University courses of study include bachelor’s degrees at the undergraduate level. At the postgraduate level, graduate certificates and diplomas are offered in addition to master’s and doctorate degrees. Master’s programs are available in many disciplines including social sciences, engineering, health sciences, business, and economics. Master’s degrees usually involve research or coursework, or a combination of both.
Why Study in Australia?
In addition to Australia being a great place to live, Australian master’s degree programs are among the highest quality in the world. The Australian academic environment fosters innovation, creativity, and independent thought.
Australia is committed to ensuring international students have a good experience in Australia. Institutions that admit international students must adhere to a strict set of requirements regarding marketing activities, course delivery, facilities, and student services such as legal and health services.
Four of Australia’s 39 universities are ranked in the top 100 by the 2012-2013 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. These schools include the University of Melbourne (28th), Australian National University (37th), the University of Sydney (62nd), and the University of Queensland (65th). About 230,000 international students attend higher education programs in Australia, with about 90,000 graduates each year.
Tuition and Program Duration
International students must pay tuition and fees before beginning master’s program studies. Typical tuition for master’s degrees is A$15,000 to A$36,000 per year depending upon the university.
Masters degree programs take 1-2 years to complete. The course of study is usually two years after a bachelor degree; however, a master’s degree can be obtained in one year if the student’s bachelor degree was obtained with honors.
The academic year in Australia begins in early March and runs through late November. Most schools offer two semesters each year, but some schools use a trimester system and other schools offer summer courses from December to February.
A master’s degree in any discipline from an Australian institution makes a graduate more valuable to employers worldwide. In addition, recent legislation was passed that permits international graduates of Australian institutes to obtain a post-study work visa that allows them to work in Australia for up to four years after graduation.
However, although international students may be eligible to work in Australia after graduation, students should not undertake studies in Australia for the sole purpose of migration. Australia provides preferential migration treatment for individuals on a Skilled Occupations List, but the skilled migration process is separate from the student visa process. There is no guarantee that a student studying for a master’s degree in Australia will be able to migrate to Australia.
After completing a master’s degree, students may also continue their studies if they are admitted to a doctoral program and obtain an additional student visa.
To obtain a student visa, students must be enrolled in a full-time course that is registered with the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). Students enrolled in a short course of less than 3 months can study on a visitor visa. However, only students with a student visa will have access to Australian health care and part-time work. Students may apply for a student visa once they receive a letter of offer or electronic confirmation of enrollment.
Australia has a special health insurance program for international students called Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Students should buy OSHC before arriving in Australia and coverage must be maintained for the duration of the student’s stay on a student visa. OSHC covers medical or hospital care and partially covers prescription medication and ambulances.
Much of Australia is unsettled and visitors need to be aware of the hazards associated with travel in the outback. Even when not in the outback, sun protection should be used at all times, and travelers should drink plenty of water.
Bush fires are a common hazard, especially from late spring to summer. Travelers should maintain awareness of the location of fires at all times.
Other hazards include poisonous snakes, spiders and marine stingers. These hazards can be avoided with situational awareness and appropriate clothing and footwear.