The main types of undergraduate qualifications offered by most higher education institutions include:
- Bachelor degree: provides initial preparation for professional careers and postgraduate study, and involves a minimum of six semesters full-time study. Entrance typically requires completion of an Australian secondary school certificate of education (Year 12) or the overseas equivalent, or a diploma or advanced diploma from the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector.
This is the basic university qualification and is required for entry to a profession.Study involves acquiring a systematic and coherent body of knowledge, its underlying principles and concepts, and associated problem-solving techniques.Students develop the academic skills and aptitudes to comprehend and evaluate new information, concepts and evidence from a wide range of sources. Also, students learn to review, consolidate, extend and apply the knowledge and techniques that they have learnt.Study usually involves major studies in an area where significant academic literature is available.Course content is to a significant depth and progressively developed to a high level. This also prepares students for further postgraduate study if desired.
- Bachelor degree (honours): may require an optional additional year of study following the degree, or may be awarded for academic achievement in degrees of four or more years. A Bachelor Degree with Honours takes an additional year after a Bachelor Degree with a focus on research.Honours may also be granted where outstanding achievement is recorded in a Bachelor Degree course of four or more years.
These vary widely depending on the course. Higher education courses generally run from late February to mid November. The academic year is typically divided into two semesters, though some education providers operate on a trimester system or offer summer schools from December to February.
Undergraduate students enrol for their courses at the beginning of the year (usually in January or February) but application dates are typically towards the end of each year. Some institutions also have mid-year enrolment and intake (usually in July) for certain courses.
Average course costs
- Bachelor degree: AUD$20,000–$25,000 (for example, arts, accounting, business and management, and law courses)
- Laboratory-based bachelor degree: AUD$21,000–$30,000 (for example, science and engineering courses)