Dual degrees in Australia – an unbeatable advantage to your CV!
Earn two degrees instead of one during the same academic year
Call it what you may –a dual degree or a double degree, it is one of the best concepts you can explore as an international student. Dual degrees are programs that award two degrees instead of one, enabling you to specialise in twin qualifications by investing lesser amount of time and money than pursuing two degrees separately. This means, you can design your educational qualification with a double degree without doubling the time!
What is this concept of dual degrees?
Dual degrees may either be a double degree or combined. The meaning of a double degree and a combined degree is slightly different, though you will graduate with two degrees in case of both. A double degree requires you to complete two separate qualifications – one after the other. And this means, you need to complete the requirement of the first degree before commencing the second. A combined degree on the other hand has an integrated structure. It gives you the flexibility to choose another area of specialisation, a second major. The overlapping components of two degrees are taught together and separate units of each are individually managed.
Why a dual degree?
Ever thought about studying business while keeping your passion for music alive? Or let’s say how about combining a Bachelor of Biotechnology with Bachelor of Law? Combining two undergraduate degrees gives you an edge over other applicants when applying for a job. You can also combine qualifications for two different Master’s program or sometimes a Bachelor with a Master’s.
The World Economic Forum estimates that young people will change careers at least seven times in their lifetime and 35% of skills required today will be different in next five years. Skills, that are multidisciplinary and provide diverse learning are, and will be in higher demand in times to come.
A wide range of study areas can be explored in one degree. Some most common examples include:
Combined Bachelor's and Master's
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Business
Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine
Master of Cyber Security Analysis and Master of International Relations
Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Information Technology
Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Supply Chain Management
Master of Professional Accounting and Master of Business Law
Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Engineering
Master of International Relations and Master of International Business
Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) and Master of Pharmacy
Master of Creative Industries and Master of Management
Bachelor of Design and Bachelor of Media Communication
Bachelor of Business and Master of International Business
Master of Planning and Master of Architecture
Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business
Bachelor of Business and Master of Business Analytics
Master of International Relations and Master of Journalism
Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Music
Master of Business Analytics and Master of Management
There are many Australian universities that offer these unique program combinations to devise your dual degrees at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Some of these include:
- The Australian National University
- The University of Sydney
- The University of New South Wales
- The University of Western Australia
- Monash University
- The University of Queensland
- The University of Adelaide
- Macquarie University
- Curtin University
- University of Newcastle
- Deakin University
- La Trobe University
- University of Wollongong
- University of Technology, Sydney
- University of South Australia
- Swinburne University of Technology
- Queensland University of Technology
- Victoria University
- Australian Catholic University
What are the entry requirements?
For a dual degree program, you need to meet the entry requirements for both the programs. In order to take admission in an undergraduate program in Australia, you need a Senior Secondary qualification, which can be from different boards in India (CBSE, ICSE, State Boards or IB). The entry requirements however can vary depending on the program of choice. For instance, the entry requirement for Engineering (Honours) programs are generally higher than a Business or ICT program.
Australian Education International – National office of Overseas Skills Recognition (AEI-NOOSR) is an Australian government agency that assesses the educational level of an overseas qualification and categorises Indian universities into Sections 1, 2 and 3 for deciding entry into Australian institutions. Generally the minimum percentile required for entry in a postgraduate program in most of the Australian universities is 50-60% from Section 1 Indian universities, 60-65% from Section 2 Indian universities and 70-75% from Section 3 Indian universities. These universities also ask for your English language proficiency scores as one of the entry requirements for admission to any bachelor’s or master’s program. Most commonly, an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6 in each module works, but you do check if there are any specific requirements for the university of your choice.
A dual degree may be a little expensive than the traditional degrees as it is a combination of two disciplines. Good news is, Australia offers many scholarships, grants and bursaries to support you financially during your course of study. These scholarships are offered at both levels – institutional and government. The grants and bursaries vary from 10- 25% reduction in the annual tuition fee and often range up to complete duration of the program. Institutions also offer scholarships up to 30-50% of the tuition fee and if you are a high achiever, you may also land up a 100% tuition fee waiver! The scholarships and grants are often merit based and vary across faculties.
Work integrated learning
Work integrated learning as part of a dual degree program is a great way to gain what it takes to land a job in your field of study while earning credits towards your program. Available as 6 to 12 months of professional placement, the program can include an industry-based project, professional placement under the supervision of an academic supervisor, industry study tour or student exchange program with international exchange partners, etc.
According to a report by Universities Australia, around half a million university students took part in industry-led projects, practical simulations and work placement in 2017. In the same year, Australian universities offered 555,403 workplace experiences out of which 93,126 were offered to international students. Now that sounds promising, isn’t it?
A flexible degree opens a world of new possibilities. It lets you choose your primary field of study and try other disciplines that suit your goal or taste and helps explore your passion. A flexible dual degree typically needs to be completed within 4 years of academic study (courses in Medicine, Pharmacy can take longer) against the typical 3 years single degree programs in Australia. A combined integrated Bachelor’s and Master’s degree takes 5 academic years of study while a double Master’s programs can be completed between 2 to 2.5 years with credit exemption as a possibility when you have studied from a cognate discipline at your undergraduate. The best advantage of pursuing a dual degree is that it’s easier to make contacts with academics, students and professionals from different countries within both programs. This helps flourish your networking skills and enlarge your network and also enhances your job opportunities asemployers that love candidates with interdisciplinary knowledge with adaptability skills.
Inspired to pursue a dual degree? Get in touch with our expert counsellors who can help you in making the right course decision for you!
Sudipta is an MBA in Marketing with close to 10 years of experience in Indian Higher Education System and 4 years of experience in international student recruitment for Australian institutions operating from IDP’s Gurgaon branch. During her association with IDP, she has helped more than 200 students realise their Australian dream.
She has also travelled to Australia to visit some of the top universities to gain more insight into the country and has participated actively in many university workshops and trainings. She also earned the All India No.1 position award in Australia Student Placement Excellence, that recognised her performance in counselling Australia bound students at IDP in Nov 2018.