Are you considering a postgraduate degree but not sure if it’s right for you? 

Attending 9 am lectures, afternoon seminars and late-night study groups can be difficult to prioritise when you already have full-time work and other life commitments.

Having to wait another 12 months (or more) to have your skills and experience recognised might also feel like too long to wait.

These old-school thoughts could be pushing the possibility of a master’s degree out of your reach. 

So, let’s adjust your thinking. 

Online opportunities are growing and they’re proving to be a strategic way to obtain an online master's degree while continuing with full-time work and other life commitments.

Let us explain why you should consider studying online and how to study online effectively. Plus, we’ll show you how an online master’s degree can help to mould your career from the comfort of your chair, wherever that may be.


Why should I consider studying online? 

Postgraduate qualifications are becoming increasingly important in many industries. Traditional methods of education have always been known to provide students with the qualifications they need, but they can also be relatively time-consuming and expensive. 

For students needing flexibility, online study can be an excellent option for your postgraduate studies. In fact, studying for an online master’s degree has several advantages, including: 


Online courses allow you to study for your chosen degree from anywhere, at whatever time is most convenient to you. You aren’t limited to what’s available at your local university - which means you can get a master’s degree online and study leadership at Deakin University, even if you don’t live in Victoria. 


Studying an online master’s degree allows you to meet the needs of a course and plan it around the rest of your life. No need to stick to someone else’s timetable for lectures, tutorials and group work. Your schedule is flexible to move around your work and family commitments. 


A traditionally delivered degree can take years to complete, but online courses have fast-tracked options that will help you build experience quickly and give you a competitive edge. The online Master of Leadership, for example, can be completed within as little as one year. 

Skills training

We’ve also gone the extra mile by introducing a new way to help future-proof your career. Deakin University is Australia’s first university to offer skill-specific recognition of knowledge and experience through microcredentialing in our Master of Leadership.

Is an online master's degree respected?

An online master’s degree will give you the same skills and qualifications as an in-person course. In short, the answer to ‘why study online courses’ is always going to be personal. Each person will discover their own benefits at their own pace. Receive recognition and qualifications in a timeline that suits you. 

A man at his desk while viewing an online master’s degree on his phone

How to study effectively online

Once you’ve decided to study online, make sure you set yourself up for success.  

We’ve put together five strategies to help you make the most of your online studies and get the best result possible.

  1. Create your timetable: schedule in time for your studies, just as you would with any other important meeting or appointment. Don’t let yourself brush aside the time you’ve blocked out, thinking you can do it later. Because online study is so flexible, you can schedule it during the times that suit you best. So even if you have parental or work duties, you can choose a time that works for your lifestyle. Within this schedule, include time to complete any assignments by their due dates and even plan for holidays. Seeing it all mapped out may highlight any potential clashes, giving you time to sort issues out before they become a problem.
  2. Create a dedicated study space: if you force yourself to study squished on the corner of the dining table surrounded by distractions, it’s hard to focus and do your best. Instead, give yourself a dedicated place for your study. This could be the study room at your home, a coffee shop at your workplace or even a local library. Wherever it is, make sure you have access to everything you need, especially high-speed internet access.
  3. Know what resources are available to you and use them: join our study groups to keep you motivated. You can use the online libraries and databases available to you through your university login. Finally, explore how you can use your work experiences as part of gaining Professional Practice credentials (more on that below) and how your studies will uplift your capability.
  4. Look after your mental health: starting an online degree may be the best next step in your professional career, but mental health needs to remain a priority through any life changes. Make sure you take regular breaks and schedule in downtime to either catch up with friends or family or spend time alone doing something you enjoy. Being intentional is key.
  5. Ask for help: studying online doesn’t mean you have to do everything on your own. We offer one-on-one support every step of the way to help ensure your best result. Your dedicated Student Success Advisor will be with you every step of the way, ensuring you meet your study goals up to your graduation. Soft skills like leadership are about recognising challenges and working your way through them with your team. Reflective learning and collaboration are also sought-after leadership skills. Asking for help when you need it shows your ability to learn and move forward.

How to get a degree with a difference

Now that you’re ready to study for an online master’s degree, make sure you choose one that stands out.

Deakin’s Professional Practice degrees acknowledge the skills you’ve already developed while deepening your capabilities.

What is a microcredential?

Deakin is the first university in Australia to develop Professional Practice degrees that incorporate industry-endorsed microcredentials.

Professional Practice credentials are a personalised way to have your capabilities recognised and independently verified. They also allow certification of soft skills like problem-solving, critical thinking and leadership as part of a formal qualification. 

A report from Deloitte states that by 2030, 63 per cent of all jobs will be soft-skill-intensive. But it’s hard to place a value on something that’s had no quantifiable way of affirming its existence. 

At least until now.

We’ve aligned our Professional Practice degrees - the Master of Leadership and Graduate Certificate of Leadership - to international qualification and industry skills frameworks. This way, you know your online master’s degree will be respected by those who matter.

Our Professional Practice credentials cover three main categories, aligned to industry-relevant skills: employability, technical knowledge and leadership.

With an estimated $4 billion each year spent on training, substantiating your skills in these categories could provide the professional edge you need, taking advantage of more opportunities sooner. 

A woman at her laptop searching can you get a masters degree online.

Why study a Master of Leadership?

According to the Development Dimensions International’s (DDI) 2021 Global Leadership Forecast, companies worldwide are facing a leadership crisis

Not only are leadership skills in high demand, but they’re also transferable across many industries. Core skills are needed in almost every industry, from not-for-profit charities to fast-moving tech companies and countless others in between. 

Being a global leader is important for any business to achieve its goals. An effective leader provides a clear vision for the company, communicates effectively with their team and has confidence that their decisions will lead to business success.

One of DDI’s major findings was that fewer than 20 per cent of organisations are ready to fill those kinds of critical leadership roles.

Using the latest theories and applied practices, a Master of Leadership will confirm your abilities and show you are ready and able to fill that leadership development demand head on. It’s demand that DDI describes as ‘the most important step companies can take to drive executive success.’

The Professional Practice credentials exemplify your own strategic-level experiences that will drive that executive success.

Master of Leadership course structure

Our Master of Leadership goes beyond traditional theory-based learning. Instead, it is leading the way with practice-based learning. You’ll be able to showcase the leadership skills that you’ve developed over your career, as well as refine the new ones you learn. 

You’ll complete four core units, two Professional Practice credentials and four microcredentials, or four core units, four Professional Practice credentials and two microcredentials. Below, you can see how the course is structured with coursework units, Professional Practice credentials and microcredentials:  

  • You will study a total of four course-work units: Leadership Practice with Impact, The Deakin Advantage: Leadership and Professional Development, Leadership Research Methods and Leadership Research Project (Capstone) 
  • You will study up to four Professional Practice credentials: Adaptive Mindsets (Advanced), Driving Strategic Results (Advanced), Leading and Developing People (Advanced) and Empowering Others (Advanced) 
  • You will study up to four microcredentials: Crisis Leadership, Innovation and Leadership, Innovation and Organisational Change, Sustainable Leadership to 2030, Skill Up to Lead Culturally Diverse Teams and Digital Transformation Leadership 

Studying leadership online is the next step towards your future

Deakin’s Master of Leadership ensures your degree reflects the workplace skills and expertise that you’ve developed throughout your career.

Studying an online master’s degree, including our innovative Master of Leadership, could help you fill industry skills gaps. Not only with up-to-date knowledge but also with your own experience.

Learn more about our online Master of Leadership degree and see where it could take you.

Our Course Advisers can help you with any of your questions on 1300 043 524.