Study in Australia: What are the entry requirements?

Studying overseas can be both a daunting and rewarding experience, and is something that can help shape and expand your future.

In order for you to study in Australia there are a few key requirements that must be fulfilled before you arrive.

These requirements can vary depending on a number of factors so keep reading and do your research to make sure you are prepared for your education adventure.

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Last Updated Monday 15th April, 2024

English language requirements

It is important that your level of English is up to the standard of the Department of Home Affairs, as you may be required to provide evidence of your proficiency to obtain a student visa.  If required by the Department of Home Affairs you must provide evidence that you have either:

  • Obtained a satisfactory test score in an English language test that has been approved by the Department;
  • Completed eligible studies in English, or
  • Fall into an exemption category

Keep in mind that the educational institution you are applying for may have different English proficiency requirements. Before taking a test or signing up for a course, do some research into your chosen institution and visa to make sure that your results will be eligible for both.

Some well-recognised English tests include the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Pearson Test of English (PTE).

If you need help improving your English skills, there are various courses available. English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) programs, for example, are designed to prepare students for study in Australia.

General academic requirements

Academic requirements will differ between education institutions and the level of study you undertake. For the most accurate information, you should view the course information on the institution's website.

As a guide, here's a brief overview of entry requirements for different levels of study:


Students will usually need to provide certified copies of school reports for the past two years, translated if necessary, and demonstrate evidence of their English proficiency. This could be evidence that you have been studying at a school where all subjects are taught in English or the results of your approved English language test.

Undergraduate Courses

To be eligible to apply for an undergraduate course, you will need to have completed an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12) or equivalent, such as an All India Senior School Certificate, a China People‚Äôs Republic National Entrance Examination (GaoKao) or a Sri Lankan GCE Advanced Level. 

Some courses may also have specific prerequisites. For example, many engineering and science degrees require students to have completed advanced mathematics studies. If you do not meet the prerequisites of your desired course, you may wish to explore bridging courses, which are short courses that provide you with the foundational skills you need to succeed in your degree.

Postgraduate Courses

Satisfactory completion of an undergraduate degree is usually required to undertake postgraduate studies. However, some institutions may take relevant work experience or research ability into consideration as well.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) Courses

Most VET courses require students to have reached a level of study equivalent to Australian Year 10. For example, a student from India would need to have obtained either an All India Secondary School Certificate, an Indian Certificate of Secondary Education or a Secondary School Certificate. Some courses may require extra prerequisite subjects or prior work experience.

Student visa

For a student to be eligible to study in Australia, they must be granted a Student visa (subclass 500). The requirements and evidence you will have to supply can vary depending on your course and level of study. 

Generally, student visa applicants will have to:

  • Provide an electronic copy of their Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) certificate, demonstrating that they have been accepted into their chosen course.
  • Meet the Genuine Student requirement
  • Demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support themselves and any dependents financially during their time in Australia
  • Prove their English language proficiency or supply evidence that they are exempt from this requirement
  • Meet health requirements
  • Provide evidence they have purchased acceptable Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for the duration of their stay

You can access full and up-to-date information about student visa requirements on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

All international students are required to obtain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) before arriving in Australia. You must maintain this insurance for the entire duration of your stay.

The exact inclusions of your policy will depend on the coverage you choose, but OSCH will generally cover visits to the doctor or general practitioner (GP), some hospital treatments, ambulance rides and selected medicines.

OSHC providers in Australia are:

Remember, you should always visit a GP first for non-emergency health issues, such as colds and flu, rather than visiting a hospital or emergency department.

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