Understand the different courses we offer so you can make the right choice for your future. Degree options include undergraduate degrees, and postgraduate degrees by coursework and research.

And not everyone comes to university to study a full degree. You might choose to enrol in a pathway that will help you prepare for a degree, or you may simply want to study a single unit or short course.


Undergraduate degrees

You’ll become an undergraduate student when you enrol in and complete your first university degree. When you graduate, you’ll receive a bachelor degree or associate degree.

While an associate degree is usually completed in two years (full-time), a bachelor degree could take between three and five years (full-time). 

It will take longer to complete your degree if you choose to study part-time. That said, a more flexible schedule often suits students who are combining study with existing work, raising a family or other non-university commitments. 

View our flexible study options

Elements of an undergraduate degree

Undergraduate degrees involve:

  • core units (compulsory units for all students of a course)
  • majors (a series of eight units related to a particular specialist area)
  • minors (a series of four related units)
  • elective units (units outside of the scheduled program that a student can choose for themselves)
  • prerequisites (units that need to be successfully completed before a student can enrol in the next unit in the sequence).

Some students also choose to complete an honours year after their bachelor degree. This allows them to study an aspect of their degree in greater depth. Having a specialisation can open up career opportunities and shows to employers a graduate has developed their critical thinking and research skills. An honours degree can also provide a pathway to postgraduate study.

When you study an undergraduate degree with us, you’ll graduate with the confidence that our students get jobs. We’re ranked top 7 in Australia for undergraduate employment.*

* Graduate Outcomes Survey – Longitudinal 2022, medium-term, full-time employment 2020–2022 for domestic undergraduate students

Explore our undergraduate degrees

Away From Base

Our Away From Base (AFB) program is a practical option for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. AFB combines online learning with intensive residential blocks twice a semester. Government funding supports travel, accommodation and meal costs for students participating in the residential block.

Find out more about Away From Base courses

Postgraduate by coursework degrees

If you’ve completed a bachelor degree and want to move onto further study, you’re known as a postgraduate student.

Postgraduate by coursework programs are ideal for gaining new skills and getting ahead in your career. Like an undergraduate degree, a postgraduate coursework degree will typically include classes, set assessment and a number of units you’ll have to complete.

Types of postgraduate by coursework degrees

These course generally run between six months and two years full-time, and there are three levels of qualification: 

  • graduate certificate
  • graduate diploma
  • masters

A graduate certificate may lead into a graduate diploma which, in turn, may lead into a masters. Students may also use a graduate certificate or graduate diploma as a pathway into the next level of study.

Explore our postgraduate degrees

Flexible study options

We offer postgraduate coursework degrees in a range of delivery modes, from face-to-face to fully online, so you can fit study around your other commitments. After all, your degree needs to work for you.

View our flexible study options

Postgraduate research degrees

If you’ve completed a bachelor degree and want to become a specialist in your field, a higher degree by research may be for you. These courses give you the opportunity to do extensive research into a particular topic.

The requirement for entry into a research degree is usually an undergraduate degree. If you want to enrol in a doctorate program, you’ll also need to have completed an honours year or a masters degree.

Types of postgraduate research degrees

Under the guidance of an academic supervisor, you can enrol in either a masters by research or a doctorate. These programs are generally two to four years full-time, though many students take advantage of our flexible study options.

Before you apply for a research degree it’s a good idea to identify a potential supervisor working in the field you intend to research. Our supervisors and experts have research experience in a range of fields and have released publications across all of ACU’s teaching areas.

Learn how to become a research student

Flexible study options

We offer postgraduate research degrees in a range of delivery modes, to allow for the intensive nature of the research and writing requirements of these programs.

View our flexible study options

Pathway programs

Our admission pathway programs provide an alternative route to university study if you didn’t get the entry score you need, haven’t completed Year 12 or don’t meet some other requirement. 

Available pathways and entry schemes take previous education and experiences into account, including:

  • work and life experience 
  • vocational education and training
  • sporting or performing prowess
  • community volunteering.

After you complete a recognised pathway option, such as an associate degree, diploma or certificate, you’ll be able to gain credit for this study. This makes the transition into your desired degree a little easier. 

Discover your pathway options

Single units

In some cases, you can enrol to study a single unit at ACU, such as a bridging unit or, if you are an international student, a unit in our intensive July School program.

A bridging unit will help develop your understanding of a particular subject in order for you to meet the entry requirements of your chosen course. 

July School offers international students the opportunity to study an intensive unit for two weeks during their July vacation. A limited number of July School places are also available for our domestic students.

View available single units

Language courses

Improve your English skills or add fluency in Italian or Spanish to your skillset with one of our language programs. 

Study English 

If you are an international student looking to learn English or improve your English skills, you can study at the ACU Centre for Languages. We offer a number of different courses based on how you’ll be using the language. 

The centre runs on a five-term schedule so you won’t have to wait too long for the next start date. 

Learn about our English language courses

Study other languages

If you want to study Spanish or Italian, we offer a Diploma in Languages to help you reach your goal.

All of our undergraduate students have the opportunity to add this diploma to their course. Other members of the university and the community can also enrol, and you can take individual language units that won’t count towards a formal qualification.

Read about our language courses

Online courses

If you’re looking for a more flexible study option, we offer a range of online courses. Some courses are delivered fully online but there are also courses that may require a small amount of time on campus.

For our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, we also offer an Away From Base program. Students can study online and attend intensive residential blocks twice a semester at a location as close to home as possible.

Explore courses through ACU Online

Explore courses through ACU

Still not sure? We’re here to help

Reach out to us at AskACU or student support if you have any questions about our study programs. We’ll help you find your course.

Email AskACU

Search our FAQ knowledge database

International students

Contact the friendly team at international student support

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Important dates

Learn about the key dates on the academic calendar, including application deadlines, semester dates and the release of class timetables.

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Why study at ACU

Expand your knowledge and improve the lives of others while gaining a top qualification. Learn why studying with ACU will enrich your life.

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