Australian Universities and Colleges: A Complete Guide on Types of Universities and Master’s Programs in Australia

This complete guide provides information on the types of universities and master's programs in Australia. Explore the top universities, types of master's programs, and scholarships available.

Australian Universities and Colleges: A Complete Guide on Types of Universities and Master’s Programs in Australia
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Apr 25, 2023 08:53 AM
Home to 43 Universities, out of which 7 are in the top 100 Times Higher Education’s World University rankings, Australia has a lot to offer! Innovative as well as tried and tested age-old methodologies of education, diversity in classrooms, latest technology and cutting-edge programs, Australian Universities are forerunners in all aspects. This blog will categories the different types of Australian Universities so that you can choose where you want to study. Read on to find out.
Australian Universities mainly fall under one of these five categories.
  1. 1960s – 1970s Universities
  1. Australian Technology Network (ATN)
  1. Group of Eight (Go8)
  1. Regional Universities
  1. New Generation Universities

1. The 1960s - 1970s Universities

During the mid- 1060 to the 1970 era, Universities in the mainland capitals were set up by the state government to cater to the increasing demand for higher education. The main aim of these Universities was to design a new education pattern which was different and more advanced than the traditional University pattern at that time.
Universities List:
  • The University of Newcastle
  • James Cook University
  • Deakin University
  • Macquarie University
  • La Trobe University
  • Murdoch University
  • The University of Wollongong
  • Flinders University
  • Griffith University
Apart from their approach to education, these Universities differ from traditional Universities due to their medium-sized budgets allocated for research.

2. Australian Technology Network (ATN)

ATN was formed in 1999. It is a group of six Australian Universities whose primary aim is to provide impactful and innovative technological solutions for modern-day problems to improve the economy and society. ATN was first formed in 1975 as the Directors of Central Institutes of Technology (DOCIT); however, in 1982, it was disbanded because of some differences between its founding members.
Universities List:
  • Curtin University
  • Deakin University
  • RMIT University
  • The University of Newcastle
  • University of South Australia
  • University of Technology Sydney
These Australian Universities were established as technical institutes and were officially granted the University title and status after 1987. These institutes are regarded as forerunners and expert institutes in technological study.

3. Group of Eight (Go8)

This group comprises the most prominent and oldest Australian Universities that are pioneers in research and education. Established in 1999, the Group of Eight (Go8) is famous worldwide for providing state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities. International Students prefer these Australian Universities as part of this cluster due to their high rankings, availability of abundant research opportunities and strong industrial connections.
Universities List:
  • University of Melbourne
  • Australian National University
  • University of Sydney
  • The University of Queensland
  • Monash University
  • The University of New South Wales Sydney
  • The University of Western Australia
  • The University of Adelaide
These Australian Universities are considered the top 8 in the country and are renowned worldwide for their quality education and research facilities. All Nobel Prize winners from the country have been associated with these Universities at some point in their lives. Around 70% of the research comes from these 8 Australian Universities, which impact the world and contribute to the betterment of different sectors like healthcare, cyber security, agriculture and more.

4. Regional Universities

Seven Australian Universities fall under the Regional Universities Network (RUN), established in 2011. This group of Universities aims to contribute to the improvement of regional economies and communities. This cluster of Australian Universities works to ensure that Higher Education is accessible and achievable to everyone and that they train and equip students with the skills required for regional and national development.
Universities List:
  • University of New England
  • Federation University
  • University of Southern Queensland
  • University of the Sunshine Coast (USC)
  • CQ University Australia
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Southern Cross University
These Universities attract many students, delivering the best educational programs to 185,000 students and 102,000 students externally. These Australian Universities also partner with other training providers such as TAFE to meet regional skill requirements and ensure a steady supply of trained professionals such as teachers, nurses, health professionals etc.

5. New Generation Universities

Australian Universities are in a constant state of advancement by staying ahead in all fields and improving their teaching methodologies to cater to the student’s needs and demands. The network of these New Generation Universities aims to provide world-class facilities with the latest technology and courses to keep up with the trends in the education world. This cluster of Universities was established as a group in 2002.
Universities List:
  • Australian Catholic University
  • Bond University
  • Canberra University
  • Edith Cowan University
  • The University of Notre Dame
  • Victoria University
  • Western Sydney University
These Australian Universities are considered some of the top-notch Universities in the country, with continuously developing research and education expertise.
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Types of Master’s in Australia

Three types of Master’s programs are mainly offered in Australian Universities. The options offered in these Universities under these types are endless. This is not a comparison between the types where one is better than the other. It is a matter of preference as all these courses and Master’s programs are undoubtedly top-notch. The kinds of Australian University Master’s can be classified as follows:
  1. Traditional Masters
  1. ‘Change of Direction’ Masters
  1. Professional Masters

1. Traditional Masters

As the name suggests, this type of Master’s offers the chance to study a specific subject in detail. They are delivered through a combination of teaching and research, with the majority including a final dissertation or project.

2. 'Change of Direction' Masters

This Master’s program offered in Australian Universities allows students to switch academic streams or pathways. Students can also pursue a ‘Change of Direction’ Master’s to gain additional expertise in another field of study. They start by giving the student an understanding of the basic principles and knowledge of the subject, then move on to advanced training in the selected specialisation.

3. Professional Masters

This Master’s program focuses on training and equipping students with the skills required for a specific domain or field. It is for students who have already completed an undergraduate or graduate degree and want to develop professional and vocational skills and expertise in a related career. These programs usually require some existing qualifications and experience.

Top Master’s Programs in Australian Universities

These are some of the top programs offered by Australian Universities; however, it depends on your interest in which program you choose. All courses and programs are available in Australia, and the Universities offer the best of world-class education in various aspects.
Course name
Popular University for the course
Total Fees (AUD)
Masters of Business Administration – MBA
Melbourne Business School (part of the University of Melbourne)   Australian Graduate School of Management – AGSM Business School (part of University of New South Wales)
78,500 – 100,000
Master of Science in Computer Science/ Information Technology
75,000 – 80,000
Master of Engineering (with specialisation in a specific field)
40,000 – 53,000
Master of Finance
70,000 – 103,000
Master of Data Science
50,000 – 76,000
Important note: The fee is subject to change in the new academic year. Please refer to the specific University’s course page for the updated fee before applying.


Australia is becoming or has already become a dream destination for education for an increasing number of students who wish to go abroad and study there due to its advanced teaching methodology, multicultural atmosphere and even its beautiful scenery! Australian Universities provide outstanding education, be it any field; however, the fees may be burdensome for some. This blog has covered the best degrees and ways to get scholarships so that you do not have to compromise for the University of your dreams. Almost every Australian University has its own Scholarship and Financial aid programs you can apply for. While some are merit-based and award scholarships for outstanding academic achievements, some even offer financial aid based on work experience and volunteering.
Find out all about Scholarships to study in Australia here.
To visit the official Australian Government website for more information about different Australian Universities offering Scholarships, click here.


Australian Universities constantly rank among the top Universities in the world according to various rankings like the QS, ARWU and THE ranking. Apart from affordable, world-class education facilities, Australia also offers high quality of life, a multicultural environment and an experience like no other. It is no wonder that admission to Australian Universities is at an all-time high. In this blog, we have covered different types of Australian Universities and Master programs, including some of the top programs and the scholarships available in these Universities.