International Students

COFA welcomes international students! COFA is a great place to study and Sydney is a multicultural city and great place to live.

COFA is located in the heart of Paddington in Sydney, amongst galleries, design companies and museums. Located on popular Oxford Street, we are just a few minutes by bus to the city centre of Sydney.

COFA has over 300 international students representing nearly 40 countries enrolled in our Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Research programs.

International applicants should consult the UNSW International Website for information regarding admissions requirements and other useful information. An overview of information is also available below.

Application for Undergraduate admission

All international students who are completing an Australian Year 12 or International Baccalaureate (IB) qualification apply using the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) Apply-by-Web facility. Please check the UAC Website for appication dates and more information.

Universities Admissions Centre
Tel: +61 2 9752 0200

International students who are not completing an Australian Year 12 or IB qualification apply directly to UNSW using the UNSW Apply Online facility.

Undergraduate International applicants should consult the UNSW International Website for information regarding admissions requirements, english language requirements, and a guide on how to apply.

Application for Postgraduate Coursework admission

International students who wish to study a Postgraduate Coursework program at COFA apply directly to UNSW using the UNSW Apply Online facility.

Postgraduate Coursework International applicants should consult the UNSW International Website for information regarding admissions requirements, english language requirements, and a guide on how to apply. Applicants should also refer to the Entry Requirements section on each COFA Postgraduate Coursework Program information page.

Note: A waiver can sometimes be applied to students entering a studio-based COFA Coursework program of study, who have completed a recent IELTS test to meet the English language entry requirements.

Application for Research admission

Students interested in study at the Research level should see the COFA How to Apply information for Research Applicants and also the Graduate Research School for information on entry, due dates, fees etc

Acceptance and Enrolment

There are acceptance instructions outlined in your offer of study at UNSW. Students can accept either by returning the Reply Form attached to their offer letter, or online at myUNSW (please note that the Accept Online system provides only a credit card payment facility). If you accept your offer by returning the Reply Form, you will still need to complete steps online to ‘confirm’ your acceptance and then enrol.

Students must also pay the required tuition fees deposit and the compulsory Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC) as part of their offer acceptance. Please read the Acceptance Procedures Guide for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Coursework students or the Acceptance Procedures Guide for Research studentsfor details. Please note tuition fees and other study related costs will be outlined in your letter of offer. The Accept Online process consists of two parts:

  • Part 1
    - accept the offer of a place at UNSW
  • Part 2
    - confirm your personal details
    - organise payment arrangements
    - approve policies
    - fill out student declaration
    - enrol in your courses (subjects) for the given semester

Following acceptance, students are emailed a Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE), which is required to obtain a student visa.COFA Enrolment/Orientation packs will be emailed out a few months before the start of semester. These will include information on Orientation, Program and Enrolment information, Transport information and a map of the campus.

Please refer to your Program Structure and Enrolment information when selecting courses for your first semester of study. You can enrol online using the enrolment basket in myUNSW. A step-by-step guide on enrolling in courses is available online. For information on Program requirements and course descriptions, students should use their COFA Enrolment/Orientation pack that is emailed to all commencing students. Students should also refer to the UNSW Online Handbook which is an online searchable catalogue of programs, plans and courses offered at UNSW and here you will be able to view course outlines, see course pre-requisite information and timetable information.

Please note that International students are expected to enrol in 24 units of credit (UOC) each semester to ensure standard progression and completion of your program within the duration as stated in your eCOE, as outlined as part of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act.

Please ensure that you are aware of your visa conditions – information on this is available online.

Advanced Standing (Recognition of Prior Learning)

Students who wish to apply for advanced standing on the basis of prior study should indicate this at the time of application for admission. In addition to full transcripts of study, students who wish to apply for advanced standing should provide full subject descriptions in English with their application.

COFA has arrangements with recognised colleges, polytechnics and universities in Hong Kong and Singapore that award students with credit depending on the program completed. Please refer to the COFA International Articulation site for further information of the credit transfer arrangements.

International Students who are approved for advanced standing will see the courses from which they are exempted from indicated on their Offer letter.

If you are an International student and you have not been approved for advanced standing and you believe you are eligible, for more information please contact:

Leah Mitchell
COFA Student Centre
Tel: +61 2 9385 0614

Please note that all students must have their advanced standing confirmed and subsequent first semester enrolment completed by the end of the first week of class.

If your advanced standing is included in your offer letter, your eCoE will indicate your subsequent program duration. If you are awarded advanced standing after arrival and your program duration is reduced, UNSW must report the change of program duration to DIAC.

Arrival and Orientation

As a guide, new international students are advised to arrive at least one month before classes start to leave enough time to arrange accommodation, familiarise yourself with COFA and UNSW, and attend Orientation activities.

There is a great guide for commencing International students which is called
Student Life @ UNSW. which tells you how to prepare for your trip to Sydney, what to bring, where to stay, and what to do upon arrival. You will have been sent this book with your initial offer to study at UNSW, however to request a copy please email:

COFA’s Orientation Program is held before the beginning of each semester. O Week is a chance to learn about the University, local transport system and be guided through the procedures necessary for life on campus and in Australia. All commencing students are emailed a COFA Enrolment/Orientation pack that includes orientation materials such as an Orientation program, campus maps, bus timetables and other useful information.


Information on current tuition fees for International students is available online.

Students must access their fee statement for the semester online through myUNSW, under their Student Profile. All tuition fees are payable on a semester by semester basis and are generally due on the first Friday of semester. Following your enrolment, you should be able to view your fee statement online about two weeks prior to start of classes. Fees are payable online through myUNSW, by BPay or in person at an Australia Post.

For more information, please see How to pay your Student Fees


COFA offers a range of COFA specific scholarships and prizes to students from Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Research study. There are also UNSW Scholarships available to International students.

Living in Sydney and Accommodation

International Student Housing Assistance (ISHA) offers assistance to find suitable accommodation to new international students at the start of each semester.

Information on long-term, share and residential college accommodation is available online though the UNSW Accommodation website.

Information on living in Sydney including information on cost of living, money and banking, transport and more is available from the UNSW International website. Local Councils are also a good source of community information.

The Councils in closest proximity to COFA, UNSW are:


Sydney has a temperate climate with warm to hot summers and mild winters.

  • Summer: December to February 20 – 32oC
  • Autumn: March to May 14 – 26oC
  • Winter: June to August 9 – 18oC
  • Spring: September to November 15 – 28oC

World Time

Australian Eastern Standard Time is GMT plus 10 hours (11 hours during Daylight Saving Time). In Summer, residents of NSW move their clocks forward one hour for Daylight Saving in October each year and back April.