Postgraduate: Popular Subjects

In Australia, there are seven universities in the top 100 world-wide. The consistently produce high-quality graduates that are sought-after and employable in Australia.

If you want permanent residency after obtaining your degree, then your chances will be increased if you get a qualification that is in demand. The top ten degrees that international students study in Australia is a mix of skills that will help them gain employment and increase chances of successful immigration.

  1. Accountancy

An accountancy degree opens up a huge range of options, both for specialisation with further study options and for employment. They are roles that are in demand at present, with tax and management accountancy roles are both listed on the trade shortage list.

  1. Actuarial Science

This specialised science assesses risks in financial, insurance and other sectors. Using mathematical and statistical methods, predictions can be made to assess the likelihood that transactions or certain people will be fraudulent.

From there, mitigation and management of the situation can be taken to remove or minimize risks. With the rise in machine learning, this industry is becoming more popular as industries like banking, finance, insurance, and pension schemes take advantage of the benefits.

  1. Agricultural sciences

Part of the STEM career pathway, agricultural sciences have many career options. Forestry, agricultural, farming and agronomist careers all take this degree and ensure the crops we plant are the best ones, and that humans have food sources going into the future.

  1. Architecture

It’s an industry that is being challenged and changed by environmental needs. Accounting for sun, rain, wind and designing homes and businesses that are energy efficient and have minimal impact on the landscape is incredibly important. Architecture, both commercial and residential, is a career option that’s in demand in Australia.

  1. Biomedical engineering

This is the intersection of engineering, healthcare, biology, and medicine. It takes the principles of engineering and basics from science to create systems, devices and equipment that solve human problems.

It’s a highly challenging field that aims to help with both diagnostics and treatment of disease, but also rehabilitation and injury management. For a talented person within depth knowledge of human biology and engineering, this field of work could be an excellent career move.

  1. Core engineering

The human population is growing, and technology grows with it. Engineering means that structures are sustainable, infrastructure reliable, transportation designed for minimal environmental impact while being suitable for the purposes, and energy resources are used correctly. It’s a massive area of study which allows students to specialise in areas of interest and develop in areas of skill shortages. In Australia, there are a shortage of chemical engineers, electrical engineers, electronic and communication engineers, and mechanical and industrial engineers.

  1. Earth sciences

Australia is rich in mineral resources and as result there is a need for mining, metallurgy, oil, geology, and gas specialists. Coal, gas, uranium, natural gas, and a range of minerals are all present in Australia and how to extract these with minimal environmental impact is becoming a growing concern.

  1. Computer science and information technology

Software and computer science engineers are in demand, both in Australia and world-wide. With the explosion of AI, the possibilities and growth potential for those in this field are rich. Specialising in areas such as machine learning, data management and banking give great career outcomes.

  1. Psychology

Another broad field, the study of human behaviour and mind can be applied to a range of careers. In Australia, the skills shortage list includes clinical psychologists, educational psychologists, organisational psychologists, and psychotherapists. The intersection of psychology and machine learning has interesting prospects as well.

  1. Tourism and hospitality management

With breath-taking scenery and an array of things to do, there is a large tourism industry in Australia. People come from all over the world to laze on white sandy beaches, explore vast deserts, indulge in everything that metropolitan cities offer, and try to see some of Australia’s unique wildlife.

The Australian tourism industry, as a result, is struggling to fill roles, with many restaurants and cafes understaffed and trained, qualified skilled staff needed in accommodation and hospitality manager roles.


PhD structure

In many ways, PhD research in Australia is much like PhD research in the UK. The weather will probably be a bit nicer (OK, a lot nicer) and your friends may be slightly more jealous. But actually working on your doctorate will be a similar experience to that of students in other popular study destinations.

The Australian PhD is normally a pure research qualification. Some programmes may include taught modules or training units, but these will be focussed on progression and professional development, rather than formal assessment.

You’ll spend most of your time working towards an independent doctoral thesis offering a substantial original contribution to knowledge in your field. You’ll begin with a literature review, evaluating existing scholarship related to your topic. From there you’ll move on to your own original research, analysing source materials, producing experimental results or collecting survey data as appropriate to your subject (and project).

Throughout, you’ll have the support of at least one expert supervisor. This will be an academic with experience related to your topic. They’ll be a big part of your PhD experience. In fact, Australian supervisors play an important role right from the PhD application stage.

Programme length

In Australia, a full-time PhD normally takes three years. Some students take longer, but this usually depends on registration and funding arrangements.

Part-time PhDs in Australia can take up to six years, but this mode of study isn’t normally available to international students. The conditions of an Australian student visa mean that you must study full-time.

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