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June 18, 2024

Exploring the Academic Criteria for Studying in Australia

Australia is a highly sought-after global educational hub for students from around the world. The country offers a wide range of requirements for studying in Australia. Renowned for its practical and esteemed educational system, Australia places significant emphasis on developing top-notch infrastructure. 

With its superior living standards, excellent quality of life, promising career opportunities, research prospects, and comparatively affordable educational expenses, Australia entices a large number of international students. 

Moreover, Australia stands out as a premier destination for higher education, with degrees earned in the country enjoying international recognition. However, it is important to note that eligibility criteria and admission requirements may vary across higher education institutions and VET providers, so it is advisable to gather specific information from each institution.

Unveiling academic entry requirements to study in Australia

The academic requirements for studying in Australia, including English language proficiency, can vary depending on the specific course you intend to pursue. To explore the available courses, you can utilise the Study Australia Course Search tool. 

It is crucial to carefully review the course entry requirements on the websites of individual educational providers and reach out to them directly for further information if needed.

Here is some general guidance regarding different educational pathways:

  • English Language Test:  You must take an English Language Test and score a minimum of IELTS  5.0  (or equivalent) to (IELTS) score 6.0 (or equivalent) depending on the type of your study program (Degree, Pathway programs or English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students).
  • Schools: Entry requirements may differ between schools, and variations may also exist among different states and territories.
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET): Typically, VET institutions do not require entrance exams. However, specific courses might have prerequisites such as the completion of certain subjects or relevant work experience.
  • Higher Education Undergraduate Courses: For undergraduate courses, you will generally need an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12) or an equivalent qualification. Some undergraduate programs may also have specific prerequisite subjects.
  • Higher Education Postgraduate Courses: To pursue a postgraduate course, you must have completed at least one undergraduate degree. Education providers would additionally prefer to see if you have good research abilities or relevant work experience.

If you wish to meet the academic entry requirements equivalent to an Australian high school qualification, you may consider enrolling in a Foundation course, also known as a bridging study program. These programs, usually lasting for one year, are offered by many higher education institutions.

Filling in the application form

For a smooth application process, it is advisable to initiate inquiries regarding the application 6 to 7 months in advance of the intended admission date. Here are the methods to obtain the application forms:

  • Email Request: Visit the university’s website and request the application form via email. Universities often have dedicated forms on their websites to facilitate the request for application materials.
  • Downloads: Many university websites offer downloadable versions of their application forms that can be printed out. These forms can be filled out manually, similar to conventional application forms.
  • University Representatives: Contact authorised representatives of Australian universities in your home country to obtain the necessary application forms.

By utilising these methods, you can ensure a timely and efficient application process.

To complete your application, the following requirements must be fulfilled:

  • Academic Documents: Provide higher secondary and senior secondary reports or certificates, along with transcripts (report cards or mark sheets) from your final examinations. It is recommended to convert your marks to align with the grading system used in Australia.
  • English Language Test Scores: You must take an English language Test either IELTS, PTE, or TOEFL and submit the test scorecard. The minimum required score varies among the institutions.
  • Work Experience: When applying for post-graduation, research or doctoral degrees you may be required to submit work experience letters and certificates. These documents should outline your major responsibilities, complete work history, and previous positions held. Additionally, a detailed resume is typically requested.
  • In case of a study gap: Universities ask for clarification along with documentation proof of the study gap. Failing to provide a genuine reason for a study gap may lead to rejection of the application.

Academic Requirements for Undergraduate Programs in Australia

Here are the academic requirements for various undergraduate degrees in Australia-

  • Bachelor degree
    • Duration: three to five years
    • Eligibility: Year 12 or equivalent, Vocational Education and Training (VET), or Certificate III or Certificate IV in TAFE.
    • Details: With a Bachelor’s degree, you can choose minors or majors, and also enrol in a double degree.
  • Bachelor’s degree (honours)
    • Duration: One year honour’s program after completing a three-year bachelor’s degree
    • Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree with required academic results
    • Details: An honour’s degree involves coursework and a large project or a thesis
  • Undergraduate Certificate
    • Duration: Six months
    • Eligibility: Year 12 or equivalent, VET, or Certificate III or Certificate IV in TAFE.
    • Details: Undergraduate certificates in Australia are open to students till 2025. The certificate is made from courses of existing qualifications and acts as a pathway to a full undergraduate degree or professional advancement. The knowledge and skills covered in these certificates are equivalent to those found in  Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Associate degree or Bachelor degree.
  • Associate degree
    • Duration: Two years
    • Eligibility: Year 12 or equivalent, VET, or Certificate III or Certificate IV in TAFE.
    • Details: This is a short undergraduate program that is a level below a Bachelor’s Degree offered at the same level as an advanced diploma by TAFE or VET. This degree is delivered by universities and higher education providers and offers a pathway to obtaining a bachelor’s degree or working as a paraprofessional. The knowledge gained through this degree will cover the basics of the chosen study field, including broad theories, and help develop industry-relevant skills.

Academic Requirements for Post-Graduate Programs in Australia

The academic requirements for various Postgraduate and Doctoral degrees are as follows:

  • Master’s Degree
    • Duration: one to two years
    • Types: Research, Coursework, or Extended
    • Eligibility: Bachelor degree, Bachelor degree (honours), graduate diploma, or relevant work experience for some post-graduate qualifications
  • Doctorate
    • Duration: three to four years
    • Types: Doctor of Philosophy, Professional Doctorate
    • Eligibility: Bachelor’s degree (honours) with a research component, or Master’s degree
  • Other Post-graduate qualifications
    • Type: Graduate certificate (six months), Graduate Diploma (one year), or Bachelor degree honours (four years with honours in the final year or one additional year after completing three years of Bachelor’s degree)

English Proficiency Requirements when Pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree

The English language proficiency requirements for aspiring undergraduate students seeking admission to Australian universities vary from institution to institution. Let’s explore the accepted English language tests:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) – this is an online-based test. A few countries also allow paper-based tests.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic
  • Occupational English Test (OET)

The minimum score requirements for these tests to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Australia are as follows:

  • IELTS: Minimum score of 6.0-6.5
  • TOEFL: Minimum score of 60-90
  • CAE: Minimum score of 169-176, with a minimum of 169 in each section
  • PTE: Minimum score of 50-64

In certain cases, international students may be exempted from providing mandatory English language proficiency test scores if they fall into the following categories:

  • Candidates who have completed a minimum of 5 years of university study in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, or the Republic of Ireland.
  • Candidates who are citizens or passport holders of countries such as the USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand, or the Republic of Ireland.
  • Candidates who have completed senior secondary education or higher education in Australia.
  • Candidates endorsed by Foreign Affairs or Defense.

If you need to know more about studying in Australia as an international student, reach out to us at Expert Education.

  • How financially equipped should I be to study in Australia? 

The financial requirements for studying at an Australian university and covering daily expenses vary depending on the program. Here is an overview of the average costs:

  1. Secondary Education: AUD 7,500 to 30,000 per year
  2. Undergraduate Courses: AUD 15,000 to 35,000 per year
  3. Postgraduate Courses: AUD 20,000 to 40,000 per year
  4. Doctoral Courses: AUD 14,000 to 40,000 per year
  5. MBA: AUD 15,000 to AUD20,000 per year

Additionally, average living costs per week include:

  • Groceries: AUD 80 to 250
  • Electricity and Gas: AUD 35 to 140
  • Internet and Phone Charges: AUD 20 to 60
  • Public Transport: AUD 15 to 55

Please note that the prices mentioned are true at the time of publication. However, they might fluctuate in the future upon further developments. You could access this cost of living calculator to get an accurate cost based on your living conditions and preferences.

  • Is there an age limit to pursue studying in Australia? 

The school student must be six years or older to apply for this visa and should not have participated in the secondary school student exchange program.

The student may also be:

Less than 17 years old to begin year 9

Less than 18 years old to begin year 10

Less than 19 years old to begin year 11

Less than 20 years old to begin year 12

  • What are the work rules in Australia for International Students?

The new rule enforced in July 2023 states that the Subclass 500 Student Visa holders can work for a maximum of 48 hours in a fortnight.