Frequently Asked Questions

Specific advice on entry requirements, applying, fees, and accepting your offer.

Entry requirements and applying

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

No, submission of original or certified hard-copies of academic and English language requirement documents is not required. 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 a degree in a non-related discipline. How can I get into a Masters by Coursework program?

Masters by Coursework programs in the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences do not require previous study in a related area for entry to the two-year/200-point program. Entry requirements for these programs 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.

Is mid-year entry available?

Mid-year entry is available for the majority of graduate coursework programs in the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, with the following exceptions:

  • Master of Cultural Materials Conservation. Both start-year (February) and mid-year (July) commencement is now possible for international students as well as domestic students in the 200-point Master of Cultural Materials Conservation however start-year (February) commencement is recommended
  • Executive Master of Arts. While mid-year entry to the 200-point program is possible, start-year entry is always recommended. Mid-year entry to the 150-point program is not available to international students (who must maintain a full-time enrolment).  Domestic students can commence the 150-point program mid-year but on a part-time basis only.  Mid-year entry to the 100-point program is not possible for either international or domestic students.
  • The specialisations of Anthropology, Criminology, History, Politics and International Studies, Public Policy and Management or Sociology in the Graduate Diploma of Arts (Advanced).  Only start-year (February) commencement is available in these specialisations.  All other specialisations can be commenced in both start-year (February) and mid-year (July).
  • Language study can only be commenced mid-year if students have sufficient background in the language to commence a semester 2 language subject

What if I cannot 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 a previous degree is no longer counted?

Depending on the course, a maximum period of ten years can apply. 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. Applicants for Masters or Graduate Diploma (Advanced) programs with their most recent degree completed more than 10 years ago, however, are advised to provide a CV with their application so that the Selection Committee also has an account of their professional activities since graduation. If the Selection Committee remains concerned about the lack of recent tertiary study and professional experience, they may recommend a pathway, rather than a direct offer.

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

If you are currently completing a degree and are awaiting your final results, you need to 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. Where it is deemed that you are on track to achieving the minimum entry requirements for the program you may receive a conditional offer pending your final results or other requirements. Once the Admissions Team are provided with your final transcript of results and verification of course completion, your conditions will be lifted and you will be in a position to enrol. Please note that our Admissions Office has access to University of Melbourne student records, so University of Melbourne students are not required to submit transcripts.

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

Yes it is possible to indicate your preferred program length. As the entry requirements published in the Handbook for each course describe, the 200- point program may be reduced with advanced standing for relevant professional work experience, prior completion of a cognate undergraduate degree, prior completion of a relevant honours degree (that is equivalent to an Australian, fourth year honours qualification), or other relevant previous graduate studies. Your application will be assessed for your preferred program length. If you apply for a shorter program length however and your application is deemed not to meet the entry requirements for your preferred program length, your application will automatically be assessed for a longer program length and an offer made for the longer program length if those entry requirements are met.

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

  • If you are a graduate, but have no or limited background in the area, you could apply for a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma in Arts
  • If you are a graduate with previous studies in the discipline area, you could apply for a Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced) or Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced)
  • It is also possible to enrol in specific single subjects of interest through the Single subject study (Community Access Program)

Can I study EMA or 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.


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

Graduate study offers you an opportunity to enhance your professional qualifications and increase your earning potential. You should consider your tuition fees as an investment in your future. There are a number of ways you can alleviate the pressure of course fees.

One option is to defer your fees via FEE-HELP in the same way you can defer undergraduate fees via HECS. If you are eligible, you can defer all or part of your tuition fees via a government loan, which you repay when your income reaches the minimum repayment threshold. You can also nominate to make voluntary repayments of your FEE-HELP loan at any time. FEE-HELP is nominated during the online enrolment process for your course. Further information about FEE-HELP is available on the Australian Government's Study Assist website.

Another option is to claim a tax deduction via self-education expenses for your graduate study, provided your course has a sufficient connection to your current employment. For further information, please consult your accountant or the Australian Taxation Office.

There are a range of other flexible payment options such as semester payments, annual payments or two payments per semester.

Are there Commonwealth Supported Places available for my course?

The Faculty of Arts provides Australian fee-paying places in Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate (Advanced), Graduate Diploma (Advanced) and Masters by Coursework programs. A small number of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) are also available in Masters by Coursework programs.

A limited number of equity based CSPs are available through Graduate Access Melbourne (GAM) to successful 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.

Usually only CSP and Graduate Access Melbourne (GAM) applications submitted with full supporting documents by the closing date are considered. The GAM and CSP closing date for the Start Year Intake is normally 31 October in the preceding year.  The closing date for the Mid Year Intake is normally 31 May. For the Start Year 2022 intake the GAM and CSP closing date has been extended to 30 November 2021.

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 satisfy the entry requirements for the course, you will be offered an Australian fee-paying place if your CSP application is not successful. It is therefore not necessary to apply as well for a Australian fee-paying place in the course.

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

If you were assessed as ineligible for a CSP when you originally applied for the course, it is highly unlikely that you will subsequently qualify for a CSP. If you are a current graduate coursework Masters student who would like to be considered for a transfer to a CSP place in your course please email your request to no later than the CSP closing date.

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, Admissions Services will normally resend an unconditional offer letter containing your enrolment instructions within a week or two. If your conditions have not been lifted within this timeframe, please contact Stop1.

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

Please email with details of your appeal. Please include your Student 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 and instructions on how to do this are given at the time of offer. Offers for the Master of Cultural Materials Conservation and the Executive Master of Arts however may be restricted to commencement in either the mid-year or start-year intake due to course structures for the shorter 150-point and 100-point programs.

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 (Advanced) in a specified area. If you are not in a position to complete your Masters course and have completed at least 50 points, please email Stop1 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.