School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

English Proficiency Programme (EPP)

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Within the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, the English Language Institute offers a programme of intensive English language courses for students who have an intermediate or advanced knowledge of English.

You can join the programme at different times of the year. All courses are 12 weeks long but you can combine two or three into your own programme of 24 or 36 weeks of intensive English. There are short breaks in the middle of courses and between courses giving you time to visit other parts of New Zealand or simply to relax and enjoy Wellington. Special courses can be arranged at any time to meet the needs of particular groups of students. Please contact the Institute for more information.

Visit the University Preparation page and click on English Proficiency Programme to see what previous EPP students thought of the course.

To see what students studying other courses and qualifications think about studying at Victoria University of Wellington, visit Know Your Mind.

EPP and PREPP students have full use of the Language Learning Centre (LLC), which has a multimedia resource collection for English and a range of global languages, and offers support services and a welcoming study environment for language learning.

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The Aims of the Programme

The Programme aims to improve your performance in:

  • reading and listening to complex information
  • taking an active part in discussions
  • expressing complex ideas and facts through speech and writing
  • becoming an independent learner of English.

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Who is the Programme For?

The English Proficiency Programme (EPP) is an English Academic Preparation (EAP) course for students of an intermediate level or above (4.0 IELTS). You will be tested on the first day of the programme. If your English language ability is assessed to be lower than the appropriate level for the EPP, you will be offered a place in the Preparation English Proficiency Programme (PREPP). This is a newly developed programme that targets filling the gaps in your vocabulary and grammar knowledge to allow you to move on with confidence to the next level of academic English study.

Student profile—Susana 


“EPP is not the ‘typical’ English course… You will develop important skills that are required in a global world”.

Be confident that you can do it!

I left my auditing job in Spain to be part of the EPP course at Victoria.
I can now write with greater accuracy, speak more fluently and express my opinions on controversial subjects! Also, EPP taught me the essential tools for effective communication. Now, I am confident to work in an international environment.

EPP is not the ‘typical’ English course, here you can learn how to make a presentation, how to follow a lecture and how to write and read formal documentation in a foreign language. You will develop important skills that are required in a global world.

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Most students enrol at the Institute for English language study for at least one of the following reasons:

To prepare for study at a university or technical institute

The English Language Institute has an excellent reputation for preparing non-native speakers of English for study at a university or technical institute.

To improve employment prospects

English is in demand all over the world as an international language of trade and industry. There is an increasing demand for people who can communicate effectively in English in a variety of contexts. The English Proficiency Programme prepares students for this kind of communication.

To be challenged in the use of English

Some students enrol because they simply want the challenge of using English to discuss and understand complex ideas. The classes at the Institute use stimulating material that requires you to think - to discuss problems and present solutions. Whatever your purpose, the staff at the Institute work with you to provide a course of study that meets your own personal needs. Your teacher will monitor and discuss your progress with you throughout the course.

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Weekly Activities

The programme is full-time and consists of 20-25 hours per week of class work, as well as your own independent study.

Class work will include the following:

  • activities in which you practise listening to talks and lectures, taking part in discussions, reading effectively, writing essays or reports;
  • listening and speaking practice in audio-visual classrooms;
  • vocabulary and grammar study;
  • regular tests to give you feedback on your progress;
  • media studies in which you read, listen to and discuss information from the radio, television and newspapers.

You will work with your teacher to plan an independent study programme based on your specific needs and the resources available to students in the programme.

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Final Assessment and Certificate

At the end of the Programme, you will receive a final written report on your English proficiency. This includes a proficiency rating including the level of English you have achieved.

With a minimum of three ratings of ‘4’ and one rating of ‘3’ on the Institute's English Proficiency Scale for speaking, listening, reading and writing, you will be awarded a Certificate of Proficiency. The Certificate is accepted by Victoria University as an alternative to IELTS or TOEFL for admission to undergraduate degree programmes. Postgraduate degree programmes require two ratings of ‘4’ and two ratings of ‘5’ on the Institute’s English Proficiency Scale.

If you are applying for admission to tertiary study in New Zealand or in other countries, you can take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test at the Institute.

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How to Join

If you wish to apply to join a course on our English Proficiency Programme, please complete and send us the application form. Please note we cannot accept faxed application forms. There is always a heavy demand for places on all courses. You are advised to send us your application as early as possible. We shall reply to tell you if we can offer you a place on the course.

Do not send any money with your application. When we offer you a place on the course, we will send you an invoice for your tuition and other fees - to secure your place you must pay this in full, one week before beginning the course.

Domestic Enrolments:
We have a limited number of spaces for domestic students each course. Places will be allocated based on the Placement Tests on the first day of the course.

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Accommodation for Students on English Language Courses

Information about accommodation available for students coming to study at the English Language Institute can be found in the Accommodation section.

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