Technical And Further Education (TAFE) institutions and private colleges include skill-based courses which are closely linked to selected industries and give students practical skills and industry experience. International students attend TAFE institutes to complete courses that range from certificate to postgraduate level.

Many TAFEs and Colleges have links and agreements with universities. Through these links, universities may offer up to one year of advanced standing into a Bachelor degree as well as guaranteed entry (provided the student achieves the required grades). Many of the courses also provide pathways or "Package" deals straight into university, whereby the student can study an English course, diploma and then move into a degree award.

TAFEs and Colleges are different to university as they provide more practical, industry based training. Courses are hands on and usually have industry based facilities (i.e. café or restaurant facilities to practice cooking or serving). They also provide a wide variety of courses which may not be available at university level. TAFEs and Colleges are usually more accessible, and typically have lower entry requirements than universities (and are less expensive).


The types of qualifications that can be obtained through TAFE and private Colleges include the following:

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Certificate I - IV Introductory skills and training. Industry-specific knowledge and skills. 6 months to 2 years full-time study.
Diploma Preparation for industry careers. 1-2 years full-time study.
Advanced Diploma High level of practical skills for advanced professionals. 1.5-2 years full-time study.
Vocational graduate certificate/diploma Equivalent of the higher education certificate (secondary school). High-level employment related skills. 6 months-2 years full-time study.
Bachelor degrees & other courses English language courses and Bachelor or Post-graduate degrees.

Australian Academic Year

The Australian academic year usually begins February for TAFE students. TAFE and College have two semesters with exams held at the end of each semester in June and November, followed by a two-to-four-week break. The long summer holiday break is from November to February .

Independent & Private Training Colleges

Private Colleges provide specific industry training. They deliver accredited hard-to-find courses which are industry specific, provide teaching staff who are industry professionals, and provide the option of flexibility and adaptability in course structure (such as hospitality only schools).

University Pathways

TAFE courses at the certificate IV, diploma and advanced diploma level can provide students with a pathway into the higher education sector. TAFE can provide credit towards some higher education courses at University level. The exact amount of credit depends on the institution and the type of qualification completed.

Average Tuition Costs

TAFE course fees range from AUD$4,000 to $22,000 per year. High-level vocational courses, including vocational graduate certificates, diplomas and bachelor degrees may charge higher fees.

Entry Requirements

Entry into vocational system usually requires students to have reached a level of study equivalent to the Australian Year 10, 11 or 12. Some courses may have prerequisite subjects or work experience (i.e. art courses may require a portfolio). Additionally, as most courses are taught in English, an IELTS English language test score will be required. 


There are many accommodation options available for international students. For more details please click here.

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