What is a postgraduate degree?
Here’s everything you need to know
Here’s everything you need to know
Even for the most experienced students and professionals, postgraduate study can be confusing. After all, there are many options available, and different pathways to study - so unless you’re thoroughly entrenched in the academic world, it can difficult to know what exactly a postgraduate degree is, and whether it might be right for you.
We’re here to share everything you know about postgraduate degrees.
So, what is a postgraduate (PG) degree? A postgraduate course or postgraduate diploma is additional study undertaken after you’ve completed an undergraduate degree. Postgraduate study expands your career horizons, with options that range beyond your specific undergraduate area of study.
Say you studied a Bachelor of Commerce, and you’re looking to add a specialised skill to your CV. You could now enrol in a Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning or Leadership to take your career in a new direction.
Or in some cases, you might not have a Bachelor degree, but you might have equivalent work experience and want to further your career. You could apply to enrol in postgraduate study to deepen your expertise.
UNSW offers three different options for postgraduate study if you’ve completed your undergraduate degree, so you can choose the right option for you depending on your career goals, areas of interest, and how much time you have to invest in further study.
Postgraduate courses at UNSW include Postgraduate Diplomes, Graduate Certificates and Masters coursework. Here’s a quick comparison.
Graduate Certificates at UNSW
A Graduate certificate is a short PG degree qualification that is made up of four subjects, so it can be completed in as little as six months. Graduate Certificates are usually designed for those who already have experience in a certain area or field of study and want to uplevel or diversify their knowledge base. Each institution will have different entry requirements too. Here at UNSW, you’ll likely need to have a Bachelor Degree or a minimum number of years’ experience - you can check with the faculty when you apply.
Postgraduate Diplomas at UNSW
Postgraduate diplomas are a practical, hands-on way of learning. Postgraduate diplomas are a great way to diversify your knowledge base or move into a new sector within your field. If you’ve been in the workforce for a few years, the balance of vocational experience and academic knowledge will take your career to the next step. Postgraduate diplomas are also a little less intensive than a full Masters degree, so it’s ideal if you’re trying to balance work and study.
Masters coursework at UNSW
A Masters degree is a postgraduate qualification designed to give you advanced knowledge of a specialist field, as well as high-level techniques and skills associated with your chosen area of study. Masters degrees are either coursework or research-based. On the research side of things, you’re usually engaged in independent study, embarking on a short-term research project that results in a thesis or dissertation at the end. At UNSW, we also offer Masters coursework (also known as coursework Masters), which is an advanced level, specialised offering of lectures, seminars and supervision.
Wondering what’s your best path for postgraduate study? It’s all about what you hope to get out of your postgraduate study at UNSW.
As industries evolve, postgraduate study is an investment in your future. Whether it’s a promotion at work, the desire to take your career to the next level or broaden your knowledge and skills, getting clear on what you want is going to help you make the decision about what to study.
At UNSW, we offer options to help you make the right choice for your future:
Flexible study arrangements – many of our graduates balance work and study, and we have online options available to suit your needs too.
Practical courses – PG degrees are designed to upskill you, and uplevel your career, so we offer a range of hands-on courses in specific study areas where you’ll learn from academics with real-world experience and industry connections.
Transferable skills are in demand – being able to slide into a new aspect of your role with ease is paramount to success in today’s changing world, and PG study will give you the edge.
At UNSW, you’ll have the freedom to challenge yourself at a globally renowned school, cultivating excellence in adaptive thinking. You’ll be part of an inclusive, diverse world community that reaches beyond the campus, and part of a collective that creates solutions for a better world.
Why is postgraduate study such a great option for your future? Because it gives you the edge. If it’s between you and another applicant knocking on the door of your dream job, it’s highly likely that the job will go to the person with the PG degree. At UNSW, our students are among the world’s most employable graduates, ranked 27th for employability by QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020.
Postgraduate study can also increase your earning power. Based on research by the National Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (NAGCAS), Master’s degree graduates earn approximately 48% more than those with an undergraduate degree in the same field.
And even if you’re not following a typical career journey and you’re carving your own entrepreneurial path, postgraduate study is still invaluable. According to Crunchbase venture capital start-up data in 2021, UNSW is ranked as the best overall Australian university for entrepreneurs.
All this combined means your future is set, especially with 2022 slated as the year for changing to a more meaningful career path.
If you have any questions about studying at UNSW or how you can make your studies work for you, contact us below. We’re here to help.