Graduate certificates

Develop a higher level of expertise for your career

Are you ready for your next great professional challenge? Upskill in your field with a short, specialised graduate certificate.

You only need to complete four subjects to walk away with this nationally recognised qualification. You can also use your certificate to get into a related masters degree. 

We know finding a flexible online graduate certificate can be a challenge. That’s why we make it possible to compare hundreds of your best options in one place. Start browsing below and see what you could learn with the university of your choice. 


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Melissa studied a Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion with Curtin University, through Open Universities Australia

Why study a graduate certificate?

It’s a great way to upskill for a more specialised role or career change

You can finish studying within 6 months

You can enrol without a prior degree if you have 5 years of relevant work experience

You can choose from flexible full or part-time study options

You can use your certificate as credit towards a masters degree

You can defer any upfront costs with FEE-HELP, if you're eligible

Browse popular online graduate certificates

Graduate certificates in nursing

Postgraduate UND-NUR-GCE

Graduate Certificate in Nursing

Available majors

  • Core subjects

Graduate certificates in cyber security


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Frequently asked graduate certificate questions

Is a graduate certificate a degree?

A graduate certificate isn’t a degree, but a short postgraduate qualification designed to enhance your existing undergraduate degree or work experience. You can study a graduate certificate as standalone upskilling course, or as a pathway into a masters degree. 

You can read more about the graduate certificate as a qualification here. 

What areas can I study?

You can study a graduate certificate in any discipline, from business, law and IT, to health, humanities and education. 

Use Open Universities Australia to compare what’s available online with different universities. 

What are the entry requirements for a graduate certificate?

Entry requirements for graduate certificates vary across universities. Generally, you’ll need a bachelor degree to be eligible for enrolment. International applicants also need to meet English language requirements. 

Can I do a graduate certificate without a degree?

Yes, it’s possible to apply for entry if you don’t have a bachelor degree, provided you have work and life experience in a related field. Most courses will require you to submit evidence of at least five years’ work experience.  

How can a graduate certificate help me get into a masters degree?

When you study a graduate certificate, you actually study the first four subjects from a connected masters degree. Once you successfully complete your certificate, you should satisfy the entry requirements for both a graduate diploma and a masters degree. 

You’ll also get full credit for your graduate certificate. This means you can shave four subjects off your masters degree.

How long is a graduate certificate?

A graduate certificate is made up of just four subjects. It takes six months of full-time study (or part-time equivalent) to complete. If you decide to study your graduate certificate online through Open Universities Australia, you can choose how many of those subjects you complete at once. Many students only do one subject per term because they want to continue working full-time. 

How much does a graduate certificate cost?

The average graduate certificate costs between $2,000 and $15,000. Tuition fees tend to be lower in areas where graduates are sorely needed, like health and education.

During your enrolment, we’ll offer you the option to pay upfront in full, or defer your payment using a FEE-HELP student loan. If you select FEE-HELP, you will only pay your tuition fees through your income tax once you’re earning over the minimum repayment threshold.

Which graduate certificates are government subsidised?

Some graduate certificates may offer Commonwealth supported places (CSPs) to Open Universities Australia students. When you enrol in a CSP, the government pays (subsidises) part of your tuition fees, and you don’t have to pay that portion back. You only pay the remaining balance, which you can defer through a HELP loan.

Students who land a Commonwealth supported place graduate with less HELP debt. 

You can ask our student advisors which course are covered, and if you’re eligible for a place. 

Is a graduate certificate worth it in Australia?

A graduate certificate can be worth studying for a variety of reasons. 

  • It can help you upskill for a more specialised or senior role in your field.
  • It can help you pivot into a new career altogether.
  • It will help you satisfy the entry requirements for a graduate diploma or masters degree.
  • It can give you a feel for the demands of a masters degree, so you can figure out if you’re ready for the commitment. 

On the Australian Qualifications Framework, a graduate certificate only sits one level below a masters degree, so it’s a well-regarded course. In some cases, the knowledge you gain might be all that you need to progress in your career, making it a fast and cost-effective alternative to a full masters degree. 

Why should I study my graduate certificate online through Open Universities Australia?

Think of us like an unbiased guide, here to support you during your university experience. We will help you compare your options and navigate the trickier aspects of university enrolment, like applying for government funding and supplying the correct documentation. 

We can also help you access extra flexibility with your chosen university. If you’re not quite ready for a full course, you can start with a single subject from that course instead. You can also dictate the number of subjects you take on at a time (your study load) and put your studies on hold between terms. 

How do I apply for a graduate certificate?

We make starting a postgraduate qualification as straightforward as possible.

First, find the course for you by browsing the options on this page. You can also compare different courses using our handy comparison tool, or request help from one of our student advisors.

Once you've selected your certificate, click ‘Apply now’ and follow the prompts to begin your enrolment. We’ll ask you to supply some supporting documentation, including proof of your identity, your tax file number, and a unique student identifier (USI) during this process.

Your university will get in touch with you via email to confirm whether your application has been successful. We’ll still be around to help you manage the administration of your studies, right up until graduation.

*With some courses on offer, you may be directed straight to the website of the university that delivers the course—the university will then enrol you directly.

If I get stuck, who can I ask for help?

Reach out to us and we’ll talk you through it. We can even help you apply over the phone. 

You can also read more detailed enrolling instructions here.

Talk to a student advisor

Postgraduate insights and study advice

What is a masters degree?

It’s an advanced degree that can lead to specialised job opportunities—or even a career in academia. Let’s explore why you should earn your masters. 

What is a graduate diploma?

Learn all about this popular postgraduate qualification, which many students are choosing over a masters degree. 

Your guide to university as a mature-age student

Thinking about studying online as an older student? Here’s everything you need to know about applying for your dream course, getting in, and preparing for classes. 

What is a graduate certificate?

Learn more about this six-month postgraduate qualification, which can help you go after more niche jobs.  

Open Universities Australia is a not-for-profit organisation helping every Australian access thousands of university courses.

Over 515,000 students have enrolled in university through us since 1993.

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We’re here to guide you every step of the way with advice on:

  • Choosing a course that suits you best.
  • Enrolling and planning your studies.
  • Understanding your funding options.

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