Undergraduate Education

Australia's tertiary education system includes universities and vocational education.

Once students have graduated from secondary school - on completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) - students can elect to enrol in university or vocational education and training. Vocational education trains you in practical, job-specific skills rather than giving you an academic education as a university typically does. A university education is a long term investment in your future.

The main universities in Victoria are:

  • Australian Catholic University

  • Deakin University

  • La Trobe University

  • Monash University

  • Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT)

  • Swinburne University

  • Federation University Australia

  • The University of Melbourne

  • Victoria University

Courses and qualifications

Australia has a national set of qualifications that are endorsed by the Australian Government. This means that there is national and international recognition of each qualification and the level of education it represents.

The main types of undergraduate qualifications offered by most higher education institutions are as follows:

  • Bachelor degree: Bachelor degrees provide initial preparation for professional careers and postgraduate study and involve a minimum of three years of full-time study (some institutions offer a fast-track system, which allows students to complete a three-year degree in two years). Entry typically requires completion of an Australian secondary school certificate of education (Year 12) or the overseas equivalent, or a diploma or advanced diploma from the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector.

  • Bachelor degree (honours): Honours may require an optional additional year of study (usually research based) following a three-year degree or may be awarded for academic achievement in degrees of four or more years.

Entry requirements

Entry into most higher education courses in Australia is highly competitive. In addition to the academic requirements specified for each qualification level, applicants must also meet high-level English language requirements. Some higher education courses have additional entry requirements, such as prior knowledge in certain subjects; work experience; or the successful completion of an audition, portfolio, test or interview. Each education provider will have different entry requirements, so it’s important to contact individual providers to check.

Starting dates vary widely depending on the course. Higher education courses generally run from late February to mid-November. The academic year is typically divided into two semesters, although some institutions operate on a trimester system or offer summer schools from December to February, which can reduce the total course length. Students enrol for their courses at the beginning of the year (usually in January or February), but application dates are typically towards the end of the previous year. Some institutions also have a mid-year intake (usually in July) for certain courses.

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