Master of Education

Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma

The MEd at Sydney University's Faculty of Education and Social Work is one of the largest postgraduate coursework programs in Australia, and is designed to develop and support the careers of teaching professionals, education administrators, researchers and policy makers. It does not lead to a professional teaching qualification. Candidates interested in a graduate-level teaching qualification should consult the Master of Teaching pages.

The MEd is an extremely flexible program: students may choose to specialise in one of seven accredited designations or, alternatively, graduate with a general Master of Education degree.

Because the MEd is a fully articulated program, every category offered at master's level can also be taken at the shorter graduate-certificate and graduate-diploma levels. Four units of study comprise a graduate certificate; six units constitute a graduate diploma; and successfully completing eight units of study is required for the award of a Master of Education.

Graduate-certificate and graduate-diploma students will receive full credit for the units they have completed if they choose to subsequently enrol in a master's program.

Why choose the University of Sydney?

The faculty offers more than 100 units of study in its postgraduate coursework programs, making it one of the largest graduate programs in Australia.

Courses are taught by staff who are active researchers in their fields and who ensure that the contents of units of study reflect the latest theory and research in the area. Staff members have extensive experience in teaching and make use of a variety of teaching techniques to ensure student engagement and understanding.

A common pattern in units of study is for the lecturer to introduce key concepts in a scaffolded manner through journal readings, collaborative and individual student activities, and lecturer exposition during the first half of the semester. In the second half of the semester students take responsibility for the presentation of seminar papers on topics chosen from the unit outline.

Entry requirements

Proof of English-language proficiency must be provided with enrolment applications from some Australian and all international students for whom English is a second language.

Except for the Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (Sports Coaching) and the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program, the minimum educational requirement for applications to all levels of the articulated certificate/diploma/master's course is the equivalent of a four-year teacher-training qualification, comprising one of the following:

  • BEd

  • three-year bachelor's degree together with either a BTeach or DipEd

  • three-year teacher-training qualification plus relevant professional experience.

Applicants with experience or qualifications in related fields who believe they may meet the entry requirements should make an enquiry to discuss their eligibility.

Sports Coaching

A prior degree or teaching qualification is preferred but not essential for admission to the graduate certificate level of the Sports Coaching designation. Applicants must, however, have extensive coaching or sporting experience at elite level as well as at least a Level 2 National Coaching Accreditation Scheme qualification. Satisfactory results in the certificate can then be used as a basis for admission to the diploma and/or master's levels, if the student wishes.

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Applicants to the TESOL designation must have an undergraduate degree from a recognised tertiary institution and a background in language teaching in form of one of the following:

  • a language-teaching qualification
  • at least one year's full-time (or part-time equivalent) language-teaching experience at school, college or university level.

Course structure

The faculty offers two forms of qualification – generalist and specialist – for all postgraduate qualifications under its MEd articulated program.

Generalist GradCert, GradDip and MEd

Candidates who are interested in undertaking diverse coursework can qualify with a general award at any of the three levels. As well, applicants who have already qualified for the Graduate Certificate in Education Studies (Higher Education) may enter the general graduate diploma or master's programs.

Except for GradCertEdStud(Higher Education) holders, all candidates complete three units of study from one specialist area (usually two core units and one elective) and select the balance of units required for their certificate, diploma or master's from either the independent units of study listed below or units available under other designations.

GradCertEdStud(Higher Education) candidates must complete two units for a generalist Graduate Diploma in Education Studies and four units for a generalist Master of Education.

Independent units of study

The units of study listed below are not linked to a specialist program but may be taken as contributing units to a general graduate certificate, graduate diploma or master's program.

Specialist GradCert, GradDip and MEd

The 'designated' coursework program allows students to specialise in particular areas, graduating with an award that indicates their expertise. Units of study are prescribed for these courses, and divided into core units and electives.

A specific number of core units, which varies according to the designation chosen, must be completed by candidates for any level award. The following specialties are being offered in 2013:

Further study

Students undertaking the Master of Education are able to proceed to enrolment in a postgraduate research degree on the basis of exemplary results in their studies.


Tuition fees vary according to candidates' citizenship and are reviewed annually. The most up-to-date estimate for MEd course fees can be found under Fees & Admissions for the Master of Education in the Sydney Courses database. Comprehensive information about payment of international fees is available from the International Student Office fee-payment page.