Postgraduate education programs as per Australian Qualifications Framework
As we have already discussed in one of our previous article, Australian education system is generally determined by a special program known as the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). According to this framework, Tertiary education is mainly separated into a number of levels, based on the amount of education that students require for their careers.
Australian higher education system is mainly divided into ten different levels. We have already discussed about the first 7 levels (and part of the 8th level) in our previous article (A complete guide on Australian Qualifications Framework system based on Undergraduate Studies). The first seven levels are comprised of technical, vocational, associates, and bachelor’s level degrees, while the 8th level includes both undergraduate as well as graduate aspects. 9th and 10th Levels only contain postgraduate education programs.
Here is a quick overview of 9th and 10th AQF levels so that you can understand them in a better way before commencing your postgraduate tertiary education in Australia.
1. Level 8: Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas
AQF’s level 8 include Graduate certificates and graduate diplomas. These study program usually take around one year after earning a Bachelor level degree (level 7). Actually there is no real difference between a certificate and a diploma as after you complete anyone from these at level 8, you will acquire the skills you need for higher job positions or for further postgraduate studies.
Those students who want to obtain a graduate level education without the time commitment and energy can choose to pursue a graduate certificate. Moreover, those who are looking for a change in career or want to pursue a Master’s degree in a field that is not related to their Bachelor’s degree can also pursue a graduate certificate.
2. Level 9: Master’s Degrees
Level 9 includes Master’s degrees programs, which are one of the higher levels of postgraduate studies. Master’s degrees are mainly focused on research and academia rather than advancement in the employees. However, those who choose to pursue a Master’s degree need to have more focus on their chosen field of study than they did during their bachelor’s studies. This is because the fact that there are not any general education requirements related to the degree.
It generally takes around two years of study (after earning a Bachelor’s degree) to obtain a Master’s level degree. A number of people want to obtain a Masters degree either to pursue employment in a research field or to further go for a doctorate level degree.
3. Level 10: Doctorate Degrees
Doctorate degrees, which are included in the 10th level of Australian Qualifications Framework system, are the highest level of education that anyone can receive in the world. This level mainly include PhD’s, DPT’s, M.D.’s, DDS’s, law degrees, along with a range of other degrees, which are named as per the profession(s) that they are related to.
After completing the doctoral studies, one is considered to get the highest level of expertise that he/she can have in their chosen field. A lot of people with doctorates do research, work in a medical profession, or choose to work in the field of education such as in a college or university as a professor.
Doctorate degrees can take in between 3 to 6 years to complete, depending on various factors like person’s current employment status, the field he/she is studying, and how long it takes to complete their thesis.