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Where to Apply in Australia? Top Universities’ Admission Criteria and Total Expenses

Australia Top Universities' Admission Criteria and Total Expenses

Australia is an educational hub, known best for its research-intensive universities. The government of Australia mainly focuses on their institutions’ quality of education and academic excellence. Hence, in recent years, many universities in Australia have continuously ranked high globally. Their ranking displays their commitment to positively contributing to the world. 

Which Universities in Australia Rank the Highest Globally?

The table below lists down the top five universities in Australia.

Highest Ranking Universities in Australia
University Name Location (City) Times Higher Education (National Ranking) Times Higher Education (Global Ranking) U.S.News (Global Ranking)
University of Melbourne Melbourne 1 37 27
Monash University Melbourne 2 54 37
University of Sydney Sydney 3 60 28
Australian National University Canberra 4 67 62
University of Queensland Brisbane 5 70 36

All these universities are recognised for maintaining their quality education, research standards and student satisfaction. Their reputation, hence, instils in students the desire to study in Australia. 

What are the benefits of studying in Australia? If applying to the top Australian universities, what are the requirements? These are some commonly asked questions by both undergraduate and postgraduate applicants.

We will provide you with a comprehensive guide of reasons to study in Australia and how to get there.

Why Study in Australia?

The benefits of studying in Australia are countless. Some of those benefits are listed below.

  1. Internship and Work Opportunities
  2. Standard of Living
  3. Worldwide Recognition
  4. Multicultural Society

Internship and Work Opportunities

Australia has one of the best internship programmes for both domestic and international students. Students are allowed to work for 48 hours per 15 days. Furthermore, that restriction is removed for the semester break. Students, during semester breaks, can work as they desire. 

The universities also offer students with internship programmes to make them well-rounded individuals. Not only that, the work opportunities help many students manage their finances and live a comfortable university life.

Standard of Living

The quality of life in Australia is frequently praised. People living in Australia enjoy good educational opportunities, healthcare, economic freedom and living conditions. It is for this reason that Australia is 12th in the World Happiness Report.

All in all, studying in Australia will not only improve your academic experience but also your life. You will get to have better accommodations, transportation, and healthcare facilities. 

Research Opportunities

Australia is, further, globally recognised for its research quality and opportunities. Universities situated there continue to work on social, economic and environmental problems. The solution to these problems is then utilised globally. Students are, hence, given creative freedom for their research. 

The funding and resources utilised for these researches further help provide authentic results. For this reason, the government and the institutions have continued to invest in research projects. 

Multicultural Society

Australia has attracted countless people over the years for its living and educational standards. Not only students but also professionals try to get an Australian visa. Hence, Australia has a very diverse community. This multicultural society provides people with exposure to different cultures. As a result, people become more tolerant of differences and more united.

Okay, so we have concluded that going to Australia for higher education is a very good step. However, another problem to counter is: what do you need to get there?

What is Required of You?

The common requirements for international students remain the same:

  1. English Language Proficiency Test
  2. GPA Criteria 
  3. Supporting Documents
  4. Work Experience
  5. CV or Resume

English Language Proficiency Test

Australian institutions use English as their medium of instruction. Hence, only English is used for educational purposes. In other to ensure that international students can live comfortably, they are required to submit their English language proficiency test. 

The commonly accepted language tests are TOEFL and IELTS. Their average score requirement differs from university to university and hence, will be discussed later.

GPA Criteria

GPA or average score criteria provided by the Australian universities should be met. If a student fails to maintain a good academic record, it can be seen as their incapability. In order to show consistency and commitment, students are expected to continuously score well. 

For undergraduate programmes, students are required to submit their International Baccalaureate (IB) scores or its equivalent. For postgraduate programmes, students are required to maintain a good GPA in a relevant undergraduate programme. 

Supporting Documents

The supporting documents include (but are not limited to):

  • Statement of Purpose (SOP): A personal statement is provided by students to represent themselves as more than their academics. It generally includes their interests, inspirations, goals, achievements etc. Students can also discuss their personal and academic aspects to create a complete picture. Lastly, students are further encouraged to mention their unique qualities alongside some of their struggles and how they handled them.
  • Recommendation Letters: Recommendations are from a second-person perspective. The admission committee wants to know how other influential figures in your life view you. These influential figures can be your professors, mentors, employers or volunteer supervisors. However, it is advised to not get a recommendation from your family members since it is considered inappropriate.
  • Official Transcripts: To further verify your academics the admission committees, of the universities you are applying to, expect your official transcripts. These transcripts help them make informed decisions. Please note that these transcripts should be in English language.
  • Test Scores: Universities can demand standardised and subject-specific student tests for further evaluation. The most commonly demanded standardised test scores are the SAT, ACT and ATAR. SAT is used to test your previous knowledge. ACT, on the other hand, is used to estimate your potential. Lastly, ATAR is used to see your ability to pursue a course via your raw knowledge.
  • Portfolios (if applicable): For students of humanities, universities can demand portfolios. These portfolios are made to showcase a student’s previous work creatively. Demands of portfolios can, hence, differ from subject to subject. 

Work Experience

Work experience, like portfolios, is subject-specific. If your course does not demand work experience but you still have some, feel free to mention it. Your work experience will showcase your holistic personality. Hence, the admission committee will better understand your ability to adjust to the real world and handle problems head-on. 

CV or Resume

CV or Resume provides the admission committee with an itemised list of your accomplishments. You have to chronologically add all your achievements, awards and key life experiences to leave a lasting impression on the committee.

apply in australia

Where to go in Australia?

We will now individually look into the top universities in Australia and their admission criteria.

University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne is best for students who want to be well-rounded and thoughtful professionals. The university is frequently attributed to its research efforts in solving social, economic and environmental problems. 

Its general information provides better insight into its standards.

University of Melbourne
General Information
Acceptance Rate (%) Total Students International Students Student to Staff Ratio Female to Male Ratio
70-80% 69,974 18,309 25:1 58:42

With a high acceptance rate and a reasonable student-to-staff ratio, students continue to aim for the University of Melbourne. Let us look into its top courses and academic criteria for both undergraduate and postgraduate.

If you want to continue studying in any of the fields mentioned below, the University of Melbourne is the way to go.

University of Melbourne
High Ranking Courses
Course Name Clinical, Pre-Clinical & Health Life Sciences Arts & Humanities Engineering & Technology Social Sciences
Global Subject Ranking 20 36 38 41 59

Students of undergraduate programmes can apply to the number one university in Australia if they meet the academic criteria given below.

University of Melbourne
Academic Criteria (Undergraduate)
IB (International Baccalaureate) ATAR SAT ACT IELTS TOEFL
40+ 55+ 1250+ 28+ 6+ 79+


Likewise, students wanting to pursue postgraduate programmes in Australia should apply if they meet the academic requirements listed below.

University of Melbourne
Academic Criteria (Postgraduate)
3.3+ 680+ 1193+ 28+ 6+ 79+

Monash University

Monash University is considered the best for its global partnerships and research collaborations. Students of Monash University, hence, get to broaden their horizons through these researches and partnerships. The university further facilitates its students by making its programmes internationally focused i.e.,

  • Engagement with culturally diverse students
  • Learning about different issues
  • Preparing for the international market and work environment.

To better understand its standards, have a look at its general information.

Monash University
General Information
Acceptance Rate (%) Total Students International Students Student to Staff Ratio Female to Male Ratio
40% 85,924 27,190 43:1 56:44

The best courses to pursue at Monash University are the ones that are ranked highly subject-wise. The top five courses according to the global subject ranking of the Times Higher Education are mentioned in the following table.

Monash University
High Ranking Courses
Course Name Clinical, Pre-Clinical & Health Business & Economics Arts & Humanities Engineering & Technology Life Sciences
Global Subject Ranking 29 46 52 54 59

To evaluate your standing as per Monash University’s academic criteria, you can refer to the table below. Please note that the criterion differs depending on the degree level. If applying for undergraduate programmes, you should compare your academics to the first table. 

Monash University
Academic Criteria (Undergraduate)
IB (International Baccalaureate) ATAR SAT ACT IELTS TOEFL
30+ 60+ 1120+ 22+ 6+ 79+

However, if pursuing a postgraduate or master’s degree programme from Monash University, refer to the following table.

Monash University
Academic Criteria (Postgraduate)
5+ 650+ 1120+ 22+ 6+ 79+

University of Sydney

The University of Sydney is the third globally, highly ranked university in Australia. Not only is it situated in the beautiful city of Sydney, but it also has an amazing campus community. The university has continued to admit the brightest minds and maintain its standards. All in all, it is well-reputed for its excellence in teaching and research. 

Before applying, the students should know the following facts about the University of Sydney

University of Sydney
General Information
Acceptance Rate (%) Total Students International Students Student to Staff Ratio Female to Male Ratio
30% 72,585 24,662 23:1 58:42

Furthermore, the applicants of the University of Sydney should also have information regarding their top-ranked courses. The table below shows the top courses and their rankings.

University of Sydney
High Ranking Courses
Course Name Clinical, Pre-Clinical & Health Arts & Humanities Life Sciences Social Sciences Engineering & Technology
Global Subject Ranking 38 40 46 51 68

For specific information regarding their academic criteria for both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, please see the tables below.

For bachelor’s or undergraduate degree:

University of Sydney
Academic Criteria (Undergraduate)
IB (International Baccalaureate) ATAR SAT ACT IELTS TOEFL
35+ 70+ 1050+ 28+ 6.5+ 85+

For master’s or postgraduate degree:

University of Sydney
Academic Criteria (Postgraduate)
3+ 600+ 1200+ 28+ 6.5+ 85+

Australian National University

Australian National University has repeatedly ranked high for its research-focused programmes. Hence, the university has been a key contributor to:

  • Developing Australia’s knowledge via research
  • Understanding itself and the world 

What else is there to know? All its key facts are given in tabular form underneath.

Australian National University
General Information
Acceptance Rate (%) Total Students International Students Student to Staff Ratio Female to Male Ratio
35% 24,371 6,818 15:1 52:48

When applying to the Australian National University, it is advisable to pursue the following courses. Since they continue to rank high globally for quality and student satisfaction, a good experience is guaranteed.

Australian National University
High Ranking Courses
Course Name Social Sciences Arts & Humanities Physical Sciences Business & Economics Life Sciences
Global Subject Ranking 31 50 55 55 61

Note that you cannot live your dream of studying at the Australian National University if you do not meet the academic criteria of undergraduate below.

Australian National University
Academic Criteria (Undergraduate)
IB (International Baccalaureate) ATAR SAT ACT IELTS TOEFL
29+ 80+ 1170+ 25+ 6.5+ 80+

Likewise, to successfully get accepted for a postgraduate programme, the following academic criteria must be met. 

Australian National University
Academic Criteria (Postgraduate)
4+ 550+ 1170+ 23+ 6.5+ 80+

University of Queensland

The University of Queensland has showcased its commitment to education over the years. The university’s consistent excellence in research and teaching has, hence, maintained its high standards. Not only that, the university helps its students develop the skillsets and knowledge required to succeed academically and professionally. 

Use the table below to make informed decisions about studying at the University of Queensland.

University of Queensland
General Information
Acceptance Rate (%) Total Students International Students Student to Staff Ratio Female to Male Ratio
40% 54,950 16,905 39:1 55:45

Students aspiring to study at this university are advised to study the details of their preferred programmes. Some of the university’s top-ranked courses are mentioned below.

University of Queensland
High Ranking Courses
Course Name Life Sciences Clinical, Pre-Clinical & Health Engineering & Technology Business & Economics Social Sciences
Global Subject Ranking 38 54 58 74 77

Compare your academics, test scores and language proficiency to the scores given below. If you have scored equal to or higher than these scores, you can easily pursue a bachelor’s degree at the University of Queensland.

University of Queensland
Academic Criteria (Undergraduate)
IB (International Baccalaureate) ATAR SAT ACT IELTS TOEFL
26+ 75.5+ 1000+ 28+ 6.5+ 87+

Similarly to pursue a postgraduate degree at the University of Queensland, ensure that you meet their academic requirements.

University of Queensland
Academic Criteria (Postgraduate)
2.8+ 550+ 1300+ 28+ 6.5+ 87+

How Much Does It Cost to Study in Australia?

For international students, it is advised to arrange their finances beforehand. These finances can be arranged through:

  • Self-finance
  • Scholarships
  • Work programmes
  • Funding
  • Loans

The overall cost of studying in the universities mentioned above is provided in the following table.

Annual Finances (in AUD)
University Name Application Fee Total Cost
Tuition Living Cost Total
University of Melbourne $120 $44,632 $20,000 $64,632
Monash University $100 $53,000 $22,100 $75,100
University of Sydney $150 $45,500 $24,505 $70,005
Australian National University $100 $49,395 $33,000 $82,395
University of Queensland $150 $45,000 $21,345 $66,345

What Scholarships to Apply For?

If you plan to finance your degree via a scholarship, you can apply for four different scholarships offered by the Australian government. 

  1. Australia Awards
  2. Destination Australia Programme (DAP)
  3. Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP)
  4. Provider Scholarships

Australia Awards

Australia Awards is a scholarship introduced by the government of Australia. Students from the neighbouring countries of Australia can apply for this scholarship. The following departments are involved in providing these scholarships.

  • Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT)
  • Department of Education
  • Australian Centre of International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)

Destination Australia Programme (DAP)

The Destination Australia Programme is a government initiative for both domestic and international students. Students, who are studying in the regional areas of Australia, can apply for this scholarship. Upto 15,000 students per year are awarded this scholarship.

Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP)

Like the previous two initiatives, this positive step is also taken by the Australian government. The initiative helps the students of postgraduate in their research studies. This scholarship is proof of the government of Australia’s commitment to quality research.

Provider Scholarships

Provider Scholarships are given by Australian education providers. To know more about the offers given through this scholarship programme, students are advised to contact the admission team of their preferred institution. 

How to Go to Australia?

Do not know where to go from this point onward? You can utilise our platform, CounsellingX, to pursue your studies in Australia. All you have to do is explore more of our platform, find your preferred counsellors, sign up and get a free 15-minute consultation for better understanding. We are to make your Australian dream easier to achieve. 

Key Considerations

  • Have a good English language proficiency
  • Score well consistently in your previous academic years
  • Submit well-prepared supporting documents
  • Mention work experience related to your interests and degree programme
  • Display your achievements and key experiences concisely via your CV
  • Meet the academic criteria of your preferred university
  • Arrange your finances beforehand
  • Apply for scholarships to lessen your financial stress.
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