Study Options

Australia’s education system is a national system of study pathways and awards that links higher education, vocational and pathway studies and upper secondary schooling.

This is known as the Australian Qualifications Framework (see diagram on the right) and allows you to easily move from one level of study to the next and from one institution to another (subject to visa requirements).

No matter your level of education or where you want to go in the future, you can find your pathway here.

We’ve put together a guide to the various education levels and your study options in Perth below.

Western Australia is home to six world-class universities and several higher education colleges. A university degree from Perth is a qualification from an internationally respected centre of learning.

The university year starts in late February and ends in mid-November. The academic year is divided into two semesters, although some institutions use a trimester system or offer summer school courses from December to February.

Every Perth university and college offers:

  • A wealth of academic resources
  • World-leading science and research facilities
  • A dynamic and stimulating learning environment
  • Internationally renowned academic staff
  • Student support, guidance and career counselling
  • Modern recreational facilities
  • Religious facilities such as prayer rooms
  • On-campus accommodation options

Undergraduate qualifications prepare you for a professional career and postgraduate study. You will be required to have an Australian secondary school certificate (Year 12) or its overseas equivalent; or a Vocational Education and Training Diploma or Advanced Diploma. Undergraduate qualifications include:

  • A Bachelor Degree
  • A Bachelor Degree (Honours)

Post-Graduate qualifications are designed for specific career purposes and require you to have completed an undergraduate qualification before enrolling. Qualifications include:

  • Graduate Certificate or Diploma
  • A Master’s Degree
  • A Doctorate Degree (PhD)
  • A Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Perth’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) colleges offer exceptional, internationally recognised industry qualifications.

Our VET courses give you the opportunity to learn valuable skills with Australia’s leading industry experts, or they can provide your pathway to Higher Education studies.

You can enrol in a VET course at a private college or at one of the Western Australian government’s colleges (TAFE International WA). Western Australia’s VET colleges offer:

  • A focus on practical vocation skills
  • A wide range of courses across many industries
  • Carefully designed courses to meet the current needs of employers
  • Valuable work experience placement
  • Industry experts and educators with extensive practical experience
  • Direct entry into the workforce
  • Pathways to a Bachelor degree

You’ll usually need to have the equivalent qualification of Australian Year 10, 11 or 12. Some VET courses have English language, subject or work experience prerequisites. So it’s best to check the intake dates, study duration, fees and entry requirements with individual VET institutions.

Western Australia’s education institutions offer flexible, fully-integrated pathways to university-level study. Customised bridging programs and full student support services are in place to help you reach enrolment criteria and apply successfully for the university and the course of your choice.

1.Certificate or Diploma course

If you know which subject you’d like to study, or have already chosen your university, then you can take a subject-specific Certificate or Diploma course at a pathway college that’s affiliated with your chosen university. When you’ve finished your course, you’re guaranteed entry into a first or second-year undergraduate degree program at that university.

2.Foundation Course

If you haven’t made up your mind yet, or would like to keep your options open, you can complete a general Foundation course that doesn’t restrict your choice of degree or university. This option is especially suited to younger students who haven’t chosen a career yet.

Many Western Australian universities offer foundation studies on-campus. This means that while you’re studying to meet general course requirements, you can experience real university life and take advantage of all academic resources, recreational facilities and student groups.

Perth Primary and Secondary Schools offer world class education and excellence in teaching while providing a safe, encouraging environment and a sure starting point for success.

StudyPerth can help you find a place for your child to learn for their future, under the blue skies of Western Australia.

The Western Australian schooling system consists of:

  • Government primary and secondary schools
  • Private primary and secondary schools
  • Co-educational and boys-only/girls-only schools
  • Private schools with on-campus boarding facilities

Primary education starts at six years of age. Students will usually have one teacher for most of the school day and specialist teachers for subjects such as music, art, drama and religious studies.

The primary school curriculum offers eight learning areas:

  • English/Literacy
  • Mathematics/Numeracy
  • Science
  • Technology and Enterprise
  • Arts
  • Society and Environment
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Languages other than English (LOTE)

Secondary Education starts in year 7 and runs through to year 12. Western Australia’s Year 12 qualification is known as the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE). Students build on learning areas offered in primary school as well as being able to elect to study subjects which will prepare them for future study or their chosen career. For more information on WACE visit here.

We welcome thousands of students to Perth every year to study English. High quality, year-round courses and vibrant student life make Western Australia the perfect destination for English language study.

Whether it’s for academic or professional preparation, or if you’d just like to improve your English language skills, Perth offers a wide range of courses.

After you’ve completed your course we also offer a number of English proficiency tests to assess your English language skills and qualify you for entry into an Australian course. All tests are recognised worldwide by universities, employers and professional bodies.

Perth’s English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) colleges offer:

  • Short-term courses (12 weeks or less) for Tourist or Working Holiday visa holders
  • Full-time Intensive English courses for Student visa holders
  • Flexible course commencement dates
  • A variety of recreational and social activities

Courses include:

  • General English
  • English preparation for entry into secondary, foundation, vocational or university courses
  • Specialised English for academic or professional purposes
  • Study tour programs which include extracurricular activities
  • English for examination purposes

Visit ELICOS for more information on studying English in Perth.

Western Australian universities have relationships with education institutions across the globe and we have established study abroad and student exchange programs for their students to come and experience education in Australia.

Your choice of study abroad or student exchange depends on whether your home institution has a formal exchange agreement with a Western Australian university.

Both study abroad and student exchange programs involve one or two semesters of full-time study, and are offered at all six Western Australian universities:

Many Western Australian education institutions offer a more guided experience for international students. Study Tours are hosted by individual schools, colleges and universities throughout the year and vary in length from one week to one month.

They combine a study program with sightseeing, field trips and excursions so you can experience Perth life and explore the beauty of our state while you learn. To find out more, contact your chosen Perth education institution.

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