What Is an Undergraduate Education (Degree) In Australia?

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Students want to know what an undergraduate degree, qualification, or education is in Australia.


If you're thinking about going to college or university in Australia, you can pick between programs that focus on teaching or research.


This blog shares all the essential information about pursuing your undergraduate education in Australia, covering qualifications and degrees.



1. Who Provides Undergraduate Courses in Australia?


Higher education in Australia is provided by universities, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), and Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes. Undergraduate education is commonly referred to as tertiary education.


Moreover, the ESOS (Education Services for Overseas Students) legally safeguards international students' rights in Australia, ensuring their well-being, the quality of their education experience, and access to current and accurate information.



2. Undergraduate Qualifications


Australia's government funds and internationally recognises undergraduate qualifications, which are divided into two types:


  • Bachelor's Degree: Prepares students for postgraduate studies and professional careers, lasting a minimum of six semesters (full-time study). Year 12th or an equivalent qualification is typically required for admission, with an alternative pathway through a diploma from a Vocational and Education Training (VET) institute.


  • Bachelor's Degree (Honours): Aimed at higher research qualifications, this program extends for one to two years post-completion of a bachelor's degree in the same field.



3. Entry Requirements


You must have a secondary school qualification equivalent to an Australian Year 12 certificate for undergraduate courses in Australia. English language requirements vary across courses, and there are multiple ways to meet them, including:


  1. English Language Tests: Such as IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE.

  2. Senior-secondary or post-secondary study.

  3. Work experience.


Entry requirements differ among course providers, and for detailed information, it is advisable to contact your chosen provider directly.



4. Admission Season


Higher Education in Australia operates on a semester system, with universities typically running two semesters annually from February to November. Some universities also offer an optional summer semester system.



5. Average Undergraduate Study Cost 


The cost of college in Australia depends on where and what you're studying. Here's a rough idea:


  • Tuition fees for your courses can be anywhere from AUD 20,000 to AUD 45,000 annually.

  • On top of that, you might need around AUD 1,000 to AUD 2,000 per year for things like using school facilities and buying books.


Remember that some specific courses, like veterinary science or medicine, might cost more than AUD 70,000 annually. If you need extra cash while studying, you can work part-time for up to 40 hours every two weeks.



6. Is an Undergraduate The Same as Bachelor in Australia?


An undergraduate qualification in Australia includes:


  • Associate Degrees: It serves as a stepping stone into university courses. Candidates who don't get the required ATAR to gain admission to university courses can complete an Associate degree to qualify for a bachelor's degree.


  • Bachelor's Degree: This qualification prepares students for postgraduate studies and professional careers.


  • Bachelor's Degree (Honours): This program is ideal for graduates with higher research qualifications



7. How Long is Undergraduate Education in Australia?


The duration of an undergraduate education depends on the type of undergraduate course you plan to study.


  • Associate Degrees – These courses take two years of full-time study to complete.


  • Bachelor's Degree – It takes at least six semesters or 3-years of full-time study or up to 5 years based on the course you undertake.


  • Bachelor's (Honours) – This is additional one to two years after completing 3-5 years of a bachelor's degree in the same field. 


Depending on the course duration, the length of an undergraduate school can be between two years and seven years.



8. What Is The Undergraduate Age Limit For Australia?


You have to be 18 years old to study undergraduate courses in Australia.


However, some universities allow you to enrol in subjects or apply for a full degree at the age of at least 13 years with your parent or guardian's permission.


Age University Options

13-14 years

  • University of New England

  • Macquarie University

  • Curtin University

  • The University of Adelaide

  • University of South Australia

15 years

Above universities above, and:


  • Murdoch University

16 years

Above universities and:


  • La Trobe University

  • RMIT University

  • Griffith University

17 years

Above universities and:


  • University of Tasmania

  • The University of Notre Dame Australia

  • Swinburne University of Technology

18 years

Above universities and:

  • Australian Catholic University

  • Australian National University



9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



Can a 14-Year-old Go To University in Australia? 


The minimum age requirement varies between universities in Australia. 


Below are some universities offering undergraduate courses to students between 13 to 14 years:


  • University of New England

  • Macquarie University

  • Curtin University

  • The University of Adelaide

  • University of South Australia 



How Long Is A Full-Time Undergraduate Degree?


Based on the undergraduate program you choose to study, the duration to complete an undergraduate qualification is:


  • Associate Degree: 2 years of full-time study


  • Bachelor's Degree: 3-5 years of full-time study


  • Bachelor's (Honours): One to two years of full-time study after completing the same Bachelor's degree program.



Is Undergraduate Education Free in Australia?


No, university course tuition fees in Australia are calculated per unit, not per year. The fees vary as students typically study units from different fee bands. For international undergraduate programs, yearly tuition fees generally range from AU$20,000 to AU$45,000.


Domestic students in Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) have the government covering part of their fees, with the remaining portion known as the 'student contribution amount.'



Can You Get Into University Without an ATAR? 


Certainly, falling short of the required ATAR for a university course doesn't close the door.


One option is pursuing an associate degree, providing guaranteed entry to a related bachelor's degree.


The associate degree may grant direct admission to the second or third year of the bachelor's course, contingent on the specific program and university. Consider this option carefully before deciding.



What Is The Lowest ATAR Entry?


The minimum ATAR score varies based on the university and the specific degree program you want to pursue.


For several mid-ranking Australian universities like Monash, RMIT, QUT, Curtin, Murdoch, and ECU University, the minimum selection rank for high-demand courses is typically set at 70.00.


On the other hand, universities like Victoria University and Torrens University don't impose any ATAR requirements. To enrol in such programs, completing Year 12, holding a Senior Secondary School Certificate, and having vocational education or work experience after leaving school are essential.


Useful Topics to Explore:

⇒ Types of Education in Australia
⇒ Enligsh Language Courses Overview (ELICOS)
⇒ MBA and Management Education in Australia 
⇒ Vocational Education & Training Courses (VET)
⇒ Technical and Further Education (TAFE)
⇒ Higher Education - Postgraduate Level
⇒ Foundation Courses
⇒ Study Abroad & Student Exchange 
⇒ Online & Distance Education
⇒ Secondary Education

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