One to two years
Bachelor Degree; or Bachelor Degree (Honours); or Graduate Diploma. For some postgraduate qualifications, you might be accepted if you have significant, relevant work experience.
A masters degree is a specialised course that requires you to find advanced answers to complex problems or questions.
Studying for a masters degree can help you become a leader in your field, or lead to further study in a doctoral degree (PhD).
There are three main types of masters degrees:
Note: Some masters degrees have ‘exit points’ within them. These may allow you to stop your studies at a certain point and be awarded a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma. These are described below.
Three to four years
Bachelor Degree (Honours) with a research component; or Masters Degree.
This is the highest award on offer at Australian universities.
There are two types:
In both types of doctoral degrees, you will review literature, undertake experiments or investigate new methods, making a major contribution to knowledge in your field. The result is often a major project or thesis (40,000 to 60,000 words).
A Graduate Certificate can be studied on its own or as a pathway to further studies, usually to advance to a Graduate Diploma. This type of qualification can help you build your knowledge and skills for your current career, or help you change careers.
Graduate Certificates are usually delivered by universities and by non-university and private higher education providers.
A Graduate Diploma is the next step up from a Graduate Certificate. It involves twice as many study units (subjects) and can be studied as a standalone qualification, or as part of a masters degree.
Graduate Diplomas are usually delivered by universities and non-university government private higher education providers.
Usually four years in total (a four-year degree with the final year being the Honours year); or one additional year after a three-year Bachelor degree, depending on academic results.
Graduating with an Honours degree shows that you have the ability to reach high academic standards, and that you have advanced project management and research skills. Your qualification can lead to further research-based studies, like a PhD, or can give you a strong set of skills for future employment.
In some cases, an Honours year will be built into your degree from the beginning (usually a four-year degree). In other cases, if you graduate from your Bachelor degree with high grades, your education provider might give you the opportunity to complete an additional year of study. This will allow you to graduate ‘with honours’.
An Honours year will usually involve some coursework and a large project or a written thesis (long essay of 12,000 to 20,000 words).
Note: All Bachelor degree (honours) courses must meet the same requirements, and they are at the same level in the Australian Qualifications Framework.