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The ACER Graduate Certificate in Education: your questions answered
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The ACER Graduate Certificate in Education: your questions answered

ACER news 7 minute read

With the deadline for enrolments for the ACER Graduate Certificate in Education: Assessment of Student Learning fast approaching, we answer your questions.

This article contains information that may be out of date. In 2021, ACER commenced teach-out arrangements for the Graduate Certificate in Education – Assessment of Student Learning. For further information about this arrangement visit this page or contact

Time is running out to enrol in the ACER Graduate Certificate in Education: Assessment of Student Learning. Here, course coordinator Dr Anne-Marie Chase answers the most commonly asked questions to help you make the decision to apply by the 7 January 2020 deadline.

Q: I can’t attend university full-time. What are my options?

A: If you have a teaching career, you need a course with flexibility. ACER’s Graduate Certificate in Education: Assessment of Student Learning is a 100% online, part-time course that not only enables you to pursue world-class studies without interruption to your work schedule, but also gives you skills that can be put into action immediately. The course comprises four units, each studied over 10 weeks, so you can complete the qualification in as little as 12 months or up to three years.

Q: Should I study a graduate certificate or master’s degree?

A: When considering a postgraduate qualification, you’re not limited to a master’s degree – there are other options that could help you achieve your goals. The Graduate Certificate in Education provides the opportunity to upskill and deepen your knowledge in a specific area, so you can take the next step in your career. Another benefit of the Graduate Certificate in Education is that you can complete it in as little as 12 months with part-time online study.

Q: Can I use a Graduate Certificate of Education towards a master’s degree?

A: Yes, typically your Graduate Certificate in Education can be considered for admission into a master’s degree, in addition to other selection criteria for the course. It may also be used towards Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Talk to us for more information.

Q: How does online study work?

A: One of the biggest misconceptions around online study is that you’re in it alone. With ACER, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Our online learning environment is designed to help you connect and network with like-minded professionals and subject matter experts so you can ask questions and discuss ideas. Another perk of online study is that you can access resources and watch lectures when it suits you. Our sophisticated online environment gives you the freedom to study to your own schedule, on any device, anywhere in the world.

Q: Will this qualification enable me to teach?

A: Good question. While you don’t need to be a teacher to complete the course, it’s not an initial teacher education qualification. The course is suitable for someone already working in education with an understanding of education environments. You could be working in a school, or in early childhood or higher education, and keen to learn about assessment, working directly with students or managing teams of educators. Or maybe you work in an education office developing policy and shaping education at a system level.

Q: What support is available while I study?

A: Juggling the demands of work, life and study can be challenging at times. That’s why our support services team is on hand to help you stay engaged and on track to complete your qualification. We will provide personalised guidance, access to useful resources and motivation throughout your study journey.

Q: How much time will I need to succeed in my studies?

A: Each unit requires a total of about 150 hours of study over 10 weeks, so we recommend you set aside about 15 hours a week. Naturally, you’ll find you spend more time studying when an assessment is due and there are generally two assessments in each unit, around weeks 5 and 10.

Fitting in study with full-time work and personal commitments can seem difficult to begin with but we are very supportive – let us know if you are finding it difficult and we will support you. As you develop good study habits, it gets easier to fit it in. You’ll also find you’re so engaged with the content and with trying out your new skills that you want to spend time studying. The best part is, with an online course, you don’t have to worry about lost time commuting to and from campus. Simply study when and where it suits you. Get more tips on how to find time for postgraduate study in this article.

Q: How much does the course cost?

A: Each unit costs $1750, which is usually paid before the unit starts. You pay as you go, so you don’t need to pay a lump sum of $7 000 for all course units up-front. Where this may be difficult for students, we can usually work out a payment plan.

Q: Is there FEE-HELP?

A: No, we don’t offer FEE-HELP. However, if you’re in a school, we have found that some principals are quite willing to assist with financing study. Most principals recognise the importance of having an assessment expert onboard. It could be worth arranging a chat with your principal. To help, download the Course Guide and use the talking points on Page 5.

Q: What do I need to apply?

A: When it comes to postgraduate courses, not everyone comes from the same starting point – you may be new to teaching or have decades of experience. That’s why our entry requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Education are straightforward. We simply ask that you have:

  • An undergraduate degree (at least) in a relevant discipline from an approved tertiary institution
  • Experience in an education setting.

Q: How can I apply?

A: It couldn’t be easier. Go to our course page and complete the online form with your details, qualifications and relevant employment history. The final step is to send certified copies of your qualifications to our team.

Do you have more questions? Get in touch with our student support team at or call +61 3 9277 5717.

Ready to apply? Our next course starts on 27 January 2020, so submit your application by 7 January to secure your place!

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