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Sydney University


Professional Year Program

The Professional Year is a structured professional development program combining formal learning and workplace experience. Professional Year (PY) Programs are gazetted by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) to address Australia’s skills shortage through enhancing the employability of recent international graduates in specific professions.

A Professional Year will:

  • familiarise participants with the norms and values in the Australian workplace as well as the Australian employment market and workplace culture

  • teach participants how to communicate effectively and professionally in the Australian workplace with colleagues, managers and clients

  • include an internship (work experience) to educate participants about all aspects of work practices in an Australian company

The Professional Year must have been undertaken for a period of at least 12 months in the 48 months immediately before applying and be in either:

  • the applicants nominated skilled occupation

  • a closely related skilled occupation


Points (for migration purpose) can only be awarded for Professional Year courses that have been specified by the minister.

The following Professional Year courses have been specified by the minister:

  • Computing science

  • Accounting

  • Engineering

Foundation Studies

If you don’t meet the entry requirements to get into the course you want in Australia, there are many pathways that can help you reach your goal. This might include studying in an Australian school, taking English language preparation or studying a vocational education and training course. 

Another pathway may be Foundation Studies – one-year intensive preparatory courses available through the majority of institutions. These will give you the skills you need to enter an undergraduate (Bachelor Degree) course.

Who is it for?

The program is designed for people who are returning to study, who may not have any qualifications, or for English as a second language students. Foundation Studies in Australia gives international students the opportunity to study a pre-university year within a fully-accredited specialist program as the first step to completing tertiary studies.

What will I study?

It is equivalent to Australia’s Year 12 (the pre-university year). It is taught in English, but includes comprehensive English instruction and support where that is required. Students can choose from a range of program options which have been specially developed to meet university requirements.

Where does it lead?

The course develops confidence and creativity in students and equips them to discover, extend and express themselves, as well as to achieve their personal, vocational and social goals. Students comprehend the world, relate well to others, and are high academic achievers.

Students can proceed directly to University if their results for the program are good enough.

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