When researching your study options in Australia, you may have come across the concept of ‘fast-tracking’ your degree. In short, this means taking additional subjects to finish your studies earlier.
Wondering how to fast-track your degree? Here’s everything you need to know about accelerating your studies to finish your degree more quickly in Australia.
What does ‘fast-tracking’ your degree mean?
Fast-tracking your degree essentially involves taking more subjects in a reduced amount of time. This means you can finish your course much earlier than if you completed a regular study load in a standard academic year. Fast-tracking your degree is also commonly referred to as ‘accelerating’ your degree.
If you are wondering how to get your degree fast, fast-tracking is a great option, as it can often reduce your course length by months or even years.
Can international students fast-track their degree in Australia?
They certainly can! However, fast-tracking your degree in Australia will reduce the total amount of time you are studying. It is recommended that you speak to your education provider and/or a registered migration agent to see whether your student visa or an application for a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa will be impacted by getting your degree in a shorter amount of time.
What are the benefits of fast-tracking your course?
- You can enter the workforce earlier
The obvious benefit to fast-tracking your degree is that you will finish before the rest of your cohort, allowing you to enter the workforce earlier. Not only does this mean getting work experience years ahead of your peers, but it also means earning money much sooner. If you choose to fast-track your degree, you will enjoy the benefit of earning a graduate salary earlier – and no student has ever said no to a little extra cash in their bank account!
- You’ll learn important skills
While fast-tracked degrees tend to be more intensive and time-consuming, you will inevitably learn key skills like time management, being organised, sticking to deadlines and working under pressure – traits that are not only useful but impressive to employers, too. Fast-tracking your degree will prove to potential employers that you are dedicated and can be relied upon to deliver on time, which will look great on your CV. Here is our guide to writing a CV that stands out.
As well, you might find that you develop an efficient study mindset, which could improve your productivity and reduce procrastination.
- You’ll demonstrate determination
Fast-tracking your degree will inevitably involve balancing your study and social life. This prioritisation shows that you are willing to make sacrifices in order to reach your goals, exemplifying your overall hardworking attitude, determination to enter the workforce and self-motivation to potential employers.
How to fast-track your degree in Australia
In Australia, there are a few avenues you can take if you want to fast-track your degree. Here are some of the most common.
- Summer school
Summer school is a fantastic way to get your degree fast in Australia. Certain education providers offer an intensive six to eight-week semester over summer (December to February), where students can enrol in certain subjects and potentially shorten their degree.
There are several reasons why students enrol in summer school, including catching up on required units that are prerequisites for other subjects, retaking classes to earn a passing mark, reducing their workload in following semesters, or simply to fast-track their degree.
- Accelerated postgraduate courses
If you are close to finishing your undergraduate degree (or have recently completed it) and are planning on studying for a master’s, some education providers allow you to accelerate your postgraduate study and graduate in a reduced amount of time.
There are a few different ways this can be offered. Some education providers may offer undergraduate students the option to undertake online electives to get a taste of postgraduate courses. These units can either count towards a postgraduate degree or, if you decide you’re not interested, can also be used as undergraduate credits. Contact your education provider directly to see if this is an option for international students.
La Trobe University also provides a fantastic postgraduate option for engineering students through its Master of Engineering. If you have completed the necessary bachelor’s degree and meet other course requirements, you can complete your master’s in just one year, split over two semesters: one semester of coursework followed by a six-month Work Integrated Learning Placement, which includes a scholarship, or the opportunity to work on a real-world problem for an industry client.
- Enrol in trimesters
Some education providers in Australia offer trimesters rather than semesters, so you will finish your course in a third of the time. Keep this in mind when researching where you will study in Australia.
- Subject loading throughout your semesters
If you’re interested in finishing your degree quickly, you can choose to take extra units throughout your standard semesters. This option is made particularly easy by the introduction of online courses, so may not need to physically attend additional units. Spend some time researching education providers that offer courses online so you can enrol in as many subjects as you like – but make sure to consider your study/life balance!