UNIVERSITY


University courses of study include bachelor’s degrees at the undergraduate level. At the postgraduate level, graduate diplomas are offered in addition to master’s and doctorate degrees. Master’s programs are available in many disciplines including social sciences, engineering, health sciences, business, and economics. Master’s degrees usually involve research or coursework, or a combination of both.

There are some important points about courses that you need to be aware of:

  • The academic year is generally from early March to late November, or mid-July to late June of the following year.
  • The year is normally divided into two semesters, although some universities offer three semesters in one calendar year for certain courses.
  • Students studying towards a Doctoral Degree or other postgraduate research awards may be able to negotiate an alternative starting date with their research supervisor.

The following qualifications are available at Australian universities and approved higher education providers. This information is general, so you need to realise that a particular university course may not have exactly the same length or purpose.

 

COURSE NOTES
Diploma
Duration = 1 -2 years
  • This is offered by some universities and university colleges.
  • It is the same level as a Diploma that is offered by a VET institution.
UNDERGRADUATE
Bachelor Degree
Duration = minimum of 3 years
  • This is the basic university qualification and is required for entry to a profession.
Bachelor’s Degree (Honours)
Duration = 4 years
  • A Bachelor’s Degree with Honours takes an additional year after a Bachelor’s Degree with a focus on research.
  • Honours may also be granted where outstanding achievement is recorded in a Bachelor’s Degree course of four or more years.
POSTGRADUATE
Graduate Certificate
Duration = 6 months
  • The Graduate Certificate typically involves broadening individual skills already gained in an undergraduate program, or developing vocational knowledge and skills in a new professional area.
Graduate Diploma
Duration = 12 months
  • The Graduate Diploma either broadens individual skills obtained in an undergraduate program or develops vocational knowledge and skills in a new professional area.
Master’s Degree (Coursework)
Duration = 1 – 2 years
  • It is typically gained by coursework and some research.
Master’s Degree (Research) – MPhil
Duration = 1 – 2 years
  • Admission requires a Bachelor’s degree with Honours but students may be admitted after completing a Graduate Diploma and having significant work experience.
  • It is possible to transfer to a PhD program after 1 year full-time if the work in the MPhil course is considered to be a suitable standard.
Doctoral Degree
(Doctor of Philosophy – PhD)
  • The Doctoral Degree is the highest award offered by Australian universities. Duration is 3 years.

Entry Points, Entry Requirements and Costs

Students need to meet both a sufficient level of English language proficiency and the minimum academic requirements before they can be admitted to an Australian university.

English language proficiency

Australian education institutions can only accept students with an appropriate level of English proficiency. Institutions set their own English language requirements. The language proficiency entry levels may be different from those required for a student visa.

Academic Requirements

Institutions are free to determine the academic requirements for entry to their courses.

In general, however, the following criteria apply for undergraduate and postgraduate courses:

Undergraduate courses

Undergraduate degrees require an Australian Senior School Certificate of Education (Year 12) or the overseas equivalent of this. Some degrees may also have certain pre-requisite subjects and grades.

For international students who have attended an Australian High School, entry to higher education institutions is normally based on completion of Year 12 and determined by the student’s tertiary entrance score or rank.