Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership - CM21

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 into the Master of Educational Leadership.

Start anytime and benefit from the flexibility of an entirely online course, studied at your own pace with no assessment constraints or unit deadlines. This course will be available for commencement in 2022. Register your interest today to be notified once applications open.




0.5 years full-time, 3 years part-time


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 microcredential within a professional learning context.

Core Units 4 Major Units None
Electives None Minor Units None

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.

Ideal for the busy, self-motivated learner, this course is hosted entirely online and structured so that you can choose when you study. This course is designed for you to access course content on any device with internet access.

Unit content is divided into modules which are then broken down into smaller bite-sized learning activities so you’re able to fit study around your commitments and lifestyle. Complete modules on the bus, during your lunch hour, or in the doctor’s waiting room.

With no need to buy textbooks or additional content, and everything you need available on the Be Different platform and internet, you can be completing your studies anywhere.

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.
Work-integrated learning does not apply to this course.
This course has no residential schools.

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.

Security Requirements

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

Health Requirements

Not applicable.

Assumed Knowledge

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.

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

Professional recognition is not applicable to this course.

2021 fees for CQUniversity's Educational Leadership courses are as follows:

  • Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership: the full cost is $5880*. Individual units are priced at $1470* per unit.
  • Master of Educational Leadership: the full cost is $11760*. Individual units are priced at $1470* per unit.

*Fees are effective from 1 January 2021. Tuition Fees are reviewed annually and can increase from year to year.

Don’t want to pay your tuition fees upfront? You might be eligible for FEE-HELP, a loan scheme that helps eligible students pay their tuition fees. Provided you meet the FEE-HELP eligibility criteria, you can choose to use FEE-HELP to cover all or part of your tuition fees.

To find out more about FEE-HELP view the FEE-HELP information booklet available on the Australian Government’s Study Assist website.

Please note that from 1 January 2020, the Australian Government introduced a combined HELP loan limit which caps the amount you can borrow. This loan limit includes any HECS-HELP debt incurred from 2020 onwards plus any existing and new FEE-HELP, VET FEE-HELP or VET Student Loans. Learn more about the HELP loan limit and how it affects you.

No information available at this time.

This course will will be available for commencement in 2022. Register your interest today to be notified once applications open.

From 2022 this course will be open for applications all year round allowing you to start your studies anytime.

Before you apply, you can register on our Be Different platform and complete an optional orientation unit. This orientation unit is a great taster unit and will give you a feel for the course and the learning platform – it’s a good way to assess whether it’s the right fit, for you.