Australian institutions offer a large number of bridging and short courses, which are not similar to foundation or Diploma programs. It is difficult to categorise them, because they are typically designed to support entry into a particular program at a particular institution. Also, they may have limited portability and recognition by other institutions.
Some general features of bridging courses are:
- they vary greatly in length from 5 weeks or more, but usually shorter in duration than foundation or Diploma courses
- they are commonly non-award
- they can be non-essential. This means they offer the attainment of skills, which may be of use to a prospective student in a further course but which they do not formally need to enter the principal program
- they may allow a student to attain a single pre-requisite subject, which is necessary for further study
- they may provide an alternative means of improving English proficiency in an environment specific to a single discipline
- they may provide entry to particular postgraduate courses.