How fast-track degrees work

Want a framed degree on your wall as quickly as possible? You’re not alone. The itch to finish study and start “real life” is real. Here’s how you can make it happen. 

Man jumping through air

Whether you’ve just finished high school and want to finally, finally say goodbye to bound folders, highlighter pens and post-it notes, or you’re a career-changer eager to quit your current job quick-smart, a fast-track degree is a surefire way to get there sooner. 

Can fast online degrees be trusted?

Once upon a time, a term such as “fast online degree” might have rung alarm bells. After all, a qualification isn’t meant to be fast, it’s meant to be thorough. But Open Universities Australia has changed all that.

Through Open Universities Australia, fast online degrees with reputable Australian universities are not only possible. They’re popular. Thousands of students choose to get the same degree as those studying on campus, in less time. How? By loading up on subjects online. 

How to fast track courses through Open Universities Australia

There are two ways to fast track your studies through Open Universities Australia.

On-campus students Online learners
Continue your existing on-campus degree while picking up a few extra online subjects through Open Universities Australia, increasing your study load. 

Just make sure the subjects you choose are related to your current course structure. Once completed, these can be credited towards your degree—shortening the overall time you spend studying. 
Enrol in additional online subjects available through Open Universities Australia during summer, while the rest of your classmates take a break. 

You’ll just need to make sure the subjects required by your degree structure are available over study period 4. 

Come the following year, you’ll be speeding ahead. 

Are short degrees and accelerated degrees the same thing?

Short degrees… accelerated degrees… fast-track degrees. Colloquially, these all mean the same thing. But it’s important to note that these aren’t official terms set out by the Australian Qualification Framework. 

The key is to look for a certified qualification (such as a bachelor degree or a masters degree) that can be completed in a shorter time span. Not a qualification that is short on learnings in itself. Be wary of uncertified organisations offering “short degrees” that don’t meet accreditation. Some universities offer an “accelerated degree” which is a bachelor or masters degree taken at a faster pace. This is what you want to look for. 

When choosing to fast track your degree, ensure that:

  • The education provider is a recognised institution, and;
  • The qualification is recognised in the industry you wish to work in

Choose to fast track your studies through Open Universities Australia, and you can rest easy. All courses available through us are delivered by leading Australian universities. 

Students who have studied accelerated degrees

Like many students coming straight out of high school, Darren was keen to finish the final leg of his education. And fast. His Bachelor of Arts and Commerce, a double degree with Curtin University, was going to take him years, but he wanted to finish it sooner. 

Darren met with a careers counsellor at Curtin University who recommended he study extra subjects online through Open Universities Australia. By doing so, he could cover more ground at once. In fact, he’d be able to study subjects across various universities online—tailoring his Curtin University qualification to his unique interests. 

Darren did just that, graduating that year instead of in years to come. 

The pros and cons of studying an accelerated course

Benefits of accelerated courses Considerations for accelerated courses
  • Graduate faster than your classmates
  • Start your career sooner
  • Study across multiple universities at once
  • Less chance to take a break for life, work or mental health
  • Potential of burnout

Keep in mind, that you can fast track at some stages of your degree, and then reduce to a slower rate of study if you feel you need a break.

How to choose accelerated online degree programs through Open Universities Australia

“Can I accelerate the course I’m interested in?” you might be thinking. And it’s a good question, too. 

The ability to fast track your course depends on a number of factors, such as the subjects your qualification requires you to study, the sequence they need to be studied in, and their availability at certain stages throughout the year. 

For this reason, we recommend chatting with one of our friendly student advisors about your unique circumstances. They’ll be able to help you map out a study plan that gets you where you want to go. 

Popular fast-track degree paths 

Whether you want to study an accelerated bachelor degree online, or an accelerated masters degree online, a range of study areas are popular for those looking to get to the finish line sooner.

You can fast track psychology degrees, or fast track education degrees. Some students even choose to fast track law degrees. Whether you’re able to study your course faster will depend on subject availability, and sometimes it also depends on the placements you need to take. For this reason, courses without prerequisites or placements are often easier to fast track. 

Can I complete a two-year bachelor degree in Australia?

Each student’s circumstances are different, which is why we recommend speaking with a student advisor. If you have prior credit or work experience, you may be able to complete a degree in two years. But make sure your choices aren’t dependent on it. 

Our advice? Keep an open mind as to how many years your course will take. Study is a process. A journey. Not a destination. You may want to take breaks throughout the year for life and work commitments. 

While fast track study is exciting, keep your mind on your goal, not the time in which it takes you. 

With perseverance, and yes—perhaps a little fast tracking—you’ll get to where you want to be.  


Browse  thousands of courses from leading Australian universities.

Or complete the form on this page to chat to an advisor about study options.

Explore courses

Keep exploring

3 avenues in human rights, as explored by students

Does a career spent working for the rights of those around you set your heart ablaze? You might be cut out for a course in human rights. Shiree, Debbie and Alice studied related fields.  

Career spotlightMake a difference

3 essential soft skills you’ll need in the future workplace

As workplaces evolve, there's a growing demand for certain skills—and they're not all digital. Discover which human-centric skills you'll need to thrive in the office of the future. 

Future of work

3 fascinating forensics jobs in Australia

Thinking about forensics as a career? For true crime junkies and self-confessed science geeks with a penchant for justice, it might seem like the perfect choice. But what does it take to work in forensics, and what jobs are on offer in Australia?

Career spotlightMake a difference

3 reasons you’ll need human-centric skills for the future

While AI is becoming more prevalent, machines simply can't replicate the human touch.

Job tipsFuture of work