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Postgraduate Studies: types, requirements & popular postgraduate courses abroad

Learn about types of postgraduation, application requirements & your potential best fit study abroad destination!

Planning to pursue your postgraduation abroad and distinguish yourself from other candidates who are chasing your dream job?

Check out types of postgraduate qualification, requirements, and some of the popular pg courses in 5 of our top study abroad countries. Read on to find out more!

What is meant by postgraduate degree?

A postgraduate degree is any higher education undertaken after a bachelor’s degree. It is an opportunity for students after graduation to study or do research at a more advanced level. They can focus on a particular area or step up from what they would have studied as undergrads.

About pg courses, they are either taught or based on research. While a taught course is like your undergraduate degree and is taught by a professor, research courses are far more independent as you will work on your own.

In both cases, you may be required to attend classes, but if you are attending a research course, your final grade won’t be determined based on attendance of these classes or any assignments relating to them. Your final piece of research will determine it.

What are the types of postgraduate qualification?

There are 3 types of postgraduate qualification as follows:

  • Postgraduate certificates and diplomas: They are usually more vocational in nature and are tailored to a specific professional area. They are also shorter and less intensive than a postgraduate degree. A postgraduate certificate will usually last for 15 weeks while a postgraduate diploma will take 6-12 months (both if studied full-time).
  • Master’s degree: A master’s degree is the most common postgraduate qualification. It can be either research-based, a taught course or a combination of the two. A master’s degree will usually last for 1 to 2 years full-time. There are many factors, however, that may increase or decrease the exact length of time from enrollment to graduation.
  • Doctorate (PhD): A PhD or Doctorate is a research degree studied after completion of a master’s degree. A PhD lasts for 3 to 4 years full-time and is based on a much more extensive original piece of research by the student.

Now, you may be thinking about your best fit university abroad that matches your educational dreams! Right?

Well, there are too many options out there. But as an international student applying for a postgraduate degree, you may need to consider some factors – beyond the rankings – while choosing your best fit university. Watch the video below to know more!

How can you determine your best fit country when applying for postgraduation abroad?

Well, if you are planning to apply for postgraduation abroad, you would better learn more about the most popular subjects, durations and more in 5 of our top study abroad destinations:

Postgraduation in Australia

A postgraduate degree awarded from Australian universities is internationally recognized and highly regarded by global employers. Courses offering a postgraduate degree in Australia range from 6 months to 3 years. The level can be a postgraduate diploma or a master’s degree or a doctorate. There are 39 Australian universities & many other recognized higher education institutions which offer courses for postgraduation in Australia. To be accepted for postgraduation studies there, you will need an undergraduate qualification (usually a three-year bachelor's degree) from a recognized international institution. Specific entry requirements like work experience or other pre-requisites may be also there. English language skills are a requirement for student admission and visa for Australia.

Postgraduation in USA

Students intending to pursue a postgraduate degree in USA have over 1,700 institutions to choose from and varied specializations offered by each university. Students also have to make a choice between academic and professional master’s degree, and they also have the flexibility to design programs and choose electives beyond the core department. A postgraduate degree in USA spans over 2 years and involves rigorous coursework, trainings, and research. Some universities as part of the curriculum offer hands on training and give various research opportunities to students. Funding for the postgraduate studies includes assistantships, internships and on campus jobs. Admission to a post graduate program usually requires a minimum of 16 years of formal education. That is, 12 years of primary and secondary schooling and further 4 years of college education.

Postgraduation in Canada

A post graduate program in Canada is offered in a wide-range from fine arts, aboriginal studies, pharmacy, biotechnology to business, commerce to astronomy, media studies and information technology, engineering, and telecommunication etc. There are plenty of master’s degree programs offered to a student looking to pursue a postgraduate degree in Canada in addition to professional degree programs and post graduate certificates and diploma. The duration of a postgraduation in Canada is two years where students may find a fast-track postgraduation option also. The duration of post graduate diploma or certificate can be 1 - 2 years. A postgraduation in Canada is instantly recognized around the globe for its highest standard.

Postgraduation in New Zealand

The education system in New Zealand is very similar to the British model of higher education. Post graduate programs in New Zealand offer full-time and part-time study options. Like many of its counterparts, the minimum requirement for admission to a master’s degree is a bachelor’s qualification. Universities and other institutions offer a wide range of pg courses, in most popular subjects like business, economics, education, engineering, finance, management, and tourism.

A traditional pg degree in New Zealand helps to expand knowledge in a particular area of work and is usually research based. On the other hand, a professional pg degree enables students who earned a type of non-specialized degree to take up specific subject in another field. Most courses have a 2-years duration in which students have to complete their coursework prior to earning a master’s level pg degree.

Postgraduation in UK

There are many options of postgraduation in UK, but they all usually require you to have completed a first degree (or the equivalent in your own country) in order to be eligible for entry. Pg courses in UK are defined as either 'taught' or 'research' programmes, although students may find that there is some combination of both taught and research components in your chosen course. Students will have different reasons for choosing to enroll in either a 'taught' or a 'research' course. Postgraduation in UK is more self-directed than at the under-graduation level. Taught masters are normally one year in duration. Taught courses usually consist of several modules which are taught via seminars, tutorials, lectures and one to one contact. Students' performance is usually assessed by a mixture of continuous assessment, exams, and dissertation. For all pg courses, all university departments are audited by the relevant higher education funding councils and by the UK research councils. They are also obliged to meet stringent standards by professional bodies.

If you want to get ready for the competitive workforce in today’s fast-changing world, a postgraduate qualification can really help you stand out from the crowd!

Take the first step towards reaching your study abroad aspirations and career goals and enroll in an accredited program today with IDP.

Contact your counsellor now!

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