Apply for postgraduate coursework

A guide to the admissions process for domestic students
Find out how to apply for a master's degree, graduate diploma or graduate certificate.

This page outlines the admission process for domestic students. 

You are a domestic student if you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen (including dual citizens), a permanent resident of Australia or a holder of a permanent Australian humanitarian visa or a Pacific Engagement visa. Otherwise, please find out how to apply as an international student.

General process

Use our course search to browse our wide range of courses. Use the filters to search for postgraduate courses in your field of study, then click on a course to find out more about: 

  • what you'll study
  • admissions criteria
  • application deadlines
  • potential career paths. 

You might want to bookmark the course page, as you'll be referring back to it as you prepare your application.

Types of postgraduate coursework degrees

Some courses are offered at a graduate certificate, graduate diploma and master's degree level – when choosing a degree, you should consider which level is best for you.

A graduate certificate usually covers some of the core units of a master's degree, and is typically completed within six months of full-time study. A graduate diploma offers more opportunity to upskill, covering more of the master's units and is typically completed within a year of full-time study. 

Master's degrees provide you with specialised knowledge and skills, and usually take one to two years of full-time study.

Depending on your course, you may be able to upgrade/downgrade between the course levels – for example, commencing a graduate diploma and then upgrading to the master's version of the course.

Inherent requirements

When choosing a course, you should see if it has any inherent requirements (this will be noted on the course page). These usually apply for courses that are preparing you for a career where you will be working closely with people or animals.

They aren't assessable admissions criteria but are required for you to successfully complete the course. Understanding the inherent requirements will allow you to make an informed decision about the course/career.

The admissions criteria for your course will be listed on the specific course page (found in step 1).

Depending on the degree, it could include:

  • the completion of an approved undergraduate degree. 
    • This could include previous studies in a particular discipline or area of study. 
    • When your application is assessed, we will also check that your previous degree/institution is recognised by the University as meeting the requirements for admission into a postgraduate degree.
  • a minimum academic score or academic average in your previous degree
  • relevant professional experience
  • a portfolio of work 
  • health and security checks.

English language requirements depend on the course, your country of origin and educational background.  Find out if you need to prove  English language proficiency.

Before applying, you should understand the costs of study you will need to pay. These include:

  • tuition fees (tuition fee information can also be found on the specific course page)
  • non-tuition fees and costs.

There are a limited number of Commonwealth supported places (CSP) available for some postgraduate courses. All eligible students will be automatically considered.

You should also explore the financial support options that may be available to you. This includes the Australian Government's HECS-HELP (for CSP students) and FEE-HELP (for full-fee paying students).

In addition, we have a range of scholarships available.

Select 'Apply now' on the course page and follow the prompts to submit your application. You can save and return at any time. 

Supplementary application forms

If your course requires a supplementary application form, it will be listed on the course page.

Juris doctor

If you are applying for the Juris Doctor (JD), you must do so through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

Application deadlines

Applications for most courses close on:

  • 31 January for Semester 1 intake
  • 15 July for Semester 2 intake

However, closing dates differ for some courses (e.g. Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Dental Medicine) so you should refer to your course page for confirmation.

We recommend applying well before the closing dates to ensure the best chance of success, as offers are made on a rolling basis.

Optional steps

You may be able to have related study or work experience credited to your degree, meaning you won’t have to repeat similar units and could graduate sooner. This is available for equivalent:

  • units of study taken at another university or higher education institution.
  • qualifications from a recognised higher education institution.
  • relevant work experience (only available in certain postgraduate degrees).
How to apply
  • If you are applying directly to the University, you can apply for credit as part of your course application.
  • We will assess your credit after a decision is made on your course application.
Types of credit available

The following types of credit are available:

  • specific credit: this is credit granted for a specific unit of study when you’ve previously undertaken its exact equivalent at another institution.
  • non-specific credit: when there is no equivalent unit of study here, credit may be considered for a certain number of credit points at a specific level.
  • reduced volume of learning (RVL): for some postgraduate courses, this form of credit is used to reduce the number of credit points needed to complete the course based on a relevant previous qualification or work experience.

You may also be eligible to apply for a waiver, if the unit you’ve completed is substantially similar to a University of Sydney unit, but credit cannot be given. Unlike credit and RVL, waivers don’t reduce the duration of your award course and you’ll need to complete another unit in its place.

Please note:

Accepting credit can change your study load, fees or course duration. This may also affect your government assistance eligibility and full-time concession benefits.

There are a number of scholarships available for domestic postgraduate students. Most scholarships have their own application processes and deadlines, so you should research these as early as possible.

What happens next? 

You will receive an email with the outcome of your application.

Successful applicants will receive an unconditional or conditional offer. If you receive a conditional offer, this means that we require further documentation before we can issue an unconditional offer. 

To satisfy the conditions of your offer, log into your Sydney Student Portal, select ‘Manage documents’ and upload any documents requested in the conditions listed in your offer letter.

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