What level of postgraduate study is right for me?

Murdoch student on Bush Court

With more than 100 postgraduate courses at Murdoch, there are a lot of options on the table. Learn about the different levels and types of postgraduate degrees available.

Going back to uni as a postgraduate is an exciting time. You could change careers entirely, side-step into a related field, or simply upskill for your current role or industry.

Postgrad study in Perth is very accessible and we are proud to offer more than 100 courses at Murdoch. But with some many options available, which course is the Goldilocks that will get you where you need to be? Let’s dive straight in.

What is a Graduate Certificate?

A graduate certificate is a more specialised qualification than a bachelor’s degree and typically takes around six months if studying full-time. This shorter time frame makes it attractive to working professionals, those with family responsibilities, and people who are testing the waters of postgrad study.

This one is often a sensible choice for those who work in a particular field and want to update their skills, or increase potential leadership/management prospects. It’s also a great qualification to serve as a pathway into a master’s degree and you might be able to use these credits for future study.

What is a Graduate Diploma?

In a nutshell, a university-level graduate diploma is a graduate certificate but with even more in-depth knowledge and an extra semester or trimester on top. As with a graduate certificate, this can be used as a qualification in its own right or as a way into a master’s degree with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

What is a Master’s?

A master’s degree is the perfect choice to accelerate your career prospects and stand out amongst your professional peers. Typically this course requires an 18 month to two year full-time (or part-time equivalent) commitment. This course is highly regarded by employers as there’s a high-level of specialised knowledge and skill acquired.

Students have the option of taking a master’s by coursework or coursework plus dissertation, depending on what you’re hoping to achieve.

What does this look like in the real world?

Say you enrol in a Graduate Certificate in Criminology where you study two core criminology units worth 12 credit points. Let’s compare this to a Graduate Diploma in Criminology. You’ll study these same core units but with another two of your choosing (units like Cybercrime and Digital Forensics, or Criminal Law and Evidence), depending on what you’re interested in or require for your career. Both of these courses, studied full-time, will be complete in under one year.

Now, if you were to decide on a Master of Criminology, this two-year course has four core units plus a whole host of electives to choose from. If you study the Diploma or Certificate first, you may be able to use those units to get credit.

Find out more about the different levels of postgrad study at Murdoch. Research and honour degrees are covered too, if that’s more in your field of interest.

Ready to kick off your own postgraduate studies? Explore the wide variety of postgraduate courses on offer at Murdoch.
Posted on:

4 Sep 2023

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