Higher education qualifications

You can obtain a range of qualifications through Australian universities or higher education providers.

The qualifications you can attain at a university or higher education institution are shown below.

Associate degree

  • Duration - Two years
  • Completed following - Year 12 or equivalent, Certificate III or Certificate IV
  • Details - The Associate Degree is a short-cycle Degree program that can help with career development if you're already working and don't have time to complete a full Bachelor Degree. It can be a pathway to a Bachelor Degree or prepare you for an Advanced Diploma in specialist industry training. An Associate Degree will be about the basics or foundations of your field. It will cover the broad theory and enable you to develop the basic employment-related skills.

Bachelor Degree

  • Duration - Three to five years (depending on program)
  • Completed following - Year 12 or equivalent, Certificate III or Certificate IV
  • Details - A Bachelor Degree is the basic qualification for entry to a field. It will give you a systematic body of knowledge, the underlying principles and the problem-solving techniques you'll need to work in the discipline. With deeper content than an Associate Degree, your Bachelor Degree will develop your skills and knowledge to the point where you can pursue postgraduate studies if you want to.

Bachelor Degree (Honours)

  • Duration - Four years
  • Completed following - Bachelor Degree
  • Details - If you do particularly well in your Bachelor Degree, your institution might grant entry to an additional year of study to enable you to graduate with honours.

Graduate Certificate

  • Duration - 6 months
  • Completed following - Bachelor Degree
  • Details - Your Graduate Certificate will broaden individual skills you already have from an undergraduate program, or develop your knowledge in a new area.

Graduate Diploma

  • Duration - One year
  • Completed following - Bachelor Degree
  • Details - A Graduate Diploma will apply a body of knowledge in a range of contexts for you to undertake professional or highly skilled work and as a pathway for further learning.

Masters Degree (Coursework)

  • Duration - 1 to 2 years
  • Completed following - Bachelor Degree (Honours) or Bachelor Degree
  • Details - A Masters Degree (coursework) involves traditional coursework that will develop your expertise in your field. A Masters Degree takes either one year after a Bachelor Degree with honours, or two years after a Bachelor Degree.

Masters Degree (Research)

  • Duration - Typically 2 years
  • Completed following - Bachelor Degree (Honours) or Bachelor Degree
  • Details - A Masters Degree is a course of independent research that will further your postition as an expert in your chosen field of study.

Doctoral Degree

  • Duration - Typically 3 to 4 years
  • Completed following - Masters Degree
  • Details - The highest award offered by Australian universities, the Doctoral Degree is a research program, although it can have some coursework. The three components of your Doctoral Degree are:

    • A review of literature, experimentation or other methodical approach to a body of knowledge.
    • An original research project that makes a contribution to understanding and knowledge in your field.
    • A substantial, well-ordered thesis that shows a relationship between the research and the field of study.

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