Everything you need to know about universities in Australia

Are you planning to study at an Australian university? Universities in Australia offer a wide array of internationally recognised degrees and a high standard of teaching. 

In such a broad higher education sector, it can be hard for international students to narrow down their options and choose which university matches their goals.  This guide breaks down the key things to know about universities in Australia.

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From arts to medicine to business, universities in Australia have excellent course options for every specialization.  Australia is also known worldwide for its beautiful scenery, great employment prospects, and inclusive society. It’s no wonder Australia is the third most popular destination in the world for international students (after the UK and the US).

Where can I study in Australia?

University campuses can be found in each Australian state and territory, and in all kinds of locations. So, whether you’re hoping to live in the big city or in a regional area, you will have university options available to you.

If you like the thought of studying in Australia, here are the universities available in Adelaide, South Australia:

Top universities in Australia 

There are 42 universities in Australia. of which 35 are considered top universities in Australia.  Six of the universities are ranked in the top 100 of the Times Higher Education’s (THE) World University Rankings 2020.  

Adelaide’s three public universities – the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, and the University of South Australia – also rank among the top universities in Australia.

What degrees are offered at Australian universities?

Australian universities offer a range of degrees across multiple disciplines and qualification levels, so you’re bound to find one that suits you. From arts and law to science and medicine, there’s no shortage of quality degrees in Australia.

In terms of the qualifications you can achieve, you can generally expect the following levels of education at Australian universities.

Level of Study Qualification
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor degree
  • Bachelor Honours degree
  • Graduate certificate
  • Graduate diploma
  • Masters degree (Coursework)
  • Masters degree (Research)
  • Doctoral degree

How do I apply to universities in Australia?

You can apply directly to a university however we recommend using the services of an education agent.  This is because each university and course will have different entry requirements so it is important to apply carefully.  Each university in Australia like Flinders University, The University of Adelaide and University of South Australia must publish a list of their official education agents on their website.  

When applying for university in Australia, you can expect to follow the general process below:

Choose your preferred course

You’ll find everything you need to know about the various courses available on individual universities’ websites.  You can also StudyAdelaide’s free course search to find a course that suits you.

Understand the fees involved

Courses are priced differently, so look at your chosen university’s website to find out the tuition costs.  Later in this article, we’ll go into more detail on the costs involved with studying in Australia, or you can read this guide about how much it costs to study at university in Australia.

Look at the admission requirements

You may need a particular qualification, such as completing secondary school, or even a diploma. For postgraduate courses, you might be required to hold a certain undergraduate qualification. Some courses can also have English language requirements, subject prerequisites, or an interview or portfolio component. Read our complete guide about how the education system in Australia works.

Collect the necessary documents

You might have to provide certain documents as part of your application.  Double-check you have everything at hand to ensure a smooth application process.

Submit your application

Once you have collected all the necessary documents, the study abroad consultant will submit your application directly to the university and will keep you informed about its progress.  Read our guide about study abroad consultants to understand how to choose an education agent that best suits your needs.

If successful, accept your offer

Your university will outline next steps and send you an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) that you can use as part of your visa application.

The cost of studying in Australia

As an international student, your cost of study at a university in Australia will vary depending on the institution, the level of study (i.e. undergraduate or postgraduate), and the course.

In 2018, the average international student tuition cost was roughly AU$30,840 per year for undergraduate courses. For postgraduate programs, the cost was about AU$31,596 per year. It’s worth noting that high-value courses, such as medicine, tend to cost a bit more.

You’ll also need to budget for visa costs and the cost of living when you arrive in Australia. A student visa costs from AU$620, unless you fall into one of the exemption categories. 

As part of the visa application process, you must prove that you have at least AU$21,041 for living costs per year. Living costs include weekly expenses such as rent, gas and electricity bills, phone and internet, groceries, public transport, and entertainment. 

If you’re looking to live somewhere with a low cost of living in Australia, Adelaide is an incredibly economical option for students

As part of your visa application, you will be required to secure Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of your stay in Australia.  The cheapest option for a three-year undergraduate program with no accompanying family members is roughly AU$2,149.10.

There are also scholarships and grants that can help fund your studies and cover costs like tuition, living expenses or textbooks.  These are usually provided by your chosen institution, the government, NGOs, or other organisations.

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