Study pathways

While some postgraduate qualifications (a Master’s by thesis, for example) are based on research projects under the supervision of academic staff and then written up into a thesis, many others are based on taught coursework, which is taught by teaching staff over one or more semesters with different assessment activities over the period of study. This is the type of course you may be familiar with and have an understanding of as part of your undergraduate study.  Even if you intend to proceed to a thesis, you often need to begin postgraduate study with some taught coursework. Some Masters are completed entirely by coursework.

By coursework

Your postgraduate study is a taught qualification; most courses use stream.  You will take courses supported by lecturers, who will give you the details of what is required to successfully complete the courses. Your first line of help is always your lecturer, who is committed to assisting you to successfully complete your course. Talk to them early if you have any questions or difficulties

By coursework and research report

Your degree will contain courses, some of which will be research related. Your qualification should also include a research methods course that will teach you about research. While you are completing your courses, your first line of help will be the lecturer taking the course. When you are undertaking your Research Course(s), you will be assigned a supervisor who will guide you through your research.

By coursework and thesis

This is often referred to as a Research Pathway.  You will complete taught courses including a research methods course and undertake a 90-120 credit thesis.  While you are completing your courses, your first line of help will be the lecturer taking the course. When you are undertaking your thesis, you will be assigned a supervisor who will guide you through your research.

Direct entry to part two of programme

If you have already undertaken postgraduate study in your subject area, you may be admitted direct to Part Two of the Masters programme. Your previous postgraduate study equates to the coursework required for Part One.

Part Time or Full Time Study

Most postgraduate programmes are available for either part-time or full-time study. The choice between part-time and full-time study is an important one, and should be made carefully at the outset of your programme. You should take into consideration your personal commitments, such as work and/or family responsibilities, as well as your academic goals.

Full-time study is defined as enrolment in 105 credits or more during a 12 month period (either Feb to Feb, or July to July). Part-time study is defined as 90 credits or less during a 12 month period (either Feb to Feb, or July to July).

Postgraduate qualifications can be awarded with honours or distinction for high levels of academic achievement, provided that all requirements have been completed within defined time limits. The applicable time limits differ for full-time and part-time students. 

The choice between part-time and full-time study may affect your eligibility for certain scholarships and awards, as some are only available to full-time students.

StudyLink may also be affected by your choice – it is your responsibility to check.

For students completing qualifications which include a thesis you may change between part-time and full-time before beginning your thesis. Once you have started your thesis you cannot change. Please consider your commitments, current and future, carefully before choosing whether to enrol part-time or full-time in your thesis. It is strongly recommended that part-time students begin their thesis in February.

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