University Courses

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Australian universities provide international students with choices and opportunities across all study disciplines.

Australia is home to 43 universities with at least one university main campus based in each state or territory. Most universities have more than one campus and are located across multiple states and territories, providing you with a choice of where in Australia you would like to study.

Higher education courses can be taken to earn an advanced degree and continue your studies in Australia. There are three main types of higher education which lead to Bachelor, Master and Doctoral Degrees.

In Australia it is quite common for students to enrol in a double or combined Bachelor Degree program which leads to the award of two Bachelor Degrees. This is most common in the fields of arts, commerce, law and science.

Australian institutions offer a wide range of courses – from science to management and commerce, humanities to engineering, and law to health sciences.

Australian institutions rank among the world’s best by discipline, particularly in engineering and technology, medicine, environmental science, and accounting and finance.

Bachelor degree and honours

The Bachelor degree is the standard university qualification and is recognised worldwide. Most courses take three to four years to complete and are Level 7 qualifications.

Honours may be awarded on top of a bachelor’s degree after an additional year of study for three-year degrees or, in the case of four-year degrees, for performance at credit or distinction average level. An Honours degree is a Level 8 qualification and is denoted by “Hons” in parentheses following the degree abbreviation, for example BA (Hons). Honours degrees requiring an additional year of study generally involve a research project and require the completion of a thesis during the optional fourth year of study.

Traditionally these courses have almost exclusively been delivered by universities, however there is now a growing number of TAFE institutions and private colleges who have higher education status to deliver degree programs.

Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma

Graduate Certificate and Graduate diplomas are Level 8 qualifications alongside the Bachelor (Honours) degree. Entry to a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma typically requires completion of a bachelor’s degree or higher. In some cases, admission may be on the basis of significant work experience. Graduate Certificates typically take six months of full-time study to complete, while Graduate Diplomas take twelve months.

These courses are usually delivered by universities and private providers.

Masters degree

A Master’s degree usually requires two years of full-time study to complete. A completed bachelor’s degree, sometimes with honours, is a prerequisite for admission. The pattern of study generally takes one of the following three forms:

Master’s degree (extended) are permitted to deviate from the ‘Master of …’ naming convention. Those in legal practice may use the name Juris Doctor but the qualification does not allow a graduate use of the honorific title ‘doctor’. Master’s degree (extended) in medical practice, physiotherapy, dentistry, optometry and veterinary practice are allowed to be named ‘Doctor of …’ or ‘Master of …’, such as Doctor/Master of Dentistry, Doctor/Master of Optometry and Doctor/Master of Medicine, and graduates are permitted to use ‘Doctor’ (Dr.) as a courtesy title where it is existing practice for that profession. Universities are not permitted to refer to these degrees as doctorates and must note on documentation such as transcripts that the qualification is a master’s degree (extended).

Master’s level courses are delivered by universities and a limited number of registered private providers.

Doctoral degree

The highest qualification, a Doctoral degree is awarded by a university. This generally requires the completion of a major thesis, which has to be assessed externally by experts in the field of study. Additionally, there are professional doctorates, which require less research and are partially assessed by coursework or projects. Entry into an Australian Doctorate program requires an Honours degree or “Honours equivalent”. A Master’s degree is usually considered equivalent. Holders of Doctoral degrees are permitted to use the title ‘Doctor’.

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