Australian Universities and Qualifications




Australian Capital Territory (Capital City: Canberra)


Australian National University, Canberra

Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra

Australian Catholic University ACU, ACT:Canberra (Signadou)

Charles Sturt University, Canberra

University of Canberra, Canberra

University of New South Wales, Sydney, Canberra


New South Wales (Capital City: Sydney)

Australian Catholic University ACU, NSW (both in Sydney): North Sydney (MacKillop), Strathfield (Mount St. Mary)

Central Queensland University, Sydney.

Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, Wagga Wagga, Albury, Dubbo, Manly, Orange, Sydney

Curtin University of Technology, Sydney

Macquarie University, Sydney

Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, Lismore, Tweed Heads

University of Sydney, Sydney

University of Technology, Sydney

University of Western Sydney

University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Shoalhaven, Batemans Bay, Loftus, Moss Vale, Dubai

University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney.

University of New England, Armidale

University of New South Wales, Sydney

University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Callaghan, Ourimbah, Port Macquarie,

University of Southern Queensland, Sydney


Victoria (Capital City: Melbourne)

Australian Catholic University ACU, Vic: Ballarat (Aquinas); Melbourne (St Patrick’s).

Central Queensland University, Melbourne.

University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Parkville,

Monash University, Melbourne (Clayton, Caulfield, Berwick, Peninsula, Parkville), Churchill (Gippsland) ,

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne (CBD, Brunswick, Bundoora),

Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne (Hawthorn, Lilydale, Prahran, Wantirna, Croydon),

La Trobe University, Melbourne, Albury-Wodonga, Bendigo, Beechworth, Shepparton, Mildura, Mt Buller

Deakin University, Geelong, Melbourne, Warrnambool

University of Ballarat, Ballarat, Ararat, Horsham, Stawell

Victoria University, Melbourne


Queensland (Capital City: Brisbane)

Australian Catholic University ACU, Qld: Brisbane (McAuley)

Bond University, Gold Coast

Griffith University, Brisbane, Logan and Gold Coast

James Cook University, Townsville, Brisbane, Singapore and Cairns

University of Queensland, Brisbane, Ipswich and Gatton

Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane

University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba

University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast

Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Brisbane, Goldcoast, Mackay, Bundaberg, Emerald, Noosa, Sunshine Coast


Western Australia (Capital City: Perth)

Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Kalgoorlie,

Edith Cowan University, Perth and Bunbury

Murdoch University, Perth

University of Western Australia, Perth and Albany.

University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, Broome


South Australia (Capital City: Adelaide)

University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Waite and Roseworthy

Cranfield University, Defence College of Management and Technology, Adelaide

Flinders University, Adelaide

University of South Australia, Adelaide and Whyalla

Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz School Australia, Adelaide


Tasmania (Capital City: Hobart)

University of Tasmania, Hobart and Launceston


Northern Territory (Capital City: Darwin)

Charles Darwin University, Darwin and Alice Springs(formerly Northern Territory University)

Study at an Australian university – gain an international qualification

An Australian education is a truly international experience. Our universities are linked to institutions in more than 100 countries and academic staff members are recruited from abroad. After graduating in Australia, you will be able to work in companies around the world.

An Australian university will provide you with a sound understanding of your chosen field, along with academic skills that can be applied to other areas. You won’t just be learning about health, science, engineering or the arts. You’ll also be learning how to think creatively and independently.

Higher education qualifications offered in Australia

Australian universities and higher education institutions offer programs leading to Bachelor Degrees and higher qualifications in a diverse range of fields. Australian universities offer programs from Architecture to Zoology.

The Bachelor Degree is the most common qualification offered in Australia. Specialised research training and professional development is also offered through Masters Degrees and Doctoral Degrees.

Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas are also available. Diplomas are becoming less common, however, the Associate Degree provides a shorter-cycle Degree program for professionals wishing to further their careers.

Foundation studies

If you don’t meet academic requirements, there are a few options to prepare you for further study. Depending on your previous studies and the final qualification you want to study, you can enrol in secondary school or Foundation Studies.

Foundation Studies is a one-year intensive preparatory course that will give you the skills you need to enter an undergraduate course. They are divided into streams such as business studies and science studies, and offer both compulsory and elective subjects. English language support is usually available.

Many schools, vocational education and training institutions, and universities offer Foundation Studies courses. The common feature of Foundation Studies is that a university allocates a provisional place in an undergraduate program assuming you achieve the prescribed grades.

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)

The Australian higher education system is different from many countries because of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). The AQF provides one national system for education.

The AQF allows you to move from one level of study to the next and from one institution to another easily. It allows for choice and flexibility. Consult My Study in Australia student counsellor for further details.

If you’re studying with International Education Agency – Australia towards an AQF qualification, you can be sure that your institution is Australian Government-authorised.

The AQF makes it easier for international governments to recognise your qualifications as well. It ensures world recognition.

Australia education system diagram

Australian Higher Education Institutions and their qualifications

University qualifications

The following qualifications are available at Australian universities and approved higher education providers.

Schools Sector

Vocational Education and Training Sector

Higher Education Sector

Doctoral Degree

Masters Degree

Vocational Post Graduate Diploma

Post Graduate Diploma

Vocational Post Graduate Certificate

Post Graduate Certificate

Bachelor Degree

Advanced Diploma

Associate Degree

Advanced Diploma



High School Certificate

Certificate IV

Certificate III

Certificate II

Certificate I

Australian Higher Education Sector (Universities) and Qualifications

Associate Degree – 2 years

An Associate Degree is a two year qualification following year 12 or equivalent, or Certificate III or IV. A shorter higher education qualification, it offers an exit point at the sub-degree level, or a fully articulated pathway into the Bachelor Degree, or articulation into an Advanced Diploma for specialist industry competencies.

The degree involves foundational, research-based knowledge of an academic discipline, is broad-based in conceptual and theoretical content, mostly multi-disciplinary and develops generic employment-related skills within these discipline(s).

The Associate Degree qualification is offered by universities and other self-accrediting higher education providers, including TAFEs and private VET providers.

Bachelor Degree

Australian Bachelor Degrees are diverse and normally range from 3 to 6 years of study. There are several types of Bachelor Degrees including 3-year degrees, 4-year degrees, professional degrees, combined degrees and honours degrees. All Bachelor Degree programs must lead to the same educational outcomes as indicated on the AQF regardless of length or specific program requirements.

The Bachelor Degree is the first degree in the arts, sciences and most professional fields. Programs are designed to introduce students to a discipline and develop analytical skills. Bachelor Degree programs aim to prepare students to interpret new information and ideas and continue to apply and extend such techniques after graduation.

A Bachelor Degree program includes a significant amount of specialisation, with a major subject or subject area studied in depth. There is little in the way of general education components, which are covered at the secondary level. All Bachelor Degree programs involve a progressive development of knowledge, analytical skills and problem-solving techniques to an advanced level which provides a basis for postgraduate study.

The Bachelor Degree represented on the Australian Qualifications Framework includes all of the following types of Bachelor Degrees.

3-year Bachelor Degree

This Bachelor Degree requires 3 years of full-time study or part-time equivalent. Some examples include the

· Bachelor of Arts (BA),

· Bachelor of Science (BSc),

· Bachelor of Commerce (BCom),

· Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), and

· Bachelor of Business Administration (BBusAdmin).

These programs are highly focused on the major field of study and do not have a significant general education component. Graduates can continue to postgraduate study or employment.

4-year (or longer) Bachelor Degree

Some Bachelor Degree programs are 4 or more years in duration. Apart from Honours Degrees this is most common in professional education, where additional time is required for professional preparation.

For example,

· Bachelor Degrees in: law (LLB),

· Engineering (BEng) and

· agriculture (BAgSc) normally require 4 years of full-time study;


· architecture (BArch),

· dentistry (BDSc) and

· veterinary science (BVSc/BVS) normally require 5 years of study;


· medicine (MB BS) require 6 years.

Some universities offer 3-year Bachelor Degrees in professional fields, such as

· technology (BTech),

· jurisprudence (BJuris) and

· architectural studies (BAppSc-ArchSc),

which provide professionally oriented education different from that of the 4-year BEng and LLB and the 5-year BArch.

The Bachelor degree is the main university qualification and is the basic qualification for entry to most professions.

This study involves acquiring a systematic and coherent body of knowledge, its underlying principles and concepts, and associated problem-solving techniques. When you study in Australia you will also learn academic skills such as reviewing, consolidating and applying knowledge and techniques learnt.

Content is of significant depth and progressively developed to a high standard, preparing students for further post-graduate study if desired.

Combined or Double Bachelor Degrees

Bachelor Degrees may be taken in a variety of combinations. Law degrees, for example, are often undertaken with arts, science or commerce degrees. An

· LLB/BA (Double degree – Law And Bachelor of Art Degrees)or

· LLB/BCom (Double degree – Law And Bachelor of Commerce Degrees)or

normally requires 5 years of full-time study or 6 years for Honours.

Bachelor Honours Degree

The Bachelor Honours Degree is a specialised research degree different to a 3- or 4-year Bachelor Degree.

A Bachelor Honours Degree requires an additional year of study after a 3, 4 or 5 year Bachelor Degree.

Bachelor Honours Degrees involve specialisation in 1 subject, or in 2 for a Combined Honours degree. This is usually the subject the student majored in. Bachelor Honours Degrees are available in most, but not all, fields, depending on the university and faculty.

Students are admitted on the basis of outstanding academic achievement in the undergraduate degree program. The additional year normally involves specialised study and research, and the submission of a thesis.

In some professional fields, the Honours program can be integrated into the normal length of the Bachelor Degree. In this case, Honours Degrees are often awarded solely on merit, but in some cases additional work is required, usually in the final year. Generally this involves an integrated increased course load and/or short thesis but occasionally an additional year of study is required.

Bachelor Honours Degrees are awarded with the abbreviation ‘Hons’ – for example,

· BA (Hons),

· LLB (Hons) –

and in a class or division – for example First Class or Second Class (Upper Division).

Graduates with Honours in the First or Second (Upper Division) Classes may enter a Doctoral program directly.

Graduate-entry Bachelor Degree

A few Australian universities offer Bachelor Degrees which cannot be entered directly from school education. The majority of these degrees are professional qualifications in fields like architecture, law, education, medicine and social welfare. These are also known as Postgraduate Bachelor Degrees.

Graduate-entry Bachelor Degrees include:

· Bachelor of Architecture – offered as a 2-year, full-time course following a 3-year Bachelor Degree

· Bachelor of Law – offered as a 3-year, full-time course following a Bachelor Degree

· Juris Doctor (JD) – offered as a 2-year, full-time program for mature graduates with a Bachelor Degree from a field other than law

· Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (BMed/BSurg) – offered as a 4-year full-time program following a first degree and a special entrance examination

· Bachelor of Education – the Postgraduate BEd, BEd Studies or BSpecEd is a specialised professional qualification, requiring between 1 and 2 years of study after a 4-year BEd or a BA/BSc DipEd

· Bachelor of Letters (BLitt or LittB) – offered as a 1 or 2 year full-time program following a 3-year Bachelor of Arts degree.

Post Graduate Certificate – 6 months

The Graduate Certificate involves building on individual skills already gained in an undergraduate program, or developing vocational knowledge and skills.

Graduate Certificate programs are coursework-based and normally require 1 semester of full-time study, or part-time equivalent.

Postgraduate Diploma – 6 months to 12 months

Like the Graduate Certificate, the Graduate Diploma is a specialised, often vocationally-orientated award. Graduate Diplomas either develop new professional or vocational skills for graduates or extend the knowledge and skills gained in the first degree. Graduate Diplomas normally require 1 year of full-time study, or part-time equivalent.

Some institutions differentiate Graduate Diplomas from Postgraduate Diplomas. In this case Graduate Diplomas involve the development of new skills, with courses that may not be at a postgraduate level academically. Postgraduate Diplomas are intended to build on knowledge gained in the first degree.

A Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma may be awarded if a student completes postgraduate preparatory work such as a Master Degree qualifying year, but does not proceed to the degree course.

Master Degree – 1 year to 2 years

There are 3 types of Master Degree programs:

· Master Degree by coursework

· Master Degree by Research and

· Master Degree by Professional.

Most Master Degrees require 2 years of full-time study after a 3-year Bachelor Degree or 1 year of full-time study after a Bachelor Honours Degree or 4-year (or longer) Bachelor Degree.

Master Degree by coursework

A Master Degree may be undertaken by coursework, project work and research in varying combinations. Coursework Master Degrees are often structured in a 3 to 4 semester articulation arrangement, with the Graduate Certificate (one semester), Graduate Diploma (a further semester) and Master Degree (a further 2 semesters). Master Degrees with a major coursework component often have a professional or vocational orientation, but some are academic in orientation.

Master Degree by research

The research Master Degree program is at least two-thirds research with a substantial thesis, which is externally examined. It normally requires a minimum of 1 year of full-time study. The research Master Degree can lead to a Doctoral program.

Professional Master Degree

The professional Master Degree program may involve a work-based project and coursework. It normally requires a minimum of 1 year of full-time study. Professional coursework Master Degrees are often undertaken on a part-time basis.

Doctoral Degree

There are 3 types of Doctoral Degree programs:

· Research Doctorate

· Professional Doctorate

· Higher Doctorate.

A typical program requires 3 to 4 years of full-time study. Students are expected to make a substantial original contribution to knowledge in the form of new knowledge or significant and original adaptation, application and interpretation of existing knowledge.

Research Doctorate

Research Doctorates are by supervised research and an original thesis. The thesis is usually examined by 2 or 3 expert academics, at least 2 of which must be external.

Professional Doctorate

Professional Doctorates require significant professional practice either prior to or as part of the program. Students undertake a program consisting of both coursework and research.

Some universities award Professional Doctorates for programs with an orientation towards advanced professional practice, typically in fields such as education (DEd), business administration (DBA), psychology (DPsych), and law where the degree is often a Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) to distinguish it from the higher Doctor of Laws (LLD).

Higher Doctorate

Most universities award Higher Doctorates such as the Doctor of Letters (DLitt), Doctor of Science (DSc), Doctor of Laws (LLD) and Doctor of Medicine (MD). Regulations for the award vary between institutions, and in many universities the award is restricted to scholars with a substantial connection with the institution.

In most disciplines, Higher Doctorates are awarded on the basis of published or unpublished work considered constituting a significant original contribution to the field of study. However, Higher Doctorates may be awarded on the basis of a thesis, especially in medicine, dentistry and law. Few Higher Doctorates are awarded in Australia, with the Doctor of Medicine the most common.

Other courses

Australian universities also support lifelong learning, offering short courses and training workshops for professionals interested in updating or expanding their skills base.

Study Abroad courses are available if you wish to study in Australia for one or two semesters and count the subjects completed towards your university studies at home. Study abroad courses are available to you at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The experience is intended to expand your knowledge and present you with the personal challenges and rewards of successfully adapting to another culture.

Academic year

University courses run from early March to late November. The year is divided into two semesters. However, some institutions offer a trimester system and/or run summer schools from December to February.

Vacation Dates

At its meeting on 26 June 2007, Universities Australia agreed to publish as a guide to universities, common Vacation Dates to the year 2015.

As for previous years, Universities Australia continues to use a formula based on Week 1 being counted from the Monday nearest 1 March, with the common vacation weeks being:

· the week beginning with Easter Monday;

· week 19; and

· week 31.

The common vacation weeks for the years 2008-2015 commence are as follows:

Common Vacation Week


Week 19

Week 31


24 – 28 March

7 – 11 July

29 September – 3 October


13 – 17 April

6 – 10 July

28 September – 2 October


5 – 9 April

5 – 9 July

27 September – 1 October


25 – 29 April

4 – 8 July

26 – 30 September


9 – 13 April

2 – 6 July

24 – 28 September


1 – 5 April

8 – 12 July

30 September – 4 October


21 – 25 April

7 – 11 July

29 September – 3 October


6 – 10 April

6 – 10 July

28 September – 2 October

Undergraduate and postgraduate by coursework students enrol for their courses at the beginning of the year. Australian universities do allow enrolment in mid-year (around July) for certain courses. Commencement dates can vary, depending on the course.

Students studying towards a Doctoral Degree or other postgraduate research awards may be able to negotiate an alternative starting date with their study supervisor.

Foundation studies have student intakes at several times during the year.



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