Top Universities in Adelaide for International Students in 2023

The top universities in Adelaide are University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, Flinders University, Carnegie Mellon University and Torrens University. This is what we are going to look at today.

Did you know? The southern state of Australia has over 35,000 overseas students studying and living in the state and Adelaide hosts the majority of them. So, if you are considering studying in Australia, Adelaide is one of the important education destinations for you to consider.

In this article, we will be looking at

What are the benefits of studying at the top colleges in Adelaide?

The capital city of South Australia, Adelaide is on its way to become the country’s education hub with the efforts of the government. It is the birthplace of three Nobel laureates, more than any other Australian city: physicist William Lawrence Bragg and pathologists Howard Florey and Robin Warren. So, why study in Adelaide?

1. Great employment outcomes: For any international student, one of the biggest factors influencing his/ her choices is the job opportunities that he/ she will have on completion of the course. This is where the city of Adelaide stands at a huge advantage because the top universities have some of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, as you will see in the following sections. You can get a post-study work visa and stay in the country, along with your immediate family, for a period of 2-4 years, depending on your qualification.

2. Internationally recognized universities: The state government is pushing to carve Adelaide into the top international education destination in Australia. This includes ensuring world-class amenities in the universities and opening up the city for reputed foreign universities to establish their campuses. A degree from University of Adelaide or UniSA is recognised internationally and opens career doors worldwide.

3. Affordable cost of living: Compared to more populous cities such as Sydney or Melbourne, Adelaide is 19% more affordable and 7% more affordable than Perth or Brisbane. This makes the city more welcoming to foreign students.

4. Immerse into the Culture: The universities in Adelaide are rooted in the culture of the native islanders and its colonial past. Your life in Adelaide, beyond academics, will be enriched by the local festivals, shopping, and a vibrant social life. The Mediterranean climate also promises pleasant weather throughout the year.

How much does it cost to study in Adelaide?

The university fees vary with different ones, depending on whether they are private or public. On an average, yearly tuition can be anywhere between $35,000 – $55,000 AUD, depending on your choice of course and school.

That said, we list cost of living as one of the most significant advantages of studying in Adelaide. How much does it really cost?

According to the University of Adelaide estimator, your monthly expenses can be anywhere between $1,500 – $2,800 AUD, depending on your lifestyle. The following is a typical monthly budget:

Rent – $540 – 1,500

Food – $400

Electricity, gas – $180

Transport – $100

Telephone, postage – $80

Other – $200

It is also good to budget about $500 AUD, annually for your OSHC (Overseas Student Health Cover).

What are the scholarship options for the best universities in Adelaide?

As an international student, the sheer cost of tuition, travel and life abroad can be a deterrent. But, it definitely need not be the case. Financial aid is a boon for students, easing the burden of their higher education.

Typically, any form of financial aid, scholarships or bursaries, are offered by one of four parties: the government of the destination country, the government of the home country, the university, and external organizations.

The individual scholarships of the different Adelaide universities are listed under their respective sections. Here, we will look at the government scholarships for overseas students.

1. Australia Awards: This program brings together scholarships offered by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT), the Department of Education and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). Most of the top universities are partnered with this program. In addition to financial aid, students who win this award are also provided other support in their journey of international education.

2. Destination Australia Program: This governmental program funds tertiary education providers to offer scholarships to both domestic and foreign students. The awards go up to $15,000 per student per year.

3. Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP): Open to students of Master’s Research courses or doctoral programs, RTP is a single flexible funding pool for both domestic and students from abroad undertaking research. You can get either a fee offset, a stipend or an allowance according to this scheme.

You can find out what scholarships you are eligible for, here.

What are the best universities in Adelaide for international students?

For a university in Australia to enroll overseas students, it must be registered with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and have a CRICOS code. This code is important for your student visa applications, once you have received your offer letter.

That said, the top universities in Adelaide are:

  • University of Adelaide
  • University of South Australia
  • Flinders University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Torrens University

1. University of Adelaide

Source: University of Adelaide

Established in 1874, the University of Adelaide, also referred as a Level 1 university in Australia, is the third oldest university in all of Australia. A public research university, Adelaide University functions through three faculties, each having its constituent schools. The faculties are: the Faculty of Sciences, Engineering, and Technology (SET), the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, and the Faculty of Arts, Business, Law, and Economics (ABLE).

Currently, the university is ranked 109 of the top universities in the world by QS Ranking and 88 by Times Higher Education World Ranking. It is one of the most research-intensive universities in Australia, securing over $180 million for its research funding every year. The university is also partnered with the Australian Space Agency to work on astronomy and space research.

The university has a number of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs as well as a multitude of student associations to provide for rich student life.

Campus: North Terrace, Adelaide City Centre (Main campus, bordered by the Art Gallery of South Australia), Roseworthy campus, Waite campus at Urrbrae, Melbourne, and an overseas education center in Singapore

Why is it good to study here?

In addition to its top-ranking and internationally recognized education, the university is also known for its world-class facilities and research centers. Adelaide University is a member of the prestigious Group of Eight universities in Australia, known for its research and contribution to society. It is the alma mater of five Nobel Laureates and over 100 Rhodes Scholars.

Over 30% of the student body at Adelaide University is composed of foreign students, making a very diverse and multicultural campus. The university has also played a significant role in the women’s rights movement in Australia. As a testament to its stance on women’s education rights, Australia’s first woman Prime Minister and the country’s first woman astronaut have all graduated from here.

The university also has over 400 bachelor’s and master’s coursework degrees, giving you plenty of options to choose from. Each of these departments and courses is supported by generous scholarships that can ease the financial burden of being an international student. The university is also ranked number 1 in the state for graduate employability, which means that your chances of finding a job after graduation is extremely high.


The average tuition fee ranges between $18,480 – $21,730 AUD per semester.

A number of scholarship options also exist. You can look into

  • Global Citizens Scholarship
  • Global Academic Excellence Scholarship
  • Higher Education Scholarship
  • Ashok Khurana Scholarship for Outstanding Indian Student
  • And a number of other options specifically associated with the pathway providers.


For an undergraduate course:

  • Class XII of CBSE/ ISC/ State Board Examination. The cut-off percentage changes with every course. The score of the best three academic subjects, not including languages, will be taken into consideration.
  • IELTS/ TOEFL/ PTE/ CAE test scores to show proof of English language proficiency
  • You can also get admission after successfully completing a foundation program from any of the other Australian universities or colleges.
  • Some programs, such as the ones offered by the School of Medicine, might also have an entrance test.
  • For specific eligibility criteria, you can look at your degree in the Degree Finder.

For a master’s course:

  • A recognized bachelor’s degree in a relevant field is required.
  • IELTS/ TOEFL/ PTE/ CAE test scores to show proof of English language proficiency
  • Certain specific degrees such as MBA require work experience. For specific eligibility criteria, you can look at your degree in the Degree Finder.

Courses Offered and Admission Process

Over four hundred degrees are offered by the University of Adelaide. You can pre-assess your suitability by ensuring you meet all the admission requirements. Ensure you have the right deadlines. You will also have to mail certified documents to the university and then wait for their letter of offer.

2. University of South Australia

Source: ARNTP

Often referred to as UniSA, it is the largest public research university in the state with over 37,000 students. The South Australian Institute of Technology, SA School of Arts, and South Australian College of Advanced Education merged together in 1991 to form UniSA.

The university’s academic structure consists of seven Academic Units:

  • UniSA Allied Health & Human Performance
  • UniSA Clinical & Health Sciences
  • UniSA Business
  • UniSA Creative
  • UniSA Education Futures
  • UniSA Justice & Society
  • UniSA STEM

This university is ranked 363 in the world by QS World University rankings. It was also ranked 29th in the QS list of 50 universities aged under 50 in 2021. It offers hundreds of programs at the undergraduate, master’s, and research levels for students from all over the globe.

Campus: Adelaide City Center, Mawson Lakes, Magill, Whyalla, and Mount Gambier

Why is it good to study here?

As one of the world’s top young universities, one can be guaranteed that the academic journey will be innovative and adventurous. In the 2021 QILT Employer Satisfaction Survey, UniSA was ranked 2 among all the universities in Australia for graduate employability.

If you are not necessarily looking for employment, but want to broaden the horizon of your discipline with research, the university has got you covered. In 2018, this institute was ranked 1 in Australia for its research impact and engagement. Since then, the university has been producing world-class research. The university is also renowned for being in the top 5 for producing the greatest number of CEOs in Australia.

As one of the most diverse centers of learning, both at the faculty and the student level, your time spent at the university will prepare you for the globalized work culture and help you be borderless.


The tuition Fee for 4 courses (18 units) is AUD $10,000.

The university does offer a number of scholarship options that provide financial assistance, greater work opportunities, mentoring opportunities, or even travel opportunities. You can look into:

  • Vice Chancellor’s International Excellence Scholarships
  • International Merit Scholarship
  • UniSA Future International Scholarships and Sponsorships
  • Course-based Scholarships for International Students


For undergraduate courses:

  • Successful completion of Senior Secondary Certificate (10+2) with an average of at least 60% in the best four subjects (excluding any local languages) or Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 26 in the best six subjects in IB.
  • Or completion of a recognized Pathway or Foundation Studies Program
  • IELTS/ TOEFL/ PTE/ CAE test scores to show proof of English language proficiency

For master’s courses:

  • At the master’s level, whether you are applying for coursework or a research degree, you must have completed your bachelor’s from a local university or any other recognized university abroad.
  • Some courses require you to show professional work experience.
  • IELTS/ TOEFL/ PTE/ CAE test scores to show proof of English language proficiency

Courses Offered and Admission Process

It has hundreds of courses at the undergraduate and master’s levels. At the master’s level, you can choose between coursework which is a taught model, or a research-based program, across disciplines ranging from accounting, computer science, civil engineering, nursing, healthcare, and humanities to the different social sciences. You can access their full list of programs here.

The admission process is as follows:

Step 1: Choose the program that is best suited to your needs

Step 2: Ensure you check all the entry requirements, both at the university level and the individual program level.

Step 3: Your application must go through a recognized UniSA education agent. TC Global is a recognised agent for the university

Step 4: Upload all necessary information, transcripts, and the application form through their online portal. Note that the university does not charge any application fees.

3. Flinders University

Source: Flinders University

Named after Mathew Flinders, a British cartographer, and navigator who explored and surveyed Australia’s coastline in the 19th century, Flinders University is a public research university based in Adelaide. In 2023, QS World University Rankings ranked Flinders at 425 worldwide while the Times Higher Education Ranking (THE) placed it at 266. The university ranks 23rd in Australia.

A member of the Innovative Research Universities Group, the university has pioneered an interdisciplinary approach to professional learning. Every year, over 5,000 overseas students from over 90 countries call Flinders their home.

Campus: The main campus is in Bedford Park, about 12 kilometers from the Adelaide City Center. The university also has a presence in Victoria Square and Tonsley.

Why is it good to study here?

International facilities and faculty aside, one of the key reasons many students choose Flinders is for its high post-graduation employability rates. The university leads the nation in postgraduate employment outcomes. It is also the only university in the Adelaide Metropolitan area offering on-campus accommodation, should you choose it. The university is also known for its excellent student services and a high rate of student satisfaction.


The tuition fee ranges from $31,400 – $40,900 AUD, depending on the choice of your course.

The university offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships to support international students to pursue their educational and career goals.

  • Go Beyond Scholarships (50% reduction in tuition fees for the duration of the program)
  • Excellence Scholarships (25% reduction in tuition fees for the duration of the program)
  • Global Scholarships (20% reduction in tuition fees for the duration of the program)
  • Pathways Scholarships (20% reduction in tuition fees for the duration of the program, If you are currently studying a recognised pathway program)
  • External Scholarships and funding options.


For undergraduate admissions:

  • Completion of a CBSE School Certificate with an average of at least 65% in the best 4 subjects (excluding local language) or completion of an ISC School Certificate with an average of at least 70% in the best 4 subjects (excluding local language)
  • IELTS/ TOEFL/ PTE/ CAE test scores to show proof of English language proficiency. You can check the minimum score cut-off here.

For master’s admissions:

  • The equivalent of a three-year bachelor’s degree.
  • Some degrees may require work experience to meet the entry requirements.
  • A reference or statement from the employer will be required.
  • IELTS/ TOEFL/ PTE/ CAE test scores to show proof of English language proficiency. You can check the minimum score cut-off here.

Courses Offered and Admission Process

The university offers more than 160 courses under the following colleges:

  • College of Business, Government, and Law
  • College of Education, Psychology and Social Work
  • College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
  • College of Medicine and Public Health
  • College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • College of Science and Engineering

The admission process is

Step 1: Select your course

Step 2: Check entry requirements. You will need to upload certified original true copies of all documents required with your application.

Step 3: Check eligibility for credit. If you have previous qualifications, you may be eligible for advanced standing toward your Flinders University degree.

Step 4: Your application must go through a recognized education agent. TC Global is a recognised agent for the university.

Step 5: Apply online

Step 6: Obtain Certified documents and submit your application.

4. Carnegie Mellon University

Source: Wikipedia

This university is the foreign campus of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, U.S.A. This campus in Adelaide is the Oceanic chapter of John Heinz III College, also called the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy.

It is a specialized institute that integrates public policy formation and analysis, information systems, and management. Ranging from the arts and entertainment to data analysis, cybersecurity, and healthcare, this university provides specialized courses primarily at the master and research levels from a policy and management perspective. Borrowing the words of the Dean, Ramayya Krishnan, the future of humankind is shaped at the intersection of people, policy, and technology. It is at this crucial juncture that this college operates.

Why is it good to study here?

As an extremely niche institution, you will find the space to interact with people who have similar interests all across the campus. All the programs offered by CMU Adelaide have an interdisciplinary structure, bringing together business and technology. This gives you a greater scope of jobs and creates specialized profiles for you.

The recognition, goodwill, and reputation of CMU, USA campus is carried forward to this one. It also gives you opportunities to network in the American market as well.


The fee ranges from $70,000 AUD to $95,000 AUD for the entire program, depending on your choice of course. There is a scholarship for international students that you can apply to, as part of your application. If awarded, you can get a waiver of up to $30,000 off your tuition fee.


  • A recognized bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 3.5 GPA (must be verified by an academic credential verification service)
  • Work/ internship experience
  • GRE/ GMAT scores are optional but considered
  • IELTS/ TOEFL to show proof of English language proficiency.

Courses Offered and Admission Process

Top programs include:

  • Public Policy and Management
  • Formation Systems Management
  • Public Policy and Data Analytics
  • Business Intelligence and Data Analytics
  • Arts Management
  • Information Security Policy and Management
  • Entertainment Industry Management

The deadline for applications is typically in January and it is advantageous if candidates submit their application at least two months before their deadline. GRE/ GMAT scores will be considered but not mandatory. A personal statement and a video interview is also important to your application.

5. Torrens University

Source: Torrens University

Established in 2012, Torrens University is a modern, private university and vocational college offering career-focused courses in business, design, health, and hospitality, both online and on campus.

According to the Department of Education, it is the number 1 fastest growing university in Australia.

Campus: Wakefield Street and Pulteney Street, Adelaide. The university also has campuses in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland (New Zealand), and Suzhou (China).

Why is it good to study here?

The university is known for providing hands-on learning and state-of-the-art facilities to accelerate your career. It also gives the option of full-time/ part-time/on-campus/online study. The curriculum is constantly updated, keeping in mind the latest industry requirements. Courses include live briefs, Work-Integrated Learning, and work placements in leading organizations. The university is ranked 2 in Australia for the overall employment of international graduates.


A bachelor’s degree costs about $80,000 AUD for three years. A master’s degree ranges from $50,000 – $70,000 AUD depending on the course.

Some of the scholarship options are:

  • Hospitality Motivational Scholarship (for students of the hospitality course)
  • Design and Creative Technology Merit Scholarship
  • Business Merit Scholarship
  • Here to Educate (for master’s students)


For undergraduate programs:

  • Year 12 or equivalent
  • IELTS score with no band less than 6.0
  • Personal statement

For postgraduate programs:

  • 3-year bachelor’s degree or equivalent; and
  • Academic IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0) or equivalent.
  • Some courses require up to 5 years of work experience

Courses Offered and Admission Process

The university offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Design, Health, Business, Hospitality, Technology, and Education. You can check the detailed list of courses here.

Once you have decided upon your specific course, you can begin your application process. The application is submitted online. Some specialized programs such as design might also require you to submit a portfolio or undergo an interview.

Other Foundation/ Pathway Colleges in Adelaide

While these universities offer full-fledged degrees, there are a few colleges in Adelaide that provide diplomas, certifications, or even foundation programmes that will allow you to merge into the university at the second-year level. These colleges however do not bestow degrees. You can research them if you are looking for a niche specialization or up-skilling.

  • TAFE South Australia
  • South Australian Institute of Business and Technology
  • Eynesbury College
  • Australian Institute of Business
  • Institute of Technology Australia

Apply to universities in Adelaide with TC Global

While becoming an international student is an exciting prospect, the prep and paperwork of it all can get overwhelming. How do you pick the right university in Adelaide? Do you meet all the eligibility criteria? Have you exhausted all the scholarship options? The easiest way to reduce your stress is to sign up with TC Global.

Also, you can have questions about the right city for you. Sydney and Brisbane are also home to great universities and you should check all your option before applying. The truth is Australia is a great place to study and you need to have knowledge of all that the country offers.

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