Higher Education Courses

Higher education courses are offered by universities, private colleges and some TAFE institutes. There are some courses like medicine, law and architecture that are only offered by universities

Graduate certificate

A graduate certificate is an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level 8 postgraduate coursework qualification that typically requires 0.5 years (or 1 semester) full-time enrolment or equivalent to complete.

Graduate diploma

A graduate diploma is an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level 8 postgraduate coursework qualification that typically requires 1 year (or 2 semesters) full-time enrolment or equivalent to complete. Both the Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are generally intended for specific professional reasons, such as enhancing undergraduate-acquired skills and knowledge or developing professional skills and knowledge in a new field

Bachelor degree

For entry into many professional occupations, a bachelor’s degree still serves as the requirement. A bachelor’s degree may serve as the ticket to a more rewarding career. It provides the foundational training necessary for a professional job, which requires at least three years of full-time study (although there are some institutions that offers a fast track system that can shorten the study period to 2 years depending on the course).

Master’s degree

Master’s degrees offer mastery or a thorough overview of a particular subject area or branch of professional practice. Usually, they require one to two years of full-time study. The master’s degree can be obtained in one of three ways:

  • Master’s degree (coursework): These include a variety of project work, coursework, and research assignments. The usual prerequisites for admission are the successful completion of a bachelor’s degree, a bachelor’s degree (honours), or a graduate certificate or certification.
  • Master’s degree (research): These have a thesis or research project that is at least two-thirds research and is frequently evaluated externally. An honours bachelor’s degree or the first year of a master’s programme is typically required for entry.
  • Master’s degree (extended): These might include a project based at work. Entry requires a relevant degree and professional expertise, or substantial relevant professional experience.

Doctoral degree

Doctoral degrees acknowledge a significant original contribution in the form of new knowledge or the adaptation, application, and interpretation of pre-existing information to a specific discipline. Typically, they take three or four years of full-time study to complete. There are two ways to obtain a doctorate:

  • Research doctorate (PhD): These primarily involve supervised research leading to the completion of a thesis. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree by research (honours).
  • Professional doctorate: For professionals seeking to expand their knowledge in their sector without the research commitment of a PhD, these combine coursework and research. Typically, a master’s by research or a bachelor’s degree is required for entry (honours). Significant professional experience is also necessary, either prior to or during the course.

Entry requirements

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.
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.