There are only 42 (soon to be 43) universities in Australia, all of them are fully accredited and they are tightly regulated, therefore the quality and recognition of their graduates are equal from wherever university you are studying from. The most important thing is you have to READ the course information carefully, since some courses may have the same name but different content.
All Australian universities offer Masters and PhD programs to international students. To find out the course that you are taking and where it is offered, I suggest you to go to Dept of Education, Science and Technology (http://cricos.dest.gov.au) and IDP Education Australia website (www.idp.edu.au). IDP is an organisation that gives information to international students who wants to continue their study in Australia. The information abt fees, duration & requirements can be found in the university's website. Please make sure that you access the information for internationals students, since some requirements, application form and fees are different than Australians'. The main intake is in February, with some courses are offered for mid-year/July intake as well.
Once decided on the uni, fill in the application form and send it together with certified copy of your academic qualification. Depending on your country of origin, you may also need to submit an IELTS test results for proof of your English proficiency (www.ielts.org)
Living cost... Sydney and Canberra have the highest living cost, followed by Melbourne & Brisbane, then Perth, Darwin, Adelaide & Tasmania the lowest. I am attaching a weblink from one of the uni in Melbourne as an indication.
So with many options for your to choose, this is my suggestion to narrow down your choice:
1. Choose the city you want to study in. The consideration maybe the lifestyle, living cost and weather.
2. Find the area that you want to work/career in. Check if the uni's are offering the area of study.
Hope this helps. Good luck for your study and welcome to Australia :)
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