What are postgraduate courses?

Postgraduate study aims to build on your previous education in a particular topic. For instance, if you have completed a Bachelors in Social Work you are able to advance your education in the subject with a postgraduate diploma of Social Work, or even a Masters in Social Work.

In New Zealand, postgraduate means any study at NZQA Level 8 or above, this includes masters programmes, postgraduate diplomas, postgraduate certificates, bachelor degrees with honours, and PhDs.

Many of our postgraduate students have taken some time away since completing their bachelor’s degrees, and there are resources available for people to refresh themselves with the academic skills they may have forgotten. 

Postgraduate education is undertaken for a number of reasons, most common of these is to specialise in a career path, pursue a new path within your field, or if you wish to move into academia or research.

What we usually see in our postgraduate students is a drive to advance in their industry. A postgraduate qualification such as a certificate or diploma can give you the edge you need to secure the next step on your career ladder. 

Undertaking a Master’s or PhD typically means meeting more advanced criteria, although this depends on which field you are studying. The most common pathway is gaining a bachelor’s degree, then a postgraduate certificate or diploma, then onto a master’s and finally a PhD.

While postgraduate study is a step up in the calibre of work you will be required to carry out, it also gives invaluable opportunities for you to shape your own study, often including research projects that allow you to explore topics you want to specialise in. 

It is common to see scholarships and awards for postgraduate study across many sectors, some will help offset the costs of study, while others will cover it completely. 

As with all education pathways, there are plenty of scholarships and awards available to those undertaking further study. These scholarships and awards are especially abundant within the postgraduate study sector. Each scholarship and award may have certain criteria to be met before applying, but on the whole, they are there to assist financially as you progress with your advanced studies.

A postgraduate qualification can shift your career prospects, and help you attain new heights in your chosen fields. We find that in many circumstances, a postgraduate education is the only way to enter into an advanced career straight from the study.