Online postgraduate study: how does it work?

Online masters degrees are becoming increasingly popular, but how does it actually work? Can I study a PhD remotely. The answer is yes! Read on for more.
Nerizza Aborde
Nerizza Aborde
Team Postgrad Australia

Many students are unable to decide between getting a job (and start earning or paying off their student loan) or pursuing postgraduate study to enhance their qualifications in the job market. But with different options provided for students, it is now possible to do both.

You’ve been studying for many years and now you have decided to take the next steps towards increasing your knowledge and skills. Although this means further study, you are aware that you must also work and earn an income. Alternatively, maybe you’ve been working for a while already and realised that there is a need to improve your skills in your chosen field. Whatever reasons you may have, postgraduate study now offers flexible learning options — therefore there is no longer a need to choose between work or study.

Postgraduate Study Options

Many Australian universities offer a range of study modes that can be tailored to suit students’ needs — allowing students to study and work at the same time.

Part time — various postgraduate courses are offered part time. Lectures and group discussion may occur on the weekend or in the evenings, or other arrangements that suit students’ schedules. The duration of study is likely lengthened with part time study, especially if you are completing a research course.

Online study — traditional education programmes have evolved into new and modernized teaching methods since the advancement of technology. Through online study, students of most postgraduate courses can study without attending the campus, but will have access to lectures and learning materials via Internet, e-mails and other computer-based interactions. This option may also allow you to choose where and when to study in a pace that suits you.

CPD (continuing professional development) — to remain accredited and keep your knowledge progress, many professions require you to undertake continuing professional development courses. The masters in this section cover many different subject areas and include MBAs, also, a few research-based courses and programmes leading to postgraduate certificates and diplomas or MAs and MScs. Australian universities offer this to improve and broaden your knowledge, expertise and competence, and preparing your skills to move upwards and onwards.

You may check our search and compare tools to find the right postgraduate course and study option that suit you.

International postgraduate students

International students may find it difficult to study postgraduate courses on a part-time basis due to possible visa restrictions. Do your research carefully and then apply to your chosen university by following the information provided on their official website. Or visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website for further information.

Funding sources

Having employment in a full-time or part-time job will help you with your expenses, but you may also seek financial assistance from your employer to help you with your tuition fees. If you plan to take a postgraduate course related to your work, you could ask your employer if they can fund your study or give you some extra time off. Many employers actively support employees who wish to undertake postgraduate study, especially if it would mean advancement of their current career which is equally benefiting for the company.