Undergraduate courses in Australia

There are many education pathways you can pursue in Australia. One of the most popular is to study an undergraduate course at an Australian university. 

If this is something you would like to pursue, we’ve put together a guide that contains everything you need to know about undergraduate courses here in Australia.

Undergradiuate courses in Australia
Last Updated Tuesday 19th March, 2024

What is undergraduate study and how does it work?

An undergraduate course is most likely the first degree you will undertake at a university in Australia. Students usually enter an undergraduate course with no prior tertiary education, or some tertiary education in an unrelated subject. Undergraduate studies begin with a bachelor's degree, which usually involves three years of full-time study. Students must choose a field of study to focus on during their bachelor degree. The main three bachelor’s degrees are Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Commerce. Some universities may offer other fields as well.

Within your bachelor’s degree, you will also choose a major. A major is your main area of interest within your field. For example, you may choose to undertake a Bachelor of Science in Geology. In this case, geology is your major and science is your bachelor’s field of study. Every bachelor's degree is made up of units specific to your major and other elective units. Individual education institutions will have unique majors and subject units on offer, so it’s worth looking into which institutions best fit your intended field of study.

Once you have completed your bachelor’s degree, you can apply for an honours course. Honours is the highest level of training you can receive in undergraduate studies. The course typically involves an extra year of study, which combines course material with a practice-based or thesis-based research project to prepare you for postgraduate study.

Which institutions in Adelaide offer undergraduate study?

Adelaide is home to four excellent universities that offer undergraduate study in a large variety of academic disciplines.

The University of Adelaide is the state’s oldest university and holds a place in the top one percent of the world’s universities. The University offers courses in arts, engineering, computer and math sciences, business, economics and law, and has highly regarded science and medical courses. If you are considering postgraduate research in the future, The University of Adelaide also belongs to the leading coalition of research-intensive Australian universities, the Group of Eight. The Group of Eight enrols more than one-third of postgraduate students, and awards half of all doctorates in Australia.

The University of South Australia is the largest university in the state and a founding member of the Australian Technology Network, a group of the four most innovative and enterprising universities in Australia. The University offers a wide range of courses. Its nursing, law, art and design programs are ranked amongst the top 100 in the world, and the business school is ranked in the world’s top one percent.

Flinders University, located in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, offers courses in business, government, law, education, social work, arts, medicine and engineering. The University is ranked within the top 100 universities worldwide for nursing, and first in the world for digital illustration. Flinders University has also recently opened a brand new campus in the CBD at Festival Plaza.

Torrens University Australia is a private university that has campuses all over Australia. Torrens University offers courses in design, business, education, hospitality, naturopathy, nutritional medicine, western herbal medicine, technology and many others. The size of Torrens ensures small class sizes and a one-on-one success coach for every student.

How undergraduate study can lead to migration

Studying an undergraduate degree in South Australia can lead to temporary and permanent migration in Australia.

Once you’ve graduated, you may be able to gain work experience while working in Australia, and apply for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) - Post-Study Work stream. Getting work experience is important if you then wish to apply for a permanent or temporary resident visa through state nomination in Adelaide.

How to apply for undergraduate study

You can apply for an undergraduate course through an educational institution or an Australian education agent.

If you apply directly to an educational institution, you will need to download the application form from the institution’s website, fill it out with your details, and submit it back through the website.

If you apply through an Australian education agent, you will need to prepare some documents for the application process. This may include certificates that verify any previous study you have undertaken, and your English language proficiency.

If you are successful in your application, you will have to accept the offer via mail or email. Once you receive your electronic Confirmation of Enrolment, you can begin lodging your student visa application.

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