What is a grad cert?

Do you want to extend your skillset and take the next step in your career? Maybe you’d like to specialise in a particular area of expertise or head in a completely different direction. Or perhaps you’re interested in adding to your lifelong learning. What if you could gain a new qualification in as little as six months of full-time study? Well, you can. Study a grad cert! But what is a grad cert?

Well, a grad cert (a.k.a. graduate certificate) is the ideal short postgraduate qualification if you have a bachelor’s degree or you’ve worked in industry and want to:

  • upskill in your current career
  • build on your bachelor’s degree
  • learn about something new.

It’s one step up from an undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree and one level below a graduate diploma (or grad dip). So, a grad cert can be your ultimate stepping stone to further study, such as a graduate diploma or master’s degree.

How a grad cert works

So how does it work? Generally, you can enrol in a grad cert once you’ve successfully completed a relevant undergraduate course or have a certain number of years of related industry experience. For example, you may have worked in the health, education or business industry and gained valuable skills, knowledge and experience over a period of time in your profession. This could make you an ideal candidate for postgraduate study with opportunities to formalise your skills and knowledge with a recognised tertiary qualification. Check the online course brochures for entry requirements or contact our friendly team to learn more.

Once enrolled in your chosen course, you can expect to study four subjects, which could be a combination of core subjects and electives. Depending on your course, previous qualifications and industry experience, these subjects will give you foundational or extended knowledge in your area of interest – whether that’s HR, IT, business, education, health or environmental science. You can also expect to enjoy flexible study options. So you can decide to complete your grad cert full-time over six months (26 weeks) or part-time over a year. It’s study that fits around your life!

Wondering how you’ll afford the cost of study? Many grad certs have Commonwealth supported places (CSP) available, making them more affordable and achievable. You can also check out the diverse range of scholarships on offer.

Best of all? You can study most of Charles Sturt’s grad certs entirely online – meaning you can gain a postgrad qualification while working. So, life as you know it doesn’t need to be put on hold for you to get ahead!

Reach your potential

Could studying a grad cert be your best career move yet? We think so! And here’s why.

Grad cert study can lead to great things in terms of career, personal and community achievement. For instance, it could be a step towards master’s study or even a higher degree by research. And if you decide master’s study is for you, you’ll be awarded credit for any relevant subjects you’ve completed.

Need further convincing a grad cert is right for you? Check out our top eight reasons to study a graduate certificate.

Additional career opportunities, increased earning potential and diversifying your skills are not the only reasons studying a grad cert is a great idea. You could also form deep connections and broaden your perspective, like Charles Sturt graduate certificate alumni Harriet Madams.

“After teaching in an Indigenous community I identified a gap in my understanding of First Nations histories in Australia. The Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Cultural Competency allowed me to gain confidence in teaching Australia’s shared history and connect with local First Nations communities. I studied online, part-time and found it fit well into my schedule, even when travelling and working. The highlight has been the connections made with students and staff.”

Or, you could discover a love for learning while you advance your career with a grad cert, like information studies student Holly Shortridge. Holly followed her passion for children’s librarianship and was offered a full-time job in her industry before she graduated from her postgrad studies.

“I began my Charles Sturt study experience with a six-month Graduate Certificate in Information Studies but enjoyed the course so much I decided to pursue a master’s! The degree has already opened so many doors for me. I would absolutely recommend this degree. It’s a fantastic course that allows you true flexibility and quality academic support. It has been an overwhelmingly positive experience.”

Follow in the footsteps of our grad cert students, and you too can create change and improve communities.

Study a grad cert in 2024 and save!

Upskill in 2024 and you could save up to 85 per cent in course fees – you could save thousands. Here’s the opportunity: a range of select grad certs have CSPs for study in 2024. What does that mean? Well, the government will subsidise CSP places for specific grad cert courses, meaning you’ll pay a reduced fee for your tuition costs. Further, having a CSP means you can apply for HECS-HELP too. So, you can defer repayment until you earn above a certain amount.

Upskilling with a grad cert has never been more affordable. So whether you’re interested in growing your knowledge in a high-demand field, expanding your skills in your current career, or finding a new passion to create positive change, now is the best time to go after your dream.

Learn more and check out our range of discounted grad certs.