Applying To An Australian Uni As A Poly Student? Read THIS First

Poly To Australian Uni

Are you thinking of applying to an overseas university after completing polytechnic? As an international student in Australia, here’s my experience!

Can I apply for an Australian university after polytechnic?

Local universities are hard to get in with the rising entry standards. If you can’t seem to get accepted locally, the next best option may be an overseas university. You will not be competing with the many top-performing pre-university students in Singapore.

I did not do too well in polytechnic and chose an Australian university as my route.

Your grade point average (GPA) is a requirement depending on your selected university. Yet, the minimum entry points required is not as high as local universities! I have seen some overseas universities with an entry GPA requirement of 2.0.

For Australian universities, they may need additional tests based on your selected course. Oftentimes, it is to help the student learn English before commencing university. Teachings in Australia are in English, so there are no extra language tests required on your end!

What’s more, you are able to bring your related polytechnic course credit units to the university. Credit units are the official course units that are granted when you have completed the according module. This means there will be fewer courses you need to enrol in, which will greatly help to lighten your workload.

Do take the time to look through your polytechnic’s academic transcript to help your selected university list out the matching modules. Additionally, your school fees will be reduced too!

This is dependent on how your selected university reviews your polytechnic course.

What is the application process like?

There are international education specialists to help you make things easier. IDP can help by listing your university options based on your academic background. They are a team of education counsellors that support potential international university students. Furthermore, they will walk you through the application process once you have made your decision.

Personally, I had a few application complications due to COVID-19, but my counsellor helped me to solve the issues. 

You can contact an education counsellor by clicking on the link above. 

What’s more, there will be no cost to you for the consultation!

Once you have chosen your ideal university, you will need to submit your academic transcript. This is to verify if your credit units can be brought over to offset some courses in the university. Singaporean polytechnics are generally accepted as an industry standard in Australian universities. Hence, you should be granted these credit units.

If your GPA is too low, you may not be granted these credit units.

After your selected university accepts you, you will get a Certificate of Enrolment (CoE) and an offer letter through email.

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You will then need to apply for an international student visa to enter Australia. If you have gone with IDP to assist you in your application, they can help. If not, you will have to apply for your visa at the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs.

There are several documents to fill up online and it can take awhile for the application to be approved.

The application requires:

  • Personal details
  • Passport number
  • CoE to prove you are enrolled into a university

The process includes various questionnaires about personal attributes and family members.

Unfortunately, there are health checkups and biometric scans you will need to go for. This is for the visa application process and it is unavoidable! You will also need to pay for these services.

What are the costs involved?

These are the fees for the necessary application process:

Administrative RequirementsCost
Visa application$600+/-
Health checkup$200+/-

Local universities are subsidised for Singaporeans. Studying abroad would cost more with the higher university fees alone. What’s more, you will have to take into account various other factors such as accommodation, basic necessities and course materials.

At the end of the day, these fees depend on the university you have selected and the number of modules required. Some degrees cost more and take longer to complete than others. The table below compares the local universities with an Australian international university cost.

Undergraduate courseCost for one year
NUS/NTU (subsidised)$8,200 – 9,600
The University of Melbourne$32,000

Cost of living in Australia can be more expensive. As such, you may need to find part-time work to offset these expenses while studying abroad. This being said, the wages paid for work in Australia are better. It makes sense financially to earn money with the pay provided. There is a minimum wage for the workforce, and a job at a cafe might get you around AUD$25 per hour depending on their wages. 

This is a big jump from the usual SGD$7-10 per hour wage in Singapore!

The maximum amount of hours you can work is limited to student visa holders. However, I have seen “under the table” jobs for international students that pay less, but provide more working hours. 

Currently, this working hours measure has been relaxed to enable more students to work.


I recommend going through IDP to help with your application process. They have helped me with my university application from start to end. The education counsellors seem to be experienced in many student cases. They can answer any of your further questions!

If you can get into a local university, I would still suggest going down that route. It is a cheaper option that will put you in an excellent position in the future. Even so, studying abroad does not make you less worthy! 

You can find out how going to a Singapore university from a polytechnic works here.

There are many good universities out there that may be better suited to what you want to learn. Take the opportunity to leave the country and see the world! It will broaden your worldview and help to gain your independence. 

It is a journey I will not regret, although I do miss the food of home!

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