Students from around the world choose to complete their studies in Australia, with postgraduate studies being one of the most popular. Whether you’re interested in a coursework degree or a research degree, there is a huge range of high-quality, internationally recognised courses on offer in a variety of fields. Once you’ve made your choice using our Course Search and Institution Search, you’ll need to think about getting in.
Here are our top five tips for getting into postgraduate study.
Check the entry requirements
Entry requirements can vary a lot depending on the course you choose. Most require you to have completed a recognised undergraduate degree (or equivalent). Some may also ask for relevant work experience (see below). To enter some courses, your previous degree needs to have been completed in a related field. In other courses your previous degree can be in any field. Higher-level postgraduate courses (such as a doctoral degree) may be more difficult to enter, with some requiring previous postgraduate study for entry, such as a bachelor honours degree or a masters degree by research. Some courses have extra entry requirements, such as submitting a portfolio of your work or completing an audition, test or interview. Entry requirements differ between courses, so check the institution website and contact admissions staff to ensure you have fulfilled the entry requirements for your course.
Mention your work experience
If you have relevant work experience, ensure that you inform the institution when you are applying. You will find that work experience is highly valued by Australian institutions; sometimes it is even considered to be more important than your academic history. Some competitive, industry-based courses (such as the master of business administration) actually require work experience in addition to academic entry requirements. In other courses, students who don’t meet the academic entry requirements (those who haven’t completed a bachelor degree, for example) may be able to enter their course on the basis of their work experience.
Don’t forget English language requirements
In addition to academic entry requirements and work experience, you will also need to demonstrate a high level of proficiency in the English language (if your first language is not English) in order to qualify for a student visa through the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). In addition, you will need to meet the required level of English language proficiency set by your institution for your individual course. Note that the level of proficiency required varies from course to course and may be higher than the level you need to gain a student visa. To demonstrate your English language ability, you should undertake an English language test in your home country. If you do not meet the English language requirements for your course, you may be able to study an English language course in Australia first. For more information about the tests accepted, the levels of proficiency required and English language courses, contact your institution.
Consider a pathway
If you don’t meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course, don’t worry. There are a range of pathways offered by Australian institutions to prepare you for study in Australia, including bridging courses, English language courses and foundation courses. Many of these courses offer direct pathways into postgraduate courses. They also give you the opportunity to adjust to life and learning in Australia before starting your postgraduate studies. If you do not meet the academic prerequisites for your course, you could also consider completing an undergraduate course or a lower-level postgraduate qualification as a pathway into your course. Check with your institution for details of relevant pathways.
Contact your institution
Before you apply for a course, ask your institution about the entry requirements to ensure that you are eligible for entry. If you are not eligible, your institution can help you to find the best pathway into your course. It is very important to consult your institution before you make any decisions so that you can be confident that you will meet your course’s entry requirements and will be accepted for entry. If you have any questions throughout the application process, make sure you contact your institution — they will be more than happy to help you.