5 Post-Graduate Study Options in Australia

When it comes to post-graduate qualifications, I’m pretty sure 90% of you will think of a master’s degree or doctorate degree. But do you guys know there are other recognised postgrad qualifications available in Australia, that is more affordable and time-efficient? Read this article to find out things you need to know when deciding between different postgraduate study options.

If you are planning to have further study after completing your bachelor’s degree, there are a few different options available. You can consider either getting an honours degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma, master’s degree, or doctorate degree. Before making your decision, you should first understand your situation as different qualifications have different requirements.

1. Honours Degree

An honours degree is typically a one-year qualification taken after an undergraduate degree. It is usually available as part of the final year of a 4-year undergraduate degree. If you are doing a 3-year degree and have an outstanding performance during your degree, you might be offered by your university with an extension year for honours as well. Read this article if you are choosing between an honours degree and a master’s degree.

2. Graduate Certificate

A graduate certificate (grad cert) is a postgraduate coursework qualification that generally requires 0.5 years (or 1 semester) full-time enrolment or equivalent to complete. 

Requirements differ in different institutions. But in general, you should hold a Bachelor’s degree with a pass GPA, or have relevant work experience, and meet the language requirements.

Articulation pathways are available in some disciplines, allowing students to progress from graduate certificate to graduate diploma level and then to master’s level. It is therefore a popular option for students who are not able to study master’s degree straight away.

You should also note that the main goal of a graduate certificate program is to develop practical skills in a short timeframe rather than academic knowledge.

Interested in getting a grad cert? Contact AAS now for individual advice and course enrolment for free.

3. Graduate Diploma

A graduate diploma (grad dip) is a step up from the graduate certificate, that could be obtained with 1 year of full-time study.

Same as grad cert, different institutions have different entry requirements for grad dip. Usually, a Bachelor’s degree or grad cert is required along with specific English requirements. Articulation pathways are available as well, in which students can progress to a master’s degree with a credit transfer option if the course is equivalent.

A graduate diploma is a suitable option for you if you hope to develop your industry knowledge and secure a promotion or a more senior position. Grad dip is also for those who would like to explore a new career path or specialty.

Contact us for enrolment and inquiries now if you are interested.

4. Master’s Degree

A Master’s degree is one of the most popular post-graduate study options that normally requires a duration of 1.5 to 2 years full-time study to complete. There are two main types of master’s degree, that is coursework master’s degree or research master’s degree.

Coursework Master’s Degree

A course-based master’s degree is a more structured program delivered by a series of lectures, seminars, and under the supervision of professors. The program design is similar to an undergraduate Bachelor’s degree but at a more advanced level. The goal of coursework master’s degree is about the practical application of subject knowledge.

To be eligible for admission, you should have a relevant undergraduate degree with a credit average. However, not all the programs ask for a relevant undergrad degree. You can still enrol in the desired course that is different from your previous academic background. Ask AAS now if you need advice and information on different master’s degree programs.

Research Master’s Degree

Research master’s degree, on the contrary, involves less teaching time for students to pursue a longer research project. It allows you to explore your interested topic comprehensively. You should get a research degree if you are more driven by academic goals, have naturally inquiring minds, and have a passion to solve problems.  

Compared to course-based degrees, research master’s degrees have a higher admission requirement. As an eligible candidate, you should have a Bachelor’s honours degree or coursework master’s degree with a minimum research component.

5. Doctorate Degree

A doctorate degree is the highest education qualification you can obtain. It lets you explore real-world issues and develop new models, methodologies, and theories that could potentially lead to significant steps forward in your industry or discipline. A doctorate degree can be categorized as a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and a professional doctorate degree. It is often completed within 3 to 4 years but it may vary depending on your field of study.

Professional doctorate degree

A professional doctorate degree aims to apply extensive research to practical problems, formulate different solutions to complex issues, and design feasible and effective professional practices in your field. 

The program is mainly designed for experienced working professionals who would like to increase their industry knowledge, enhance their careers, credibility, and influence.

Again, different programs have different entry requirements. Generally, eligible candidates should graduate from relevant Bachelor’s degree with Class IIA honours or coursework masters with a specific GPA.


PhD is a research-based program for students who would like to make significant contributions to their field of study or wish to do research or teach at a university. 

You will learn to analyse and evaluate different theories and concepts as well as carry out original research that could potentially develop new solutions to the existing problems.

To be considered a qualified candidate for a PhD, you should graduate from a Master of Philosophy or relevant Bachelor’s degree with Class IIA honours or coursework masters with a specific GPA.

Talk to AAS if you are interested in any post-grad programs. You can have a free consultation with our professional and passionate education consultants. We can also help you with your course application for free!