The Graduate Certificate in Applied Business is designed for managers aspiring to move into more senior positions. This program teaches you the skills to boost your performance and upgrade your skillset, preparing you to be mentored for C-Suite roles. Our focus is on providing you with practical learning that can be integrated into your existing role.

This is a nationally approved vocational course that is recognised throughout Australia.

  • Nationally recognised training
    Nationally recognised training
My preference is success

Want to maximise your VTAC offers? Discover how to get more for your ATAR with Change of Preference tips and tools.

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Upgrade your skills

  • Analyse complex situations
  • Innovate
  • Problem solve
  • Manage projects
  • Communicate effectively
  • Lead change management

Learning outcomes

  • Learn transformational and collaborative practices and strategic leadership
  • Provide strategic leadership during times of dynamic change
  • Develop a change process with a clear rationale for the change and its objectives
  • Learn how to source financial data, liaise and negotiate with stakeholders, create financial management systems, manage costs, and be able to change track when unforeseen events occur
  • Develop skills for creating a culture of innovative thinking and practice from the top down
  • Manage complex situations with a high level of innovation and problem solving
  • Develop strategic skills necessary to develop and implement a successful operational plan

Stretch your career further

Students can enhance their career opportunities by gaining additional leadership and management skills – an important asset in a today’s complex and changing business environment. The below examples demonstrate the types of roles graduates can attain.

  • Senior manager
  • Change manager
  • Business lead
  • Change lead

Key codes

International student visa

International students in Australia who hold student visas are required to study full-time and on campus. Courses that are taught entirely online are only available to international students studying outside Australia or those in Australia who are not on a student visa. Online courses are not available to international students in Australia who hold a student visa.

Professional endorsement

Chartered Management Institute

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is a chartered professional body dedicated to promoting the highest standards in management and leadership excellence.

Professionals who successfully complete the assessment for the Lead strategic transformation unit as part of the Graduate Certificate in Applied Business will qualify for the internationally recognised Level 7 Strategic Leadership Certificate and access to the Chartered Manager designation – the highest level of leadership recognition, via the Institute’s alliance with CMI UK.

A CMI designation can increase employability, is internationally recognised, can open doors to making stronger professional connections, and can improve management skills and strategic thinking via the ongoing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) process.

Institute of Managers and Leaders

The Institute of Managers and Leaders (IML) has been supporting leaders and managers for over 75 years by offering professional accreditations (Chartered Manager), events, business tools, online resources and more.

Participants who enrol into the Lead strategic transformation unit automatically gain access to an affiliate Membership to the IML for the duration of their studies (up to 5 years) plus 12 months.

Why Swinburne?

Delivered by facilitators who are industry experts

Participant course training manual

Live Online delivery allows you to do the course from anywhere

Access to our team of Customer Development Advisors

Live Online Delivery

Our Live Online delivery

Our Live Online delivery is a dynamic, engaging and interactive way to learn remotely. It’s just like face-to-face but with the added benefits of digital technology. Your facilitator will present in real-time, and you will be able to participate in group discussions and collaborate on exercises and group activities using our interactive platforms.


Standard entry

A recognised bachelor degree as well as three years of managerial work experience.

Non-graduate entry

A recognised diploma as well as five years of managerial work experience.

Admission requirements

Meeting the minimum entry requirements for the course does not guarantee an offer of a place. See admission requirements for general information about the admission process.

One of the following:

  • successful completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or its equivalent, such as an interstate or international Year 12 qualification
  • completion or partial completion of an approved tertiary qualification (including certificates IV (completed), diplomas, advanced diplomas, associate degrees and degrees).

You’ll be guaranteed a place in this course if you meet or exceed the ATAR Guaranteed Entry Score, provided you meet the course prerequisites.

If your ATAR is below the guaranteed entry score, you can still be offered a place as your ATAR may be adjusted based on subject bonuses, equity schemes or other factors. Use the above ATAR as a guide on your eligibility, and see the course handbook page for more information on entry requirements. 

Successful completion of Australian Year 12, or equivalent overseas qualification.

Assess your eligibility for entry to Swinburne

English language requirements

Satisfactory completion of one of the following:

Need to undertake an English assessment for entry?

A prerequisite for many courses, the Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic) can now be done at our Hawthorn campus.

Book your Pearson Test of English

Credit transfer

Credit is granted in recognition of previous study and allows students to gain advanced standing towards their course. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about credit

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) allows students to gain credit (advanced standing) towards their course in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/or formal training. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about RPL

Finding your fit

At Swinburne, we recognise that not one size fits all. If this course doesn’t meet all your study criteria, check out these alternatives.

How credit points work

To achieve the full Graduate Certificate in Applied Business qualification, participants are required to successfully complete four units comprising two core units, plus two elective units from the electives list.

Core units
Elective units
Graduate certificate
Course outline
Download this document as a quick outline of the course that can be printed and presented to your employer.

Your units

Units of study Unit code
Core units
Lead strategic transformation
Core unit, 80.0 credit points
Lead innovative thinking and practice
Core unit, 80.0 credit points
Elective units
Lead and manage organisational change
Elective unit, 60.0 credit points
Manage financial performance
Elective unit, 100.0 credit points
Lead strategic planning processes for an organisation
Elective unit, 100.0 credit points

Course delivery

Live Online

Live online delivery is just like face-to-face but with the added benefits of digital technology. Your facilitator will present in real time, and you will be able to participate in group discussions and collaborate on exercises and group activities using our interactive platforms.


Students will be given six weeks to complete their assessment(s) and submit assessments online via Swinburne’s Learning Management System, Canvas.

Assessor Guidance Session

Each cluster of the program embeds a personalised guidance session tailored to the learner’s needs. This key checkpoint in the blended framework provides the opportunity to clarify understanding, ask questions, and ensures learners are on track for successful course completion.

Workplace delivery

This course (or units from it) can be tailored to industry delivery within the workplace for groups of eight or more students. Students may enrol in the course at any stage during the year. Students have the chance to select from a range of dates for elective units to determine the duration of their course.

2024 fees

Full fee* ($AUD)


2024 fees

Fees are estimates only

The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. These fees apply for units studied in 2023 only and may change for units studied in future years. If part-time study is permitted, annual fees will be proportionally lower based on the number of units taken per semester.

Fees are estimates only

The indicative course fees shown apply to international students for the relevant year only. They are based on a standard study load per year. However, please note that fees are assessed according to a student's study load in each semester, and variation to study load will result in an adjustment to tuition fees. International tuition fees are generally inclusive of Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF). All fees are subject to annual review and may be adjusted.

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your Swinburne fees in person, via credit card, BPAY, or at Australia Post. Check to see if loans and employer sponsored training are also available.

Find out more about fees

International students need to pay tuition fees up-front by the relevant due date. You can find the due dates on your Statement of Account.

To pay your fees:

  • log in to My Financials
  • check your Australian bank account details are correct 
  • check your Statement of Account to see how much you owe 
  • pay using your preferred payment method.
Learn more about paying your fees

Eligibility for VET Student Loans

If you apply for a VET Student Loan, Swinburne must first verify your identity. If you are eligible, we will provide your enrolment information to the government so you can complete the application within their eCAF system.

The VET Student Loan amount for this course is capped. You must start repaying this loan once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold.

Learn more about VET student loans

Employer sponsored training

Many organisations are more than willing to help employees build on their skills and knowledge through professional development opportunities. In some circumstances, employers may be able to assist you in your professional development by sponsoring all or part of your fees.

Apply through an agent

Most international students use an education agent to help them through the application process. Swinburne has agents all over the world that can help you with your application to study. Search for a Swinburne representative in your country. If your country is not listed, please contact us.

Representatives and agents
Search for agents

Register your interest

To register your interest and request an application form you can submit our online enquiry form. Alternatively, you can call us on 1800 633 560, or email us at edge@swinburne.edu.au with the relevant information.

Course code
Enquire now

Apply directly

Ready to take on a new challenge and reach your academic goals? If you already know which course you want to study and spoken with one of our Customer Development Advisors to understand your eligibility, what are you waiting for? Apply online! 

Start dates

The dates shown indicate when the unit Lead strategic transformation commences. Students are eligible to commence this course during one of the other units if desired. Please see timetables further down for more information on all unit dates. 

Start dates
Last date to apply
Start dates
Start dates
Start dates

Course timetables

2024 Graduate Certificate in Applied Business
Download this schedule planner as part of your registration.
2023 Graduate Certificate in Applied Business
Download this schedule planner as part of your registration.
Upcoming events
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  • “The manual and workshops were well laid out and easy to follow. Simple language was used throughout and relevant examples were used. The workshop session plans were very helpful. Thorough explanation of each assessment task and reference to these during workshops was helpful”

    Jacquelyn , Graduate Certificate in Applied Business