Low cost study in Australia

Last Updated on July 31, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

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Bachelors of Architecture in Australia is a three-year program costing around 96,000 AUD- 135,000 AUD. Australian universities invite applications for admissions to bachelors of architecture for February and July sessions. International students from India are required to have at least 70% or more (on average) to apply for bachelors of architecture in Australia. With eight state and territory architect boards in Australia, there are a variety of accredited programs to choose from. These programs are recognized in all the states within Australia. Currently, over 80 colleges offer architecture as a higher education degree in Australia.

The annual tuition fees of the program range between 32,500 to 45,100 AUD. This equals around 18 LPA to 23 LPA (exchange rate: Jul’20). After completion of your B.Arch degree in Australia, you cannot register as an Architect. To register as an architect you are required to have a masters in architecture from Australia or an internationally recognized university. However, you can still work after completion of the degree with other registered architects and earn around 60,000 AUD to 80,000 AUD per annum. Work experience gained with a registered architect after your bachelor’s will help you when you plan on registering as an architect yourself.

Why study Bachelors of Architecture in Australia?
Four Australian universities rank within the Top 50 Global Universities for Architectural program.
10 Australian universities rank within the Top 100 Global Universities for Architectural program.
According to the AACA (Architects Accreditation Council of Australia) reports, there are around 13,000 enterprises that employ 40,000 architects in Australia.
In 2017-2018, the sector generated an income of approximately A$ 34 billion which shows the rapid growth of the sector.
As per Job Outlook, a rise of over 12,000 jobs was observed in a time span of 2014-2019.
As per Department of Skills Education and Employment, architects and related jobs as categorized under skill-shortage programs. A shortage of skilled labor results in higher salary packages.
Bachelors of Architecture in Australia; Top Universities
There are more than 40 universities offering bachelors of architecture in Australia. Around 15 Australian Universities rank globally among top 250 for their architecture program, as per the QS top universities subject rankings 2020. Given below is a table providing details of some of the top-ranking universities, programs offered and the total program fees.

QS Global Subject-Wise RankingsUniversity NameCourses offeredCourse DurationProgram fee (AUD)
15University of SydneyBachelor of Design (architecture)3 years123,000
17University of MelbourneBachelor of Design ( architecture) 3 years102,336 – 133896
22RMIT UniversityBachelor of Architectural Design3 years123,840
25University of New South WalesBachelor of architectural studies3 years123,840
51-100University of QueenslandBachelor of architectural design3 years135,360
51-100Monash UniversityBachelor of architectural design3 years123,000
51-100Queensland University of technologyBachelor of Design (architecture)
Bachelor of Design (interior architecture)
Bachelor of Design (landscape architecture)
3 years108,300
51-100University of Technology SydneyBachelor of Design (architecture)3 years116,160
51-100University of NewcastleBachelor of Design ( architecture)3 years98,100
51-100Curtin UniversityBachelor of Applied Science (architectural sciences)3 years98,100
101-150University of AdelaideBachelor of architectural design3 years105,000
101-150Griffith UniversityBachelor of architectural design3 years97,500
101-150University of Western AustraliaBachelors of Architecture3 years110,100
151-200Deakin University Bachelor of Design (architecture)3 year96,000
Western Sydney UniversityBachelor of architectural design3 year99,000

Bachelors of Architecture in Australia: Admissions

Each university has its own minimum eligibility to be fulfilled. Most of the Australian Universities consider ATAR rank ( Australian Tertiary admission rank) for admissions. It is calculated using HSC (Higher secondary certificate) overall score and is an estimate of the particular student’s rank amongst the candidates of the same year group. In general, one must have completed the minimum qualification of 10+2 years to pursue a Bachelors of Architecture in Australia. The admission is usually offered in February and July months.

Bachelors of Architecture in Australia: Eligibility

Given below is a table for details on the university-specific eligibility criteria. This includes the ATAR ranks, score for Indian high school graduates, and language proficiency requirements that must be fulfilled by international students. To study in Australia, it is required that you fulfill these minimum requirements:

University nameATAR RANKCBSE Indian School CertificateGrade EquivalentTOEFL(iBT)IELTS
University of Sydney80-9216.592%A296(17/19)7.0
University of Melbourne75-80English Language scores are requiredEnglish Language scores are requiredA2796.5
RMITNAEnglish language is mandatory80%B1796.5
University of New South Wales801383B2 94(25/23)7.0
University of Queensland87NA77.5-85B1-A287(19/21)6.5
Monash UniversityNAEnglish is requiredEnglish is requiredNA79(21/18)6.5
Queensland University of Technology80+1260%+B2796.5
The University of Technology, Sydney75-95NANANA102-1096.5-7.5
University of New Castle14.570+B1NANA6.0
Curtin University7060%65%B2NA6.5
University of Adelaide75-8070%80%B179(18/21)6.5

Tuition fees and course costs for international students

According to StudyMove.com, the average tuition fee for international undergraduate students was AU$30,840 (~US$22,170) per year in 2018, and AU$31,596 (~US$22,700) for international postgraduates.

Study in Australia, the official government site for international students, gives the typical annual tuition fees for international graduate students as:

Master’s degree – AU$20,000 (US$14,400) to $37,000 (US$26,600);
Doctoral degree – AU$14,000 (US$10,060) to $37,000 (US$26,600).
These figures do not include high-value courses such as veterinary or medical degrees, which can cost significantly more.

Tuition fees at Australian universities are generally calculated per unit, not per year. Each unit falls into a fee band, and as most students will be studying a combination of units from different bands, fees will be different for everybody.

Some universities in Australia publish official fees estimates, including Australian National University (ANU), which is the nation’s highest-ranked institution (24th in the QS World University Rankings® 2019). The yearly cost of an international undergraduate degree from ANU ranges from AU$36,400 (~US$26,150) for some Bachelor of Arts programs, up to AU$43,680 (~US$31,380) for Bachelor of Science or Medical Science programs.

For graduate degree programs, annual fees start from AU$36,480 (~US$26,200) for a few master’s programs and reach up to AU$45,600 (~US$32,760).

PhD programs are priced similarly, starting at the end of the scale, from AU$ $41,280 (~US$29,650) upwards. In a league of its own, however, is ANU’s Doctorate of Medicine and Surgery degree, which costs AU$80,136 (~US$57,800).

Another cost to consider is the Student Services and Amenities fee, which is a charge for services and amenities of a non-academic nature, up to a maximum of AU$298 (~US$214) in 2018. Not all universities in Australia charge this, but make sure you check beforehand so it’s not an unexpected expense.

Tuition fees and course costs for domestic students
As with many other places around the world, it’s cheaper to study in Australia for domestic students, especially those who successfully apply for a Commonwealth supported place, which means study costs are largely subsidized by the government. Commonwealth supported places are available at all public universities in Australia and some – but not all – private ones.

Student contribution amounts vary depending on where and what you study, but are capped by the government. The government sets the minimum and maximum range for each fee band, which, for 2018, is AU$0-6,444 for Band 1; AU$0-9,185 for Band 2; and AU$0-10,754 for Band 3.

You will need to work out your total tuition fees by identifying which subjects or units are covered by each band, and how many credits (expressed as a fraction, e.g. 12/96 = 0.125 EFTSL) you get for each unit. Multiply this EFTSL figure (0.125) by the band fee charge to get the total cost per unit. Or, alternatively, you can just use an online calculator. Most institutions provide one on their website.

Tuition fees for domestic graduate students are worked out in a similar way. Some institutions publish estimates of the yearly fee for graduate students. For example the University of Melbourne lists prices for 2019 ranging from AU$19,008 per year for Master of Psychiatry, up to AU$57,088 for a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Some graduate programs also offer Commonwealth-assisted places, so check with the institution.

Unlike international students, domestic students are eligible for the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP). There are five types of government loans available to Australian citizens and permanent humanitarian visa holders. HECS-HELP is a scheme which helps Commonwealth supported students to pay their student contribution amount; FEE-HELP covers tuition fees for fee-paying students; SA-HELP pays the student services and amenities fee; OS-HELP pays some overseas study expenses; and VET Student Loans pay for vocational education and training fees.

Australian scholarships and fellowships
The Australia Awards are international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian government, available to Australian nationals and citizens from other eligible countries, a list which covers the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific area and Asia.

The Australia Awards Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are mainly for postgraduate-level study and research. Out of the four funds available for international applicants, one is a short-term research fellowship for graduates and postgraduates (maximum award of AU$24,500 for studies of up to six months), one is for professional development (maximum award of AU$18,500 for up to four months) and one is for vocational education and training for a diploma or associate’s degree (VET) offering up to AU$6,500 per semester for up to two and a half years (maximum award AU$131,000).

International graduate students looking to gain funding for a full master’s or PhD program should apply for the Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship, which offers up to AU$15,000 per semester for a duration of up to two years for master’s students and four years for PhD students (maximum award AU$140,500 for master’s, AU$272,500 for PhD).

It is recommended that you apply early for all Australian scholarships and fellowships. Applications for funding in 2019 are closed, and applications for the 2020 round are expected to open in late April 2019.

If you’re a graduate student from the UK, you can apply for the Northcote Graduate Scholarship from the Britain-Australia Society. This funds for your travel there and back, tuition fees and charges, and also provides an allowance for three years while you study.

For all undergraduate and postgraduate students, check with the Australian universities you are interested in, as many offer scholarships open to both domestic and international students at both levels. For more funding opportunities, visit our list of scholarships to study in Australia.

Cost of living in Australia
As mentioned, the Australian government’s Department of Home Affairs says you must prove you have AU$20,290 (~US$14,600) for living costs per year. If you’re bringing a partner you’ll need to add AU$7,100 (~US$5,100) to this figure, and if you have children, you’ll need to show you have an additional AU$3,040 (~US$2,200) for each child.

As well as proof of these funds, you will also need to show you have a return air fare for yourself and every family member you take with you, as well as enough money to cover the school fees of any children you have between age five and 18.

Although the above outlines the amount required by Australia’s immigration standards, you may not need to spend that much once you arrive. The official Study in Australia guidelines recommend budgeting between AU$85 (~US$61) and AU$440 (~US$317) per week for accommodation, depending on whether you stay in shared accommodation on campus (the cheapest), or in private rented accommodation (the most expensive).

Other weekly expenses include:

Groceries and eating out – $80 to $280 per week (~US$57-201)
Gas, electricity – $35 to $140 (~US$25-100)
Phone and Internet – $20 to $55 (~US$14-40)
Public transport – $15 to $55 (~US$11-40)
Car (after purchase) – $150 to $260 (~US$108-187)
Entertainment – $80 to $150 (~US$57-108)
To simplify, this works out to a minimum of around AU$311 (~US$224) per week.

Most Australian universities provide detailed breakdowns of the cost of living in Australia on their websites, including student accommodation and sometimes even local area prices and advice. For example, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology offers a handy Shopping Smarter page with links and tips for discounted shopping.

Remember the costs listed by the university will usually be for an academic year (about 40 weeks), rather than a calendar year, so you will need to budget extra if you want to stay longer.

Student visa costs for Australia
The fee for the Student Visa (Subclass 500) currently stands at AU$575 (~US$414). As a visa requirement, you will need to organize Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for yourself and any accompanying family members, which needs to be valid for the duration of your stay. You don’t have to use the provider your university recommends, but, whichever you choose, ensure it is government-approved.

OSHC Australia provides a search function which can be used to compare quotes for medical insurance from authorized providers. We found the cheapest option for a standard undergraduate student (duration three years, starting in March and finishing in December) with no accompanying family to be AU$2,149.10 (~US$1,550).

Tuition fees at top-ranked universities

Here is a list of average tuition fees at the top-ranked Australian universities:

Australian National University – tuition between 28,000 and 48,500 AUD/year
University of Sydney – tuition between 36,000 and 57,000 AUD/year
University of Queensland – tuition between 2,500 and 46,000 AUD/year
At these top universities, some Business and Medicine programmes cost over 60,000 AUD/year.

Find detailed information about fees at best ranked Australian universities.

  1. Average student living costs in Australia
    International students living in Australia need between 1,400 and 2,500 AUD/month to cover all their living expenses, including accommodation, food, and social activities. Keep in mind that when you apply for the student visa in Australia, you will need to prove you have the financial resources to live and study in the country.

Check the average budget you’ll need for some of the most popular student cities in Australia:

Sydney: starting at 1,900 AUD/month
Adelaide: starting at 1,300 AUD/month
Brisbane: starting at 1,400 AUD/month
Melbourne: starting at 1,500 AUD/month
Canberra: starting at 1,400 AUD/month
You can also use a cost of living calculator to determine how much money you need if you want to study in Australia.

The Flinders Street Railway Station, in Melbourne, Australia

  1. Accommodation costs in Australia
    Most universities provide a small number of student dormitories for on-campus-accommodation. That’s why many international students choose to rent a private property or live with a local family (homestay).

Average prices for common accommodation options:

Homestay: 450 – 1,200 AUD/month
Student halls of residence: 440 – 1,100 AUD/month
Rent an apartment: 750 – 1,700 AUD/month
Share a rented apartment/house: 380 – 850 AUD/month
You can find quality affordable student halls in Australia at BestStudentHalls.com

Other costs associated with accommodation
Apart from rent, your accommodation requires extra expenses, like:

Utilities: around 200 AUD/month
Internet: 70 – 120 AUD/month

  1. Food costs in Australia
    Groceries are available in local supermarkets and usually require around 500 – 1,000 AUD per month. You can save some money by shopping at the cheapest supermarkets, like Aldi, Coles and Woolworths.

The average cost of a meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs 18 AUD, while a three-course meal for two is 80 AUD. You can also choose from various Asian, Greek and Italian restaurants if you enjoy their specific cuisine.

  1. Transportation costs in Australia
    Some universities have a private transport supplier that helps students who stay on campus or those who need to reach some remote areas.

Depending on the area you are living in, you can benefit from other discounts from state programmes such as QLD (Queensland), SA (South Australia), or VIC (Melbourne). Otherwise, a public transport pass for students costs between 30 and 70 AUD/month, depending on the city.

You can also get around using a bicycle. You can rent one for around 40 AUD per day.

Extra costs
Books and other study materials: between 500 – 1,000 AUD/year
Health insurance: rates start at 30 AUD/month
You can also use the Numbeo website to check out other prices and costs in Australia.

Find Masters in Australia

  1. Scholarships and student funding in Australia
    There are many scholarships and grants available to international students who want to study in Australia. Some of the main providers are the Australian Government, higher education institutions, and other public or private organisations.

Each scholarship provider is responsible for establishing the application criteria, but most financial aid opportunities are available to all international students. You can visit the Study in Australia official website to explore the full list of scholarships.

Here are some examples of scholarships:

Australia Awards – scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian Government that cover full tuition fees, travel expenses and part of the monthly living costs.
Australia APEC Women in Research Fellowship Program – offers financial support to female researchers who come from APEC economies and plan to pursue a research programme in partnership with Australian universities.
Destination Australia Program (DAP) – mobility program financed by the Australian Government, which encourages both local and international students to enrol at academic institutions in the regional areas of Australia.
You can also check out the Studyportals Scholarship to get some help on financing your studies abroad.


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