degree by research candidates

Undertaking a higher degree by research at James Cook University requires a high standard of academic English.  You are strongly advised to ensure that you can meet the formal entry standards in this area as exceptions are not normally granted.

Applicants to a higher degree by research (HDR) whose native language is not English must demonstrate their English language proficiency by achieving Band 2 in a test such as Academic IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson (PTE Academic). Please see this table for the scores required. The test result must be no more than two years old.  

Please note that higher ELR standards apply for JCU HDR scholarship applications, and must be met. Applicants to a higher degree by research at JCU who are also applying for a JCU Competitive Scholarship must demonstrate a Band 3a level of English language proficiency. 

If you have not completed an approved IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson test, there are two other ways of meeting the ELR.  These are:

  • Successful completion of two years of full-time postgraduate level study for which the qualification was awarded no more than two years ago and the language of instruction was English.
  • Successful completion of an English language course offered by an approved pathway provider, with a benchmark score of 80% or above for the final assessment.

Candidates who meet the entry standards may also be required to undertake a Post-Entry Language Assessment (PELA) upon commencement of their degree, to determine whether they require additional English language support in the early stages of candidature. Please refer to the PELA website for further information.