How our degrees work

What is the Melbourne Curriculum?

Create your own study path, with the power to choose your own direction

The University of Melbourne’s degrees work a bit differently from those at most other Australian unis. They’re similar to those offered by many top institutions overseas, in that you’ll start with an undergraduate degree, and can then choose to specialise at graduate level.

Why? We want you to create your own study path, with the power to choose your own direction and explore new options along the way. This is important in a world where careers are changing fast and employers want independent thinking.

Few people graduating today will have the same job title forever. With our degrees, you can build the right skills to adapt and change successfully.

You’ll start with an undergraduate degree…

An undergraduate degree is your next step after high school. You will enrol in and complete one of a small number of undergraduate degrees (also called bachelors degrees).

An undergraduate degree usually takes three years to complete. You can choose your major from day one, or keep your options open and discover new possibilities along the way. You can then go straight into the workforce, or complete a graduate degree.

How do I study what I’m interested in, when the degrees are so broad?

You’ll develop a deep understanding of a particular study area from first to third year. This core study area is called your ‘major’. For example, an Arts student might major in Psychology, Economics, or Media and Communications.

At Melbourne, we offer nearly 100 major fields of study. You can choose a major that fits with your career aspirations and study it in depth to develop specialised knowledge. But don’t worry - you don’t have to know what your major will be on day one. In first year, take a range of subjects that seem relevant and interesting to you.

All the while, you’ll also be gaining a breadth of knowledge that will set you apart from your competitors.

What do you mean by ‘breadth’?

A breadth subject is a subject outside the usual scope of your undergraduate degree. Most University of Melbourne undergraduates take breadth subjects.

Not only will breadth studies provide you with greater understanding of the world around you, they will allow you to design a course to fit your own passions and career ambitions. You might, for example, study science but take breadth in Mandarin Chinese - a great choice for a science fan looking to work internationally and help solve global issues. You can also simply explore something you’ve never known much about.

Some of our students find that after taking a breadth subject, they discover a passion they’d never known about - and may even change their career plans!

But I want to do even more…

Want to be an economics reporter, with ace programming skills or a side gig playing the cello? Concurrent diplomas allow you to study an extra qualification alongside your degree. This can enhance your employability and allow you to develop detailed knowledge in an area outside your main area of study.

This gives you a chance to complete an in-depth sequence of subjects in mathematics, languages, music, informatics, or global issues, in addition to your main degree studies. Concurrent diplomas are a great way to pick up extra skills, or further extend your interest in a particular area.

What’s next?

After completing your undergraduate degree you can move straight into the workforce – plenty do - or continue on to further study with postgraduate study.

Postgraduate study

The University offers over 270 postgraduate courses (sometimes also called graduate courses - sorry!). Professional qualifications such as the Juris Doctor (to prepare for a career in Law) are offered at this graduate level. A graduate degree will set you up to become a leader in your field, and open up a wider range of career opportunities and earning potential.

At Melbourne you can choose from a variety of programs offering intensive, focused experiences that promote deep professional learning. You can also develop research skills working alongside international leaders.

If you decide a research path is for you, you’ll be supervised by leading experts in your field who are committed to developing high quality research and offering excellent research training. You’ll join world-class researchers who are exploring solutions to the challenging issues of our times.

OK, I’m ready for Melbourne.

Start your search with Course Search.

I’m really not sure about…

Uni can be confusing at first. You can ask questions and find many more FAQs answered at ask.unimelb.edu.au