A diploma is a qualification that often takes 1 to 2 years on a full-time study. The program of the diploma course is designed to provide specialised skills and knowledge in a particular industry. A diploma is often used to obtain the skills required to work but can be used to transfer into higher qualifications such as an associate degree or bachelor’s degree, although this is dependent on the nature of the diploma obtained. The coursework of a diploma is often more practical than a normal bachelor degree.
Diplomas are an attractive opportunity compared to a degree, as it takes a short period of time to complete and are often cost lower compared to degrees and provide the skills and technical knowledge for professions that are currently in demand within Australia. These professions are also more likely to offer a higher wage compared to a job obtained by a bachelor degree graduate in their first year of study.
In Australia, diploma qualifications are ranked at the 5th level of the Australian Qualifications Framework. For some international students, a diploma can also provide preparation for a bachelor’s degree.
With many pathways to entry and the opportunity to move into a bachelor degree or further study, diplomas are perfect for an international student to begin a pathway to permanent residency in Australia. Some of these pathways include programs such as the RMIT Vocational Education, a program provided by RMIT and provides an excellent pathway to university degrees. Some RMIT Vocational Education programs can give up to two years credit toward an RMIT bachelor degree.
For international students who are not ready to commit to a bachelor program, due to time constraints or hesitation on career pathways, these programs could be the best option to study in Australia whilst gaining time before committing to a degree. Learn more about RMIT Vocational Education.
The Annual Tuition Fee for a diploma is less compared to the Bachelor degree. The difference in costs will vary depending on the course and institution, but on average, typically costs from $8,000- $28,000 AUD per year. Nevertheless, you can typically expect to pay much less for a diploma than a bachelor degree.
English Language requirements for diplomas
International students must meet both academic and English language entry requirements to study an award course at university. Entry requirements for a diploma are typically much less competitive than for bachelor degrees. English language requirements are outlined on each diploma course details. As a guide, for the majority of courses you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved one of the following levels of English language proficiency:
IELTS (Academic Module): Overall score of 5.5 (no band less than 5.0)
TOEFL Internet: Overall score of 55. Section scores no less than:
Pearson Test of English (PTE): Overall score of 42-49 (no section score less than 40)
University of Cambridge – Advanced (CAE): Overall score of 162. No individual band less than 154.
After Diploma completion
International students who have completed at least 2 years of study within Australia are eligible to obtain a Graduate Temporary Subclass 485 Visa (Click here for more detail) to remain in Australia to continue to work, to gain the work experience. For those who have graduated with diploma, they are eligible for the graduate work stream, which allows successful applicants to stay within Australia for a further 18 months.
Applicants for the graduate work stream must nominate an occupation that is currently listed on the skilled occupation list and has obtained a qualification that is relevant to the nominated occupation. This means that someone with a diploma in music cannot nominate an accountant as his or her nominated occupation. This is enforced by the skills assessment on their nominate occupation, which ensures that the applicant has the relevant skills to work in their nominated occupation.
Pathway to permanent residency
Many temporary graduate visa 485 holders use their time on this visa to build up the skills and requirements necessary to apply for a permanent general skilled visa in Australia. Anytime throughout the temporary graduate visa, visa holders can apply for another permanent visa, for more details visit Australia Department of Home Affairs.
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