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Graduate Diploma in Business
Available online

2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

About this course

The online Graduate Diploma in Business is designed for business owners and professionals wanting to develop business and management skills. It provides them with strong knowledge of modern business and management fundamentals.

The Graduate Diploma is an alternative pathway to enter the online Master of Business Administration (MBA).  Students who complete the Graduate Diploma in Business are awarded advanced standing of eight units into the MBA.


Career opportunities

The Graduate Diploma in Business improves people's ability to run and manage a business, or helps them move into a management role. Graduates are equipped to undertake mid-level management roles in a broad spectrum of industries.

Major areas of study

The Graduate Diploma in Business includes study in financial analysis and budget control, marketing concepts such as relationship marketing and consumer behaviour, and market systems and their limitations, including impacts of government policy on business environments. Students also develop an understanding of organisational behaviour, administrative hierarchy, job design, international business, project management, communication leadership and teamwork in the contemporary organisation. They also study market systems and their limitations, including impacts of government policy on business environments.

Assessment methods

The course incorporates progressive assessment. Students are assessed on the basis of written and oral assignments; reflecting authentic work tasks and contemporary topics. These assignments come in a range of formats designed to assist student learning and skills development over the duration of the course. Formats include business reports, case studies, discussion board posts, presentations, quizzes, and research plans and studies.

Teaching methods

Our flexible course fits around you. It’s designed to meet the demands of busy, mobile people – people who travel frequently, work abroad, or juggle multiple work, life and family commitments. You can enter at one of six points throughout the year, and organise your study program to take advantage of the peaks and troughs in your own life.

We employ clever, intuitive and interactive learning software that enables you to collaborate with peers and lecturers. Our multi-modal approach delivers content as video, audio, hands-on, practical exercises, and other media to suit all kinds of learners. Discuss and debate ideas with your peers and lecturer in dedicated forums and with other networking technology.

Each unit has its own website to keep you focused. Every week, you’ll find activities, readings and case studies laid out with step-by-step instructions. As the weeks progress and your knowledge deepens, you’ll tackle increasingly sophisticated concepts, and employ critical analysis.

Make no mistake, this is a rigorous degree. Each unit is presented in a seven-week block, and demands up to 150 hours of study – which translates into around 20 hours a week. The benefits, though, will last a lifetime. 

Advanced standing

Your previous learning experiences relevant to one or more units in this course may help you reduce the duration of your degree.

  • Recognition of formal and non-formal learning
    Credit may be awarded to a student for formal learning (gained through full or partial achievement of an accredited qualification or course) or non-formal learning (that takes place through a non-accredited course or program of learning) completed at Southern Cross University or in other learning settings in Australia and/or overseas.
  • Recognition of informal learning
    Credit may be awarded on the basis of current informal learning (that takes place through work, social, family or leisure activities).

To help you identify how much credit you may receive for your related prior learning visit SCU Pathways.

An application for advanced standing must be submitted so we can assess your prior learning. Please apply for advanced standing at the same time as you apply for admission into this course, because the amount of credit awarded will determine the sequence of units you will study.

 Go to course structure to see if specific advanced standing rules also apply to this course.

Learning support

Learning resources

You’ll find our learning resources technologically sophisticated but intuitive and very easy to use. The four virtual spaces you’ll use most frequently are MySCU, Blackboard Learn, the course and unit websites, and the library.

MySCU is your portal to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. It will link off to your specific learning and information sites, where you can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to your work.

The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn is where you, your peers and your lecturers communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. You can share files, presentations and applications. Unlike many online learning courses, there’s no long, grainy recordings of students coughing in lecture theatres; all recorded material is produced specifically for the course and addresses key learning points.

The course website houses all your learning materials – study resources, assessment information, quizzes, readings and other information. You may need to buy or access textbooks, but for the most part everything you need will be at your fingertips.

SCU library's wide range of services include face-to-face and online help, and access to print and electronic resources. As an online student, you have access to the same resources as an on campus student. You can even borrow library books – the library will express post them to you free of charge. For more about library resources, see the Library Toolbox.

Student support

As an online student, you receive individual support. We can help you with academic skills development, including the specific challenges attached to studying online. We provide one-on-one support via email or phone and can connect you with the learning resources you need.

You will also have a personal student services adviser. They are with you for the duration of your degree, and basically help with everything else – they can take you through the application process, help you organise your timetable, and find extra resources or assistance when you need them.

Both of these support services help you successfully complete your degree. We know many of our students are studying while working or raising a family or both, so our support is geared toward helping you enjoy the intellectual challenges of study while enabling you to have the time to enjoy the rest of your life as well.

Equipment and facilities

Because the course is 100% online, you’ll need the technology to ensure you have a seamless study experience. You’ll need:

  • a fast, reliable computer – either a PC or a Mac – with the latest operating system
  • a fast, reliable internet connection
  • the latest version of Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox
  • the Blackboard app, which is available as a free download. We can help you with that.

Occasionally, your lecturer may suggest specific software or textbooks for a specific unit. The library will usually have multiple copies of frequently used textbooks.

Course structure

See the University’s Rules Relating to Awards, in conjunction with the Specific Award Rules listed below.

Table of contents

Admission requirements

Applications for admission to candidature in the Graduate Diploma in Business may be selected where they can demonstrate academic or professional standing considered by the School Board or Course Coordinator to be equivalent to the requirements of Rule 2, Section 3.

Course requirements

  1. To be eligible for the award of Graduate Diploma in Business a candidate shall successfully complete all eight (8) units (96 credit points) from Part A and B.
  2. To be eligible for the award of Graduate Certificate in Business a candidate shall successfully complete all units from Part A or at least two (2) of these units (24 credit points) and up to two (2) substitute units (24 credit points) as approved by the Course Coordinator.

Schedule of units


How to apply

Domestic students

Our enrolment advisors can help you move easily through the application process, including advance standing. Please call us on 1300 854 556 or apply now.

International students

The following international applicants are welcome to apply:

  • Applicants residing overseas from Australia, or
  • holders of a visitor, work or bridging visa with study entitlements or no limitations of study, apply now.

This course is not CRICOS registered and therefore Education Services for Overseas Students Commonwealth legislation (ESOS) and National Code regulations preclude international applicants who are holders of a Student Visa.

Those who would prefer to study in Australia as an International student and holder of a student visa, please refer to SCU International Study Options for onshore students for further information.

The information on this page may be subject to change over time. Please check this page again before acting and see our disclaimer.

From the 1st of June, 2017, the term 'Distance Education' has been replaced with 'Online'