Frequently asked questions

Please check our frequently asked questions below covering topics including: Research, Fees, Entry requirements, Master of Cultural Materials Conservation, Accepting my offer and Executive Master of Arts. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, contact one of our friendly advisors.

  • Fees

    I really want to study the course but can’t pay for a full-fee place. What are my options?

    There are a number of ways you can alleviate the pressure of course fees.

    • Defer your fees via FEE-HELP in the same way you can defer undergraduate fees via HECS. Information about FEE-HELP is available on the Australian Government’s Study Assist website
    • If your degree is relevant to your current job, claim a tax deduction via self-education expenses. For further information, please consult your accountant or the Australian Taxation Office
    • If you study The Executive Master of Arts or the Master of Cultural Materials Conservation, you are eligible for Austudy/Youth Allowance financial assistance. For more information please visit the Student Financial Aid website, or contact Centrelink
    • Contact us to ask about flexible payment options such as semester payments, annual payments or two payments per semester

    Are Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) available for my course?

    Yes. A limited number of CSPs are available. Equity based CSPs are also available through the Graduate Access Melbourne (GAM) scheme to successful and Masters by Coursework applicants. Masters by Coursework applicants are also considered for CSPs on the basis of academic merit, but should note that this is a highly competitive process. As a guide, only Masters applicants with high, first class results in their previous studies would normally be considered for a merit-based CSP. During an admissions period where CSPs are available, both course and GAM applications must be submitted with full and certified documentation by the relevant closing date to be considered for a CSP. The CSP closing date for the Start Year Intake is normally 30 November, or 31 May for the Mid Year Intake.

    If my CSP application is not successful, will I be considered for an Australian fee-paying place in the course?

    Yes. As long as you meet the entry requirements for the course, you’ll automatically be offered an Australian fee-paying place if your CSP application is not successful. That means you don’t need to apply for both a CSP and fee-paying place.

    If I commence my degree as a graduate Australian fee-paying student, is it possible to apply for a CSP during my studies?

    There are some instances in which you can apply for CSP consideration once you have started your course. You could lodge an application for equity-based consideration through the GSHSS Graduate Access Melbourne (GAM) scheme. Your GAM application needs to be lodged by the GAM closing date. If you have consistently high, first class results across both your previous and current studies, you could be granted a merit-based CSP.

    For more information please email GSHSS admissions.

  • Entry requirements

    I uploaded electronic copies of my academic documents when I applied. Do I also need to provide hard-copy versions?

    No, submission of originals or certified hard-copies of academic and English language requirement documents is no longer a mandatory application requirement. However, all applicants should note that officially certified copies of the original transcripts and completion records for your previous studies may be requested by the University at any time to verify the authenticity and / or details of the documentation provided with your application.

    I have submitted an online application for a Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences (GSHSS) course. When and how will I receive my application outcome?

    • International applicants should receive their application outcome by email within 6 weeks. If you require an earlier outcome (eg to meet a scholarship deadline) please email International Admissions Graduate Arts
    • Domestic applications are assessed monthly. In general, the assessment of Start-Year applications commences in August of the year prior, and the assessment of Mid-Year applications commences in March. If you apply for the next intake, once your application is received (with full supporting documents), you should receive a response within 4 weeks. Closer to the beginning of semester, this turnaround time shortens

    If you lodge an early application for a future intake, your application won’t be assessed until August (for the following Start-Year Intake) or March (for the following Mid-Year Intake). if you are an early domestic applicant with special reasons for requiring an earlier outcome (eg you are relocating from interstate or overseas) please email GSHSS admissions. Applications for Graduate Access Melbourne places are assessed separately.

    I have a degree in a non-related discipline. How can I get into a Masters by Coursework program?

    A number of Masters by Coursework programs do not require previous study in a related area for entry to the 2 year / 200 point program. Entry requirements for these programs normally require prior completion of an undergraduate degree with at least an H2B average (which is equivalent to at least 70% at the University of Melbourne), or equivalent. These programs envisage their first year / 100 points as providing sufficient scope to introduce graduates to their respective fields. It is assumed that graduate students are generally capable of picking up and advancing in new areas of knowledge over a two year period, and that having students from a range of different backgrounds enriches the student experience. Masters programs not requiring prior related studies for 200 point entry include: the Master of International Relations; the Master of Development Studies; the Master of Development Studies (Gender and Development); the Master of Arts and Cultural Management; the Master of Global Media Communications; the Master of Journalism; the Master of Publishing and Communications and the Executive Master of Arts.

    For other Masters by Coursework programs, which may require background studies in a relevant area, we would still advise you to apply for the Masters course. The Selection Committee may indeed assess you as eligible for direct admission. Alternatively, the Selection Committee is best placed to assess your background and offer you a viable pathway into the course, most commonly through a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Certificate (Advanced), or Graduate Diploma in a related area. These pathway courses are offered to provide an opportunity for applicants to develop skills and knowledge in the specified area and/or demonstrate academic ability.

    Is Mid-year entry available?

    Mid-year entry is available for most of our degrees, except:

    • Master of Cultural Materials Conservation
    • Executive Master of Arts (EMA) – mid-year entry is not available for the 150-point or 100-point EMA programs
    • Language study – you can only start language study mid-year if you have already have sufficient skills in the relevant language beforehand

    What if I can’t provide any academic references in my application?

    Academic references are optional for graduate coursework applicants. Academic transcripts covering all previous studies, however, must be provided.

    It has been a long time since I last studied at university. Do you have a cut-off date where previous studies are no longer counted?

    A maximum period of 10 years usually applies. Admission to Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate courses will be approved as long as you can provide evidence of undergraduate degree completion (neither the date of completion nor standard of results is significant). However, if you are applying for a Masters degree or Graduate Diploma, and completed studies more than 10 years ago, you are advised to provide a CV so the Selection Committee can consider your professional activities since graduation. If the Selection Committee deems you to have insufficient experience, they may recommend a study pathway, rather than a direct offer.

    I will complete my current studies this year. Therefore, I don’t have academic transcripts and final results yet. Can I apply without these?

    Yes. Submit your application with an official copy of the results you have achieved to date. Your application will be assessed on the basis of these results and other relevant information. If you are deemed on track to achieve the minimum entry requirements for your nominated degree, you may receive a conditional offer pending final results.

    Can I specify on the application form that I wish to study either a 100-, 150- or 200-point Masters program?

    The application form does not provide you with the option of applying for a specific 100-, 150- or 200-point program. So if you would like to be considered for a shorter program, please submit a cover letter with your application detailing the grounds on which you wish to be considered. The Selection Committee will grant your application the shortest program possible, based on the strength of your academic and professional background. The entry requirements for each point variant are available in the Handbook.

    I want to study an area that does not offer a Masters by Coursework program (ie History, Philosophy), but don’t want to do a research degree. What are my options?

    If you are a graduate, but have no/limited background knowledge in your nominated field, you could apply for a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Arts.

    If you are a graduate with previous studies in your nominated field, you could apply for a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma. You may also enrol in specific single subjects of interest through the Single subject study (Community Access Program).

    Can I study Executive Master of Arts (EMA) or Master of International Relations (MIR) subjects as part of the Community Access Program (CAP)?

    CAP students cannot enrol in EMA or MIR compulsory subjects, but they may be permitted to undertake optional subjects from these programs with the support of the relevant subject coordinator.

  • Accepting my offer

    I am a domestic applicant who was made a conditional offer and believe I have satisfied my offer conditions. When can I enrol?

    Once you have satisfied your offer conditions, either through submission of outstanding documents and/or completion of your course at the required standard, the Admissions team will lift your offer conditions and instruct you by email to proceed with your enrolment, normally within a week or two. If your conditions have not been lifted within this timeframe, please email the Admissions team a follow up reminder.

    I have received an application outcome but would like to appeal or query the decision. What is the process?

    Please email the Admissions team with details of your appeal. Please include your student/application ID number, details of the course you have been offered, and also of the offer you were expecting to receive and why. You are also welcome to provide us with further documents to support your case.

    Can I defer my place in a graduate course?

    It is not possible to defer Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) in programs offered by the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences (GSHSS). If you have been offered a CSP and find you are not in a position to commence you will need to decline your offer, and re-apply for a subsequent intake. There is no guarantee you will be offered a CSP again in future.

    For International and Australian fee-paying places, it is normally possible to defer the commencement date of your course by one or two semesters. Instructions on how to do this are given at the time of offer.

    Deferral, is sometimes confused with leave of absence. Leave of Absence is when you take time off from study when you have already completed some subjects in the program. Deferral is when you delay commencing your program.

    Can I exit from my Masters course with a lesser qualification?

    Some Master’s programs have exit awards. Provided you have also completed the course requirements of the exit award during your Masters, you will be able to discontinue your Masters and exit with that qualification, usually a Graduate Certificate or Diploma in a specified area. If you are not in a position to complete your Masters course and have completed at least 50 points, email the Admissions team, Faculty of Arts, for further advice if you would like to be considered for an exit award.

    Do pathways exist to further studies after I finish the program?

    Yes. Students wishing to continue studying after completion of a Masters degree may wish to apply for a graduate research program. Students wishing to pursue this path should consult with a course advisor and ensure they complete a relevant thesis during their course in order to be eligible to apply for a research program in the same area.

    Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate (Advanced) pathway courses are frequently offered to unsuccessful Masters applicants to enable those candidates to prove their academic ability and/or undertake necessary background studies, so that they are in a position to lodge a successful Masters by Coursework application in future.

    How can I assess what programs/subjects are most relevant to the workforce?

    Each program is made up of core (compulsory) units and elective units. Some programs offer streams to students interested in particular areas, such as the Gender and Development stream within the Master of Development Studies. Some employers look for students who have studied specific disciplines, while others are interested in high quality students from any discipline. It is important to choose subjects that interest you and that you will do well in. Speaking with current students, alumni and industry practitioners, as well as academics is a great way to find out more about which subjects are most relevant to the career path you are pursuing.

  • Graduate Research

    Why would I choose the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne over other institutions?

    The Faculty of Arts has an outstanding reputation for research. It is the oldest faculty at the University of Melbourne, and a premier institution that is ranked 16 in the world for Arts and Humanities, and 17 in the world for Social Sciences. We attract high achieving graduate students who want to benefit from internationally recognised scholars and global networks.

    Source: 2020 QS World University Rankings by Subject.

    What’s the difference between a Masters by coursework and a Masters by research?

    A Masters by coursework degree involves studying specific subjects that require attendance at classes and the submission of assignments. Some Masters by coursework degrees also require you to complete a minor thesis (usually 14,000 words) as part of the course.

    On the other hand, a Masters by research degree requires you to complete a thesis of 20,000 words (shorter thesis) or 30,000 words (major thesis). You work independently with support from your supervisor and School. Attendance at regular classes is not a requirement. However, you are required to attend if you undertake a Masters by Advanced Seminar and Shorter Thesis.

    What academic background do I need to be eligible for entry into a Doctor of Philosophy – Arts or Masters by research degree?

    You can find the entry requirements for each of these degrees on the respective degree pages of this website. Some streams within the Masters by research degree may have additional application requirements.

    How many contact hours per week am I required to study as a part-time Doctor of Philosophy – Arts or Masters by Research student?

    Masters by research and Doctor of Philosophy – Arts candidates do not have set contact hours. However, full-time enrolment constitutes 40 hours per week and part-time enrolment constitutes 20 hours per week. Full-time students should be prepared to undertake independent study (research and writing) for 6-8 hours per day, Monday to Friday.

    Required time on campus will vary on a case-by-case basis. You’ll need to meet with your supervisor either fortnightly (full-time) or monthly (part-time). We encourage you to take part in the on-campus experience provided by the Faculty where possible.

    Do I have to be living in Melbourne while I study?

    You must reside in Victoria for at least one third of your candidature. We expect you to benefit from planning, accomplishing your research and writing up your thesis within a University community and environment.

    Who should I contact about the supervision of my research project?

    For help finding a supervisor, visit Find an Expert or browse through staff profiles on school websites. We recommend that you get in touch with potential supervisors and discuss your research proposal. It is important to establish suitable supervisors to support you while you undertake your research before making a formal application.

    Find out how to apply for graduate research.

    What are the tuition fees for graduate research programs?

    All domestic students who are offered admission to a Masters by Research or doctoral degree (PhD) at the University of Melbourne will receive a Research Training Program Scholarship (Fee Offset). International student should consult the University’s Fees and payments web page for details about calculating your fees, the cost of living in Melbourne, and the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

  • Executive Master of Arts (EMA) FAQs

    Do I need a Grade Point Average (GPA) in my undergraduate degree to be eligible to apply?

    There is no minimum GPA, however the selection panel will consider the GPA you received during undergraduate studies, as well as your personal statement.

    Can I study subjects offered by other faculties in the discipline electives?

    No. You are required to choose from the list of discipline electives offered as part of the EMA, which also includes up to 25 points of language study.

    How many units of language can I take? Can I study language in all six of the discipline electives? What level can I study language at?

    Up to 25 points of language study is permitted in the Executive Master of Arts. You may enrol at beginners, intermediate or advanced level, depending on your language ability. Languages you can choose from include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.

    What if I have not studied in the Humanities or Social Sciences before? Will the course be difficult? Are there particular subjects I should take?

    The EMA requires the skills acquired with the completion of an undergraduate degree and ability to study and research at an advanced graduate level. However, the course does not require prior knowledge in Humanities or Social Sciences. You are free to choose subjects that suit your interests.

    I’m a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Can I get credit for the budgeting and finance core subject in the Executive Master of Arts as I already have this knowledge?

    No. If you are enrolled in the Executive Master of Arts, you must complete all six compulsory subjects regardless of background knowledge.

    How will the internship placement be arranged? What kinds of organisations are involved?

    Internship opportunities are available across a range of sectors including private and public institutions and not-for-profit organisations. They are developed in consultation with industry partners to ensure projects are manageable, appropriate, and complement the curriculum. You’ll be supervised by a representative from the organisation, as well as an academic, to ensure you receive the guidance and direction you need to successfully complete the internship.

    Can I undertake the Executive Master of Arts internship with my current employer?

    Yes, if you have permission from your course coordinator.

    Can I go on exchange while studying the Executive Master of Arts?

    Due to the intensive nature of the program, an exchange option is not available.

    Can I take the Executive Master of Arts internship overseas?

    Yes, the internship placement can be taken overseas.

    What is the difference between the Executive Master of Arts and other Masters by Coursework programs?

    The EMA offers broad skills for opportunities across a range of professions, while other Masters by Coursework programs focus developing skills for one particular profession.

  • Cultural Materials Conservation FAQs

    Am I eligible for entry to the course? I am not sure I have the right background.

    The prerequisite for entry into this program is an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline area with at least an H2B (70%) level average in relevant subjects. The important element relating to relevance of previous study is how it has informed your understanding of people, culture and material evidence. You also need to have obtained your most recent tertiary qualification within the last ten years.

    Students from our program have come from a range of backgrounds including fine arts, art history, visual arts, chemistry, archaeology, anthropology, science, architecture, botany, engineering, dentistry and metallurgy.

    How do I apply for the course?

    Apply online via the Master of Cultural Materials Conservation How to apply web page before the due date.

    You should include a cover letter outlining your interest, why you want to be part of program, knowledge and experience in conservation, a CV and a statement advising whether or not you believe you have normal colour vision and manual dexterity. The success of your application won’t be based on these statements, however we may ask you to contact us to discuss what (if any) assistance you may need to complete the course.

    When is the application deadline?

    Application deadlines and other information are available on the Master of Cultural Materials Conservation How to apply web page.

    Please apply early to ensure enrolment is finalised well before study commences. Be aware that the Chemistry Bridging Course preparation package and online subject modules become available start of February via the Student Portal and can be completed before Semester 1 starts.

    I don’t have much of a Chemistry background, what do I do?

    The Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation offers a short intensive Chemistry Bridging Course, specifically designed for Masters of Cultural Material Conservation students.

    Alternative options students may wish to consider are:

    • Completing first year Chemistry at university
    • The four month correspondence ‘Chemistry for Conservators’ course run by International Academic Projects (IAP)
    • Chemistry Bridging Courses offered by other universities

    Are there any available scholarships?

    Domestic students:

    There are currently no scholarships aimed for domestic students in this course. Students who have very high grades from their undergraduate (minimum 80% average) can be considered for a Commonwealth Supported place providing they apply by the deadline. For financial assistance, you could apply for a Graduate Access Melbourne (GAM) place or Austudy. Students with an Australian Fee place can also apply for FEE-HELP, the Australian Government’s loan scheme. For more information please see the FEE-HELP web page.

    International students: The Australian Government offers Australia Awards scholarships to developing countries for certain priority areas. You need to apply for these scholarships separate to The University of Melbourne application. Australia Awards have different closing dates and funding criteria, dependent on your country. Australia Awards applicants are selected according to competitive criteria, and whether the chosen course is considered a priority sector by the Government in the applicant’s own country.

    The University of Melbourne has an Australia Awards Scholarships website. If you have any further enquiries you should email our Australia Awards team.

    I would like to work as a conservator, but don’t know which course to apply for.

    The Masters is for those who have previous relevant studies. The Graduate Diploma is for those who already have an undergraduate degree in cultural materials conservation.

    I have a degree in a relevant field. Am I eligible for advanced entry into the Masters program?

    The Masters course provides an industry recognised professional qualification in conservation. Relevant prior study is useful to inform your understanding of conservation, however it is not generally recognised for advanced entry.

    I have an undergraduate degree in conservation. Can I get any form of credit for this period of study?

    If you have an undergraduate degree in conservation, you may be eligible for some credit. Your eligibility for advanced standing will automatically be assessed with your course application and is dependent on the subjects you studied during your undergraduate degree. You may be asked to provide further information and detail about the studies you have completed, or are expected to complete, to help with this assessment.

    I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Heritage Materials Science at Victoria University, Wellington. Can I get any credit for this?

    Students who have completed this course with a 70% average grade across the four subjects may be eligible for entry to the 150-point Masters program.

    I am an international student. Can I start in second semester and study part-time?

    If you are an international student, you can commence this degree mid-year full time. If you wish to commence this degree full time in February / Semester 1 as an international student, this will depend on your cognate studies and subject availability.

    What costs are associated with the course?

    In addition to tuition fees (and the Chemistry Bridging Course if required), you should budget approximately AUD$1,000 - $2,000 for books, supplies, and miscellaneous costs. You’ll also be required to purchase some tools, a toolbox, brushes, and appropriate health and safety equipment. A laptop and digital camera are assets. While some funding may be available for internships, you’ll need to cover most costs.

    What areas of conservation are offered?

    We will introduce you to a range of materials and issues in the first year. In your second year, you will have the option to focus on either objects, paper or paintings and we have a series of subjects on digital conservation. Your focus area will depend on your interests  and the skills and knowledge you demonstrate in the program. You can pursue other areas of conservation , depending on your existing knowledge and skills and elective subject choices.

    What jobs can I get in cultural materials conservation?

    Graduates are employed in state and commonwealth collection institutions and the private sector, which has seen considerable growth in recent years.

    Are there options if I don’t want to move to Melbourne?

    Yes. Most of our subjects are offered in intensive mode – 6 days over 2 weeks. The pre-teaching and assessment periods can be done off-campus. Many references can now be accessed online via the University of Melbourne Library website, which provides access to e-databases, e-books and e-journals.

    How do I demonstrate manual dexterity and visual acuity?

    Currently, we don’t require you to submit a portfolio or formal evidence of colour vision acuity. A statement advising whether or not you believe you have normal colour vision and manual dexterity in your cover letter is sufficient. If required, we may request further information.

    We recognise that manual dexterity is developed over time (for instance, handling laboratory glassware, operating analytical instruments, playing musical instruments, technical trades, creative arts and craft pursuits). Other transferrable skills that are highly valued are research and IT skills. We value the immense range of backgrounds and perspectives students bring to the learning environment.

    I am an international student. Am I required to provide English language test result? What IELTS level is required?

    Detailed information about English language requirements can be found on the Study Graduate English language requirements web page.

    I have accepted my offer. Is there anything else I need to do before starting the Masters?

    Be aware that the Chemistry Bridging Course preparation package and online subject modules become available start of February via the Student Portal and can be completed before Semester 1 starts.