Degree Options in Australia
TAFE in Australia
TAFE (Technical And Further Education) programs give you employment related qualifications certified under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) for practical training in a wide range of occupations.
TAFE qualifications range through Certificate 1 to 4 up to Diploma and Advanced Diploma.
TAFE qualifications at Diploma and Advanced Diploma levels are recognized for credit towards degree studies.
TAFE Diploma and Advanced Diploma
Diploma and Advanced Diploma programs in Australia teach theory and practical skills in a wide range of technical and/or management functions.
- There are usually no prior qualifications needed as entry requirements, other than English proficiency.
- Some courses may require demonstrated work experience or prerequisite subjects.
Associate Degree (2 years) in Australia
Associate degree programs follow year 12 or equivalent, or Certificate III or IV. It is a shorter higher education qualification offering an exit point at the sub-degree level, or a fully articulated pathway into a Bachelor Degree.
Undergraduate – Bachelor’s Degree (3, 4, or 5 years) in Australia
Bachelor’s degree programs prepare you for professional careers and/or postgraduate study. Programs and degree options offered in Australia include a professional degree, double degree, graduate entry degree and Honours degree.
- Entry requires a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12) or overseas equivalent. Alternatively an Advanced Diploma will gain entry into most related Bachelor Degrees and may also provide credit recognition.
- Programs typically require a three to four-year program at a university.
- An Honours degree may be awarded after an additional year of research.
Postgraduate – Master’s Degree in Australia
In a Master’s program, students gain advanced knowledge and skills in a chosen field of study or area of professional practice. Programs include coursework Master’s programs, professional Master’s programs and research Master’s programs.
- Coursework Master’s: consists of coursework, project work and research. Requires successful completion of a Bachelor’s degree or Graduate diploma.
- Professional Master’s: involves work-based projects. Requires relevant qualification and professional experience.
- Research Master’s: consists of research and a thesis. Requires successful completion of a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s preliminary year, Graduate Diploma or equivalent research experience.
- Most MBA programs require successful completion of a Bachelor’s degree and work experience.
- Programs typically require a two year program at a university.
Postgraduate – Doctoral Degree
The Doctoral Degree is the highest award offered by Australian universities. Although it is a research degree, some programs may have a course work component.
Should I consider a Certificate, Diploma or Degree Program?
At TAFE, you can study towards a certificate of various levels, a diploma or an advanced diploma. Each of these qualifications has different course durations, different learning outcomes and different industry recognition levels.
At university, you study towards a bachelor degree or postgraduate qualification that provides broad education, such as a Bachelor of Business, or specific professional outcomes, such as a Bachelor of Education (Primary).
While the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) ranks bachelor and postgraduate degrees higher than TAFE qualifications, different careers require different levels of training. Therefore, your choice of career will determine the best qualification for you.
So, to summarize: If you need a Certificate, a Diploma or an Advanced Diploma for your future career, you can enroll in a TAFE institute in Australia. If you need a bachelor’s degree or a postgraduate degree for your future career, you need to study at a university. Note: It is sometimes possible to use TAFE course credits for university course entry.