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Structure of the Australian Education System

In Australia, School is compulsory for all children aged between five and fifteen years. School education is similar in all the states of Australia, these ages may vary slightly in some states.

Post-secondary education is known as tertiary education. Tertiary education include- higher education and vocational education and training (VET). Higher education is divided into university and non-university institutes which is awarded by Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) from level 5 to 10 qualifications. The three main levels of higher education that lead to Bachelor, Master and Doctoral Degrees. There are sub-degrees in undergraduate qualifications and postgraduate qualifications.

Pre-School Education: At the age of 5 years by enrolling in the preparatory or kindergarten.
Primary Education: Between the ages of 6 and 12 years.
Secondary Education: Between the ages of 13 and 18 years.

Three Types of School

Schools can be classified according to sources of funding and administrative structures. They are of three types in Australia:

Government schools (also known as public schools or state schools): Government schools are run by their respective state or territory government.

Catholic schools: The Catholic school system receives substantial financial support from the federal government as Catholic schools are considered to be a vital education system outside the public sector.

Independent schools (known as private schools): Private schools receive government funding.

Higher Education

The higher education starts after completion of 12 years of pre-higher education. The structure of Australian higher education follows a common 3 2 3 international model. First is the (undergraduate) degree - usually Bachelor - is normally of 3 years duration. This might be followed by a Masters degree, usually 2 years, and finally candidates may aspire to a doctoral qualification, (e.g., PhD), usually 3 years in duration.
  • Bachelor Degree
    Acquiring a Bachelor’s degree from Australia offers an imposing method of discerning you from your associates. There are many divisions in Bachelor’s degree of Australia that includes, 3-year degrees, 4-year degrees, professional degrees, combined degrees and Honours degrees. Despite the duration or the specifics of the program requirements, all the Bachelor degree courses are directed towards similar educational outcomes.

  • Foundation Courses (For International Students)
    It is most suitable for students looking for Australian Bachelor’s degree for the course of medical/ paramedical/science and do not get the required minimum scores in their Year-12. Generally intake for these courses is during the months of January, June and October.

  • English Language Teaching
    The language of instruction in Australia is, English. Students wishing to study vocational or degree courses in Australia will need to demonstrate proficiency in English as prescribed by the entry criteria for the selected course. Most Registered Training Organizations will accept students with an IELTS score of 5 or 5.5. Direct entry to university normally requires an IELTS score of 6, sometimes higher.

    Different English Courses
    Virtually all English colleges offer programs in General English, some with specialisations such as:
  • Business English or English for Tourism
  • English for Academic Purposes (EAP) - Most colleges also offer courses designed especially to prepare students for further study.
  • International English Proficiency Exams - Many English colleges also offer preparation for one or more of the international English proficiency exams such as IELTS (International English Language Testing System), FCE (First Certificate in English), CAE (Certificate in Advanced English) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). IELTS is by far the most widely recognized English test in Australia and some education providers will only accept an IELTS test score.

English language teaching in Australia is closely regulated by the government for the quality assurance of teaching standards, facilities available to students, and business soundness.

Postgraduate Education

Admission for Master’s degree (postgraduate program) requires completion of a Bachelor’s degree with certain exceptions for pertinent work experience. The qualifications are based on the institution and the course for Master’s degree adopted. They can be:
  • Master Degree by Coursework: Entry on the basis of Bachelor Degree, Honours Bachelor Degree or Graduate Diploma.

  • Master Degree by Research: Entry on the basis of Bachelor Honours Degree, Master preliminary year, a research-based Graduation Diploma or equivalent research experience.

  • Professional master Degree: Entry on the basis of Bachelor Degree with work experience.

Doctoral Education

A doctorate degree is the top level of education award offered by Australian universities. It requires minimum qualification of Master’s degree in the chosen field of study. Conversely, students’ degrees with work experiences should articulate the knowledge of the discipline in which student plans to start their research.

  • Research Doctorate: Entry on the basis of a research master Degree or bachelor Honours’ Degree.

  • Professional Doctorate: Entry on the basis of the combination of the research and coursework.


Structure of Australian Education System

Structure of Australian Education System

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