There are all kinds of very good reasons to get stuck into postgrad; refining your skills, changing careers, networking, bulking up the CV.  

But it might sometimes feel as if there are just as many reasons not to. There’s the commitment, the workload. Are you ready? Can you afford it? Weren’t you thinking of going off-grid and just hiking for a few years instead? 

We can’t necessarily help with the hiking dilemma, but we can help with the other stuff. Because not everything you might know about postgrad study is necessarily true.

Myth: Postgrad is expensive, and I’ll have to grit my teeth and deal with the cost.

Truth: Not necessarily. It’s not as commonly known, but there are just about as many financial support systems for postgrad study as there are for undergrad. Just like with undergrad, there are postgraduate courses that have ‘Commonwealth Supported Places’ (CSP), like architecture, engineering, and primary and secondary teaching. CSP means the government pays for part of the course, and you don’t have to pay it back – you can even pay your portion of the cost of the course with a HECS-HELP loan. If the course you have your heart set on doesn’t offer CSP? You can always apply for FEE-HELP. 

But fee help isn’t the only way to reduce the cost of your course. There’s studying a graduate certificate or diploma, or undertaking micro units (more on them soon) which are less of a financial commitment and offer pathways into bigger degrees. 

Did you know you can get a loan for a graduate certificate? Or a scholarship to study postgrad? Or that if levelling up your education is going to benefit your employer, you can talk to them about covering the cost

Our point? There are options abounds.

Myth: I need a Bachelor of Something to do postgrad study.

Truth: Yes, it’s true that often you might be expected to have an undergrad degree to qualify for a postgrad course. But at Swinburne, we take into account any work experience and prior learning that might be relevant to your area of study. So, you can go straight from having a certificate to a master degree.

Myth: I’ll have to give up my life, and my family and friends will be fighting for my time.

Truth: Postgrad study can be a challenge, there’s no tip-toeing around that. But it doesn’t have to be an unhealthy, push-you-to-your-very-limits type of challenge. Fit your study schedule around your life with flexible learning – nights, weekends – and block delivery (also known as 'intensives') which often means classes are taught in fully-catered day and half-day blocks on Fridays, Saturdays and after hours. Giving you the space to study when suits you. 

Hot tip: if you’re employed and your study area is related to your job, talk to your workplace about fitting study into your work schedule – or, even better, taking paid study leave. 

Myth: I’ll be locked in for two whole years of hard slog.

Truth: Maybe! If you’re really enjoying yourself, it might even be longer. But remember: if this is something you’re interested in, you might find yourself in a year or two anyway thinking ‘I’d be done by now’. Expecting life to open up and make room for postgrad is a nice thought, but it may never happen that way. Here’s the good news: it’s up to you how much time you spend on your postgrad study.  

Micro-units are like courses broken down and delivered thick and fast over one day, followed by some offline individual work. And most graduate certificates can be over and done in just six or twelve months, and still look just as shiny on the CV. 

Myth: What if I drop out, and lose all that hard work?

Truth: Postgrad isn’t like other areas of study – we know how hard you work and how much the qualification means to you. That’s why, when you leave a master degree earlier than you planned at Swinburne, you don’t leave without a qualification. 

Depending on your progress, you might leave with a graduate certificate or a graduate diploma. And if that still feels daunting, scale back the commitment. Shorter courses and micro-units can lead to further study and bigger awards when and if you’re ready, so starting small doesn’t mean finishing small. 

Postgrad isn’t – or doesn’t have to be – the age-old scary story; buried in books, sleep-deprived, and unanswered texts piling up by the minute. Talk to us about how postgrad study could fit into your life and work for you.

Upcoming or past events

  • Midyear Study Expo

    Looking to start midyear? Attend our Study Expo to browse Swinburne courses, study areas, and our Hawthorn campus at your own pace.

    Tue 4 June
    4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
    Swinburne Hawthorn campus, AMDC building, Level 3
    Register now (Midyear Study Expo)
  • Swinburne Open Day

    Your chance to explore Swinburne: in person, up close, and at your own pace.

    Sun 28 July
    10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    Swinburne, Hawthorn campus
  • Course Info
    • Business
    • Law

    A Day in the Life of a Swinburne Business and Criminology Student

    Want to see what it’s like to study business or criminology at uni? Walk a day in a Swinburne student’s shoes and find out.

    Thu 11 April
    9:00 AM to 3:15 PM
    Foyer, Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC), Hawthorn campus
    Register now (A Day in the Life of a Swinburne Business and Criminology Student)

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