Academic year dates in Australia

The academic year in Australia varies depending on the type of study you are undertaking.

The academic year in Australia varies depending on the type of study you are undertaking.

Many institutions also offer a mid-year, or second semester start. Start dates and the number of semesters vary by course and institution, so please check directly on your institution’s website for details.

Below is a general guide on the academic year for the different levels of study in Australia:

Schools

  • Length - 13 years in total (Kindergarten/Preparatory to Year 12)
  • Semesters - 4 (usually called terms')
  • Starts - Late January/early February

English

  • Length - From 5 weeks to 1 year
  • Semesters - The year is split into weeks
  • Starts - Throughout the year

Foundation

  • Length - 1 year (some may be longer)
  • Semesters - The semester breaks will depend on your course
  • Starts - February but can vary by course and institutions

Vocational Education and Training

  • Length - 1 to 4 years
  • Semesters - Two
  • Starts - February, but can vary by course and institutions

Undergraduate

  • Length - Typically 3 years (4 years for honours degree)
  • Semesters - Two, although some institutions offer three semesters (trimesters)
  • Starts - Typically March, but can vary by course and institution

Postgraduate

  • Length - 1 to 2 years
  • Semesters - Two, although some institutions offer three semesters (trimesters)
  • Starts - Typically March, but can vary by course and institution

Doctoral

  • Length - 3 years (plus 1 year for review)
  • Semesters - As most doctoral candidates do not attend class, there are usually no formal semesters
  • Starts - Start dates are negotiated with PhD supervisor

Rate this page

  • Rate as Helpful204 Helpful votes
  • Rate as Not helpful125 Not helpful votes

More resources

How to apply

To study in Australia you'll need to apply for admission to an institution and a student visa from the Australian Government.

World-class education

When you study in Australia, you have the opportunity to pursue an outstanding education from leading institutions. Australia’s extraordinary heritage of innovation means your potential for success is ...

Education agents

If you need assistance with visas, institution applications or living arrangements, an education agent can help. Read about choosing a suitable agent.