Australia Plan your studies

In short

  1. get informed about the different Australian institutions of higher education and their entrance requirements (at least 10 months in advance)
  2. take the different tests usually required (Toefl test and SAT or ACT test)
  3. apply directly to the institutions
  4. accept your letter of offer from the university
  5. receive the electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE)
  6. apply for the student visa
  7. arrange your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)  required for entry to Australia
  8. try to get information about student accomodation

Higher education

To study in Australia, you'll need to apply for both admission to an institution and also for a student visa from the Australian Government. Application deadlines vary from course to course, so please check any specific deadlines on the website of the university.

Academic year

The academic year in Australia starts in February!

Semester 1 runs from February to June, semester 2 from July to November. Almost all courses can be started in the first semester, some can also be started in the second.

Institutions of higher education

There are 43 universities in Australia and many other institutions of higher education.

  • 40 Australian universities
  • two international universities
  • one private specialty university

All registered higher education providers and their courses are listed on TEQSA’s National Register of Higher Education Providers.

Higher education providers can only deliver courses to international students if they are registered on the Australian Government's Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).


The qualifications you can attain at a university or higher education institution are as follows:


Diploma (VET /Vocational Education and Training)

  • Duration: 18 to 24 months

Advanced diploma (VET)

  • Duration: 24 to 36 months

Associate degree

  • Duration - Two years
  • Short-cycle Degree program that can be a pathway to a Bachelor Degree or prepare you for an Advanced Diploma in specialist industry training. An Associate Degree will be about the basics or foundations of your field. It will cover the broad theory and enable you to develop the basic employment-related skills.

Bachelor Degree

  • Duration - Three years
  • Basic qualification for entry to a field. It will give you a systematic body of knowledge, the underlying principles and the problem-solving techniques you'll need to work in the discipline. With deeper content than an Associate Degree, your Bachelor Degree will develop your skills and knowledge to the point where you can pursue postgraduate studies if you want to.

Bachelor Degree (Honours)

  • Duration - Four years
  • If you do particularly well in your Bachelor Degree, your institution might grant entry to an additional year of study to enable you to graduate with honours.

Graduate Diploma

  • Duration - One year
  • A Graduate Diploma will apply a body of knowledge in a range of contexts for you to undertake professional or highly skilled work and as a pathway for further learning.

Graduate Certificate

  • Duration - 6 months


Master Degree

  • Duration - 1 to 2 years
  • A Master Degree is a course of independent research, traditional coursework or a combination of the two, and will make you a leader in your field. A Master Degree takes either one year after a Bachelor Degree with honours, or two years after a Bachelor Degree.

Doctoral Degree

  • Duration - Typically 3 years
  • The highest award offered by Australian universities, the Doctoral Degree is a research program, although it can have some coursework. The three components of your Doctoral Degree are:

    • A review of literature, experimentation or other methodical approach to a body of knowledge.
    • An original research project that makes a contribution to understanding and knowledge in your field.
    • A substantial, well-ordered thesis that shows a relationship between the research and the field of study.

Find a study programme

Use the official websites to search for courses and institutions:

How to apply

Apply to study at least 10 months ahead!

  1. apply directly to the institutions
  2. accept your letter of offer from the university
  3. receive the electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE)

Entry Requirements

  • Secondary school leaving diploma (equivalent to the Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12)
  • Good school results
  • Good English language skills
  • Specific prerequisite subjects for some undergraduate courses (see the website of the university)

The entry requirements for international students are determined individually by each institution and are generally based on national examination performance and English language skills. Entry requirements may vary between different universities and degree programmes so it is best to contact the international office of your chosen university to find out what grades you will need for your course.

Tuition fees

As an international student you'll enter your course as a full fee paying student. Your tuition fees are based on the number of subjects you study each year, not the course you do!

Find out about tuition fees on the website of the university. There are also scholarships, bursaries and other financial aid options you may be eligible for to help support your tuition and living costs while you study.

Part-time studies

Part-time study is not usually available for international students, as their student visa requires full-time study (24 credit points per semester).

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