Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership

Duration0.5 years full-time, 3 years part-time
Next start termAnytime
Study modeOnline
Course codeCM21
A teaching student standing in front of the camera holding a textbook. In the background another student is practising teaching.


Whether you are a current or aspiring educational leader the Graduate Certificate of Educational Leadership is ideal if you are seeking professional development and advanced learning to support your career in educational leadership. You will develop the knowledge and skills to navigate social complexities and shape positive learning outcomes for students and their communities, required of educational leaders. This course provides a pathway to the Master of Educational Leadership. 

The Graduate Certificate of Educational Leadership will suit educational leaders in schools and educational settings, seeking career advancement and specialised educational leadership, underpinned by research-informed initiatives and pedagogy. This course is aligned with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) Professional Standards for Principals.

During your course, you will examine the responsibilities of educational leaders and their role in effectively managing change and seeking opportunities to innovate. You will develop an advanced understanding and critical knowledge of creating and maintaining professional learning communities including community engagement, negotiation and managing competing interests. You will explore, critique and apply contemporary leadership ideas and strategies to promote advocacy, facilitate change initiatives and evaluate educational performance against relevant educational policies and frameworks. 

Delivered entirely online, you will benefit from a hyperflexible delivery meaning you can study at your own pace, access your learning material anytime, and tailor your learning to an educational context of your choosing. Whether you choose to study full-time and complete the Graduate Certificate of Educational Leadership in 12 months, or part-time at a pace that fits your needs, you'll be supported by a dedicated academic staff member. 

A recommended study sequence allows students to satisfy the Graduate Certificate of Educational Leadership and pathway into the Master of Educational Leadership. Each unit is made up of approximately three modules which can each be studied as a standalone micro-credential within a professional learning context.

Study experience

Career Opportunities

The Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership together with relevant practical leadership experience may enhance employment opportunities in leadership roles in schools and other educational contexts. Graduates have specialised knowledge and skills in educational leadership. The course enables the development of professional and research skills to work productively with teams, communities and stakeholders to enhance organisational curriculum and pedagogical capacity and wellbeing.  Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership units may be used as evidence of continuing professional development and/or to support career advancement. On completion of the course units, students may enrol in the Master of Educational Leadership

Structure & Availability

Wondering how a self-paced postgraduate course works and what to expect? Explore the course details below to find out more.

The Graduate Certificate of Educational Leadership is comprised of four core units. The fourth unit will orient you to research processes leading to the research component in the Master of Educational Leadership and/or enable completion of a mini workplace initiative or project. Each unit requires a time commitment of 150 hours, equating to a total of 600 hours of study which is approximately 12 months of part-time study when compared to a typical university term structure of two terms per year. However, you will have up to three years from enrolment to complete the course at your own pace.

Following a hyperflexible design, each unit is made up of approximately three modules with each module designed to be completed in approximately 50 hours. Each module can be studied as a micro-credential through our Centre for Professional Development presenting even greater flexibility to dip in and out of the course to suit your learning needs. Students intending to aggregate the modules to form a unit must also complete relevant assessments successfully, and must meet other relevant course entry requirements. We recommend studying modules and units in a sequence to gain appropriate foundational and core knowledge.

Assessments are completed at your own pace — no deadlines or due dates — and focus on issues in an educational context of your choosing.

We strongly recommend you follow the sequence below for this course.

EDED20497Orientation to Educational Leadership
EDED20498Educational Change and Improvement
EDED20499Leading Learning and Community Engagement
EDED20500Engaging with Educational Research

Upon completion of the above four units, students will satisfy the Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership.

Online Availability

Hyperflexible Annual Term, 2023Available Online
Hyperflexible Annual Term, 2024Available Online

When you study this course via our flexible online Be Different learning platform, not only will you study high-quality course content delivered by our supportive educators, but you also get to set your pace. You are not bound by our traditional term dates for completing your study or assessments. 

Majors and minors are not applicable to this course.

This course has no residential schools.


Recommended study

The course is delivered in a hyperflexible mode. It is fully online and available 24/7 and 365 days a year to support students' self-paced study. There is a recommended sequence of study, but the pacing of study and unit completion is determined by the student. The 4 course units are typically completed in 600 hours.

To be eligible for entry into this course, applicants must hold one of the following:

  • A completed Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) equivalent Bachelor degree or higher equivalent qualification, with a minimum of two years' relevant* experience in an education setting; or
  • A completed AQF equivalent Initial Teaching Education (ITE) course with evidence of three years' registered teaching experience within Australia or equivalent.

*Relevant work experience includes employment in a teaching or educational setting (which can include early childhood education, guidance counsellor or corporate settings which have a strong educational focus).

Employment experience must be shown in a letter of employment which is presented on a company letterhead as well as signed and dated by a delegated authority. The letter must contain position title, duties performed and length of service.

Applicants who hold other relevant qualifications with extensive employment experience in an educational setting may be referred to the Head of Course for consideration of admission.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

If you were not born in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa or United States of America, you are required to meet the English Language Proficiency requirements set by the University. Applicants are required to provide evidence of completion of:

  • A secondary qualification (Year 11 and 12, or equivalent), or
  • An Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) diploma level qualification, or
  • Bachelor level qualification study for a period of at least 2 years full time with a minimum overall GPA 4.0

completed within Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, South Africa, Ireland or United States of America which will meet the English proficiency.

If you do not satisfy any of the above, you will need to undertake an English language proficiency test and achieve the following scores:

  • An International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic) overall band score of at least 6.0 with a minimum 5.5 in each subset; or
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - Requires 550 or better overall and minimum TWE score of 4.5 (Paper Based Test), or 75 or better overall and no score less than 17 (Internet Based Test); or
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) - Requires an overall score of 54 with no sub-score less than 46; or
  • An Occupational English Test with Grades A or B only in each of the four components.

English test results remain valid for no more than two years between final examination date and the date of commencement of study, and must appear on a single result certificate.

International Students should visit for further information.

Each student will be assessed individually.

Not applicable.

Students enrolled in this course must have a relevant Working with Children clearance or equivalent

You will have to meet this course's inherent requirements by demonstrating essential skills and attributes.

Fees & Scholarships

2023 Indicative Fees

Fee TypeFees
International Indicative First Term FeeA$8,400
International Indicative First Year FeeA$8,400

2024 Indicative Fees

Fee TypeFees
International Indicative First Year FeeA$8,418

Please note the following important information:

  • Fees are in Australian dollars (A$).
  • Fees are indicative only and do not cover additional costs such as textbooks, accommodation, visa applications, OSHC, general living etc.
  • Fees are based on a full-time study load and the final fee payable will be determined by your selection of units and if any credit was awarded for recognition of prior learning.
  • The University reserves the right to amend fees at any time during the course. Fees are reviewed yearly and may increase in the following year to enable CQUniversity to continue to provide quality services and facilities to students.
  • Courses are subject to change at the discretion of the University.
  • It is your responsibility to make yourself aware of the entry requirements and prerequisites of the courses you wish to undertake.
  • The typical annual fee shown provides an estimate of the tuition fees for the first year of the course in the same academic year. This estimate assumes a full-time study load of 4 units per term (based on two terms).
  • Students not on an Australian student visa can only undertake courses online from an overseas location.
  • Courses undertaken online may be studied on a full-time or part-time mode.
  • International students studying on-campus in Australia may take no more than 33 per cent of their entire course by online education, and this option cannot be taken in its entirety during a compulsory term (Term 1 and Term 2).

Please refer to our international course fees page.

There are no scholarships available for this course.

How to apply

This course is open for applications all year round and you can start your studies anytime. To apply, click on the apply button below.