There are over 40 universities in Australia. The majority are public institutions, administered and funded by the Australian federal government.
Some maintain multiple campuses, but most are located within specific cities – with the greatest concentration on the eastern coast.
You can study at any Australian university as an international Masters student, provided you meet their application and admissions requirements. You will normally pay fees at a slightly higher rate, but will otherwise be admitted on the same basis as domestic students.
Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions
Australia’s ‘Technical and Further Education’ (TAFE) institutions are distinct from research universities. They focus on vocational training programmes rather than academic degrees.
TAFE institutions don’t normally award postgraduate-level qualifications and you can therefore focus elsewhere when searching for a Masters degree in Australia.
The academic year in Australia
The academic year in Australia begins in February. It runs across two teaching semesters from February to June and from July to November.
Masters courses are usually available to start in either February or July, although some professional courses are only available to start in semester 1 (February).
Starting your Masters degree in February may seem strange if you’re used to an academic year beginning in September (this is particularly likely if you’re a current undergraduate, expecting to finish in the summer).
Having some time between the end of your Bachelor’s degree and the beginning of your Masters may be helpful, however.
You’ll have space to organise your application and perhaps even acclimatise yourself to Australia before your degree starts (subject to the conditions of your visa, of course). With most students travelling quite a way for an international Masters in Australia, this can be very convenient!
Accreditation of Australian universities
Australian universities are subject to self-regulation along with independent statutory overview. This protects their academic freedom, while maintaining internationally respected accreditation standards.
As an international Masters student in Australia, you will also be covered by the Education Services for Overseas Students Act (ESOS Act). This establishes standards for international education Australia and protects the rights of overseas students.
These different systems ensure the quality of Australian Masters degrees is carefully maintained and that the qualification you receive will be of a standard recognised around the world.
Australian university rankings
With eight universities among the top 150 in the world (according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings), Australia has an impressive global reputation for higher education. It’s no surprise that so many international students flock to Australia.
For a more in-depth look at the leagues, take a look at our guide to Australian postgraduate rankings.