Study in Australia

Australia is one of the most popular destinations for international students. The following information will help you get ready to study in Australia.

Australia is a World Leader in International Education

Students choose to study in Australia because since the 1980’s, Australia has developed its education system to allow students easy access to the high-quality education. Ever since, the Australian Government has been very active in promoting Australian education to the world.


Facts about Studying in Australia

  • Australian universities are ranked amongst the world’s best, with 8 universities in the world’s top 100.
  • Australia’s cities score very highly on the list of world’s most liveable cities (Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth in the top 10).
  • Australia is a very safe country for international students. The country has very strong laws on gun control, making it one of the safest countries in the world.


Australia’s Multicultural Cities

If you walk through the main streets of an Australian city, you will notice people from many different backgrounds. You will see people from China, people from India, people from Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal and Japan. There are people from African countries, European counties and American counties, all of which gives Australian cities the feeling of being from the United Nations.

Added to this is the remarkable Aboriginal history of Australia, with its rich cultural heritage from over 250 different language groups.

In fact, Australia has one of the most diverse cultural population out of any country in the world. No matter what your background, you will find other people in Australia who speak your language or who understand Australians have an international outlook, as most people come from migrant backgrounds.

Australia’s multicultural society is one of the reasons that students feel comfortable when they study in Australia. Over the  years, hundreds of thousands of international students have chosen to study in Australia. In many cases, these students continue to live in Australia and gain permanent residence (PR)

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Cost of Living in Australia

The cost of living in Australia will depend on where you choose to live. For example, living in large cities such as Sydney and Melbourne will be much more expensive than living in cities such as Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Pay Scale for Qualification Types in Australia

If you plan to study in Australia, it is important to consider how much you are likely to receive in income after you graduate with an Australian qualification. The following link provides information regarding pay for Australian jobs.

Australian Qualification Levels

The following table includes information about the types of qualifications available at Australian educational institutions.


The Australian schooling sector is divided into three levels as follows:

  1. Pre-school for ages 5 – 6 (Kindergarten & Pre-primary)
  2. Primary School for ages 6 – 12 (Years 1 – 6/7)
  3. Secondary School for ages 12 – 17/18 (Years 7/8 – 12)

In most schools, students who successfully complete 12 years of study are awarded the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (SSCE). For university entry, Australian students are required to gain an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). The ATAR ranges from zero to 99.5. Universities offer places to Australian students based on their ATAR score. At many Australian Secondary schools, students may be able to complete Certificate I and II courses, especially if they do not plan on attending university.

Apprenticeship & Traineeship

Apprenticeship and Traineeship programs bring together study and employment. To join an apprenticeship of traineeship program, students must be working as an apprentice or trainee before starting to study at an institution such as TAFE.

Certificate I & II

Certificate I and II courses are entry level qualifications that take 3 – 6 months to complete as well as provide a pathway for further study. Certificate I and II courses also give students a basic understanding of the skills required to work in a specific area.

Certificate III

Certificate III courses can take 1 to 2 years to complete. These courses provide students with the skills needed for employment, as well as provide a pathway to further study.

Certificate IV

Certificate IV courses can take from 6 months to 2 years to complete. These courses prepare students with the critical thinking skills required to work in an industry and can include training for basic supervisory work. Certificate IV courses can be used in some cases as a pathway for entry to an Australian university course.


Diploma courses take 1 to 2 years to complete and involve complex concepts and thinking in specialised areas of work. Diplomas can be used in many cases as a pathway for entry to an Australian university course.

Advanced Diploma

Advanced Diploma courses usually take 2 to 2.5 years to complete and involve higher order thinking and theoretical knowledge in specialised areas of work. Students who study for Advanced Diplomas are also expected to show greater levels of personal accountability in their approach to study and their career. Advanced Diplomas can be used in many cases as a pathway for entry to an Australian university course.

Bachelor's Degree

A Bachelor’s degree is an academic degree that a student receives when an undergraduate university course has been completed. The Bachelor’s degree is the most common level of study at university and requires 3 (though sometimes 4) years of full time study. Once completed, the student can gain entry to a professional career and has an academic title, such as Bachelor of Business (B Bus).

Honour's Degree

Students who perform well in their Bachelor’s degree may be invited to study for one extra year in the Honours program where they will gain deeper insights and knowledge into their major field of study. Upon graduating, the students receive an academic title with honours, such as Bachelor of Business (Honours) or B Bus (Hons).

Graduate Certificate

A Graduate Certificate usually take 6 months of full-time study. The aim is to provide up-to-date and wider knowledge in a new area, or in an area that has already been studied as part of a Bachelor’s degree.

Graduate Diploma


Master's Degree

A Master’s degree can be completed by coursework, with some research, over a period of 2 years. Alternatively, it can be completed by research only over a duration of 1 – 2 years. Students who undertake a Master’s degree will develop deep knowledge of a subject area and will be ideally suited to find professional work in their field of interest. Once completed, the student has an academic title, such as Master of Business (M Bus).

Professional Year Program (PYP)

The Professional Year Program (PYP) is completed after a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree and helps students to gain important professional skills, both in the classroom and at a real workplace during an internship. It is usually offered in the following areas:

  • Accounting
  • Engineering
  • Information Technology

The 30 weeks of part-time coursework includes development in skills in numerous areas such as professional communication, teamwork, time management and job application and interview skills. Following successful completion of the coursework, the workplace internship usually lasts for 8 weeks at a professional organisation. The internship is organised by the education provider who offered the coursework and is done in conjunction with an professional association, such Engineers Australia (EA) and the Australian Computer Society (ACS). For many international students, the PYP program is an excellent way of building the workplace knowledge and skills required for success in the Australian workplace.

Doctoral Degree PhD

The PhD, also known as the Doctoral degree, is the highest qualification in Australia. Most universities offer PhDs via research, although in some cases there will be coursework requirements. The PhD can take 3 – 4 years and generally involve a comprehensive literature review, a new research project that adds to the academic body of knowledge and a major thesis that is linked to wider theoretical understandings in the area. Once completed, the student has the academic title Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).