Graduate Certificate in Business

posted in: Business, Deakin, RMIT, SCU Online | 0

A Graduate Certificate in Business is a popular online course. It is a natural go-to program for professionals who want to study business online.

The versatile course can be used:

  1. to introduce graduates with a non-business degree (e.g. arts or science) to business studies
  2. to provide formal qualifications for business professionals who lack a university degree 
  3. as foundation studies for a business masters degree (such as an MBA)
  4. to gain specialist training in a business field, such as accounting, human resources or project management.

Power of a Graduate Certificate in Business

A Graduate Certificate in Business is powerful because it's quick and provides academic credit.

  • Joining a course is not a huge commitment. It consists of 4 units, which equates to about 8 months of part-time study.
  • You can do a course to see if like studying business online and which subjects interest you.
  • Completing the program rewards you with an accredited university qualification.

Credit for future study

If you want to keep studying, you are well positioned for a masters degree.

  • As a certificate holder, you would automatically be accepted by most business masters programs in Australia.
  • All 4 units would normally count towards a 12-unit masters (such as an MBA).
  • Graduates usually need to complete just another 8 units to be awarded a full masters.

A Graduate Certificate in Business course allows you to pick up business skills and set yourself up for further study. With an online program, you also have the flexibility to put in study hours wherever and whenever you want.

Graduate certificates are short courses of study designed to meet the supplemental education needs of professionals... certificates are the fastest-growing form of post-secondary credentials.

Business graduate studying online from work.

Online Graduate Certificate Courses

An online Graduate Certificate in Business introduces you to business principles and analytical methods. Studying 4 units is enough to gain useful knowledge and decide if you want to continue on to a longer course.

Graduate certificate courses can be used as pathway programs. If you lack a business degree, you have a better chance of gaining entry to a graduate certificate course than a masters.

Qualifications available to students beginning a graduate certificate course are:

  • graduate certificate (4 units / 0.5 years)
  • graduate diploma (8 units / 1 year)
  • business masters (12-16 units / 1.5-2 years).

General versus specialised program

The content of a graduate certificate course depends on how it fits within the university’s business program.

  • You may be offered a small selection of foundation units. These are the introductory units masters students complete early in their studies.
  • Alternatively, you may be able to choose from a large set of postgraduate business subjects.
  • You can specialise by (i) choosing units in a certain field or (ii) opting for a study stream offered by the university.


You can do an online graduate certificate in almost any business discipline. Most masters programs contain a graduate certificate component.

Best Graduate Certificate Programs

The best online Graduate Certificate in Business programs allow you to achieve your learning goals in a convenient way.

Ideally, the program offers units you are interested in. If you are considering further study beyond a certificate, the whole masters program should teach subjects relevant to you.

Delivery method is also an important consideration.

  • Most online courses shadow an on-campus version, following the same academic calendar and finishing with exams.
  • New purpose-built online programs are modular. They run year round and use continuous assessment methods (such as assignments and quizzes).

We've selected the top courses in Australia based on content and program features.

Teacher with back to school (university) sign.

RMIT Graduate Certificate of Commerce

RMIT University allows you to earn a Graduate Certificate without exam stress. The 100% online course is available year round. Units can be completed one-by-one and assessment is continuous rather than exam based. Students choose units from 4 broad fields: HR management, logistics and supply chains, marketing, and project management. You can major in any of the disciplines and go on to do a Master of Commerce or specialist masters online.

SCU Graduate Certificate in Business

Southern Cross University offers an affordable online Graduate Certificate in Business. The 8-month part-time course is purpose-built for distance learning. You complete 1 unit every couple of months. Each unit is a foundation unit for SCU Online's MBA, which you can continue studying for if you complete the Graduate Certificate successfully. Subjects consist of: accounting for managers, management communication, organisational behaviour, and economics and quantitative analysis.

Deakin Business Graduate Certificates

Deakin University offers many different specialisations for its Graduate Certificate in Business. You can major in business administration, commerce, corporate management, financial planning, human resource management, information systems, international finance, leadership, marketing, professional accounting, or sports management. Deakin's cloud (online) students can start in March, July or November.