MS in Australia: Comprehensive Course Guide for International Students

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert

    Home to over 40 universities (mostly public) and 700,000 international students, Australia is climbing up the ladder of the most favored study abroad destinations after UK and USA. Offering 22,000 courses to choose from, there is a clear advantage of recognizing the potential of an MS in Australia. 

    • An MS degree at Australian Universities can take up to 1-2 years for completion
    • The total program fees range from 20,000 to 50,000 AUD.
    • According to the Department of Education Australia, a total of 95,156 international students enrolled in Master's programs in 2018.
    International Students Enrolled in Master's Programs

    • More than 75% of these students opted for Engineering, Management, and Information Technology courses, pointing towards an indisputable fact- Master of Science (MS) in Australia is a favorite among international students.

    Why Study Masters (MS) in Australia?

    Australia offers quality education, research, and training and has become the third most popular study abroad destination due to a lot of reasons. Some of the top factors making Australia the leading international education provider are as follows:

    • There are eight Australian universities ranking among the world’s top 150 reflecting of countries’ academic excellence and world-class reputation.
    • British Education System as the model for higher education in Australia, a master’ degree from Australia is internationally recognized.
    • MS in Australia is available as both a research and professional masters program.
    • Allowing students to work up to 20 hours a week during a semester, Australian universities offer great opportunities to gain experiences while studying.
    • Excessive student support system offered by Australia’s Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS Act), helps in protection of rights of international students studying in Australia
    • The Government of Australia invests around 300 million AUD for offering around 3000 scholarships to students from 55 countries.
    • Indian students are the second-largest contributors to Australian international student population, after China, as per the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

    MS in Australia: Key Details

    Universities 43
    Course Length 1-2 years
    Fees Range 20,000 to 50,000 AUD
    Academic Year February to November
    Admissions & Intakes February & July
    Top Streams MBA, MS CS, MSN, MS Finance, MS Environmental Sciences, MS

    MS in Australia: Top Universities

    As per three of the best globally recognized rankings worldwide, tabulated below is a list of the top universities in Australia to pursue MS (Masters). With international presence getting more prominent with each passing year, the table also covers the percentage of international students studying at these universities and the total program fees for the popular masters degrees offered at these gloablly ranking Australian universities. 

    University THE Ranking(2020) QS Ranking (2020) International Student Percentage (2019 class) Popular Program Total Fees (AUD)
    University of Melbourne 32 38 46% MS in Computer Science 91,700
    Australian National University 50 29 44% Masters of Computing 91,200
    University of Sydney 60 42 39% MS in Mechanical Engineering 69,000
    University of Queensland 66 47 34% MS in Computer Science 69,000
    UNSW Sydney 71 43 41% MS in Mechanical Engineering 98,000
    Monash University 75 58 39% MS in Information Technology 67,000
    University of Adelaide 120 106 29% MS in Civil & Structural Engineering 59,000
    University of Western Australia 131 86 29% MS in Oil & Gas Engineering -
    University of Vienna 134 154 27% - -
    Queensland University of Technology 179 224 16% MS Information Technology 69,400

    MS in Australia: What is it About?

    MS (Masters) in Australia is a one to two-year degree available as a course & research-based degree. On completion of either of the degree programs, you are eligible for a one-year post-study work visa

    Types of Masters

    • Traditional: As the name suggests, you can choose this type of degree if you plan on studying a specific subject in detail. The course is delivered through teaching and/or research with the final submission of dissertation or a project.
    • Change of direction Masters: Planning to change your stream of study or learn new subjects? These programs offer grounding in the core principles for the new subjects.
    • Professional: Previous experience being the key to admissions in these programs, professional masters are usually training and skill-based degrees.

    MS in Australia: Popular Programs for International Students

    In Australia, you can find your ideal masters degree from the range of specializations and study options available. The plethora of choices may make it difficult for an applicant to decide what to opt for. Given below is a brief table discussing the various options avialable when planning to pursue masters in Australia. Along with these the table also details the tuition fees of the complete program. International students who wish to study in Australia are suggested to ensure that they are well aware of the expenses before hand. 

    Program Average Duration Popular Universities Average Program Fees (AUD)
    MBA in Australia 1-2 years Melbourne B-School
    AGSM B-School
    Monash B-School
    LaTrobe B-School
    RMIT B-School
    MS in Computer Science & IT 1.5-2 years Monash University
    University of New South Wales
    University of Melbourne
    University of Queensland
    Masters in Engineering 1.5-2 years University of New South Wales
    Monash University
    University of Queensland
    MS Environmental Sciences 1-2 years University of Queensland
    University of Western Australia
    University of New South Wales
    MS Finance 1-2 years University of Sydney
    University of Melbourne
    MS Nursing 1.5-2 years UTS
    University of Sydney
    Monash University
    Deakin University

    MS in Australia Requirements

    For making the most of your studies as an international student, you are required to fulfill certain entry requirements. These include the English language, academic, healthcare cover, and visa requirements.

    Academic Requirements

    • An undergraduate degree in relevant field
    • Work experience and professional qualifications, required for mostly professional MS degrees in Australia
    • Entrance tests to study in Australia: The standardized test scores like GRE and GMAT are usually required by the top-ranking universities. Other universities may not require you to submit the test scores.
    • References: Academic references are an important admission requirement for MS in Australia. At least two letters of recommendation are required for making applications.
    • Personal Statement/Statement of Intent/Statement of Research: Additional documents like a statement of research (for research based-MS), statement of intent or personal statements are required along with the application package.

    English Language Requirements

    International applicants from non-native English speaking countries are required to submit proof of English language proficiency. You can submit the scores of ELP tests as proof. The minimum requirements may vary among the universities and specializations opted while pursuing MS in Australia. The general score that is usually required for entering some of the top universities for MS in Australia are as follows:

    • IELTS: 6.5 or above
    • TOEFL: 80 or above
    • PTE: 58 or above.

    Overseas Student Health Cover

    A special system for health coverage is offered to international students in Australia. Offered by a range of providers, OSHC covers the duration of course/stay in Australia. The lowest cost of minimum cover for singles is 430 AUD/year, 2680 AUD/year for couples, and 4000 AUD/year for a family.

    Visa Requirements

    Your Australian student visa will only be accepted if you fulfill the following minimum requirements:

    • Receive electronic Certificate of Enrollment (eCOE)
    • Meet the genuine temporary entrant requirements
    • Proof of sufficient funds: As per the Australian government, the cost of living for international students that must be reflected in their financial status is 21,000 AUD/year.
    • Meet ELP requirements
    • Meet health and character requirements
    • Submit OSHC.

    Applying for MS in Australia

    International students applying for MS in Australia must be familiar with the following details and requirements.

    Application Dates and Deadlines

    The deadlines for universities vary. The details of intake and deadlines for Australian Universities are as follows:

    • First Semester (February to June): You are required to apply by the end of October
    • Continuing Semester (July to November): You are required to apply by the end of April.

    Application Process

    • Applications can be made through
      • Agents: Apply directly for your program through university agents in your home country.
      • Apply directly through the University website
    • Fulfill Application requirements
    • Attend Interviews: If required and invited
    • Receive a letter of offer
    • Receive e-COE post accepting your offer and enrolling
    • Apply for Visa

    Planning to apply? For more information on how to apply for Australian universities, click here.

    MS in Australia: Cost of Study

    The cost of studying for a masters in Australia will include the tuition fees of pursuing the degree and cost of living in Australia.

    Pre-Arrival Expense

    The cost that you will spend before reaching Australia is a part of your pre-arrival expense. This will include the fees of exams, application fees, visa fees, etc. Some of these costs are discussed below:

    • Application fees:
    • IELTS fees: 340 AUD
    • TOEFL fees: 272 AUD
    • GRE fees: 230 AUD
    • GMAT fees: 379 AUD
    • Visa fees: 575 AUD

    MS in Australia: Tuition Fees for International Students

    As per the Australian government, the fees for completing a masters in Australia is around 22,000 to 55,000 AUD. This depends on various factors. The cost of average tuition fees for some of the popular programs for international students are compared in the graph given below:

    Minimum and Maximum Annual Fees (AUD) by Streams

    Cost of Living in Australia

    International students planning to study in Australia are required to have a minimum of 21,000 AUD/year as an additional cost for living. Your expenses will highly vary as per your choice of accommodations in Australia. Given below is a detailed bifurcation of the cost of living in Australia:

    Type of Expenses Cost (AUD)/week
    Hostels & Guesthouse 90-150
    Share Rentals 95-215
    On-campus 110-280
    Homestay 235-325
    Groceries & Eating Out 140-280
    Public Transport 30-60
    Entertainment 80-150

    International graduate applicants can also be charged SSAF (Student services & Amenities Fees), which is currently around 303 AUD per year.

    Living in Australia

    Home to 30 student cities providing impeccable experience and leisure time, Australia offers you with a variety of outdoor activities to take. Seven cities of Australia are ranked under Best Student Cities QS rankings (2019). These include Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, and Gold Coast. Apart from offering an experience worth to remember, the student accommodations available in Australia are of huge variety. These include:

    • Purpose bulit-student accommodation: Offering studio apartments to shared rooms. 
    • Renting properties: Properties availbale on lease for a duration decided by the renting party and student mutually. 
    • Short-term accommodations: Hostels, temporary housing from institutions, and hotels are available for stay until the student becomes familiar with city and meets its potential roommates. 
    • University-managed accommodations: Mostlu includes hostels offered to students who choose to live on-campus. 
    • Homestay: A trending way of living with a family in the city which not only is a cheaper option but also offers an experience of learnig the culture closely. 

    MS in Australia with Scholarships

    Studying MS in Australia can burn a hole in your pockets. The cost of studying can range from 40,000-70,000 AUD/year. Planning ahead about the expenses and being aware of these expenses is an important aspect of studying abroad. International students can apply for various scholarships funded by the Australian government. Some of the popular awards for international students in Australia:

    • Australian Awards: Offered by DFAT, there are a variety of scholarships offered under Australian Awards
      • Australian Award Scholarships
      • Australia Award Pacific Scholarship
      • ACIAR Fellowships
    • Destination Australia Scholarships: New mobility program offered to international as well as domestic students.
    • Australian Awards Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships: This funds the graduate research-based, short term and other courses for which the international applicant has applied.
    • International Postgraduate Research Scholarship
    • University-specific Scholarships: International students are also offered various university and program-specific scholarships for pursuing MS in Australia.

    International students can also apply for external scholarships and loans to study in Australia.

    MS in Australia: Scope

    The open immigration & friendly policies of Australia attract a large number of international students to pursue their careers. The easy availability of post-study work visa post completion of MS in Australia is another added advantage for international students. The scope post an MS in Australia is highly dependent on the specialization or the program chosen by the student.

    • The average salary in Australia is around 91,600 AUD.
    • On completion of a Master's degree, a hike of 29% is expected in the average annual salaries earned by individuals holding a bachelor's degree in the same field.
    • As per the salary trend forecast, the annual average salaries have increased over a time period of 2016-2019.
    • The minimum hourly wage of working in Australia is around 44 AUD/hour.
    • Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, and Adelaide are some of the highly paying cities in Australia
    Average Annual Salary (AUD) by City

    MS in Australia can cost you around 40,000 to 70,000 AUD/year including the cost of living. The average salary package for a master’s student in Australia is around 91,000 AUD. This suggests that MS in Australia offers a high return on your investment, hence making it a lucrative program to pursue.


    Ques. How much does it cost to pursue MS in Australia?

    Ans. The cost of studying MS in Australia can range from 20,000 AUD to 50,000 AUD. This is equivalent to 9,41,000 to 23,53,000 INR.

    Ques. Is MS in Australia a good option?

    Ans. MS in Australia receives one of the highest international applications. If you plan on settling in the Country, your degree may add to the PR points. The country has not been affected greatly by the economic recession and is doing better than countries like the USA and Canada. MS in Australia costs a lot less than an MS in the USA or Canada.

    Ques. What are the requirements to do MS in Australia?

    Ans. The minimum eligibility includes completion of a bachelor's degree from a recognized institution, English language proficiency scores, and standardized test scores like GRE/GMAT (if required by your choice of university).

    Ques. Is GRE required for MS in Australia?

    Ans. GRE is not a mandatory requirement for most of the Australian universities offering an MS degree. Though some of the top-ranking universities may ask for your GRE score, providing the score even if not required will add value to your application package.

    Ques. How long does it take for an MS in Australia to complete?

    Ans. MS in Australia takes around 1-2 years to complete depending upon the specialization or the program you have opted for.

    Ques. How much can a student make post-MS in Australia?

    Ans. The average salary package that can be made when working in Australia is around 91,000 AUD. This is equivalent to 42,83,000 INR. Depending upon your job profile and destination within the country your annual salary may vary from this average.