The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers 27 postgraduate coursework degrees at Master, Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate level. The postgraduate program caters for a range of study interests, whether you’re seeking higher academic qualification in your chosen discipline, a broader, stimulating course of study in a new discipline you’ve always wanted to investigate, or selective, focused non-award study.
If you are a current student seeking information on upgrading your degree, or exiting with a shorter award course, you can find guidelines and an application form here.
Please note: Following recommendations made by the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) for the reform of Postgraduate courses being offered by Australian Universities, the structure of many Postgraduate courses has changed.
For course durations, please refer to the information within the linked pages below
For more information: You can search and review information on all of the courses offered by the University of Sydney at Sydney Courses.
Masters courses in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences generally require satisfactory completion of 12 units of study (72 credit points).
However, some courses may require up to 2 years full-time to satisfactorily complete 96 credit points of study. These courses do not require you to have a relevant background in the subject area and currently include:
- Master of Economics
- Master of International Relations
- Master of International Security
- Master of International Studies
- Master of Public Policy
- Master of US Studies
- Executive Master of Arts and Social Sciences (96 credit points).
Masters courses requiring fewer than 72 credit points/12 units of study, for completion include:
- Executive Master of Public Administration (60 credit points)
- Master of Public Administration (48 credit points)
Relevant prior learning
Waivers and reductions in the volume of learning may be granted to Masters students in recognition of prior learning (eg. completion of a major or honours in the subject area). Please speak with the Faculty if this applies to you.
Recognition of prior learning (RPL) and work experience can mean a reduction in the number of units required to complete a Masters degree. Depending on the grade of prior learning and work experience attained, you could save up to a year of full-time study and complete your degree in just 12 months.
Applicants who wish to be considered for RPL need to contact the Faculty and may have to submit a CV and references to cover a certain minimum of experience, depending on the course to which they are applying.
An RPL credit is granted at the discretion of the Program Director of the applicant's chosen course.
From eighteen months full time or up to six years part-time
Most full-time courses in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences take between 18 months and two years to complete, depending on the course; domestic students can complete courses from two up to six years on a part-time basis.
Master courses include core or compulsory units of study, and elective units of study. Students also complete a compulsory capstone unit or units of study. Students have an option to complete a dissertation which is normally 12,000 – 15,000 words on an approved topic under the supervision of a member of the academic staff or, depending on the course, a capstone may include an internship, a professional practice project or a major research essay.
Students normally complete our Masters courses within 18 months of full time study or three years part time, although you can take up to six years to complete a Masters course.
Master courses include core or compulsory units of study and elective units of study. All students undertake a capstone towards the end of the course and can choose the option that best suits their needs.
Capstone options include a significant research project and can also include a significant essay, an industry project or an internship. A research project or dissertation normally requires 12,000 – 15,000 words on an approved topic under the supervision of a member of the academic staff.
Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate
Graduate Diplomas are extended to 8 units of study (48 credit points) with the exception of Public Administration.
A Graduate Certificate requires the satisfactory completion of 4 units of study (24 credit points).
All Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas include core units of study.
Candidates who have satisfied the requirements for the award of the Graduate Certificate may upgrade to a Graduate Diploma or to the Master course in the same sequence, provided that their results are of sufficient merit and meet admission requirements as set out in the course resolutions.
Candidates who have satisfied the requirements for the award of the Graduate Diploma may apply to upgrade the Master course in the same sequence, provided that their results are of sufficient merit and meet admission requirements as set out in the course resolutions.