Studying in Australia

Studying in Australia

Australia's education structure is similar to the UK's and students have the same range of choices if they decide to stay in education at postgraduate level:

  • graduate certificate (six months)
  • graduate diploma (one year)
  • masters (one to two years)
  • doctorate (typically three years)

Qualifications awarded from Australian universities are internationally recognised and highly regarded by global employers. For a full list of universities, see Study in Australia.

The Group of Eight, or Go8, is a coalition of Australia's oldest research universities and comprises the universities of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales, Australian National University and Monash University.

Australian universities often feature in the 'Top 100 Universities' global rankings, such as:

What courses can you study?

Australian universities offer a wide range of taught and research postgraduate programmes in subjects ranging from science to management and commerce, humanities to engineering, and law to health sciences. They are particularly strong in areas such as engineering and technology, medicine, environmental science, and accounting and finance.

Study Options hold annual open days across the UK so you can meet representatives from a number of Australian universities.

How do you apply for postgraduate study?

To be accepted into most postgraduate courses in Australia you'll need an undergraduate qualification, usually a three year bachelor's degree, from a recognised international institution. Specific entry requirements differ from course to course so check with the individual institution for details.

Most Australian universities operate on a semester basis, with the academic year commencing in February. Closing dates for applications depend on the course and the institution, and some courses accept applications year round. Applications are made directly to universities, and this can usually be done online.

For information on applying for Australian universities visit Study in Australia.

For a free application support service to help you decide what, where and how to study in Australia, check out Study Options.

Fees and scholarships

Tuition fees are individually set by each institution and vary depending on the course subject. A postgraduate diploma or certificate, masters or PhD varies in cost. As an international student, your tuition fees are payable before you study. 

The Australian government outlines that international students must have funds of around A$18,610 a year to cover living costs while studying in Australia, although this may vary depending on the location.

Scholarships, grants, and bursaries are offered by a range of organisations such as the Australian Government, universities and other public and private organisations. Most students, however, will pay their university fees in full. Contact the university you're interested in for details of any scholarship opportunities.

International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS) are available to top quality international postgraduate students. Contact universities direct.

For more information on fees, living costs and a searchable database of scholarships, see Study in Australia.

Are there any exchange programmes?

Individual universities will have exchange agreements allowing you to study part of your degree at an Australian university. Contact your own university's international office or careers service for more information.

Will your qualifications be recognised in the UK?

Check with the university or higher education institution where you are hoping to study to see if their qualification is recognised or has an equivalent in the UK.

Do you need a visa to study in Australia?

If you're only studying for less than four months, you can visit Australia on a Working Holiday visa. You will, however, need to apply for a Student visa once you're enrolled on a course registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) that lasts more than three months.

With a Student visa you can work up to 40 hours a fortnight on a casual basis during term time plus full-time during vacation periods, although you must have proof of adequate funds to support yourself initially. Before taking on any paid work, check that your visa allows you to work. English language skills are a requirement of the visa. You must also attend and/or satisfy course requirements. A further condition of the Student visa is taking out an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) policy.

Written by AGCAS editors, April 2016