The Big Questions - Courses and Applications
The idea of going to Australia or New Zealand to study always throws up lots of questions. Here, we answer some we get asked most often. We’ve divided them into three sections – courses and applications, costs, and accommodation.
COURSES AND APPLICATIONS
What can I study?
Anything you like! Australian and New Zealand universities offer undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes (bachelors, graduate certificates and diplomas, masters by coursework or research and PhDs). There are hundreds of courses available, covering a vast array of subjects from mathematics to marine biology, sport coaching to speech therapy, environmental science to economics.
How can I find out what courses are available?
Contact Study Options for a course list. You can request a list online at www.studyoptions.com/contact, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on 020 7353 7200 (London) or 0117 911 5610 (Bristol).
What are the entry requirements? Will I have to sit a test?
No. Your application will be assessed on the basis of your UK or Irish qualifications (A-Levels, Scottish Highers, International Baccalaureate, Irish School Leaving Certificate, etc, or degree).
The only exceptions to this rule are students applying for admission to medicine or dentistry (school or graduate entry) and in some cases to postgraduate business or law courses. These courses may require you to sit additional aptitude tests as part of the assessment process. Applications for creative courses such as music, fine art and design will generally require a portfolio of work. Each university sets its own entry requirements, so they do vary considerably. Specific course entry requirements are stated on Study Options’ course lists.
When do courses start?
The academic year in Australia and New Zealand starts in February (not September). Semester 1 runs from February to June, semester 2 from July to November. Almost all courses can be started in the first semester, some can also be started in the second.
How long does it take to find out if I’ve been offered a place?
The assessment process usually takes between three and six weeks if you are applying for a bachelors degree, and around four to eight weeks for a postgraduate application (though both can take longer). Research applications will take longer, as will applications for courses that have strict quotas on the number of places available (such as medicine, dentistry and clinical psychology).
If I get an offer, is my place on the course guaranteed?
No, your place is not guaranteed until you formally accept an offer in writing and pay a deposit toward your tuition fees. It’s important not to make any travel bookings that cannot be changed before you have had your place confirmed.
How do I apply?
Through Study Options. When you’ve read through the course lists, discussed your options and decided which universities you want to apply to, let us know and we’ll send you the relevant application forms and a guide to applying. This will include a checklist of all the supporting documents needed. The completed forms and supporting documents should then be submitted to Study Options. We make sure everything is complete and correct before sending your applications to the universities for assessment.
Will my qualification be recognised when I come back?
Yes. Degrees awarded by Australian and New Zealand universities are internationally recognised as being equivalent to UK and Irish degrees and are well regarded by employers, both in the UK and internationally. There are currently around 500,000 Australians and New Zealanders working in the UK, many of them graduates. For more on graduate outcomes, see pages 14 and 15.
What about professional degrees, like nursing and engineering? Are they also recognised? Anyone who wishes to work in a profession must register to practice after they graduate, in whichever country they wish to work. For graduates with Australian and New Zealand degrees, professional registration in the UK and Ireland is usually a formality, although a registration test is sometimes required. If the UK or Irish regulatory body of your chosen profession does not approve your registration immediately, or after a test, you may be asked to do a short conversion course.
Each professional degree taught at an Australian or New Zealand university will have its professional accreditation clearly detailed on its course description. Please note it is your responsibility as the student to check that successful completion of your chosen course will allow you to work in that profession in the country in which you intend to live.
I’ve already started a degree here – can I transfer to an Australian or New Zealand university?
Yes. When you apply you will need to provide academic transcripts and course descriptions for the study you’ve completed to date on your degree (a transcript is an official list, issued by your university, of the courses you completed and the grades you achieved for each). The Australian or New Zealand admissions team will check the transcripts and course descriptions and decide how much academic credit to award you. The amount of credit (or ‘advanced standing’) will determine where in their degree you would start, and therefore how much further study you would need to do to complete the qualification.