You don’t want to start your professional life straight away after completing your bachelor’s degree, but want to continue studying abroad? In addition to a complete master’s degree, a postgraduate degree abroad is also an option.
What is a postgraduate course?
Postgraduate courses primarily serve to deepen the knowledge acquired in the bachelor’s degree. They also offer bachelor graduates who have been working for a while, an opportunity to continue their education or to specialize. Graduates of a degree in engineering can, for example, continue their education as part of a postgraduate course in a specific area such as microelectronics or production planning.
In addition, there are also postgraduate courses in which Bachelor graduates can expand their existing knowledge to include other subject areas. For example, humanities or natural scientists can take a post-graduate course in business administration and thus open up new professional fields. A lawyer could specialize in health care law and thus make himself more attractive for relevant professional fields.
Postgraduate studies are offered abroad in almost all subjects: from marketing or international business to engineering and information technology to education, health, journalism or psychology.
Duration of postgraduate studies abroad
One advantage of postgraduate courses compared to complete master’s courses is that they are often shorter with a study period of one or two semesters. Universities abroad often offer them as certificate or diploma programs in the (post) graduate area. Certificate programs often only last a few months. Diploma programs usually take one year to complete.
Recognition of postgraduate certificates
The certificates awarded at the end of a postgraduate course are usually not counted as academic degrees. Rather, they are similar to the graded university certificates awarded in Germany for postgraduate courses. Nevertheless, such certificates can add value to the résumé and prove knowledge and skills in a special area as an additional qualification.
Special features in Australia and New Zealand
The postgraduate courses in Australia or New Zealand are an exception. The (Post-) Graduate Certificates or (Post-) Graduate Diplomas obtained there are recognized as official degrees in the respective countries. If, after completing the postgraduate course, you decide to continue with a master’s degree, the academic achievements can often be credited towards master’s courses with related content.
In terms of the courses included, these degrees are often congruent with the first or two semesters of a master’s degree at the respective university. That makes switching to the right master’s degree really easy, provided that the study achievements are right.
Advantages of a postgraduate course abroad
Whether in Australia and New Zealand or elsewhere – postgraduate studies abroad are extremely popular with German students. After all, it offers some advantages:
- relatively short study times, which make it possible to acquire an additional qualification with a minimal investment of time
- a high degree of specialization in the courses
- often very practical teaching: Universities in the USA offer certificate and diploma programs in many cases in the departments for further education, the so-called extensions. Most of the lecturers who teach there do not work exclusively at the university, but work in parallel in their traditional subject. In this way, they can pass on their everyday professional experience to the students. Some of the study programs can also be combined with on-site internships.
In addition to these technical advantages, there is international experience that can be gained as part of a postgraduate course abroad. After all, foreign language skills and international skills are in demand in almost every area of work today. Anyone striving for an international career has the opportunity to make relevant contacts.
Study requirements for postgraduate studies abroad
The prerequisite for postgraduate studies abroad is usually a bachelor’s degree or another first degree, such as a master’s degree or a diploma. It depends on the respective study program whether the first degree has to be in a related subject or whether non-subject applicants can also apply. Depending on the study program, several years of professional experience may be sufficient for admission to postgraduate studies.
In addition, the universities require proof of sufficient language skills. In the case of English-language programs, this should usually take the form of a standardized test such as the TOEFL or IELTS.