Education: Study in Australia, Melbourne

Australia is well known for top quality universities and education, whether you decide to learn English or go for a degree, here some recommendations about the educational system.

Studying at university

The academic year usually begins in February and runs through to December. Each year, the dates are slightly different so check your institution’s website for the most current information.

TAFE, university and college websites usually publish calendars with important dates for enrollment, orientation programs, semester breaks, exams, and when exam results become available.

Bachelor degree

As an undergraduate student, you study for a bachelor degree. The bachelor degree is Victoria’s base higher education qualification. You might hear people talking about a ‘degree’ and this usually means a bachelor level degree.

Most bachelor degrees require three or four years of full-time study. You may also be able to study part-time. Studying part-time means it will take longer to complete your degree. Some students do an honours degree, which generally requires an extra year of study on top of a bachelor degree. You may be able do this extra year at the end of the bachelors degree or within the bachelors degree

Masters degree

A masters degree is a postgraduate qualification. Depending on the course you may be able to do a masters by coursework or by research. You might hear people talking about a ‘masters’ when referring to masters degree.

Pathways to a masters degree

Requirements for entry to a masters are generally a bachelor or honours degree.

Most master’s degrees require eighteen months to two years of full time study to complete. This is after completing a bachelor or honours degree. A research master’s degree program is at least two-thirds research with a substantial thesis which is externally examined. It normally requires a minimum of one year of full time study. The research master’s degree often leads to a doctoral program.

Doctoral programs and PhDs

In Australia doctoral programs generally require three to four years of full time study. As a doctoral candidate you are expected to make a substantial original contribution to knowledge in the form of new knowledge or significant and original adaptation, or application and interpretation of existing knowledge. There are two forms of doctoral degrees. They are the professional doctoral degree and a research doctoral degree. The research doctoral degree is generally referred to as a PhD.

All doctoral degrees require completion of a thesis, dissertation, exegesis or similar. It is usually examined by two or three expert academics of international standing, two of whom must be external.

Vocational education and training (VET)

Victoria has 13 public Vocational Education and Training (VET) institutes, also known as Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes. TAFEs provide training that can set you up for employment in a number of industries.

You can study English and a range of work-related qualifications including certificate, diploma, advanced diploma and bachelor program through Victorians TAFEs and private registered training providers.Courses combine practical, hands on learning experiences, in specially equipped classrooms, with fieldwork, lectures and class discussions.

Many TAFEs also offer pathways to bachelor degrees. Courses you complete at a TAFE may support your application to higher education at bachelor degree level.

Learning English

To study in Australia, you must be able to speak, write and understand English.

IELTS and TOEFL tests measure English language skills.

You may need to show your IELTS or TOEFL score when applying for a visa or when you apply for a course at a Victorian education provider such as a university or TAFE.

Even if you are studying English in your own country, a course in Victoria will ensure you are learning from Australian teachers. While you study, you can also experience Australian culture and practice your English skills in day-to-day life.

Learn more about IELTS for study and the TOEFL® test


How to find an education agent

An education agent can give you information on studying in Victoria, whether in Melbourne or one of Victoria’s regional universities and TAFEs. An education agent can also give you information about course options and help you submit an international application to your chosen institution.

Work with a reliable, trusted agent who meets the highest standards. For example, you could check that the agent is a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor (QEACs) by checking the QEAC database. If possible, compare more than one agent. This helps you choose an agent that’s right for you.

Some agents represent an institution

Some agents are paid by one or more institutions. If they are, that might mean they are mainly interested in promoting the institutions that pay them. If your agent does not charge you a fee it might be because they are being paid by one or two universities. Some agents receive a commission for enrollments.

To be sure you are getting the best advice about all the options available to you, consider working with an agent who is independent.

Migration advice

Only a Registered Migration Agent can provide migration advice. Some education agents are also Registered Migration Agents.

Do not use education agents for migration advice unless they are Registered Migration Agents.


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