Higher education - Undergraduate

Who offers undergraduate courses?

Australia has built a strong reputation for excellence and quality across its higher education and training programs. The large numbers of international students who want to pursue higher education in Australia reflect this global reputation.

Higher education courses are offered by universities, private colleges and some TAFE institutes. Some professional courses — such as medicine, veterinary science, law and architecture — are only offered by universities. You can use the Institution Search to search for and contact universities and higher education providers.

Courses and qualifications

Australia has a national set of qualifications that are endorsed by the Australian Government. This means that there is national and international recognition of each qualification and the level of education it represents.

The main types of undergraduate qualifications offered by most higher education institutions are as follows:

  • Bachelor degree: Bachelor degrees provide initial preparation for professional careers and postgraduate study and involve a minimum of three years of full-time study (some institutions offer a fast-track system, which allows students to complete a three-year degree in two years). Entry typically requires completion of an Australian secondary school certificate of education (Year 12) or the overseas equivalent, or a diploma or advanced diploma from the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector.
  • Bachelor degree (honours): Honours may require an optional additional year of study (usually research based) following a three-year degree or may be awarded for academic achievement in degrees of four or more years.

Average tuition costs

The average cost of a bachelor degree is AUD$15,000 to $33,000.

These figures were sourced from the Australian Government’s Study in Australia website in 2018. Please note that fees vary widely and should always be sourced from the relevant institutions. Some courses, such as medicine and veterinary science, may attract higher costs.

Entry requirements

Entry into most higher education courses in Australia is highly competitive. In addition to the academic requirements specified for each qualification level (see above), applicants must also meet high-level English language requirements. Some higher education courses have additional entry requirements, such as prior knowledge in certain subjects; work experience; or the successful completion of an audition, portfolio, test or interview. Each education provider will have different entry requirements, so it’s important to contact individual providers to check.

Starting dates vary widely depending on the course. Higher education courses generally run from late February to mid-November. The academic year is typically divided into two semesters, although some institutions operate on a trimester system or offer summer schools from December to February, which can reduce the total course length. Students enrol for their courses at the beginning of the year (usually in January or February), but application dates are typically towards the end of the previous year. Some institutions also have a mid-year intake (usually in July) for certain courses.

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