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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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

It is worth keeping in mind that the institution you are applying for may have different English proficiency requirements.  Do some research into your chosen institution and the Department to make sure that you will be eligible for both a student visa and entrance into your university of choice.

Some well-recognised English tests include IELTS, Pearson and TOEFL. Click here for a summary of the different types of English tests available and how their assessments work.

If you need help improving your English skills, there are various courses available. ELICOS courses for example are designed to prepare students for study in Australia. Take a look at some programs here.

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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 are usually required to provide a certified copy of their school reports for the last two years and demonstrate evidence of English proficiency. This could be evidence that you have been studying at a school where all subjects are taught in English, or obtain an English teacher's recommendation letter.

Undergraduate Courses

To be eligible to apply for undergraduate courses, you will need to have an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12) or the overseas equivalent e.g. All India Senior School Certificate, China Peoples Republic National Entrance Examination (GaoKao) and Sri Lankan GCE Advanced Level etc. Some courses may also require specific pre-requisites.

Postgraduate Courses

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

Vocational Education and Training (VET) Courses

Most VET courses will require students to have reached a level of study equivalent to the Australian year 10. If you're in a student in India, that would mean you'll have obtained one of the following: All Indian Secondary School Certificate, Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE SX) Secondary Certification and GCE O-Levels (4 passes). Some courses may require extra prerequisite subjects or work experience.

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Student visa

For a student to be eligible to study in Australia they must apply for and be successful in securing a Student visa (subclass 500).  The visa that you need may depend on your course of study and there are a few key requirements that you need to meet in order to secure a visa:

  • Must be issued an electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) certificate from the institution
  • Must meet the Genuine Temporary Entrant requirements
  • Need to ensure that you can support yourself financially during your time in Australia
  • English level proficiency
  • Need to meet health and fitness requirements
  • Acceptable Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

For full and up-to-date information about student visas, please visit the Department for Home Affairs website.

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Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)

All international students are required to obtain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) before arriving into the country, which covers the entire duration of your study in Australia.

Depending on the type of product and cover chosen, OSCH includes cover for visits to the doctor, some hospital treatment, ambulance cover and selected medicines.

The OSCH providers in Australia are:

Students should always remember to visit a General Practitioner first (GP) for non-emergency health issues such as colds and flu.

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