The value of a graduate certificate and a graduate diploma

Graduate certificate, graduate diploma and masters: which postgraduate-level qualification is right for you?

An investment in your future: assessing your level of study options

Postgraduate study is an investment in your future, but it isn’t always clear what level of qualification is going to take you where you need to go. A masters degree is a full postgraduate qualification and may be just what you’re looking for, but it is also a significant commitment in time and money. 

Instead of committing to a masters from the outset, you may be able to reach your destination by studying a graduate certificate or graduate diploma instead. 

Harnessing the power of online study 

We all have commitments beyond study, especially those of us considering postgraduate study. It can feel at times like a difficult balancing act to juggle work, family and other commitments. 

There are compelling reasons to further your education with postgraduate study. It will help you upskill and prepare you to take on greater challenges in your chosen career. It may even open doors for taking on more responsibility at work and increasing your salary. You might even find yourself able to move in a new career direction altogether. 

The convenience and accessibility of online learning makes postgraduate study a real possibility, and a graduate certificate or graduate diploma is an excellent way to test the waters before committing to a full masters degree. 

An alternative pathway into a masters degree 

Graduate certificate programs often serve as an alternative entry pathway into a relevant masters-level course. QUT Online offers certain courses as course suites that progress from graduate certificate level, through graduate diploma to a full masters. 

With the flexibility of early exit points, attaining a graduate certificate or graduate diploma is worthwhile in its own right, and affords you the freedom to take your postgraduate study as far as you need to at a given time. 

Best of all, by completing a graduate certificate or graduate diploma you leave the door open for continuing on to a full masters degree at a future date.  

Digital Communication is an example of a full nested course suite, offering all three levels of qualification, beginning with a Graduate Certificate in Digital Communication. 

Valuable in its own right 

More than just a pathway into a masters degree, graduate certificate and graduate diploma-level qualifications are valuable in their own right, equipping you with skills you can apply immediately in your career. You will enhance the depth and breadth of your professional knowledge and in many cases specialise in a way that is relevant to your career. 

The subjects you will be studying in both a graduate certificate and graduate diploma will be the same as those in the masters program. This means you can expect a masters-level learning experience. 

The Graduate Certificate in Domestic Violence is an excellent example of how valuable a graduate certificate can be, equipping graduates with a specialised and in-demand skill set that proves invaluable when working within domestic violence contexts across multiple professions in law, counselling and enforcement. 


The reasons to extend your education with postgraduate study are unique to each individual, and at QUT Online we want to help you get to exactly where you want to be, making further study possible. 

See what courses are available with QUT Online and speak to a course consultant today to discuss what level of qualification is right for you. 

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