PhD is the highest degree awarded by Australian universities. Doctoral programs usually have two streams - research and professional.
Research-based PhD students mainly complete their studies through guided research. Research-based PhD programs often require applicants to have a master's degree in research or an honours degree.
Professional doctorate students mainly complete their studies through lectures, research and professional practice. Professional PhD programs often require applicants to have a master's degree or an honours degree.
Institutions have different entry requirements, but generally, admission requirements and academic arrangements are flexible. Full-time students usually need 3 to 4 years to complete their degrees.
To apply for a doctorate in Australia, applicants need to have an average grade of 70 or above, and are required to find and contact their doctoral advisors before handing in their applications.
In addition, applicants are usually required to provide their research proposals, which demonstrate their interest and research capabilities in the field.
Australia is one of the most popular destinations in the world for international students. For students who would like to study a postgraduate degree in Australia, there are plenty of options including the most prestigious world-class Australian universities.
The disciplines of study include Architecture, Business, Economics, Engineering, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and the Sciences, among many others. Programs offered at the postgraduate level include Doctoral and Master Degrees, Graduate Certificates and Diplomas.
The postgraduate programs in Australia have an international reputation for academic excellence and high-quality outcome-oriented research, with top-grade advanced facilities and resources. The Australian academic environment fosters innovation, creativity and independent thinking.
A postgraduate degree from Australia makes a graduate more valuable to employers worldwide. On top of the strong academic focus, graduates are all awarded with industry-honed skills. This gives graduates a competitive edge when entering the international job market.
Applicants with qualifications marginally below the minimum entry requirements will be offered a place in the postgraduate diploma or postgraduate certificate programs. These students will be transferred back to the Master programs upon successful completion of the initial stage of study.
Opportunities after Graduation
Recent legislation was passed that permits international graduates of Australian universities to obtain a post-study work visa that allows them to work in Australia for up to four years after graduation.
Please contact ACAE directly for options and opportunities after graduating from the different levels of postgraduate programs.
Australia has a global reputation for excellence across its higher education and training programs. This reputation is reflected by the large number of international students who choose to pursue higher education here.
Higher education courses are offered by universities, private colleges and some Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes. However, certain professional courses such as medicine, veterinary science, law and architecture are only offered by universities.
An academic year is typically divided into two semesters (starting from March and July). Some institutions operate on a trimester system or run summer schools from December to February, both of which can reduce the total length of an undergraduate program.
Enrolment typically starts in January or February, with students having met an application deadline towards the end of the previous year. Some institutions will also have a mid-year intake (usually in July) for certain courses.
Courses and qualifications
Australian institutions rank among the world's best by discipline, particularly in the fields of engineering, technology, medicine, environmental science, accounting and finance. In addition, a wide range of courses can also be found across other disciplines including science, commerce, management and law.
Australia has a set of qualifications 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 undergraduate qualifications offered by most higher education institutions are as follows:
There are a number of different qualifications accepted by Australian higher education institutions for entry into undergraduate studies. Please see below some of the options students will have:
Diploma courses provide a fast and easy pathway for international students to enter Australian universities, including the“Group of Eight".
On completion of a two-year diploma program after graduation from high school, a student can move straight into the second year of an undergraduate program, thus saving a year of study and the associated tuition fee of the first year.
Diploma courses are the same as those taught in the first year in universities. Courses are taught in small-size classes, making it easier for international students to adapt to the Australian way of teaching.
Diplomas also have a lower requirement for English when compared to direct entry to a degree program, which typically require an IELTS score of 6-7.
The only negative aspect is that diploma courses have limited choices with regard to areas of study. Diploma programs will not suit students who want to proceed to degree courses such as medicine. Please ask ACAE for more details.
Aside from Universities, Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses are another option for further education after completing compulsory schooling.
VET courses are mainly provided by Government registered training organisations, primarily Technical And Further Education (TAFE) institutes, plus secondary schools and colleges. In addition, there are a number of privately registered training organisations offering a range of courses for all types of employment.
VET courses include: Certificate 1 to 4, Diploma and Advanced Diploma.
TAFE colleges often offer certificates and diploma programs that are affiliated with the State Department of Education, the government department overseeing vocational education and training in each state of Australia. Furthermore, TAFE is one of the world's most successful and distinguished education systems. Graduates of TAFE program are well-respected by employers and the TAFE certificate comes with a strong reputation in the job market.
High school graduates can choose a TAFE program as a bridging course, an advantage of doing so is the comparatively low academic and language requirements (usually only requires an IELTS score of 5.5). In addition, tuition fees at TAFE are relatively well priced. After two years of study at TAFE, you can typically earn one year's credits toward your undergraduate study.
Short term international study opportunities are different to a traditional semester exchange program. If you are interested in studying Combined majors (more than two areas) in Australia, a study abroad program might be the perfect fit for you.
The country's political and social dynamics will add to the intrigue of your visit, and if you aren't fluent in a foreign language, Australia could be a great study abroad destination for you to explore.
Tuition fee is much cheaper than the normal fee for international students.
Excellent opportunity for students who might not want to study, or can't afford to study, the whole bachelor or master programs.
Students can experience life and study in Australia, comparing the two distinctive teaching methods and environment.
Students can decide whether they want to come back for formal studies after their experience.
They will receive a statement certifying their attendance of certain courses, which could be beneficial for their future career and job seeking.
University foundation programs are particularly popular among overseas students. These programs allow a smooth transition into the Bachelor Degree courses of the Australian university running the foundation program, or alternatively the Australian universities nominated by individual students upon successful completion of the foundation program.
Although Australian universities do recognise high school academic qualifications from many different countries, entry requirements are often high and gaining direct entry into Bachelor Degree courses is not always easy. University Foundation Studies have become popular for students who have not yet fulfilled all the requirements for direct entry into Australian universities, including the “Group of Eight”.
Depending on the students' academic ability and level of English, Foundation courses vary from a minimum of four months to over one year. Foundation students are put into different streams of study, meaning they will study subjects that are relevant to their degree programs, with English being a compulsory subject for all Foundation students.
It is worth noting that Chinese high school students who have completed Senior two, or Hong Kong secondary students completed Form 5, are eligible to apply for these foundation courses, and the IELTS requirement for entry into the foundation courses is usually 5.0 - 5.5.
Under the new SSVF visa policy, international students aged 6 or above can come to Australia to attend primary school.
Australian primary schools can be public, private or religion-based. Primary school runs for 6 or 7 years. The following is an example of primary school system in NSW.
Tuition: Approximately A$ 10,500 per year
If students have no designated guardian, they are free to choose the school.
If students have designated guardians, school choice will be based on the area of residence
Private schools usually charge higher tuition and have stricter admission requirements. They pay attention to cultivating students' conduct, social skills and teamwork. Private schools also offer extracurricular activities, tutoring and counseling.
Tuition: A$ 2-4 million per year
Application: an interview and/or an entrance exam
Tuition: A$ 2-4 million per year
Enrolment: Catholic or Christian, 5% of vacancies are open for non-religious students
An Australian high school academic year has four semesters, starting in January, April, July and October. There are two types of high schools: government and private secondary schools (including church schools, international secondary schools, etc.).
In NSW, for example, high school runs from Years 7 to 12 or Years 8 to 12. Students have to prepare for the High School Certificate (HSC) exam, which is the entry requirement to universities.
To attend Year 9, students must be 17 or younger
To attend Year 10, students must be 18 or younger
To attend Year 11, students must be 19 or younger
To attend Year 12, students must be 20 or younger
Australian high schools do not have IELST requirements
International students from non-English speaking countries are expected to attend a 20-week long language course before transferring into high school
However, if students can provide an IELTS score of 5 or above, they can be exempted from language courses
Students under the age of 18 are required to have a letter of consent from their parents or legal guardians and to sign a 122 consent form for their student visas. In addition, they must provide proof of accommodation and welfare arrangements, along with details of their guardianship in Australia.
One of the following three conditions must be met:
Lives with a parent or a legal guardian in Australia (parents may apply for a guardian visa to accompany the student to Australia)
Lives with a relative who is 21 or older and is appointed by the parents
Lives with a guardian appointed by the school
If a relative is appointed as a guardian, the relative must meet the following requirements：
21 years old or older
Lives in Australia and is able to supervise the student until he / she reaches 18 years of age
No criminal record
Studying English in Australia is about much more than reciting words in a classroom. The teaching approach in Australian institutions focuses on critical thinking, as well as group and project work – all drawn from real-life experiences, which means you will not only be learning the language, you will be learning how to use it in everyday life.
By studying English in Australia, you will gain a huge range of life skills you cannot get at home. Invaluable skills like problem-solving, leading diverse teams of people, and applying your English to real-world situations – abilities you will draw on for the rest of your life. With a multicultural mix of students, you will learn the world's language in a truly international environment.
English language teaching in Australia maintains a consistently high quality – no matter where you study or what course you choose. As the only country in the world with mandatory national standards and a comprehensive, industry-led quality support framework you can be confident that you are getting the very finest English education.