Australia has emerged as a popular destination for higher education because of its strong educational infrastructure, a high quality of life, and relatively lower expenses.

Australia has both government and private Universities that offer to programs called “Under Graduate”, and after graduation courses called “Graduate Programs or Post Graduate”.

The most popular courses of study for international students have been in the fields of Business, Administration and Economics, followed by Science, then Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

In general the time duration of a Graduate Certificates =6 months, Master=1 year, Master Honor=1.5 year, Doctorate= 2 years.

However these degrees are not measured by time but by subjects/ courses taken, therefore depending on how may subjects courses they do per semester, it may impact the time it takes to complete them.

Most of these post graduate courses however, do have a time limit to Complete.

Types of Programs and Qualifications


Bachelor Degree
Bachelor Degree (with Honors)
Undergraduate Diplomas
Associate Diplomas

Masters Degrees
Doctoral Degrees
Graduate Diplomas
Graduate Certificates

As per the official site for Australian Education, The student permit has seven separate sub-classes for each education sector. You should apply under the sub-class for your principal course of study.

Study program sub-classes:

Subclass 570  

Independent ELICOS for international students undertaking ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students) as a stand-alone course, and not as a prerequisite to commencing another course (for example, a degree course)

Subclass 571  

Schools for international students undertaking ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students) as a stand-alone course, and not as a prerequisite to commencing another course (for example, a degree course)

Subclass 572

Vocational and technical education (VTE) sector covers Certificate I, II, III and IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma.

Subclass 573

Higher education covers a Bachelor degree, Associate Degree, Graduate Certificate, and Graduate Diploma.

Subclass 574
Postgraduate Research covers a Masters degree by coursework or by research, and a Doctoral degree.

Subclass 575

Non-award covers foundation, bridging or other courses that do not lead to the award of a degree, diploma or other formal award.

Subclass 576

AusAID or Defence sponsored
covers full-time study undertaken by AusAID or Defence students sponsored by the Australian Government.

General requirements

(Check ‘Applying for a Student permit’ on Form 1160i)

you are of good character
you are of sound health
you have acceptable health insurance through the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for yourself and members of your family unit accompanying you to Australia
you have no outstanding debts to the Commonwealth of Australia, or have made arrangements acceptable to the Minister to repay such a debt
where you are under 18 years of age, acceptable arrangements for your accommodation, support and general welfare are in place
Offer of a place in a course and confirmation of enrolment

(Check ‘Applying for a Student permit’ on Form 1160i)

If you are applying outside Australia and your application will be assessed at Assessment Level 3, 4 or 5, you should provide:

an ‘Offer of a place in a course’ letter from your Australian education provider at the time you lodge your application; and an electronic confirmation of enrolment certificate issued by your education provider after you lodge your application if you are requested by the Australian overseas mission to do so.

This process allows a preliminary or Eligibility Assessment to be made on your application to see if you are genuinely seeking to enter Australia for the purpose of study.

If you are applying outside Australia in Assessment Level 1 or 2, or in Australia in any Assessment Level, an electronic confirmation of enrolment certificate (CoE) is required before you lodge your application and a copy is to be provided with your application.

Note: A letter of offer is acceptable where a client lodges an application within Australia, but they must have a CoE for grant of a student permit application.

Study permit conditions

You must satisfy attendance and course requirements and maintain a valid enrolment for your course

You must not work unless you have been granted permission to do so

You must maintain your Overseas Student Health (OSHC) cover while in Australia

You must leave Australia before your study permit expires

You must remain with the education provider you originally enrolled with for the first 12 months of your course or, if the course is less than 12 months, for the duration of your course

You must advise your education provider of your residential address within seven days of your arrival in Australia and must advise any changes of address within seven days

If you change education provider you must inform your current education provider within seven days of issue of an eCoE if you are an unaccompanied student applicant under 18 years of age you must obtain written approval of your education provider before you change your address, support and welfare arrangements in Australia.

More detail about study permit conditions can be found on the DIMIA website