Is postgraduate study right for me?

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Postgraduate study is a great way to progress your career and expand your options, but it’s also a commitment that takes time, money and discipline. Here’s what you should consider before you take the leap. 

What do I want to achieve?

Does your dream career require postgraduate qualifications? Are you looking to upskill or deepen your knowledge in your current area of work? Or do you want to shift into a new industry?  

It’s important to ask these questions to make sure you’re choosing the right degree for your needs. Postgraduate study can be a big commitment and will require time, effort and dedication. Understanding your goals from the very beginning will help you decide which kind of degree is best for you.  

Explore UNSW’s postgraduate degrees 


What if I’m looking for a change?

Postgraduate study is designed to provide space to expand your thinking, opening you up to diverse perspectives and new passions. Many of UNSW’s degrees have versatile specialisations built into the course structure, allowing you to explore your options.  

From there, you’ll be supported to gain the hands-on experience you need to build a career through UNSW’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and Student Academic and Career Success services.  


How will I manage costs? 

UNSW ranked 3rd in Australia for Graduate Employability* and in 2019, our postgraduate alumni earned the highest median salaries in Australia three years after graduating**. So while postgraduate study is a long-term investment, it’s important to be financially prepared in the short term. Here are a few options:  

  • Government support - Domestic postgraduate students may be eligible for support through Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loans, or Centrelink .   
  • Employer support - Ask your workplace about whether they offer sponsorship, study leave, or flexible working arrangements.  
  • Claim on your tax return - If you’re undertaking study for professional development, you may be able to claim some expenses in your tax return. Find out more through the Australian Taxation Office
  • Scholarships - UNSW offers several scholarships and awards to postgraduate students.  


Will I have the time?  

Juggling work, life and study is a delicate balancing act, so it’s important to take stock of your time and explore how you can build a schedule that fits your life.  

Flexible work and study arrangements are crucial to this, which is why many of UNSW’s postgraduate programs are delivered online, while others balance intensive or evening classes with online delivery. You should also explore whether your employer offers flexible work arrangements.  

Postgraduate students can choose to study part-time and have the option of deferring programs for up to two years.  


2020 QS Rankings 

** 2019 QILT Graduate Outcomes Survey – Longitudinal