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Graduate Certificate of Applied Corporate Governance and Risk Management

Accelerate your career with Australia’s leading postgraduate courses in governance and risk management.

Course overview

Our postgraduate study provides you with comprehensive knowledge and practical skills in good governance. The Graduate Certificate of Applied Corporate Governance and Risk Management provides a foundation in the study of governance and risk management. This is the only course in Australia that leads to becoming an internationally recognised Chartered Secretary. It is suitable for professionals working in both the private and public sectors.

Why this course

When you complete this course, you will be:

  • The driving force for strong applied corporate governance and risk management practices
  • Able to confidently fulfil your responsibilities as a highly regarded and qualified ‘risk and governance professional’
  • Able to improve your financial literacy and enhance your skills to make informed financial decisions to deliver financially well-considered business outcomes
  • Able to develop the best risk management strategies for your organisation by having in-depth knowledge about legal, regulatory and compliance requirements including the Corporations Act 2001 and ASX Listing Rules frameworks and approaches to manage complex risk issues.
  • In a competitive position to boost your earnings potential and give yourself a competitive edge in your career.
  • Able to join a network of leading risk managers, governance professionals and business leaders.

The learning outcomes for this course are to:

  • Conceptualise knowledge of the theories and principles related to the legal regulation of governance and risk compliance, and appropriate strategic approaches;
  • Critically appraise and apply corporate governance principles, as well as best practices in risk management for the board of organisations;
  • Identify and critically evaluate sources of finance with their associated risks and returns;
  • Evaluate the impact of corporate conduct, behaviours and culture on risk and compliance management practices.

Course structure

Graduate Certificate of Applied Corporate Governance and Risk Management students complete four (4) subjects to a total of 40 credit points based on their sector of employment or interest (private or public sector).

Commencing students are recommended to enrol in either Corporate Governance or Risk and Compliance or Finance for Decision Making as their first subject after accepting their formal offer of admission.

View subject outlines

Additional information

Course duration:

We offer two semesters each year, commencing in March and August.

The Graduate Certificate is offered either full-time or part-time. You will typically take between 1-2 years to finish this course. You are expected to enrol in each semester after you commence your course. A maximum of three (3) years is permitted.

A maximum of two leave of absence (LOA) sessions may be permitted from your semester of commencement. Refer to Enrolment Policy part D.

Completion after one year requires the completion of four subjects over two semesters. Completing in two years requires the completion of four subjects over four semesters.

How and when do I study?

Our postgraduate courses and all subjects are offered in the online study mode at Governance Institute. Online study complements our student demographic who are predominately mid-senior-level professionals who work full-time and study our courses part-time. Online study provides convenience and flexibility. The subject assessments are also conducted online.

Online study is conducted via our Learning Management System (LMS), Blackboard, and typically involves attending two (2) hours per week of live classes (a one-hour lecture and a one-hour discussion) for 12 weeks each semester where you will view your lecturer and other classmates on camera; all lectures are recorded and available in the LMS for reference. All subject materials (except textbooks) are available on the LMS for each week of learning.

When do I study? The Timetable information is available on the key dates and fees page.

Academic Workload:

Each subject requires students to commit to:

  • Attending two (2) timetabled hours of classes per week over 12 taught weeks;
  • Ten (10) personal study hours per taught week (preparing for classes by completing readings, and assessment preparation (the presentation and assignment); and
  • Twenty (20) personal study hours for examination preparation (noting the final examination is weighted at 50% of the total subject, for most all subjects).

Please consider these requirements carefully when deciding on your subject load against your professional and personal commitments.

For students who work full-time and who are commencing the course, we recommended enrolment in one (1) subject per semester and a subject load of no more than two (2) subjects per semester for all other students.

Students are expected to maintain satisfactory progress by passing all subjects as they progress through their course. Students who fail to make academic progress may have restrictions imposed on further enrolment or may be identified as “at risk” students, who will be notified and supported as Governance Institute deems appropriate under our Progression and Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

Learning resources and support

Facilities and resources for postgraduate students

All teaching and assessment activities for postgraduate courses are delivered in the online study mode. Facilities and resources provided by Governance Institute to students are:

The Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS)

Governance Institute LMS, Blackboard, facilitates a wide range of interactive learning, teaching and assessment activities and also serves as postgraduate students’ online learning community. We employ Instructional Designers who create engaging learning activities and compelling course content and work with subject matter experts and who identify students’ learning needs.

Academic research e- databases

Governance Institute subscribes to two online library databases accessible through the LMS. They provide postgraduate students with full access to a wide range of scholarly journal articles, e-books, magazines, and other publications to complete their academic work:

  • EBSCO Host
  • Lexis Nexus

Comprehensive course readings

Every postgraduate student is provided with a comprehensive set of course readings for each subject, which are developed by subject matter experts (SMEs) engaged by Governance Institute that comprise current, relevant and stimulating reading material for each of the modules in each subject.

Academic support

Academic support materials provided to postgraduate students include:

  • An Academic Integrity Module including a compulsory academic integrity assessment quiz.
  • A Referencing Guide.
  • Instructional videos on use of learning technologies

Governance Institute contracts a third-party provider to provide examination proctoring software to assure the academic integrity of the final examinations in every postgraduate subject.

Course advice

Governance Institute provides dedicated advice and support to postgraduate students on all aspects of their candidature from admission through to graduation and is contactable at or by calling 1800 251 849. Governance Institute also produces e-Student Newsletters each semester to keep students informed on a range of topics related to their study and about Governance Institute more broadly.

Student representation and recognition

The Academic Board (refer to Academic Governance Policy) has a postgraduate student member who is elected for a specified term by and from all enrolled postgraduate students. The student representative advocates for students and presents students’ feedback on behalf of the student body to the Academic Board and to the Education Leadership Team for consideration and discussion. The name and contact details of the current student representative are located within the Blackboard LMS.

Governance Institute awards a number of prizes to students who excel academically each year, which are presented to recipients at an annual online prize ceremony.

“I chose Governance Institute because of its reputation, professional networks and available resources.”

Kristy Wright AGIA – Senior Manager – Governance Risk & Compliance, PwC

“The Graduate Certificate of Applied Corporate Governance and Risk Management doesn’t just provide textbook knowledge; it equips you with practical skills essential for navigating the intricate landscape of good governance effectively….. The curriculum is well designed to cover a wide array of topics, from the legal aspects of governance to strategic approaches for risk management.”

Carolina Wallgren, Risk and Compliance Manager, HAMBS


Request a postgraduate handbook