Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Levels


An international student in Australia is hiding behind a book and studying the Australian qualification framework (AQF).


Choosing Australia as a study destination offers many perks, from spectacular views to a multicultural society and a unique education system. It also provides a broad range of courses that are recognised all around the world.


For international students, it can be hard to understand the country’s qualification system, so here is a brief overview of the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF Levels).



1. What Is The Australian Qualification Framework (AQF)?


The Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) defines educational qualification standards in Australia and is nationally managed by the Australian Government’s Department of Industry. The AQF aims to ensure that the qualification titles are consistent across the country and represent high education standards.


This standardised system makes it easier for students to continue their education in Australia as it provides a clear path to follow. Also, similar education levels and qualification titles throughout the country allow students to quickly transfer from one university to another.



2. The Ten AQF Levels Are:


AQF Level   Qualification Type
Level 1
  • Certificate I
Level 2
  • Certificate II
Level 3
  • Certificate III
Level 4
  • Certificate IV
Level 5
  • Diploma
Level 6
  • Advanced diploma
  • Associate degree
Level 7
  • Bachelor degree
Level 8
  • Bachelor Honours Degree
  • Vocational Graduate Certificate
  • Vocational Graduate Diploma
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Graduate Diploma
Level 9
  • Masters degree (research)
  • Masters degree (coursework)
  • Masters degree (extended)
Level 10
  • Doctoral degree
  • Higher doctoral degree




3. AQF By Education Sector 


The AQF categorises the qualifications according to the three main educational sectors in Australia that are responsible for their accreditation.



Schools Sector Vocational Education &
Training (VET) Sector
Higher Education Sector
Senior Secondary Certificate of Education Certificate I Diploma
  Certificate II Advanced diploma
  Certificate III Bachelor degree
  Certificate IV Bachelor honours degree
  Diploma Graduate certificate
  Advanced Diploma Graduate diploma
  Vocational graduate certificate Masters degree
  Vocational graduate diploma Doctoral degree





  • VET is primarily offered in the school sector.

  • The higher education sector has two qualifications - undergraduate and postgraduate.

  • Undergraduate qualifications include bachelor's degrees and deliver education for entering into a professional career.

  • Postgraduate qualifications include graduate diplomas/certificates, master's, and doctoral degrees.

  • Both qualifications (undergraduate and postgraduate) offer a highly professional study level, allowing students to enhance their knowledge in a specific field. 



4. The AQF Objectives


  • It accommodates the diversity of training for both now and in the future.

  • It supports nationally consistent and relevant qualification outcomes and contributes to national economic performance.

  • It develops, maintains and supports various pathways that provide access to qualifications and help students quickly move from one education and training sector to the other.

  • It provides the foundation for students to advance through education and receive recognition for their previous learning experiences.

  • It offers national regulatory and quality assurance arrangements for training and education purposes in Australia.

  • Assists with the national and international mobility of workers and graduates by increased recognition of Australian qualifications.

  • It aligns with international education frameworks and standards.


The Australian qualification levels (AQF) help international students easily find appropriate courses due to incorporating the same qualification levels in every state and territory of Australia. Students can devote more time to finding the right institution depending on their needs and interest.


The AQF in Australia represents world-renowned education in a technologically advanced and modern society. This allows students to build their careers in a chosen field in Australia or elsewhere.


Useful Topics to Explore:

⇒ Types of Education in Australia 
⇒ Courses For Permanent Residency (PR) In Australia
⇒ The Australian Grading System 
⇒ International Students in Australia
⇒ What does it cost to study in Australia?
⇒ The Ultimate Guide to Australian Visas
⇒ Courses that can lead to PR in Australia
⇒ Migrating to Australia
⇒ Australia Compared
⇒ Academic Life

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