Australian institutions offer a wide range of courses – from science to management and commerce, humanities to engineering, and law to health sciences. Australian institutions rank among the world’s best by discipline, particularly in engineering and technology, medicine, environmental science, and accounting and finance.

There are 43 universities in Australia (40 Australian universities, two international universities, and one private specialty university). Along with our universities, many other institutions offer higher education courses. You can search for institutions and courses using the Institution and Course Search on this website

The qualifications you can attain at a university or higher education institution are shown below

Associate degree

  • Duration – Two years
  • Completed following – Year 12 or equivalent, Certificate III or Certificate IV
  • Details – The Associate Degree is a short-cycle Degree program that can help with career development if you’re already working and don’t have time to complete a full Bachelor Degree. It 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
  • Completed following – Year 12 or equivalent, Certificate III or Certificate IV
  • Details – A Bachelor Degree is the 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
  • Completed following – Bachelor Degree
  • Details – 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 Certificate

  • Duration – 6 months
  • Completed following – Bachelor Degree
  • Details – Your Graduate Certificate will broaden individual skills you already have from an undergraduate program, or develop your knowledge in a new area.

Graduate Diploma

  • Duration – One year
  • Completed following – Bachelor Degree
  • Details – 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.

Master Degree

  • Duration – 1 to 2 years
  • Completed following – Bachelor Degree (Honours) or Bachelor Degree
  • Details – 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
  • Completed following – Masters Degree
  • Details – 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

 

 

HOW TO Apply

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.

There are a number of steps you must go through including:

  • Deciding on your preferred course and institution.
  • Submitting your application to the institution.
  • Receiving and accepting a Letter of Offer.
  • Receiving your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE).
  • Applying for your student visa.

There is a range of entry requirements that you will need to meet both for you institution application and your visa application. This can include:

  • Academic requirements.
  • English language requirements.
  • Evidence of funds to support your study.
  • Overseas student health cover.

If you’re already living or working in Australia, you may still be able to apply to study here as an international student

 

 

 

How to apply for Admission

Once you’ve decided on a course and an institution, it’s time to apply for admission.

Application process

The first step is to apply for the course you want. There are two ways to apply:

1. Direct to the education provider

To apply direct, download the application form from the education provider’s website.If you are applying for courses at more than one institution, you will need to submit a separate application to each institution.

2. Through an Australian education agent

Most institutions partner with a number of agents. Details on the agents an institution works with can be found on their website or by contacting them directly.

You will need to prepare supporting documentation to send with your application. The documents vary depending on the course, provider and qualification you’re studying for. The most important documents include:

  • Certificates that verify your previous study, including qualifications you already have.
  • Evidence of your English language proficiency.
  • Certificates or documents which verify previous study or work experience if you are seeking course credits. These must be translated into English.

Receiving your Letter of Offer

If your application is successful, you will receive a ‘Letter of Offer’. To confirm your offer you must respond to this letter by signing and sending an acceptance of offer back to the institution. This can usually be done by mail or, in some cases, by scanning and emailing the letter.The Letter of Offer is a contract between you and the institution. It sets out the course you will be enrolled in, enrolment conditions, the fees you need to pay, and the refund payable if you don’t complete your course with that provider. This contract is very important – if you don’t start your course, or finish your course, this written agreement will be used to determine if you will receive a refund.

Tip:

  • Read the Letter of Offer carefully before you accept it.
  • Make sure that you understand all your rights, including the refund arrangements.
  • Do not accept the Letter of Offer if you are not happy with any of its terms.
  • Keep a copy of the Letter of Offer. You will need this copy so that you are aware of your rights and if you have to make a claim against the institution.

Confirmation of Enrolment

After you have accepted your Offer and paid your deposit you will receive an ‘Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment’ (eCoE) by email. This will outline your course start date, total course fees and how long your course will run for.

Visa application

If you are applying for your Student Visa through the Department of Home Affairs online lodgement facility, you will need the details of your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment to lodge your visa application. If you are lodging a paper visa application you must provide the electronic Confirmation of Enrolment prior to the visa being granted.

Generally, secondary school exchange students and students sponsored by either Foreign Affairs(opens in a new window) or the Department of Defence are the only students who will not require a confirmation of enrolment certificate.

You should make sure that you meet requirements for a student visa before you accept an offer and pay any tuition fees.

 

 

VISA Application Process

Australia introduced a simplified student visa framework (SSVF) on July 1st 2016. Under the SSVF all visa applications by international students and education agents are processed online by creating an account on ImmiAccount(opens in a new window).

Student visa (Subclass 500)

All of the following types of study are included on this visa. For more information about student visas, visit Department of Home Affairs(opens in a new window):

  • independent ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students)
  • schools (primary and secondary)
  • secondary school exchange program
  • vocational education and training (VET)
  • higher education
  • postgraduate research
  • non-award courses
  • international students sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs or Defence.

Other visa options

For shorter periods of study, you can apply for a Visitor or Working Holiday Visa. There is also a visa option specifically for student guardians.

Visitor Visa (Subclasses 600, 601, 651)

  • Maximum 3 months study.
  • Intention to visit Australia is genuine.
  • Meet health and character requirements.
  • Sufficient money to support yourself during stay in Australia.

Read more about Visitor Visas(opens in a new window) on the Department of Home Affiars website.

Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417 and 462)

  • Maximum 4 months study.
  • Aged 18 to 30 years and hold an eligible passport.
  • Principal purpose to holiday in Australia.
  • Enter or remain in Australia as a genuine visitor.
  • Meet health and character requirements.
  • Sufficient funds for airfares and personal support for stay in Australia.

Read more about Working Holiday Visas(opens in a new window) on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Student Guardian (Subclass 590)

  • Provides for certain persons to reside with a student in Australia, where the student requires a guardian, ie: the student is under 18 years of age.
  • Study up to 3 months or study ELICOS for 20 hours per week for duration of visa.
  • Meet Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement.
  • Sufficient funds for airfares and living costs.
  • Meet health and character requirements.
  • Acceptable health insurance.

Read more about Student Guardian visas(opens in a new window) on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485)

  • This visa allows eligible international students who have completed an Australian education to stay in Australia to gain work experience.
  • You can work in Australia for a period of 18 months and up to 4 years, depending on your qualification.
  • This visa does not restrict the type of work you may do or the number of hours you may work.
  • Applications for this visa must be made in Australia and you must hold an eligible student visa in the last 6 months.
  • You must meet Australian study, English proficiency, health insurance, health and character requirements.
  • You must meet the specific requirements of the stream in which you are applying for this visa.

Read more about Temporary Graduate visas(opens in a new window) on the Department of Home Affairs website.

 

Visa options and requirements are sometimes subject to change. In order to stay up to date, the best place to get accurate information is on the Department of Home Affairs(opens in a new window) website. The website provides comprehensive information on the types of visas available for different levels of study in Australia, including people considering bring family members with them (whether guardians, partners/spouses or children). You will also have access to help and advice about your specific visa requirements.
 
Another option is to contact BFL Directly to seek advise regarding complete application process and answer your queries.
 
 

Entry Requirements

 

To begin studying in Australia, there are a range of entry requirements you may have to meet.

English language requirements

In some cases, you may need to provide results of an English language test. Be aware that the English language skill level required by an institution can be different from the level of skill required for your student visa application. You should carefully check student visa information on both the Department of Home Affairs(opens in a new window) website and the institution website for any English language requirements.

Academic requirements

The academic requirements (including evidence of English language skills) you need to study in Australia will vary depending on the level of education you want to study. Institutions can have different entry requirements, so read the course information on their website carefully and contact them to ask for advice.

Here is some general guidance on entry requirements for the different levels of study:

  • English language – Entry requirements vary between institutions, and according to the level of English language course you want to study.
  • Schools – Entry requirements vary between schools depending on the state or territory you will be studying in. Academic performance and ability is considered during the application process.
  • Vocational education and training – In most cases there are no entrance exams for VET institutions. However, some courses may have specific pre-requisite subjects or work experience requirements.
  • Higher Education Undergraduate – To gain entry into an Australian undergraduate course you will need to have an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12), or the overseas equivalent. Some undergraduate courses may also have specific pre-requisite subjects.
  • Higher Education Postgraduate – As well as the satisfactory completion of at least one degree at undergraduate level, your institution may take research ability or relevant work experience into consideration.

Tip: To meet the academic requirements of an Australian high school qualification, consider taking a Foundation course. Also called bridging study, they are intensive courses that will help you meet the entry requirements. They are usually one year long and are offered by most higher education institutions.

Visa requirements

The student visa you need depends on your chosen course of study. As a guide, the typical key requirements you will need to meet are:

  • Issued an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) certificate.
  • Meet the Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement. Read more about this on the Department of Home Affairs(opens in a new window) website.
  • Sufficient funds for airfares, course fees and living costs.
  • English language proficiency.
  • Meet health and character requirements.
  • Acceptable Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

Read more about the Student Visa Key Requirements(opens in a new window).

The Department of Home Affairs(opens in a new window) website provides detailed information on student visas. It also has a Visa Wizard(opens in a new window) to help you identify which visa you might be eligible for.

Overseas Student Health Cover

Australia has a special system of health cover for international students called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). It will help you pay for medical or hospital care you may need while you’re studying in Australia; it will also contribute towards the cost of most prescription medicines and an ambulance in an emergency. When studying in Australia, you will need OSHC for yourself, and any family travelling with you, before you arrive. It is a requirement of your student visa that you maintain OSHC for the duration of your time on a student visa in Australia.

Read more about OSHC on the ‘Insurance’ page in the ‘Live in Australia’ section of this website.

 

 

 

Living in Australia

Living in Australia will be a new experience, but there are support services in your institution as well as from other organisations to help make adjusting to life in Australia easier.

Australia is among the happiest countries in the world (World Happiness Report 2017) and we have four of the 30 best cities in the world for students (QS Top University Rankings 2017), you are sure to enjoy your time here.

No matter what type of study you are doing in Australia, whether you are here for a few months or a few years, some research and planning will help you have a safe and rewarding study experience. Important considerations and planning includes:

  • Planning your departure.
  • Arriving in Australia.
  • Accessing support services.
  • Remaining visa compliant.
  • Working while you study.
  • Living costs and finding accommodation.
  • Health and safety

 

 

Work While you Study

Working while you study in Australia can help complement your study and living experience. There are a number of reasons you might want to undertake part time work while studying in Australia, including assisting with living expenses and gaining work experience in your study area.

Most student visas allow you to work for up to 40 hours every two weeks while your course is in session, and unrestricted hours during any scheduled course break, but before you undertake any paid work you need to make sure your visa allows you to work. Find out more at the Department of Home Affairs(opens in a new window) website.

Paid work

Australia has a wide range of industries and many have part time employment opportunities, including:

  • Retail – supermarkets, department and clothing stores.
  • Hospitality – cafes, bars and restaurants.
  • Tourism – hotels and motels.
  • Agricultural – farming and fruit-picking.
  • Sales and telemarketing.
  • Administration or Clerical roles.
  • Tutoring.

If you have existing qualifications and/or professional work experience, you may be able to secure casual or part time work in your field.

Internships

Paid or unpaid internships can be a great way to get exposure to the professional, financial and creative industries. Learn more about getting an internship on the Internships page in the Education System section of this website.

Volunteering

There are many charities and non-government organisations (NGOs) in Australia and they always need volunteers to help out. It can be a great way to meet friends, get some hands on work experience and give back to the community. To find out more about volunteering, start your search at: http://www.govolunteer.com.au/(opens in a new window)

Your rights

Everyone working in Australia, including international students or those on working holiday visas, have basic rights at work. These rights protect entitlement to:

  • A minimum wage and superannuation.
  • Challenge of unfair dismissal from the job
  • Leave, breaks and rest periods.
  • A healthy and safe work environment.

To find out more about your work rights visit the Australian Government’s Fair Work Ombudsman’s website(opens in a new window) or call them on 13 13 94. You can also read about (PDF 68.6KB)(opens in a new window) some common myths about being paid and working in Australia as an international student.

If you’re a temporary resident working in Australia your employer has to pay super for you if you are eligible.

When you leave Australia, you can claim your super as a departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP) if you meet all the requirements. To find out more about super for temporary residents visit the Australian Taxation Office (opens in a new window)website.

In Australia, employers (your boss) must also do all they can to make sure your job does not hurt you or make you sick. This law is called work health and safety (WHS) or occupational health and safety (OHS).

The law also says your boss must have insurance for you in case you are hurt at work. This is called workers’ compensation. If you are hurt or get sick at work, the insurance may pay for your medical treatment and for your wages until you can work again.

This covers all workers in Australia, even if you are on a temporary visa. Visit Safe Work Australia(opens in a new window) for more information or to download(opens in a new window) the latest checklist.

You will also need to get a tax file number to work in Australia. Visit the Australian Taxation Office(opens in a new window) website to find out more information on getting a tax file number, as well as information about paying taxes in Australia.

Finding Work

There are plenty of ways to find work that suits you, including:

  • Newspapers and online job sites.
  • Some institutions provide job notice-boards on campus and online. Contact your institution’s international student support staff to find out what options your institution offers.
  • Register your details at a recruitment firm; many of them help place people in casual or short-term work

 

After graduation

After your graduation, you have several options available to you whether you stay in Australia or head home. You may be able to continue your studies in Australia to pursue a higher level qualification or another field of study, you may be eligible to undertake post study work to put your newly gained knowledge to use and gain work experience in Australia, or you may choose to go home to undertake further study or work there.

If you decide you want to undertake further study or work in Australia you will need to check whether your visa allows this or whether you need to apply for a new visa. You can go to the Department of Home Affairs(opens in a new window) website to check your visa conditions and find out what your options are.

Wherever your path leads, think about joining an alumni group from your institution. It will help you stay in touch with your classmates, and can provide you with great benefits and opportunities.

Preparing for home

If you’re returning home after study, here are some steps to consider:

  • Shipping goods back home.
  • Getting exam results, which aren’t part of your academic qualification, from your institution.
  • Claiming the security bond back from your rental accommodation.
  • Joining relevant alumni organisations.

Many institutions run information sessions or seminars with advice on returning home and adjusting to life outside of Australia. Ask your international student support staff for more information