What can I study?

Secondary education

Australia is a popular secondary school destination due to the quality and international recognition of the education offered, and the safe, caring and multicultural environment. An Australian secondary school education will provide you with skills for your future study, employment and life, in Australia or anywhere in the world.

English language courses

Australia is proud of the reputation and quality of its English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) courses. The National English Language Teaching Accreditation Scheme (NEAS) works to maintain the high standard of Australia’s ELICOS courses.

Vocational education

Thousands of courses are offered through the VET sector in Australia. Qualifications gained through the VET sector can lead to a career in a variety of diverse and exciting industries.

Technical and Further Education

The TAFE sector is the largest education and training sector in Australia. It offers an extensive range of courses that cover a wide range of subject areas and provide practical skills and training for a huge variety of career possibilities.

Foundation courses

Foundation courses help international students gain entry to undergraduate study at Australian universities. Some promise a place at university if you are successful in completing the course. They also help newcomers adapt to the Australian academic environment and way of life.

Vocational education

Australia is a popular destination with students wishing to complete their higher education overseas. Many students choose Australia as their destination for university study, and Australia is fast becoming more popular than other destinations, such as the UK or US. This is not surprising when you consider Australia’s reputation for innovative, high-quality and internationally recognised courses, and the fact that many courses are comparatively cheaper than in other countries.

Higher education – Undergraduate

Australia has built a strong reputation for excellence and quality across its higher education and training programs. This global reputation is reflected in the ever increasing number of international students who choose to broaden their minds and enrich their lives by pursuing university courses here. Many international students elect to complete their postgraduate studies in Australia.

Higher education – Postgraduate

Business and management students in Australia learn in an environment uniquely placed between eastern and western cultures and economies. They develop a cultural understanding that is quickly becoming an important element of business success in the era of globalisation.

MBA and management education

Each year, thousands of international students choose to study in Australia because of the excellent reputation of its education system and courses, and for the great lifestyle and travel opportunities.

Secondary Education


Australia is a popular secondary education destination for international students. Not only does Australia offer quality, internationally recognised education, it also provides a safe, comfortable and multicultural environment. Secondary education in Australia aims to provide skills for your future study, employment and life in Australia or anywhere in the world.

Courses and qualifications

Australia’s secondary schools have a national curriculum that was developed to ensure high academic standards in all Australian schools. The different states and territories of Australia do have individual systems of secondary education, but all conform to the same high standards required by the national curriculum. For a school to be accredited to accept international students it must provide, or have access to, specialist English language programs.

Across the different states and territories, the Year 12 (final year) qualification is known as:

State Name of Year 12 qualification
Australian Capital Territory (ACT) ACT Year 12 Certificate
New South Wales (NSW) NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC)
Northern Territory (NT) Northern Territory Certificate of Education (NTCE)
Queensland (QLD) Queensland Certificate of Education
South Australia (SA) South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE)
Tasmania (TAS) Tasmanian Certificate of Education (TCE)
Victoria (VIC) Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)
Western Australia (WA) Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE)

Different secondary schools offer varying elective subjects and areas of specialisation, but all provide subjects in eight key learning areas: English, mathematics, society and the environment, science, the arts, economics, technology, and health and physical education.

In addition to the subjects offered, it’s a good idea to research the school’s focus and extracurricular activities to help you find the school most suited to your needs and interests.

Further information on secondary education in Australia can be found here

Average tuition costs

Secondary school fees for international students vary widely, from AUD$6000 to AUD$30,000 at an elite private school. It is important to check specific tuition costs with individual schools

Entry requirements

Entry requirements vary throughout Australia. The selection process involves consideration of the applicant’s academic record and proven ability, along with other factors that may include sporting achievement and other extracurricular accomplishments.

Further study

The successful completion of secondary school allows students to apply for entry to further education but it does not guarantee a place. Entry into most Australian higher education courses is on a competitive basis, for both international and local students.

Vocational training in schools

An increasing number of Australian schools offer vocational training subjects as part of their school curriculum. These subjects allow students to gain practical, work-based skills whilst completing their senior secondary education, and are part of Australia’s commitment to providing a balanced education that prepares students well for life after secondary school.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme is a two-year pre-university course for motivated students from 16–19 years of age. Universities around the world recognise the qualification. There are also programs for middle year students (aged 11–16) and primary year students (aged 3–12).

The IB organisation must officially approve schools before they can offer IB programs. There are around 75 IB-authorised schools in Australia. For more information go to www.ibo.org

English language institutions

English language institutions list

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Technical and Further Education (TAFE)

Foundation Courses: A pathway into university

Higher education – Undergraduate

Higher education – Postgraduate

MBA and Management Education