Study in Australia from the UK: visas, universities and costs

Gert Svaiko

Love the idea of studying in another country? Australia is a popular choice for UK students, drawn there by the promise of fantastic weather, culture-rich cities and its famously laid-back lifestyle. And of course, the country is home to some world-class universities.

But how easy is it to go study in Australia from the UK? We’ll cover everything you need to know in this helpful guide, including Australia student visas, scholarships and which Aussie unis to choose.

And if you’re looking for a convenient, low-cost way to manage your money Down Under, the Wise card could be the ideal solution. It lets you spend in AUD from the moment you arrive, automatically converting your GBP at a fair rate - the mid-market exchange rate.


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Can I study in Australia coming from the UK?

Australia is known for being very welcoming to students from other countries. In fact, it’s up there with the US and the UK when it comes to having the highest number of international students.

The main thing that students moving to Australia from the UK will need is a student visa. You can apply for one from the Australian Government, providing a number of documents along with your application (more on this next). If approved, you’ll be permitted to study full-time at a recognised education institution for up to 5 years

When applying to institutions, you’ll also need to provide the following alongside your student visa:¹

  • Proof of funds to support your study
  • Evidence of student health cover
  • Certificates and transcripts to demonstrate your academic achievements
  • Proof of English language proficiency. If required, this could take the form of passing a recognised English language test.

What are the Australian student visa requirements from the UK?

The Australia student visa (Subclass 500) allows you to stay for up to 5 years in line with your course of study. You can bring family members with you, and you can also work while you’re in the country.

To be eligible to apply, you must:²

  • Be over 6 years old, and have a welfare arrangement in place if you’re under 18 years old
  • Meet health requirements and have Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for you and your family members, unless exempt
  • Be enrolled on a course of study in Australia
  • Meet English language requirements
  • Provide proof of funds to support yourself during your time in Australia - this includes course fees, living costs and travel. You’ll need to show that you have the money to cover annual living costs of $21,041 AUD, the first year of tuition fees and $2,000 AUD in travel costs ²
  • Be a genuine temporary entrant and meet the character requirement
  • Sign the Australian values statement

As you can see, there is quite a lot required in terms of paperwork. This is why it’s worth gathering your documents and checking the requirements early, so you can get your application submitted in plenty of time.

It costs $650 AUD² to apply for an Australia student visa. It can take around 5 months or possibly longer for your application to be processed.³

Universities in Australia for UK students

Where you choose to study in Australia all depends on which institutions offer courses you’re interested in. And, of course, where in the country you want to live.

But to help you start your research, here are some of the most popular universities in Australia for international students. These also happen to be in the QS World University Rankings 2021 top 100:¹

  • Australian National University
  • The University of Melbourne
  • The University of Sydney
  • University of New South Wales
  • The University of Queensland
  • Monash University
  • The University of Western Australia

Which universities in Australia are offering scholarships for international students?

Tuition fees will always be a major expense when studying abroad. On top of all the other costs related to moving to Australia, this can put pressure on your finances.

The good news is that there are lots of different scholarships in Australia available for UK students. Here are just a few examples to help you start your research:⁴

Scholarship nameHost universityEligibility
ACU International Student ScholarshipAustralian Catholic University (ACU)Open to all international applicants
Vice Chancellor's International Excellence ScholarshipUniversity of South AustraliaOpen to all international applicants
International Merit ScholarshipUniversity of South AustraliaOpen to all international applicants
EIT Women in Engineering ScholarshipEngineering Institute of Technology (EIT)Open to all female-identifying international applicants
UNSW Business School International Pathways Award (PUCA1023)UNSW Sydney - University of New South WalesOpen to all international applicants
Vice-Chancellor's International Scholarships SchemeThe University of SydneyOpen to all international applicants
T. C. Beirne School of Law Undergraduate International Student ScholarshipThe University of QueenslandOpen to all international applicants
Monash University International Merit ScholarshipMonash UniversityOpen to all international applicants

You can search on the Study Australia website for all available scholarships in Australia for UK students, along with detailed eligibility requirements.

Can I study medicine in Australia coming from the UK?

You can absolutely study medicine in Australia from the UK, and there are a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses available.

Some of the most popular Australian universities for medicine study programmes include the University of Adelaide, James Cook University (JCU), the University of Tasmania and Monash University.⁵

For postgraduate Doctor of Medicine programmes, the University of Queensland, University of Melbourne and Australian National University are among the many options available for international students.⁵

To study medicine in Australia as an international student, you’ll need to apply through Study Options.⁵ This is the official application support service for students wanting to enrol in Australian and New Zealand universities.

What Master’s degree options are available in Australia?

There are a number of taught and research-based Master’s degrees available at institutions across Australia. Like in the UK, they tend to take around 1-2 years to complete.

Areas of study include engineering, creative arts, health, education and sciences. Programmes fall into either Masters of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MSc) categories, again just like at home.¹

There are a number of additional Master’s degrees in Australia too. These include a ‘Professional Development’ Masters, and a ‘Change of Direction’ Masters.

Is it cheaper to study in Australia or the UK?

Although it can vary between institutions and whether or not you have a scholarship, the cost of studying in Australia is broadly the same as the UK - although it can be cheaper for some courses.

Here’s a look at the average annual tuition fees for each country for international students:⁶

Type of programmeUKAustralia
Graduate£10,000 to £38,000£17,200 to £17,600
Post graduate£11,000 to £32,000£11,100 to £20,600

Money is always tight when you’re a student, especially when you’re moving to another country. To help your money go further, consider using the Wise debit card during your time in Australia. It automatically converts your British pounds to AUD at a fair exchange rate, for just a small conversion fee. There’s no need to worry about changing currency, carrying cash around, or even opening an Australian bank account right away.

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How affordable is moving to Australia as a student?

The cost of living in Australia is a little higher than in the UK, so you’ll need to factor this into your financial plans. Both rent and consumer prices are around 16% higher than the UK, and groceries are a whopping 47% more expensive.⁷

And that’s pretty much everything you need to know about going to study in Australia from the UK.

We’ve looked at everything from visas and entry requirements to tuition fees, scholarships and cost of living. You should be all set to start making your plans - the best of luck!

Sources used:

  1. Prospects - Study in Australia
  2. Australian Government Department of Home Affairs - Student Visa
  3. Australian Government Department of Home Affairs - Visa Processing Times
  4. Study Australia - Scholarship Search
  5. The Medic Portal - Study Medicine in Australia
  6. AECC Global - Australia vs. UK for International Students
  7. Numbeo - Cost of Living Comparison Between UK and Australia

Sources last checked on date: 02-Nov-2022

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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