Types of Degrees Programs

Bachelor’s Degree  

  • Typically a 3 year program where students take only courses directly related to their degree
  • A fourth year is required in some specialized and professional fields such as engineering or law.
  • Combined or double-degrees are also available and are usually 4-6 years in length.

Bachelor of Honours (4th year)

  • One year research focused program open to students who are top performers and may allow accelerated entry to a master’s or a doctorate degree.
  • Students apply after finishing their bachelor’s degree in Australia or New Zealand.
  • Students should take this fourth year if they plan to attend graduate school in any country.

Graduate/Postgraduate Certificate

  • One semester program of graduate level work that is a stand-alone qualification for students wishing to add specialization or continuing education to their undergraduate study.
  • May also serve as preparatory/bridging coursework if intended master’s degree is in a significantly different area than undergraduate degree.

Graduate/Postgraduate Diploma

  • One year program of graduate level work that is a stand-alone qualification like the graduate and postgraduate certificate.
  • In New Zealand, students typically must enroll in a postgraduate diploma before moving into a second year of a master’s program. 

Master’s Degree - Australia

  • Master’s by Coursework is 1.5 – 2 years with some as short as one year usually involving 70-80% classes and a minor thesis project during the second half of the degree.
  • Master’s by Research involves 100% intensive, self-directed research leading to the production of a thesis or major research project with guidance from supervisory professor.

Master’s Degree - New Zealand

  • Generally two years in length. First year consists of coursework with applied projects (completed during postgraduate diploma). Second year is a major research project or thesis in a student’s chosen area of interest.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • Consists of 3-5 years of self-directed research leading to a major dissertation.
  • Typically can start at any time during the year based on agreement with supervising professor. 

*Applying for a PhD varies by university/program and is very different to the process in North American. Contact us to discuss the PhD admissions process

Professional Doctorate

  • Consists of 2-3 years of intensive coursework and a research component.
  • Most often earned in fields such as law, psychology, and education (including teacher education). 

If you haven’t done so already, create your MyLearn Account so you can store information and get help if you need it! Once logged in you can download university prospectuses and apply online.  Use our Degree Finder for more detailed information about each of the programs. 

Don't see your program? Find yours here!  


Quick Links: