Business and Economics Specialisations


The Business and Economics discipline is one of the most popular program choices for international students coming to Australia.

The main difference between the two areas is that Economics investigates the science of an economy, production distribution and the supply and demand of goods, whilst Business primarily deals with the management aspects of the economy. Specialisations include:

Arts Management;
Banking and Finance;
Development Economics;
Ecological and Environmental Economics; Electronic Commerce/Business; Event/Leisure Management;

Health Economics; Hospitality and Tourism;


Human Resource Management; Information Systems;
International Management/Business; Logistics;

Marketing/Public Relations; Micro and Macro Economics; Organisational Behaviour; Procurement;

Property Studies;
Professional Economics;
Public Policy;
Real Estate and Development; Social Planning and Development; Taxation.

Business and Economics programs are offered at the following qualification levels:

  • Certificate
  • Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Postgraduate Diploma
  • Masters by research/coursework
  • Professional Doctorates

TAFE and private colleges typically offer vocational Business and Economics training through Certificates, Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas. Universities offer more specialised Bachelors Degrees, Graduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas, Masters, Professional Doctorates and PhDs.

However, some TAFEs and colleges offer Bachelor Programs and some universities Diploma and Advanced Diploma programs. Pathways are available for students wishing to link their programs and reduce the amount of time of their total study.

Entry requirements into Business and Economics programs vary depending on the qualification level. The qualification level depends on:

  • the student’s academic history to date;
  • the student’s career goal.

    For example, a student wanting to become a pastry chef would look at VET programs offered at TAFE and private colleges. A student with aspirations of becoming a hotel executive would look at university level programs.

    Vocational Education and Training Programs

    Typical programs offered at TAFE and private colleges include:




Certificate III in Business Sales; Certificate III in Mortgage Lending; Certificate III in Hospitality Operations; Certificate IV in Business Administration.


Diploma of Accounting/Commerce; Diploma of Business;
Diploma of Hotel Management; Diploma of Retail Management; Diploma of Marketing.

Advanced Diploma

Advanced Diploma of Business Management; Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management.

Students who have completed the equivalent of Australian grade 10 or 12 would be considered for entry into VET Programs. For example, typical entry requirements for a Certificate program are completion of the equivalent of Australian grade 10. International equivalent qualifications include completion of:

  • GCE O Levels;
  • the Malaysian SPM;
  • the Thai Mathayom Suksa grade 5;
  • the American grade 11.

Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas have slightly higher entry requirements. Students are required to have completed the equivalent of Australian grade 12, and some programs require work experience. Equivalent international qualifications for admission into Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas include:

  • GCE A Levels;
  • Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM);
  • the Thai Mathayom Suksa grade 6;
  • American grade 12.

    University Programs

    Entry requirements into university level programs are higher than VET programs. Examples of business degrees include:




Bachelor of Applied Science; Bachelor of Business;
Bachelor of Commerce; Bachelor of Economics; Bachelor of Hotel Management.


Graduate Certificate of Finance;
Graduate Certificate of Event Management; Postgraduate Diploma of Human Resource Management; Masters of Business Administration;
Masters of Financial Management;
Masters of Business;
Masters of Commerce;
Masters of Economics;
Professional Doctorate in Business;
Masters of Philosophy;


Admission into an undergraduate Business program is generally based on completion of Australian grade 12 or equivalent. In addition, some courses require prerequisite subjects.

Typically Commerce, Accounting, Banking, Finance and Economic streams have higher entry requirements than Business, Marketing and Human Resource Management streams. Similarly, the latter streams generally have higher requirements than Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management disciplines. For example (at University of Queensland):

  • Bachelor of Commerce – entry requirements at Australian universities range from an A Level entry requirement of 10 points (in at least two subjects) plus completion of advanced Mathematics at high school to an A Level result equal to 5 points (in at least two subjects) and no prerequisite subjects.
  • Bachelor of Hotel Management – entry requirements at range from an A Level entry requirement of 4 points (in at least two subjects) to 9 points (in at least two subjects).


    Coursework postgraduate Business and Economics programs typically require completion of an Australian Bachelor Degree (or equivalent) or have extensive work experience. Examples of Postgraduate programs include:

    Entry requirements into postgraduate Business programs depend on whether they are:

  • a conversion program (for students without an undergraduate degree in the field); or
  • an advanced postgraduate degree (for students with a relevant undergraduate degree).

    Examples of entry requirements include:

  • Masters of Business – typically include a specialisation and requires students to have completed an undergraduate degree equivalent to an Australian Bachelor Degree in any field.
  • Masters of Accounting or Financial Management – are generally advanced degrees and require students to have completed a Bachelor Degree in Commerce, Accounting, Banking or Finance.
  • Masters of Business Administration – are designed for executives who have work experience post-graduation. Entry requirements range from 10 years work experience with no academic qualifications to an Australian Bachelor Degree or equivalent plus at least two years work experience post-graduation.

    Postgraduate Business and Economics research programs usually require students to have completed a Bachelor Degree with Honours I or II. Some universities accept postgraduate qualifying programs and others require completion of the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT).


    There is a wide range of pathway options available to students not meeting entry requirements in their desired program. For example, many institutions that offer Bachelor Degrees will give credit for prior Diploma studies. This reduces the amount of time a student takes to complete their Bachelor Degree.

    Not all universities in Australia recognise all qualifications, so care should be taken to ensure that pathway options are available between institutions. For example, a Thai student who wishes to complete a Bachelor Degree, and has only completed Mathayom Suksa 5. This student could enrol in a Certificate program, upgrade with credit to a Diploma program and then, depending on their grades, upgrade with credit to a Bachelor Degree.

Professional Associations


  • CPA Australia
  • Institute of Public Accountants (IPA)
  • The Tax Institute
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAA)
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)

Actuarial Studies

  • Institute of Actuaries of Australia
  • American Academy of Actuaries
  • Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA)
  • Institute of Actuaries – UK
  • International Actuarial Association (IAA)

Banking and Finance

  • Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA)
  • Financial Executives International of Australia (FEI)
  • Association for Financial Professionals (AFP)

Business and Management

  • Business Council of Australia (BCA)
  • Institute of Management Consultants (IMC) – Australia
  • International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)


  • Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)
  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)


  • International Economics and Finance Society (IEFS)
  • Economics Society of Australia (ECOSOC)


  • Australian Hotels Association (AHA)
  • Australian Institute of Travel and Tourism (AITT)
  • Ecotourism Australia
  • World Tourism Organisation (WTO)
  • World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)

Marketing and Public Relations

  • Australian Marketing Institute
  • Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA)
  • International Public Relations Associations (IPRA)

Many business programs include internships, practical assignments and placements that provide students with practical experience. For example, many Certificates are traineeship based and combine workplace experience and theory.

Some vocational and university programs also require placements in the workforce. For example, a student completing a program in Hotel Management may be required to complete a 10 week internship on which they are assessed in an international hotel.

Other programs require students to complete assignments based on working in businesses, such as designing and publishing a brochure for an event.

On graduation from a Business or Economic program students may be eligible for membership to an international professional association below. Full membership to some of these associations requires a person to complete further study. For example a Bachelor of Commerce graduate may complete further courses to become a CPA or Chartered Accountant. By becoming a fully accredited accountant, they will increase their earning capacity.

Career Opportunities

Actuarial Studies; Banking;
International Economist; Risk Management; Valuation;

Financial Modelling/Administration and Planning; Chef;
Bar Attendant;
Beauty Therapist;

General Manager;
General Clerk;
Hotel Manager; Administration Clerk; Management Consultant; Quality Assurance Manager; Production Manager;

Real Estate Agent; Marketing Manager; Sales Assistant; Specialist Manager; Travel Agent; Accountant; Auditor; Bookkeeper;

Human Resource Manager;
Marketing, Public Relations and Advertising Professional;
Communication Manager and Speech Writer; Business Owner;
Project Manager;
Restaurant and Catering Manager;
Tourism Operator.

Useful Information

Government sites

  • Australia Country Information (DFAT)
  • Australian Demographic Statistics, March 2011 (ABS)
  • Public Holidays

    Tourism sites

  • Australian Capital Tourism Corporation
  • Tourism New South Wales
  • Northern Territory Tourism Commission
  • Tourism Queensland
  • South Australian Tourism Commission
  • Tourism Tasmania
  • Tourism Victoria
  • Western Australian Tourism Commission

    Weather Information

  • Rainfall and Temperature graphs (BOM)
  • you also can find weather information about cities around the world from World Climate.

    Standard Times

    Australia has both Standard Times and Daylight Saving Times (note that GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time).





Eastern Standard Time (EST)

New South Wales Australian Capital Territory Victoria

+ 10


Central Standard Time (CST)

South Australia Northern Territory

+ 9.5


Western Standard Time (WST)

Western Australia




Daylight Saving Times





Eastern Daylight/Summer Time (EDT)

New South Wales Australian Capital Territory Victoria

+ 11


Central Daylight/Summer Time (CDT)

South Australia

+ 10.5


Western Daylight/Summer Time (WDT)

Western Australia

+ 9.0


No Daylight Saving Times – use Standard Times

Queensland Northern Territory

+ 10 + 9.5

7:00pm 6:30pm

Refer to the Bureau of Meteorology for the start and finish dates of daylight saving times.