Weekly Article – Doing Master’s Degree in Australia

Are you planning to study in Australia? If so, you are currently in the right place. Australia offers a high-quality education for both undergraduate and postgraduate degree in various fields of study. By the end of this article, you will get useful tips for preparing your study in Australia, particularly from graduate student’s perspective.

Let’s start with understanding the type of degree itself. After finishing an undergraduate degree (bachelor’s degree), we can continue our study to pursue a postgraduate degree, such as Graduate Diploma and Master. However, there is a different type of master’s degree in Australia and Indonesia. There are two types of master’s degree in Australia: master by coursework and master by research. By doing postgraduate coursework, you will have a set of course program like an undergraduate degree but with a deeper understanding and critical thinking. The duration of study can be one year, 1.5 years, or 2 years, and will be started on February (summer intake), July (winter intake), or both. Meanwhile, you will have no lecture in postgraduate research (you can have some required classes, in some cases) because you will do your proposed research within a specific timeframe. Instead of studying for three or four semesters like postgraduate coursework, a student enrolling in master by research will have a different working schedule as approved by the supervisor. In addition, some coursework programs also offer project or thesis for those who want to do the combination of coursework and research studies.

After understanding the difference between postgraduate coursework and research, have you considered your choice? Along with the explanation about the types and duration of postgraduate degree, here are some great tips for you to consider before and during your master study in Australia:

  1. Read the university’s website thoroughly, especially about your program, course lists, duration of study, fees and scholarships, as well as entry requirements.
  2. For those who want to do master by research, start finding a research topic, write your proposal, and contact the potential supervisor. For those who want to do the combined master program, it is also beneficial to identify the topic and supervisor in advance.
  3. Once you arrive in Australia, take workshops to help you adjusting with learning system in Australia. Some sessions such as getting started at ‘uni life’, library tour, and learning tips from student advisors are recommended to do in your first week here.
  4. Almost all academic stuff can be accessed online, including learning materials, learning resources, and lecture recordings, so computer literacy skills are vital for your academic life in Australia.
  5. Attend and participate actively during lectures and tutorials, as well as finishing the reading list before the class will be helpful to get more benefits from your study.
  6. Plan and revise your schedule. Once you enrol for your semester, you can access the complete class schedule and the list of your assessment as well. You can start planning your learning schedule based on them.
  7. Balance your life. Allocate your time to be away from your learning materials and assignments, then choose activities as your interest. In Australia, you have plenty of chance to do volunteering, travelling, networking, even getting a part-time job (please refer to your student visa for the working hour limit). Don’t forget to include these activities in your schedule.

It is widely known that doing a master study is demanding, but trust me, it is manageable.
Make a study plan, get involved in leisure activities, and enjoy studying in Australia!

Writer : Hesti Retno Budi Arini