Types of undergraduate courses

An undergraduate degree in Australia is commonly known as a Bachelor Degree. It can be general, specialist or double, and can be extended by an Honours year. Diplomas are a shorter undergraduate study option.

Master's Degrees and research degrees (PhDs) are graduate degrees. For more information, please visit graduate degrees.

Bachelor Degree (comprehensive)

  • A bachelor degree covers a broad base of knowledge within a chosen area of study.
  • Students can choose to specialise in some subjects to suit their interests.
  • For example, within the general Bachelor of Commerce, students can specialise in areas such as accounting, management or marketing.
  • A single degree usually takes three years, sometimes four or five depending on the area of specialisation.

Bachelor Degree (specialist)

  • Specialist degrees are tightly structured and designed with specific careers in mind.
  • For example, the Bachelor of Radiography and Medical Imaging is a specialist degree. It is designed to train students for a career as a radiographer.

Double Degree

  • Students can specialise in two areas and graduate with two qualifications at the same time. This is why it is called a double degree.
  • A double degree takes less time to complete than doing two single degrees.
  • Double degrees may require more hours of study, but usually only take about four years.
  • For example, a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Engineering is a double degree.
  • More information about double degrees.


  • Diplomas are a structured set of subjects, recognised as a level of study tertiary study.
  • They are not as highly rated as bachelor degrees, but take less time to complete.
  • Students can study a diploma on its own, or alongside their main degree.
  • This is ideal when a student is interested in an area of study outside their main degree.
  • For example, a student can study a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Languages at the same time.
  • They will graduate with two qualifications without having to do a double degree.

Pathway Diploma

  • A pathway diploma is a one-year bridge between school and university.
  • It is a program offered by Monash College.
  • Successful completion guarantees entry into second year of selected Monash University degrees.
  • The Diploma of Tertiary Studies provides an entry pathway for students who may not be able to access courses at Monash.