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Study Levels Explained

There are quite a few types of university courses out there, and with CQUniversity also offering TAFE courses and study pathways, you may be wondering what type of course is best for you. Learn more about the different study levels available below, including general entry requirements and a general guide to how long they will take to complete. Make sure you view individual course details via our course pages for any specific entry requirements or durations that may apply.

Study Pathways

Our study pathway courses help you develop the skills and confidence for further education. If you are returning to work after some time away, keen to develop your language, literacy and numeracy skills, looking to meet pre-requisite subjects for your desired course, or need some additional support to gain the confidence and skills to undertake further study, then our range of work and study preparation courses will help you achieve your goals.

TAFE Certificates and Diplomas

Our TAFE certificates and diplomas are a great option if you are seeking skills to improve your employability, starting your career, or formalising existing experience. As part of your studies, you will be required to complete a set of prescribed core and elective units, along with assessments pieces and other learning tasks.

Whether you are looking for entry-level Certificate I and II courses, or you wish to upskill with Certificate III and IV courses, our range of certificate courses will help you meet your goals. You will find seamless pathways between our certificate levels allowing you to enhance your skills and progress to a higher level qualification.

Entry requirements^: You will be required to complete the Basic Key Skills Builder (BKSB) online literacy and numeracy assessment. Be sure to view the entry requirements for each course before applying as some certificates may have specific entry requirements.

Duration*: Approximately 6-18 months, depending on the course and your study load. You may be able to reduce the time of your course with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). RPL is an assessment process that recognises knowledge, skills and experience towards a specific qualification.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level: Certificate I, II, III and IV courses are classified as level 1 - 4 courses.

If you are looking for that next step, our diploma courses provide you with theoretical knowledge and practical skills for work and reflect the latest developments in industry. If you wish to continue your studies with a bachelor degree, you may receive credit for the relevant units studied as part of your diploma.

Entry requirements^: You will be required to complete the Basic Key Skills Builder (BKSB) online literacy and numeracy assessment. Be sure to view the entry requirements for each course before applying as some diplomas may have specific entry requirements.

Duration*: Approximately 18 months to two years, depending on the course and your study load.   You may be able to reduce the time of your course with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). RPL is an assessment process that recognises knowledge, skills and experience towards a specific qualification.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level: Diplomas and advanced diplomas are classified as level 5 and 6 courses.

Undergraduate

Our undergraduate courses are ideal if you have not completed a university degree, as they are designed to help you start your career and gain skills and knowledge in your chosen study area. Your study will involve a prescribed set of core and elective units, and you will be required to complete a range of assessments and learning tasks.

This is an ideal study option if you are looking to explore a specific discipline in some depth. Our diploma courses are also ideal pathway options for a number of our associate and bachelor degrees. If you wish to continue your studies with an associate degree or bachelor, you may receive credit for the relevant units studied at this level.

Entry requirements^: Generally, you will need to meet relevant rank (OP/ATAR/SR) requirements along with any specified pre-requisite or recommended study that applies. Be sure to view the specific requirements for each course before applying.

Duration*: One year full time or two years part time.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level: Diplomas are classified as level 5 courses.

Gain skills and knowledge to qualify you at the para-professional level. An associate degree is a great option if you are seeking foundational knowledge and understanding in a specific discipline area. If you wish to continue your studies with a bachelor degree, you may receive credit for the relevant units studied at this level.

Entry requirements^: Generally, you will need to meet relevant rank (OP/ATAR/SR) requirements along with any specified pre-requisite or recommended study that applies. Be sure to view the specific requirements for each course before applying.

Duration*: Two years full time or four years part time.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level: Associate degrees are classified as level 6 courses.

A bachelor degree is usually the first course studied at university and allows you to gain a solid understanding and strong skill set in your chosen discipline area. Some bachelor degrees can be coupled with degrees from other disciplines to form a ‘double degree'. This allows you to gain in-depth skills and knowledge along with two qualifications in significantly less time than it would take to complete each degree separately.

Entry requirements^: Generally, you will need to meet relevant rank (OP/ATAR/SR) requirements along with any specified pre-requisite or recommended study that applies. Be sure to view the specific requirements for each course before applying.

Duration*Three to four years full time or six to eight years part time. Dual and double degrees are typically four to five years full time (or part time equivalent).

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level: Bachelor degrees are classified as level 7 courses.

An honours course is normally an additional year of study full time, or part time equivalent, beyond a bachelor degree. An honours course is ideal if you wish to extend your knowledge in your chosen specialisation or continue on to study a research higher degree. You may find that for some courses, the honours component will be coupled with the bachelor, extending your bachelor studies by one year allowing you to seamlessly progress with your studies.

Entry requirements^: Generally, you will be required to have completed a bachelor degree from an Australian university or college or equivalent, and have achieved a specific grade point average during your bachelor degree. Be sure to view the specific requirements for each course before applying.

Duration*: One year full time or two years part time.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level: Honours degrees are classified as level 8 courses.

Postgraduate

Our postgraduate courses are a great option if you have completed a bachelor degree or in some cases have relevant professional experience and are looking to complete further study to advance your skills and knowledge. Postgraduate courses are designed to help you progress in your career, gain advanced skills and knowledge, formalise your existing skills and knowledge, and in some cases retrain to change your career. Your study will involve a prescribed number of core and elective units with specific assessments and learning tasks that you will be required to complete.

This is an ideal study option if you are looking for foundational knowledge and understanding in a specialist area. If you wish to continue your postgraduate studies with a graduate diploma or masters, you may receive credit for the relevant units studied at this level.

Entry requirements^: Generally, you will be required to have completed a bachelor degree from an Australian university or college or equivalent, or have a number of years’ relevant professional experience. Be sure to view the specific requirements for each course before applying.

Duration*: Six months full time or one year part time.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level: Graduate certificates are classified as level 8 courses.

If you are looking to advance your capabilities and expertise in a specialist area or would like to undertake a new career direction, a graduate diploma may be ideal for you. You will build on your existing knowledge and skills gained via prior study or work experience. Once you have completed your graduate diploma, you may choose to articulate into a relevant masters degree.

Entry requirements^: Generally, you will be required to have a bachelor degree from an Australian university or college or equivalent, or a CQUni graduate certificate or equivalent, or for some courses relevant professional experience. Be sure to view the specific requirements for each course before applying.

Duration*: One year full time or two years part time.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level: Graduate diplomas are classified as level 8 courses.

A masters degree is an advanced study option that comprises a series of specialist units designed to extend your professional understanding in a particular subject area or provide you with the opportunity to move in a new professional direction. Many of our masters degrees

have interim and exit pathways that allow you to obtain a

graduate certificate or graduate diploma should you wish to complete your studies early.

Entry requirements^: Generally, you will be required to have a bachelor degree from an Australian university or

college or equivalent or a CQUni graduate certificate, graduate diploma or equivalent, and for some courses specific professional experience or other requirements. Be sure to view the entry requirements for each course before applying.

Duration*: Up to two years full time or four years part time.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level: Masters are classified as level 9 courses.

Research Higher Degrees

A Research Higher Degree is not just for those who consider themselves academics. They are for those who have a passion for a topic, want to solve problems in their industry or community, or who want to advance their career. Unlike coursework study, a research higher degree does not follow a structure of lectures, tutorials, assessment items and examinations. Rather, a research higher degree is a program of supervised research and study leading to the preparation and submission of a thesis. You will contribute new knowledge to your chosen field in collaboration with our strong and reputable research community.

By completing a masters by research you will undertake original research in a particular area of interest, under supervision, which results in the submission of a thesis.

Entry requirements: Specific entry requirements are needed, so be sure to view the requirements for each course before applying.

Duration*: Two years full time or four years part time.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level: Masters by research are classified as level 9 courses.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a course of supervised research and study that may be undertaken in a range of fields. Your research will lead to the submission of a thesis that makes a significant original contribution to knowledge. Other doctoral degrees such as the Doctor of Professional Studies and Doctor of Education are research integrated, professional practice degrees, comprising structured research tasks, proposal development, and thesis component.

Entry requirements: Specific entry requirements are needed, so be sure to view the requirements for each course before applying.

Duration*: Four years full time or eight years part time.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level: Doctoral degrees are classified as level 10 courses.

* Some course durations may differ, not all courses are available for full-time and part-time study.

^ Entry requirements may differ and for some courses additional or other entry requirements must be met. May not be applicable for all courses. Recognition of professional experience subject to approval by a CQUniversity course representative.

Short Courses

Upgrade your skills, meet industry professional development requirements or pursue a talent or interest with a short course. We offer accredited and non-accredited courses, along with non-award short courses.

Designed to provide knowledge and skills across a wide range of topics including automotive, art, beauty, information technology, hospitality, small business, languages and sport.

Known as Adult Community Education (ACE) courses, these are short courses without formal assessment for people over 15 years of age.

Known as a Professional Development Course (PDC), and designed to meet professional development requirements as well as industry workforce needs. Successful completion of a PDC will be awarded with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours and a CQUniversity Certificate of Completion.