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Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance and Risk Management

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

Postgraduate study

Course overview

The Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance and Risk Management is a unique offering in the corporate governance and risk education space. This accredited postgraduate course draws from real-life case studies and practical examples to equip you with hands-on knowledge and intimately position yourself as your organisation’s greatest asset for driving responsible risk management and good governance. As with the Graduate Certificate, this course is ideal for governance and risk management practitioners and senior managers with responsibility for governance and risk management functions. It is also highly relevant for governance practitioners seeking to broaden their risk management skills.

This course provides two dedicated pathways leading to two qualifying programs where students exit with one Qualifying Program:

Qualifying program for Chartered Secretary; OR
Qualifying program for Chartered Governance Professional.

The Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance and Risk Management is the only course in Australia that is professionally accredited by and can lead to membership of the Chartered Governance Institute (CGI).

Course structure

Graduate Diploma

Students complete six (6) subjects across two phases for a total of 60 credit points. They must successfully complete four (4) Phase 1 subjects before they can enrol in two (2) Phase 2 subjects to complete the course.


Subjects are chosen based on the student’s sector of employment or interest (public or private) and then the qualifying program they wish to qualify for upon completing the course – Chartered Secretary or Chartered Governance Professional.

Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance and Risk Management

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.

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.

Additional information

What is the difference between a Chartered Secretary and Chartered Governance Professional

Chartered Secretary

This is for students who currently occupy or who aspire to occupy a Company Secretary role or equivalent within the private or public sector. This position typically provides high level  and expert advice and support to the Board Chair and Board members, and ensures the Board operates and is compliant within its legislative requirements and other responsibilities.

This qualifying program provides students (working in the private sector) with specialist knowledge via the Corporate Accountability: Meetings and Disclosure subject, relating to company secretarial practice and the rules of company meetings and their application with particular reference to ASX Listing Rules and governance principles. For students working in the public sector, the subject Public Sector Accountability and Transparency provides an understanding of issues in relation to the role, functions, operations, transparency requirements and performance of public sector organisations. It examines underlying concepts and identifies best practice principles.

Students also study the subject Development of Strategy, which examines the elements, processes and techniques involved in the development and implementation of organisational strategy.

Chartered Governance Professional

This is for students who have varied career aspirations within the governance and risk management sector – and will further appeal to students wishing to acquire advanced risk management knowledge and skills. The course has a  greater emphasis on risk management through the compulsory Phase 2 subject Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), which provides enhanced knowledge of enterprise risk management practices to assist the board, or another governing body, to determine its strategic responsibility for risk-taking; and how different risks operate within the context of existing enterprise management frameworks. Students’ final subject is a  choice between the Risk Management Project (which builds on ERM and the earlier Risk and Compliance subject) or Development of Strategy which examines the elements, processes and techniques involved in the development and implementation of organisational strategy.

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) 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 live classes 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? Timetable information is available on the key dates and fees page.

Course duration

The Graduate Diploma is offered either full-time or part-time. Students typically take between 2-3 years to finish this course. You are expected to enrol in each semester after you commence your course. A maximum of four (4) years is permitted. A maximum of two leave of absence (LOA) sessions may be permitted from your semester of commencement.

Completing the course in two years requires the completion of six subjects over four semesters. Three-year completion requires the completion of six subjects over six semesters.

Academic workload requirements

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).

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.

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.

Online library databases

Governance Institute subscribes to two online library databases accessible through the LMS that 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
  • LexisNexis

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.
  • 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 Education Committee (a sub-committee of the Board) 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 Education Committee 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 also awards a number of prizes to students who excel academically each year, which are presented to recipients at an annual online prize ceremony.



“The course has provided me with a broader context of governance within organisations.”

Andrew Griffiths GIA(Affiliated) CG(Affiliated) – Legal Manager, Keystart