Education in Australia

Australia’s education system has four main stages. 

  • Pre-primary school -  0-4 years of age
  • Primary school  - 5-12 years of age
  • Secondary school  - 13-17 years of age
  • Post-secondary school -  17 years and over. Post- secondary school study options include vocational education and training (VET) and higher education (degree and above).

Where Chisholm fits in

Chisholm is a government-funded Technical and Further Education (TAFE) provider, offering senior secondary school and post-secondary school qualifications, vocational training and degrees. For most post-secondary school qualifications, you need to meet the course admission requirements and have a minimum level of English language skills. Find out more about course requirements for international students.


Chisholm qualification levels

Bachelor degrees

Chisholm offers several niche degrees in health, the arts and engineering developed in conjunction with industry to meet current and future workforce requirements. Chisholm and La Trobe University work together to deliver the Bachelor of Accounting and Bachelor of Information Technology to students who wish to pursue degree-level studies while remaining at Chisholm.

Packaged offers

Packaged offers provide students with the opportunity to accept a place in a Chisholm diploma and university degree and take advantage of the streamlined visa processing system offered by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Read more about Packaged Offers.

Diploma to degree

Diploma-to-degree pathways provide students with a range of options to work towards a degree offered by several university and institute partners with secured credit transfer along the way. Packaged offers and diploma-to-degree options provide students with the opportunity to gain dual qualifications, secured credits and a reduction in the overall fees paid for their Australian education.

Diplomas and advanced diplomas

Vocational diploma study provides students with the opportunity to gain practical and industry-specific training in a shorter time frame than a bachelor degree. Courses range from certificate to diploma and advanced diploma. Most certificate studies take six months to one year, most diploma studies take one year and advanced diploma study may take one-and-a-half to two years.

Senior secondary school

Senior secondary school study provides students with the opportunity to achieve the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), an internationally renowned senior secondary school qualification. This qualification provides admission to universities in Australia and around the world. This two-year program may be reduced to a one-year or one-and-a-half year program with an assessment of senior secondary overseas qualifications.  Read more about the secondary school process.

English language

English language programs offer students the opportunity to develop their academic English skills in preparation for study at Chisholm or another provider. Offering classes from elementary to advanced, these programs provide students with the required listening, reading, writing and speaking skills to participate and achieve in further study.

Students may choose to enrol in the Academic English, General English or the IELTS preparation program.

The Academic English program is specifically designed for students to enhance their English skills before going on to further study.The General English program is designed for students who want to improve their English skills for employment and confidence living in an English-speaking country.

The IELTS program is specifically designed to prepare students to sit an IELTS test. Students develop their English skills as well as practice in a simulated test environment. 

Short courses

Short courses offer students the opportunity to develop a skill  to enhance employment opportunities or simply for enjoyment. Students can take a short course while enrolled in their full-time course or in holiday periods.


Family schooling in Victoria

 If you have school-aged dependants who will accompany you to Australia, you must enrol them at a school as fee-paying students.

There are three main providers of school-based education in Victoria:

Victorian Government schools

Independent schools

Catholic schools

All provide world class education for both primary and secondary school students.

Check the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection website for information about visas for dependants of student visa holders.