Australia Education System 

The education system in Australia is comprised of School education and Tertiary Education. The language of instruction is English. Generally, the system is divided as below.

School Education

  • Primary School (Prep, Year 1 to Year 6)
  • Secondary School (Year 7 to Year 10)
  • Senior Secondary School (Year 11 to Year 12)

Tertiary Education

  • Certificate I, II, III IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma
  • Associate degree, Bachelor degree, Bachelor (Honour)
  • Master degree (Coursework or Research)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD or Professional Doctor)

Academic year dates in Australia

The academic year in Australia varies depending on the type of study you are undertaking.

Many institutions also offer a mid-year, or second semester start. Start dates and the number of semesters vary by course and institution, so please check directly on your institution’s website for details.

Below is a general guide on the academic year for the different levels of study in Australia:

Schools

  • Length– 13 years in total (Kindergarten/Preparatory to Year 12)
  • Semesters– 4 (usually called terms’)
  • Starts– Late January/early February

English

  • Length– From 5 weeks to 1 year
  • Semesters– The year is split into weeks
  • Starts– Throughout the year

Foundation

  • Length– 1 year
  • Semesters– The semester breaks will depend on your course
  • Starts– February but can vary by course and institutions

Vocational Education and Training

  • Length– 1 to 4 years
  • Semesters– Two
  • Starts– February, but can vary by course and institutions

Undergraduate

  • Length– Typically 3 years (4 years for honours degree)
  • Semesters– Two, although some institutions offer three semesters (trimesters)
  • Starts– Typically March, but can vary by course and institution

Postgraduate

  • Length– 1 to 2 years
  • Semesters– Two, although some institutions offer three semesters (trimesters)
  • Starts– Typically March, but can vary by course and institution

Doctoral

  • Length– 3 years
  • Semesters– As most doctoral candidates do not attend class, there are usually no formal semester

Starts – Your start date will be negotiated with your supervisor

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