Australia is offering a wide range of study options for students from the around the World, with more than 1,200 institutions and over 22,000 courses to choose from.
You can study at all levels of education from primary and secondary school, to vocational education and training (VET), from English language courses to higher education (including universities).
Regardless of what you are studying or how long you are studying for, Australia’s laws promote quality education and protection for international students.
As an international student on a student visa, you must study with an institution and in a course that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). CRICOS registration guarantees that the course and the institution at which you study meet the high standards expected by international students. You can search for courses and institutions here on the Study in Australia website.
Along with the ESOS Act and National Code, there are also regulatory and quality assurance organisations for higher education and VET institutions. These government organisations are responsible for registration/re-registration of institutions and accreditation/re-accreditation of courses. These organisations are:
So no matter the type of course you want to study, how long you want to study for or where you want to study, you can be assured that in Australia you will have a high quality and rewarding study experience.
The Australian education system provides primary, secondary and tertiary education.
School education is similar across all of Australia with only minor variations between states and territories. School education (primary and secondary) is compulsory between the ages of six and sixteen (Year 1 to Year 9 or 10). School education is 13 years and divided into:
Tertiary education includes both higher education (including universities) and vocational education and training (VET).
English is the official language of Australia and the main language of instruction in the education system. Many schools offer bilingual programs or programs in other languages.
The Australian education system is distinguished from many other countries by the The AQF was established in 1995 and is a national policy that covers qualifications from the tertiary education sector (higher education and vocational education and training) in addition to the school-leaving certificate; the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. The AQF has 10 levels and links school, vocational and university education qualifications into one national system. This allows you to move easily from one level of study to the next, and from one institution to another, as long as you satisfy student visa requirements. It allows for choice and flexibility in career planning. All qualifications in the AQF help prepare you for both further study and your working life.
If you are studying an AQF qualification, you can be sure that your institution is Government-authorised and nationally accredited, and that your degree or other AQF qualification will be genuine.
Our institutions are linked across the country and across the world, which makes it easy to move throughout the education system between courses or institutions and formal agreement and recognition frameworks mean every step of the path will contribute to your future no matter what your study or career goals.
The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) framework protects the rights of international students studying in Australia, including:
The ESOS framework sets out the standards that Australian institutions must meet in offering education and training services to international students. These standards cover a range of information you have a right to know and services that must be offered to you, including:
As an overseas student on a student visa, you have responsibilities to:
The academic year in Australia varies depending on the type of study you are undertaking.
Many institutions also offer a mid-year, or second semester start. Start dates and the number of semesters vary by course and institution, so please check directly on your institution’s website for details.
Below is a general guide on the academic year for the different levels of study in Australia:
In Australia, you can use course credits you have already earned to build on your studies.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), or credit transfer, refers to the recognition of previous informal and formal training, work experience, professional development, professional licensing and examinations, and other work-based education and training. Credit transfer is available in both undergraduate and postgraduate programs, at the discretion of the institution. Credit can also be given for previous vocational education and training (VET) studies.
Australia has a system to recognise qualifications from other countries. The Australian Government organization National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition ( NOOSR ) helps Australian institutions to recognise qualifications from overseas, allowing for recognition of your previous studies. Below is a brief explanation of the difference between credits and exemptions.
The requirements and process vary by institution and course, but generally details of your work experience can be anything that proves your experience - from a workplace reference to a published work. Study experience will usually be an academic transcript or qualification documents from your last education institution, as well as a description of the curriculum you covered.
Once you have decided on a preferred course and institution, contact one of their course specialists and tell them about your study plan.They will be able to give advice about the best education pathway that allows for credits or exemptions and suits your goals.
There are a number of things to organise and check before you make the decision to change either your course of study or your institution. You should first ask your student support services on campus or other advisors for help and advice. And make sure that you first check your student visa requirements and ensure you follow the correct procedures to maintain your visa. Don’t assume that the advice you get from friends, fellow students or education agents is correct. And you should also make sure you keep a copy of your course cancellation and enrolment paperwork.
Remember, if you change your institution or course at any time you must contact the Department of Immigration and Border Protection ( DIBP ) and provide an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) certificate from your new institution.
If you want to change to a new course at the same institution you are currently studying and at the same level of qualification, you do not need to apply for a new student visa unless your current visa is about to expire.
If you want to change your level of qualification, for example from a Diploma to a Bachelor Degree, you may need to apply for a new student visa because your visa subclass may change. You should visit the website to find out more information.
If you are thinking of moving to a different institution you need to speak with your current institution for information on doing this. In most circumstances the new institution will be restricted from enrolling you if you have not completed 6 months of the main course of study (at your current institution) for which your visa was granted.
If you want to change institutions before completing the first six months of your main course of study you must contact your current institution for permission. You will require a letter of offer from the new institution in order to apply for a letter of release from your current institution.
The costs of studying in Australia depend on the institution and the level of study you choose.
As an international student, your tuition fees are payable before you study. You can use the Course Search on this website to find courses and see details such as their tuition fees. There may be additional costs for your course, including course materials and access to institution facilities.
The list below gives you an indication of the range of course costs for different types of qualifications.
* Note: This does not include high value courses such as veterinary and medical. Please visit institution websites directly to see costs for these courses.
There are many scholarships, grants, and bursaries which can help support you financially with your studies in Australia. They are offered by the Australian Government, education institutions, and a number of other public and private organisations. You can use the search tool available on every page of this site to find scholarships, along with contact details for the institution providing the scholarship.
All applications and enquiries for scholarships are made through the scholarship provider.
Here is information about some of the major scholarships programs available for international students:
All scholarships listed on our website are available to international students. Many are available to students of all nationalities, however all scholarships conditions are set by the institution or organisation offering the scholarship and applications have to be done directly with the scholarship provider. To find out if you are eligible to receive a scholarship you must contact the organisation offering the scholarship.
Internships are temporary work placements in workplaces and education institutions. Internships can be paid or unpaid depending on the industry and the length of placement, and are a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the area of your study.
Benefits of undertaking an internship can include:
There are several student and work visas that allow international students to intern in Australia. Different conditions can apply when it comes to the period of your internship, including: how many hours a day/week you can intern, and whether you can earn money as an intern. Further information on visa conditions can be found on the website.
Many institutions have internship programs, so check what options your institution offers. There are also private recruitment and internship placement firms that help international students find internships; however, be aware that there can be costs associated with using these providers. This can range from $A1,500 to 2,100 depending on the length of your placement.
Higher education courses can be taken to earn an advanced degree and continue your studies in Australia. There are three main types of higher education which lead to Bachelor, Master and Doctoral Degrees.
In Australia it is quite common for students to enrol in a double or combined Bachelor Degree program which leads to the award of two Bachelor Degrees. This is most common in the fields of arts, commerce, law and science.
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.
Australia has a national regulatory and quality agency for higher education – the . It was established by the Australian Government to monitor quality, and regulate university and non-university higher education providers against a set of standards developed by the independent Higher Education Standards Panel. In addition, the following student rights are protected by law under the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS):
The Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) website makes it possible to compare higher education institutions and study areas, based on the results of thousands of surveys completed by domestic and international current and former students. Users will be able to compare the overall satisfaction of current students and recent graduates, as well as the percentage of graduates moving into full-time employment and their median salary.
The qualifications you can attain at a university or higher education institution are shown below.
When it comes to world university rankings, Australia has a strong, proven track record. Across all global ranking systems, criteria and fields of study, Australia ranks highly for quality of education, student satisfaction, and global reputation.
There are a number of university ranking systems in use around the world, three commonly used rankings are:
In fact, eight of Australia’s universities feature in the top 100 ranked universities in the world in the latest QS ranking (2014-15). And if you have a specific study area of interest, there is every chance Australia has you covered, with at least three Australian universities in the top 50 worldwide across the study areas of Arts and Humanities, Engineering and Technologies, Natural Sciences, Life Sciences and Medicine and Social Sciences and Management.
Australia also has 16 universities ranked in the in the latest
Times Higher Education ranking results (2015).
We are proud of the high university rankings Australian has earned, but more importantly, it’s about what you will receive when you study in Australia - a world-class education and opportunities for an unlimited future.
Australia is home to 43 universities with at least one university main campus based in each state or territory.
The Australian Universities map allows you to see where each university’s main campus is located. Most universities have more than one campus and are located across multiple states and territories, providing you with a choice of where in Australia you would like to study.
Courses in Australia are categorised in to ‘Fields of education’, also called ‘Fields of study’. It is a classification system used by Australian institutions to describe courses, specialisations and units of study.
Natural and physical sciences is the study of all living organisms and inanimate natural objects, through experiment, observation and deduction. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the workings of the universe, and to extend the body of scientific knowledge.
Information technology is the study of the processing, transmitting and storage of information by computers. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of information systems, programming languages, information management and artificial intelligence, and the ability to apply them to solve problems.
Engineering and related technologies is the study of the design, manufacture, installation, maintenance and functioning of machines, systems and structures; and the composition and processing of metals, ceramics, foodstuffs and other materials. It includes the measurement and mapping of the earth’s surface and its natural and constructed features. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the conversion of materials and energy, the measurement and representation of objects, and the operation of plant, machinery and transport systems.
Architecture and building is the study of the art, science and techniques involved in designing, constructing, adapting and maintaining public, commercial, industrial and residential structures and landscapes. It includes the study of the art and science of designing and planning urban and regional environments. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of integrating structural and aesthetic elements in buildings and environments, and construction methods, techniques and materials.
Agriculture, environmental and related studies is the study of the theory and practice of breeding, growing, gathering, reproducing and caring for plants and animals. It includes the study of the interaction between people and the environment and the application of scientific principles to the environment to protect it from deterioration. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the management and use of natural resources, and the production of primary agricultural products.
Health is the study of maintaining and restoring the physical and mental wellbeing of humans and animals. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the principles and practices of identifying, treating, controlling and preventing injury and disease. It is also involves developing an understanding of the principles and practices of providing preventative, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care.
Education is the study of the process of learning. It includes the theories, methods and techniques of imparting knowledge and skills to others. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the processes and methods of teaching and learning in pre-schools, schools, tertiary educational institutions and other settings.
Management and commerce is the study of the theory and practice of planning, directing, organising, motivating and co-ordinating the human and material resources of private and public organisations and institutions. It includes the merchandising and provision of goods and services and personal development. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the theory and practice of decision making and policy formation, organisational development, planning, financial management, and the marketing and selling of goods and services.
Society and culture is the study of the physical, social and cultural organisation of human society and their influence on the individual and groups. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of human behaviour and interaction, beliefs and values, cultural expression, and social structure and organisation.
Creative arts is the study of creating and performing works of art, music, dance and drama. It includes the study of clothing design and creation, and communicating through a variety of media. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of composition, performance, artistic production, choreography, design and creativity, and technical production.
Food, hospitality and personal services is the study of preparing, displaying and serving food and beverages, providing hospitality services, caring for the hair and body for grooming and beautification, and other personal services. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the preparation of food and beverages, and the provision of hospitality services including housekeeping, cleaning and food and beverage service. It also involves developing a knowledge of beautification and beauty treatments.
Mixed field programmes are programmes providing general and personal development education. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:
The main purpose of this field of study is to develop a basic understanding of reading, writing and arithmetic along with an elementary understanding of other subjects such as history, geography, natural science, social science, art and music. It also involves developing an understanding of key competencies and skills that are needed for job search activities, employment and personal survival skills.
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:
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 (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.
If you're returning home after study, here are some steps to consider:
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.
Your Australian qualification will make you an attractive employee, not just to employers at home, but those in Australia and around the world as well.
If you are considering staying in Australia and working after your current visa expires, you’ll need to get a new visa that lets you do this. There are a number of options, so work out what best fits your situation.
If you completed a Bachelors, Masters or Doctoral degree, you may be eligible for the Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.
Alternatively, a new employer may be able to sponsor you for a new visa– talk to their Human Resources or Recruitment staff.
If you want to stay in Australia independently of employer sponsorship for a longer term or professional career, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through You can find out more about your visa options at the
Wherever your post-graduation 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.