Registered Migration Australia

Credit Transfer

This is the system of appreciating the student’s preceding level of education so that their study will not be repeated. This facility is available for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. There will be much complexity in transfer of credits and highly dependant on the formal study for which recognition is required. It helps students to move between courses and institutions and provide various opportunities to accomplish their prospective and respond for varying employment needs.

Alumni associations

International students who study with an Australian institution are Australian alumni. You will find alumni associations established by your university and there may be Australian alumni networks in your own country.

Australian alumni networks can:

  • assist you in maintaining the personal, business, institutional and educational links and friendships you have made while studying in Australia.
  • help you with business and job opportunities back home and around the world.
  • provide a matrix of understanding and support within a community of graduates who have shared your experience of leaving home to study in Australia and returned home as alumni.

You can find a list of alumni associations here (opens in a new window)

Study options upon completion

Year 10
  • Year 11 and then Year 12
  • A vocational program (certificate 1 to certificate 3 depending upon the ability of the student) the course may be held in a school, at a TAFE college or at private college
Year 11
  • A one year foundation course to prepare for university entry
  • A certificate 4 programme
Year 12
  • A foundation programme
  • A certificate 4 programme
  • University undergraduate programme
  • A vocational diploma
  • A university undergraduate programme in year 2 , this again depends on the recognition that the university provides to the diploma
Advanced Diploma
  • A university undergraduate programme in year 3 , this again depends on the recognition that the university provides to the diploma
Bachelor degree (Under Graduate)
  • A one-year “Honours” degree (for students who have the ability)
  • A postgraduate qualification
Masters degree
  • PhD

Course Information

By law, all institutions receiving international students must ensure that their marketing materials (such as brochures and handbooks) are accurate and not misleading.

Before offering a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) the institution must provide course-related information, such as:

  • the course content and duration.
  • the qualification it leads to
  • teaching and assessment methods.
  • previous work experience or educational qualifications required for admittance
  • requirements for course completion.
  • the facilities and learning resources related to the delivery of the course.
  • student support services.

Australia is committed to providing quality education and training to international students. For this reason, the Australian Government has enacted a number of laws to ensure that students are protected. These laws are grouped together under Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000. Under this legislative framework, all Australian institutions accepting international students on a student visa are legally required to provide quality courses, as well as to meet the national standards for student services and institutional facilities.

Student Visa Options

Note: As of July 1st, 2016 Student subclass 570 to subclass 575 visas are no longer in effect.
Please contact us to find out more.

Legal Disclaimer

This website is a public resource of general information which is intended, but not promised or guaranteed, to be complete, accurate, and up-to-date. This website is not intended to provide legal advice, and therefore, does not invite or create an attorney-client relationship. Visitors to this website should not act, or refrain from acting, based upon any information available via this website, and should always seek the advice of competent counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. Nothing in this website is to be considered as either creating an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Registered Migration Australia or as rendering legal advice for any specific matter. Readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. Registered Migration Australia expressly disclaims any and all liability with regard to actions taken or not taken based upon the content of this website.

Australia offers a diverse range of study options for international students, with more than 1,200 institutions and over 22,000 courses to choose from. You can study at all levels of education from primary and secondary school, to vocational education and training (VET), from English language courses to higher education (including universities).

Primary and secondary schools

Australian primary and secondary schools comply with a national curriculum framework to ensure a consistent high standard of teaching. Schooling often commences with a preparatory year followed by 12 years of primary and secondary school.

The school year is divided into four terms and runs from late January/early February until December. There is a short holiday between terms and a long summer holiday in December and January. Schools provide subjects in the eight key learning areas: English; mathematics; studies of the society and the environment; science; arts; Languages Other Than English (LOTE); technology; and personal development, health and physical education. A considerable number of schools also offer English language programs for international students to support their studies. Many students use senior secondary study to gain university entry qualifications. Around nine out of every 10 Australian secondary schools also offer vocational education programs in addition to the standard school curriculum.

Primary and secondary school Assessment

In Australian schools, a student’s performance is assessed by their participation in day-to-day class work, completion of projects or assignment and their results in ongoing tests and exams. Although responsibility for schooling is governed by the individual states and territories, the following standard national reporting and assessment system is used:

  • A (Excellent): 85 and
  • above B (Good): 70 to 84
  • C (Average): 50 to 69
  • D (Fail): 25 to 49
  • E (Failure): 0 to 24

ELICOS colleges

English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) are offered by a large number of government-regulated private schools, as well as VET colleges, TAFEs and university-affiliated schools. ELICOS has been developed to allow you to develop your skills in English as a second language as well as provide a foundation for further academic study.

ELICOS courses are held throughout the year and range from 4 to 48 weeks of full-time study, depending on which program you choose. Entry to courses is available at frequent intervals (usually every five weeks) though this may vary from one school to another.

ELICOS college Assessment

Before commencing ELICOS study, you will need to sit a placement test to assess your current level of English competency. This will determine which class level is appropriate for you. Each level of study runs for approximately 10 weeks and in addition to a final test, your final grade will take into account your performance in ongoing assessment tasks, which may include in-class as well as out-of-class work. At the end of your course you should receive a certificate showing the name of your last course, the course duration, your level of achievement and your attendance rate.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) colleges

The academic year for most Technical and Further Education (TAFE) and Vocational and Education Training (VET) colleges is based on two semesters. The first usually commences in February and ends in June, while the second runs from July to November. Entry for most courses is available in both February and July.

TAFE and VET colleges specialise in courses that provide you with skills for a particular industry or trade, or prepare you for further education. These range from Certificate courses across four levels (Certificate I, II, III and IV that take from 6 months to one year), Diploma courses (one to two years) and Advanced Diploma courses (two to three years). Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas are qualifications that can be accredited towards other higher education.

VET college Assessment

Your TAFE or VET college will provide you with details of the assessment criteria for your chosen course. Depending on what you are studying, assessment may include: assignments and practical assessments that require you to show you can carry out tasks to a required standard, and oral or written tests to determine your knowledge and understanding of the learning area. Most TAFE and VET colleges use the following grading system: competent with distinction; competent with credit; competent; or, not yet competent.


The Australian university academic year begins in late February to early March. Orientation for new students usually takes place in mid to late February. The second semester typically begins in late July. Most universities have two semesters, with exams in June for semester one and in November for semester two. There is a four to six week break between semesters, with the long summer holiday held from December to February.

With many academic programs, you have the choice of commencing your study during either the February or July intake. However, for programs such as medicine or dentistry, there is only one intake a year, which is in February.

The most common qualification offered in Australia is a Bachelor’s Degree, which requires three to four years of full-time  study, depending on the discipline, consisting primarily of course work. Some universities offer a “Bachelor’s Degree with Honours” to the best performing students, while others offer an additional year of study, which is then known as an Honours Degree. Specialised research, training and professional development are offered through Master’s and Doctoral degrees (PhD). A Master’s degree will usually take 1–2 years to complete, whilst a PhD will take a minimum of 3 years to complete.

Assessment at University

At Australian universities the final grade for a unit is based on your performance in assignments (written or practical, depending on the course), exams, class participation (that is, how much you speak up and contribute to discussions in classes), attendance and group exercises. Depending on the course, you may be continually assessed throughout the semester, rather than just in the last few weeks or on the final exam. The advantage of this method is that the entire grade does not rely on one single piece of assessment. If you do not perform too well in an exam, you still have the opportunity to lift your grade through other pieces of assessment.

The system of assessment varies, but generally the following applies:

  • High Distinction: 100 to 80 per cent
  • Distinction: 79 to 70 per cent
  • Credit: 69 to 60 per cent
  • Pass: 59 to 50 per cent
  • Fail: Below 50 per cent

Universities in Australia

A list of accredited Australian Universities sorted by name (opens in a new window)

Australian education

Study in australia