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Step 1: Explore your study options

Discover your area of study

If you’re not sure what you want to study, we have a comprehensive guide to give you more information on popular areas of study and the types of careers they can lead to. 

Search education providers and courses

Use the Study Australia Course Search tool to search:

  • Australia’s education institutions, including schools, English language (ELICOS), vocational (VET) and higher education (university) providers
  • the full range of courses available and their fees, start dates and duration
  • all available scholarships. 

You can shortlist and compare your favourites, and send an enquiry directly to a listed education provider.

Consider location  

Australia offers opportunities for study across many different locations and environments – from cosmopolitan cities to major regional centres, to natural environments close to beaches, rainforest or outback. 

Step 2: Check you meet academic entry requirements

Academic entry requirements (including English language level) will vary depending on the course you want to study.

Please read the course entry requirements on each education provider’s website (via the Study Australia Course Search tool) carefully and contact the provider directly if you need any further information.

English language requirement 

If English is your second language, there is usually an English language requirement for entry into most courses.

General guidance on academic entry requirements

  • English language courses (ELICOS): For General English courses, there is no academic entry requirement. For exam preparation courses such as IELTS and CAE preparation courses, you will need to take an entry test to ensure you are at the right level.
  • Schools: Entry requirements vary between schools, and sometimes by state and territory.
  • Vocational education and training (VET): In most cases, there are no entrance exams for VET institutions. However, some courses may require you to have studied specific subjects or completed work experience.
  • Higher education undergraduate courses: You will need to have an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12) or equivalent. Some undergraduate courses may also have specific prerequisite subjects.
  • Higher education postgraduate course: You must have completed at least one degree at the undergraduate level. Education providers may also consider your research ability or relevant work experience.

Foundation courses 

To help you meet the equivalent academic entry requirements of an Australian high school qualification, you could consider taking a Foundation course, also known as a bridging study program. Foundation courses are usually one year long and are offered by most higher education institutions.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) 

Some Australian education and training providers offer course credits or exemptions based on your previous studies. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).  Visit our course credits and exemptions page fore more information. 

Step 3: Apply

Applying directly

Once you decide which course you want to study via our Course Search tool, you may be able to complete an application via the education provider’s website or request an application form by emailing the education provider directly.

The education provider will assess your application which can take a few weeks (or longer for postgraduate courses). If your application is successful, you’ll receive a letter of offer and an acceptance form.

The next step is to lodge your visa application directly with the Department of Home Affairs. Visit our how to apply for a visa page for a step-by-step guide

Using an Education Agent 

An education agent can give you information about your options for studying and living in Australia and help you with your study application.

Agents have up-to-date course information from many Australian education providers and an understanding of the overseas education system in Australia. This means they can give you accurate information that is tailored to your needs.

Here are some tips for choosing an agent:

  • Use an education agent supported by the education provider you wish to study at. You can find a list of supported agents on most education providers’ websites.
  • Before signing a contract, entering into an agreement or paying any money to an agent, make sure you understand any fees and charges. Insist on a receipt for any payment you make.
  • Australian education institutions usually have more than one education agent appointed per country so speak with a few agents, then compare the information they give you.

Important note: Education agents cannot guarantee a permanent visa or work placement in Australia after you graduate. Their job is to help with study applications.

Changing course or Education Provider 

If you want to change your course or education provider, you must check your student visa requirements and follow the correct procedures. Find out more on our Changing course or provider page. 

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