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Australian way of studying

Most international students find the Australian teaching style to be quite different to what they are used to. In Australia, there is a focus on practical learning that encourages creative, independent thought and debate. Teachers aim to provide you with a thorough understanding of a topic rather than just teaching you the right words to remember for exams. You are expected to develop your own thoughts and share them with your fellow students during classes, and this class participation may be an assessable part of your grade.

Lectures, tutorials and classes

Classes at university will be a mixture of lectures and tutorials. A lecture might be attended by up to 200 students from different courses within your field. A tutorial is much smaller, with only about 30 students in attendance. You will discuss the information provided in your lecture with other students and your teacher during the tutorial. It is important that you attend all your lectures in order to understand and contribute to your tutorial discussions

At a vocational institution lectures and tutorials are generally combined. That is, the presentation of information and its discussion will occur at the same time. Vocational class sizes are generally smaller than classes at university.

At schools and English language institutions, you will join classes with up to 30 other students. Your teacher will encourage you to contribute to class discussions.


Your final grade for a course will be based on your performance in assignments (written and/or practical, depending on your course), exams, class participation, attendance and group exercises.

At university and vocational institutions you may be assessed continuously throughout the year, at the end of each semester and/or academic year.

Assessment of postgraduate research is made by a committee that evaluates the quality of your thesis. You may have to undertake an oral examination to support your thesis.


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