Admission Procedure to Study in Australia

Shilpa Saxena
Updated on May 17, 2023 7:53 PM IST

Intakes to Study in Australia

While planning to study in a foreign country, the first question that pops us is ‘Where do I begin’? If studying in Australia has always been your dream then you must be thinking the same - How to apply to universities in Australia? Sometimes finding the answer to the question can take a lot of your time and might leave you confused. The whole process of admission, from finalising a programme to getting enrolled, could be a daunting experience. To save you from all the hectic work of internet surfing and intimidating experience, we have mentioned the detailed step-wise admission process to Australian universities. 

Before you start applying to universities in Australia you must know about various intakes for international students in the country and the timeline for each of the terms. There are two main Intakes in Australia for international students i.e. February Intake and July Intake. Most universities enrol students for undergraduate and postgraduate courses under these February and July intakes. However, some universities especially TAFE institutes that offer vocational courses also have intakes for January, May, September and November.

Refer to the following table for important dates related to February and July intakes in Australia:



Application Process Start Date

Application Process Deadline

Offer of Admission

February (Primary)

February to June 


October to November

November to December

July (Secondary)

July to November


April to May 

May to June

Check the links given below for a detailed Timeline For February 2024 Intake In Australia and Timeline For July 2023 Intake In Australia:

Timeline For February 2024 Intake In Australia

Timeline For July 2023 Intake In Australia

Here Are the Courses Open for Admissions Right Now!

Admission Process for Undergraduate Courses in Australia

The process to apply to undergraduate courses in Australian universities can be understood in the following three steps:

Application Process for Undergraduate Courses in Australia

Pre-Application Steps

You can start applying to an undergraduate course at an Australian university once you have completed your research about things like lifestyle, living cost, universities, and courses among other things. Following are the steps that you can follow before you bring your application:

Step 1: Choose a University

There are many factors that need to be taken into account while selecting a university. You will have to do proper research on a university’s history with respect to its success rate. Make sure you check if the ROI (Return on Investment) is high.

While gathering information about the universities, you must check their approach to education. Check how beneficial it is for international students and if the faculty at the university provides their students with the best training.

Finance is one of the important factors that help you finalise a university. Check if the tuition fee fits your budget and explore the scholarships offered by the university.

Step 2: Finalise Programme(s)

For your chosen university, you can check the details of all the courses from the programme catalogue web page.  Check all the details and curriculum of the programmes and shortlist the ones that fit your preference(s).

On the course catalogue web page, Australian universities provide alphabetic, stream-wise, specialisation-wise and school-wise filters that you can look for easily.

Step 3: Check Entry Requirements

Entry requirements determine whether you are eligible to apply for a particular bachelor’s degree at the university or not. If you fall short of standardised test scores and fail to meet the requirements, you will have to take up other options. Every university mentions separate entry requirements for international students that may or may not match the requirements for domestic students. Here are the general academic and English language requirements that you as an international student should fulfil to take up an undergraduate course in Australia:

  • An applicant must have completed a secondary school qualification equivalent to an Australian Year 12 certificate.

  • An applicant must meet the specified English language requirements.

Step-By-Step Application Process for Undergraduate Courses in Australia

The application process is a crucial step in the admission process. One must be very careful while following every step in the application. Every detail filled in the application form by you will be used for application assessment, based on which you will be made an offer. Every university has its personal application portal through which, international applicants can apply.

Step 1: Registration

If you are a new user, you will have to create an account on the university application portal for which you will be required to enter your personal details and enter a username and password. Once you submit the form, you will have an applicant’s account on the website. You can use those very credentials to log in to your account and apply for admission.

Step 2: Apply Online

Once you log in to the application portal, you will be redirected to the online application form.
Start entering the required information and fill in as many fields as possible using the official documents you have. Many universities let students save their application in the middle of the process and continue filling out the rest of the form in phases.

Step 3: Pay the Application Fee

To submit the application form after completing it, you will be required to pay an application fee which is usually non-refundable. The international application fee charged by Australian universities can range from AUD 50 to AUD 100 which can be paid online using debit or credit card. Some universities may also provide other modes to pay the application fee. You will have to check with the university website for more information.

Step 4: Submit Documents

Supporting documents are indispensable for every application. You should provide as many documents as possible, as long as they are relevant. The requirements of supporting documents may vary from university to university and programme to programme but, here are some common documents that you must have at the time of the application process to apply for Bachelor’s degrees offered by Australian universities:

  • Academic transcripts

  • Official English translation of academic transcripts (if needed)

  • The grading system of the country or board

  • Test results to prove proficiency in the English language

  • Letter(s) of recommendation

  • Advanced Standing application (if the candidate needs to reduce the duration of the degree)

  • A valid passport

  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)

  • Documents to prove financial competency

Post-Application Steps

After submitting the application along with supporting documents, you will have to proceed towards the post-application steps which include the following:

Step 1: Application Assessment

Within 24 hours of the application submission, most of the universities send you an acknowledgement email to confirm the submission, provided you submitted the application on a working day. Every university in Australia has an Admissions team that assesses all the submitted applications. Your application will also be assessed after submission which can take up to four weeks.

Step 2: Receive an Offer

After two to four (or more) weeks from the date of submission, you will receive a decision from the university. The offer could be unconditional (indicating that you have reserved a seat in the intended course) or conditional (indicating that you still need to meet certain criteria and only then you can proceed with the enrolment). You can either accept or decline the offer within 24 hours of the corresponding mail. You will also be informed if you fail to meet the requirements and are not accepted at the university.

Step 3: Apply for an Australian Student Visa

Once you are enrolled at the university of your choice, you can begin applying for an Australian Student Visa.

Also Read: International Student Hub in NSW Launched

Here are the University-specific Admission Requirements in Australia

Admission Process for Postgraduate Courses in Australia

The application process for admissions in postgraduate degree courses in Australian universities can be understood in three parts:

Application Process for Postgraduate Courses in Australia

Pre-Application Steps

Here are the steps you need to follow before applying for a Master’s degree in Australia:

Step 1: Research and Shortlist

Before applying for a postgraduate course offered at an Australian university, you should consider a number of factors such as education standards, tuition fees, scholarships, the reputation of the university, accreditation, ranking, and ROI among others.

After thorough research, shortlist a few universities that offer your chosen Master’s degree program and keep a note of their application deadlines.

Step 2: Finalise Programme(s)

Find the program of your choice, and its program content and find out if it matches your requirements. If they do, finalise the programme(s) and move on to the next step.

Step 3: Check Entry Requirements

Every applicant is required to meet the mentioned criteria for a particular Master’s program offered by an Australian university. Although the same may vary from one program to another, one university to another, given below are the general eligibility criteria that you should meet:

  • An applicant must have completed an undergraduate qualification equivalent to an Australian bachelor, honours degree or graduate diploma.

  • An applicant must meet the specified English language requirements.

  • Some programs may require students to have relevant work experience.

Step-By-Step Application Process for Postgraduate Courses in Australia

The application process for a postgraduate program in Australia has been mentioned below in detail:

Step 1: Registration

Visit the official website of the university you have shortlisted and register on their admissions portal. Enter the required personal details, a username and password. After the account has been created, use the credentials to log into your account and apply for admission.

Step 2: Apply Online

Fill out the application form with the required information as provided in your original documents. It is better to complete the application process in one go although you can do so in phases if the university allows it.

Step 3: Pay Application Fee

Every university charges a different application fee ranging between AUD 50 and AUD 100. You must pay the same in order to complete the application process.

Step 4: Submit Required Documents

Here is a list of general documents that you are required to submit to apply for a Master’s degree in Australia:

  • Transcript certificate

  • Official English translation of academic transcripts (if needed)

  • The grading system of the country or board

  • Test results to prove proficiency in the English language

  • Academic or employer references (if required)

  • Backlog clearance certificate

  • Letter(s) of recommendation

  • Advanced Standing application (if the candidate needs to reduce the duration of the degree)

  • A valid passport

  • Letter of motivation

  • Documents to prove financial competency

  • Documents supporting work experience

Post-Application Steps

After a successful application to the university, here are the next few steps you need to follow

Step 1: Application Assessment

The Admission committee at the university will assess the application of each student, their qualifications, documents and so on. An acknowledgement email will be sent to you within 24 hours of submitting the application.

Step 2: Receive an Offer

Within the next two or three weeks, an admission decision will be sent to you at the registered email address. You can either accept or decline the offer within the stipulated time as mentioned in the email.

Step 3: Apply for an Australian Student Visa

Once you have accepted the offer for your postgraduate study at the Australian university, the next step is to apply for a student visa.

Also Read: Successful COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout May Open Australia’s Borders for Int'l Students

Eligibility Requirements to Study in Australia

Unlike the US, (most) universities in Australia do not require Indian students to take the SAT and ACT. But, for some postgraduate programmes, you might be required to provide the scores of some subject tests.

Here is a list of subject tests and language tests required at universities in Australia, each of which has been discussed briefly further on this page:

  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination)

  • GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test)

  • IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System)

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) - Paper-Based and Internet-Based

  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test English) Academic

  • Cambridge English scale for Cambridge English


  • The scores required for admission may vary for different programmes and universities.

  • Some universities may not accept some of the tests mentioned above or some may require additional tests.

  • Make sure to check the specific programme requirements.

Documents Required to Study in Australia

To apply for admission to Australian universities, international students shall have to submit a bigger bundle of documents than domestic students. It is the added formalities, procedures, and other legal and precautionary requirements that cause the documents required list for international students to lengthen.

Apart from the lengthier list, the documents required by different colleges and universities are also different. This is because eligibility criteria are an internal administrative decision.

Yet again, there is a common list that can be derived from the eligibility criteria of varying Australian universities as the documents required from international students for admission. Here is the list and a brief description of each of the components or documents included:

  • Application Form: It is the most important document among the application documents. It is issued by the universities themselves individually.

  • Student CV: Student CV helps to summarise the lengthy documentation and information of international student admission applications.

  • Academic Transcripts: The universities expect students to submit all major educational documents, such as mark sheets and degree certificates, as part of academic transcripts. They may specify the format they expect these documents to be in.

  • Entrance Exam Scores: The entrance exam scores are accepted by Australian universities directly from the exam conducting authorities. Students can choose the university to send their scores through their registered account on the exams website.

  • English Proficiency Proof: Similarly to entrance exam scores, the English test scores have to be sent directly through the exam website.

  • Statement of Purpose: A Statement of Purpose is also known as a Personal Statement. It is a descriptive self-introduction of the student along with their educational journey and the reason behind the application.

  • Application Essay: Many universities ask students to elaborate their opinions and thoughts on particular topics, which act as prompts for the students. These are known to be application essays, whose issues may differ from course to course.

  • Letter of Recommendation: Reference letters or letters of recommendation are authorised undertakings signed by a person of reliable position and authority, who has the means to identify and regularise the student's conduct and character. They may or may not be someone with an active presence in the applicant's life.

  • Financial Statements: The statements are proof that the applicant can handle the financial burden of education and living as an international student in Australia. These are also used for entry-based scholarship selection.

  • Passport Copy: The passport scanned copy is a confirmation that the student has the eligibility to apply for the Australian Student Visa if selected for the course study by the university.

Explore How to Prepare Documents to Study in Australia!

Entrance Exams to Study in Australia

The entrance exams are the lifeline of international admissions in any country. While the concept of entrance exams is not foreign in domestic admissions, it serves a dedicated purpose of aptitude testing and easing the selection process’s statistical burden. However, in the case of international admissions, its scope of responsibility is much wider.

Similar to every other country, Australia has its own indigenous and independent education system, which does hold similarities to other countries’ education systems but is also different in many ways. In order to ensure that these differences do not end up creating starking problems in the education system of Australian universities, especially with the adjustment of international students, entrance exams have proven a great tool.

Australian universities use entrance exams to bridge the gap created by the differential grading processes, examinations, academic year followed, and other bases of differences with the education system of other countries. Hence, entrance exams are an extremely important and inevitable part of the admission process of Australian universities for international students.

This section is dedicated to the brief introduction of students to varying entrance examinations applicable for international students' admission to Australian universities. In order to explore in-depth, students may follow the link.

Bachelor’s Degree and Qualification

The level of qualification has a huge role to play in the entrance exams applicable. As the basic aim of all entrance exams is to assess the aptitude level of students in relation to the education they have garnered till the point of entry. It is on the basis of the assessment scale that universities decide the level of aptitude that is required to cope with their course curriculum. 

Here are the commonly required entrance exams for international students to pursue bachelor’s degree courses and other programmes of undergraduate qualification in Australia:

  • UCAT: University Clinical Aptitude Test or UCAT is a common international medical aptitude test for admission to medical colleges in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. It has a list of institutes that contribute to its proper conduction and accept the score for admission.

  • STAT: Special Tertiary Admissions Test is one of the popular entrance exams for admission to Australian universities. Even though popular, only selected universities accept the test scores for admission.

  • ISAT: ISAT is an acronym for International Students Admission Test is an entrance test with applicability to courses of various streams, including dentistry and other allied healthcare programmes.

  • SAT: Scholastic Aptitude Test is widely popular on an international level for admission to not only Australian universities but also to other foreign universities. It is hence accepted by the majority of Australian universities.

  • ACT: American College Testing is another test that is popular among international universities of great rankings, including Australian universities. Even though basically a US entrance exam, it is widely accepted for its reliable testing and scoring processes.

Master’s Degree and Postgraduate Courses

The need for a reliable aptitude grading simply increases with upgrading in education qualification level. It is hence that entrance exam for postgraduate degrees, like master’s courses, postgraduate diplomas, and doctorate degrees, are more specialised, independent, and follow a strict grading system.

Here are some of the common graduate-level entrance examinations accepted by Australian universities for master’s courses and above qualifications:

  • MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test is an international entrance aptitude test for admission to medical colleges for courses of master’s level and above qualification. It is especially popularised for admission to MD degree courses.

  • GAMSAT: Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test is comparatively indigenous to Australia, as is apparent by its name. It is a common entrance exam for allied medical and healthcare programmes.

  • GRE: Graduate Entrance Exam is an entrance exam that enjoys international acceptance and is applicable for programmes of multiple streams. It is highly regarded for admission to STEM and management-based courses.

  • GMAT: Graduate Management Admission Test is common among international students for admission to business and management courses like MBA. Although students may pursue MBA in Australia without GMAT, it is highly preferred.

  • LSAT: Law School Admission Test is the best example of how clearly aimed are the postgraduate qualification entrance tests. It is the clear aptitude assessment and exam design that makes the exam acceptable internationally for admission to Law courses. 

English Proficiency Tests

International students come from varying backgrounds and countries, the majority of which do not speak English even as a local language. However, as an English-speaking country, Australian universities offer all their programmes in English, and as courses of higher education students need to have certain fluency to understand and cope with the course curriculum. 

In order to ensure that the applying international student has the required proficiency in the English language to understand the course they are applying for, Australian universities require them to submit the test scores of selected English tests. 

While Australian universities are not blind to the common use of the English language in India, and the presence of varying English medium schools and hence a strong foundation in the language, they require Indian students to submit the test scores nevertheless. However, there are certain exceptions possible, such as if the student can submit the proof that their education has entirely been in English until the point of application, and show a meritorious performance in compulsory English language subject. 

Alternatively, the accepted entrance exam scores are:

  • IELTS Academic: International English Language Testing System or IELTS is the most reputed and preferred proof of one’s proficiency in the language. The scoring and testing followed by the exam are unique is highly reliable. Yet, students can study in Australia without IELTS.

  • TOEFL: TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language is second only to IELTS in popularity and acceptance. Both exams are used alternatively, however, TOEFL is often preferred for its comparative simplicity and scoring directness.

  • PTE Academic: PTE or Pearson Test of English gains its reliability from its exam conducting authority. Pearson VUE is a major contributor to conducting computerised exams and digitisation of examination processes.

  • Duolingo English Test: Duolingo English Test might be a comparatively new entrant to the market, but the incidence of the Covid-19 pandemic has contributed significantly to its popularity. It is the exam most dependable when it comes to at-home testing.

FAQs on Admission Procedure to Study in Australia in 2024

Are Student Loans accepted as valid financial sources by the Australian universities?

Education may be costly in Australia for international students. Being aware that not everyone can afford the education costs, Australian universities do accept student loans as valid financial sources. Moreover, the employability index and potential of students ensure that their jobs can meet the repayment requirements.

Which is the best intake to apply to Australian universities for international students?

Among the two admission intakes in Australia, February and July, for international students, the February intake is considered the best. The intake coincides with the Spring intakes of US, UK and Canadian universities, which makes it easier to schedule standardised tests. These tests have a validity ranging from 2-5 years and the admission process might stretch over 1 year, hence better to apply for the February intake.

Does a study gap affect the admission process in Australia?

Australian universities easily accept a study gap ranging between 1-1.5 years but a gap of over 5 years might create problems in getting an admission. Australian universities accept the statement of reason for the study gap, which may or may not increase the chances of admission to a univeristy in Australia. It must be noted that students need to show what they did during the gap and justify it clearly.

What are the highest acceptance rates of Australian Universities?

The highest acceptance rate in Australia is approximately 92% at La Trobe University. Other universities with acceptance rates ranging over 80%-85% in Australia are Newcastle University, University of the Sunshine Coast, James Cook University, Charles Darwin University and University of Canberra.

What is the lowest acceptance rate of Australian universities?

The lowest acceptance rate in Australia is currently 30% at the University of Sydney and University of South Wales. Other universities with less than or equal to 40% acceptance rates in Australia are Australian National University, University of Western Australia, University of Melbourne, Monash University and University of Queensland.

What is the acceptance rate of Australian universities?

Australian universities have an acceptance rate of 70%-80%. This acceptance rate is the average acceptance rate of the Australian institutions and might differ for individual institutions. The applications do not get rejected as far as eligibility criteria are properly met and financial stability proof provides structure to the fact of upholding lifestyle and education while the student is in Australia.

What are the commonl documents required for admission to an Australian university?

The most commonl documents required for admission to an Australian university are application form, academic transcripts, standardised score reports (SAT and ACT), GRE or GMAT score (for graduate courses), English test proficiency scores (IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Duolingo), SOP, LOR, financial stability proof, and any other document as required by the concerned university.

Ideally when should the preparation of admission process start for Australian universities?

It is recommended to start preparing for the admission process for Australian universities at least a year before the tentative dates of application portal opening. A year is apt for situations where certain documents may have to be re-prepared with the declaration of eligibility requirements. In this case, it is better to know what needs to be prepared and how well before when applying for admission to universities in Australia.

How long does it take for Australian universities to issue an acceptance letter?

Australian universities have a screening time of 4-12 weeks for the international applications received. It is only once this screening gets over that acceptance letters and the list of accepted students is issued. This time is a differentiated stage in the whole admission process and is also exclusive of any scholarship application. So, students can expect Australian universities to issue an acceptance within the next 4-13 weeks after application.

How much time is required for the whole application and admission process for Australian Universities?

Australian universities allow international students a time period of at least 4 months to submit their university applications. Once the admission portals are closed, the universities take 2-3 months to issue acceptance letters. Overall, the whole application and admission process for Australian universities ranges from 6-8 months. However, it differs from individual to individual on the basis of their personal circumstances and action time period.

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