Studying in Australia

Why study in Australia?

Australia is the third main non-European destination for UK students.

  • The growth in numbers has been consistently in the region of 10% per year.
  • There are 38 public and four private universities in Australia, all of which offer tertiary qualifications of a high standard.

A-levels are commonly accepted qualifications for entry to Australian universities.

  • There is no central application system for applicants without Australian qualifications.

Entry and visa regulations 

  • A student visa is required to study in Australia. Visas are issued only to students accepted on to a registered course (one delivered by an education provider that meets the standards set by the Australian government).
  • UK passport holders will need what is called a Higher Education Sector: Temporary Visa (subclass 573) – Assessment Level 1. The cost of this visa application is AU$565 (£351) and is valid for the length of the course.
  • Additional requirements include financial means of support while studying in Australia, a medical health check, English language skills (UK passport holders are exempt) and character reference.
  • Australia has very strict controls as to what can be brought into the country. Checks on arrival will search for prohibited items and items that must be examined before they can be imported.

Funding your study

International students pay higher fees than domestic students and must pay upfront.

  • The cost is determined by the course of study, with an undergraduate degree in Australia ranging from £8,700–£21,800 per year.

There are scholarships for which international students may be eligible.

  • A number of organisations, institutions and government bodies in Australia support international students financially.
  • UK passport holders may also want to investigate scholarships offered by international organisations including Rotary International.

What about part-time work?

  • Full-time international students may work up to 20 hours a week and full-time during the university holidays.
  • Many international students find work in sectors such as hospitality and retail. These jobs often have flexible working hours to avoid clashing with classes.
  • A Tax File Number (TFN) is required.
  • Australia's minimum wage is $15.51 (£9.64) per hour.

Typical prices in Australia (GBP, March 2015) are:

  • Apartment rent, 1 bedroom: £603 - £841 per month
  • Meal, inexpensive restaurant: £8.79
  • Meal, McDonalds: £4.65
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught): £3.10
  • Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle): £3.62
  • Cappuccino: £2.09
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle): £1.61
  • Water (0.33 litre bottle): £1.33
  • Loaf of bread: £1.45
  • Cigarettes: £10.34
  • Cinema ticket: £9.30

Staying on after study

The Australian government has set up a scheme that provides international students with the opportunity to stay on after graduation.

  • The General Skilled Migration Programme is aimed at international students – and others – who meet the requirements of a certain skillset that the Australian government is looking for, but who aren't already sponsored by an employer.

Health and safety

  • The Australian government has set up a special health care scheme called the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) which must be applied for prior to arrival.

Helpful links