The Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education is open to ongoing, sessional or contract VU staff who are continuing or new to teaching in the tertiary education sector and engaged in teaching activities.

Evidence-based capabilities across a range of learning, teaching and assessment approaches are developed over the duration of the course by focusing on:

  • adult teaching methodology
  • exploring and enhancing teaching and learning
  • connecting with current teaching and learning principles and policies
  • understanding the Australian tertiary education and training context; including higher education and VET contexts
  • investigating current educational issues and ideas
  • reflecting on personal practice for improvement
  • supervised practice for TAFE teachers.

Please note

This course is for VU staff only.

Course details

Duration & timing: The course is normally completed in two years (by enrolling in one x 12 credit point unit per semester). Extension into a third year may be negotiated with the course coordinator. Applications for intermission are required for a break from study in either Semester 1 or Semester 2.

Study starts at the commencement of the higher education semester in VU Collaborate, with the first half-day workshop normally scheduled during Weeks 1-3 on a Saturday.

Workshop dates are included in each VU Collaborate site, and are listed in the timetable.

Location: Footscray Park Campus

Admission: There are two admissions per year: (1) for commencement in Semester 1, and (2) for commencement in Semester 2.

Cost: This course is subsidised by the University. No study or amenities fees are applied to individual candidates, nor to their organisational unit.

Benefits of the course

  • improve your teaching practice and facilitate a variety of contemporary strategies in your discipline contexts.
  • obtain a nationally recognised qualification (for staff teaching in the tertiary education sector).

Suitable for

This course is designed for VU staff who are ongoing, sessional or contract. Staff may be continuing or new to teaching in the tertiary education sector and must be currently engaged in teaching activities at VU.

Candidates and past graduates have reported positive career outcomes, including:

  • increased promotion opportunities
  • become a member of a community of practitioners who appreciate/recognise teaching and learning issues and challenges related to VU and beyond
  • publication in academic journals
  • knowledge of educational theories, teaching and learning practice and improvement of curriculum design
  • success in winning teaching awards and grants for educational research and development.

Units of study

The course comprises two core units and two elective units of study.

Core units provide a foundation for improving practice by exploring teaching and learning in tertiary education, course design, and student assessment.

Elective units provide an opportunity to inquire into additional key aspects of teaching and learning.

Additional elective units not available for study in 2020.

Required study

Teaching staff new to VU on a contract of more than three years are required to undertake the course as part of their probation requirement, unless they are granted an exemption.

The course also meets the requirements for TAFE teachers to progress to the top of the TAFE teacher salary structure and prepares graduates to progress to further post-graduate study. VU subsidises enrolment for staff undertaking this course.

Admission requirements

To qualify for admission to the course, applicants must:

  • be currently employed at VU and teaching in either sessional, contract or ongoing positions 
  • have completed of an Australia degree (or equivalent).
  • have a minimum five (5) years approved work experience.

Advanced Standing

Please follow the regular application process for unit-based Advanced Standing.


The GCTE values work-based learning, and where possible assessment activities are linked to practice. The learning outcomes for each unit in the course are mapped to tertiary teacher capabilities which provide a framework for inquiry into professional teaching practice through:

  • self-reflection
  • peer review
  • feedback

Assessments take the form of independent or small group learning projects connected to and situated in the workplace.

Course equivalence

If you can demonstrate you have already achieved the course learning outcomes, either in previous studies or through learning in the workplace, and you have evidence of this learning you can apply to have a memo of equivalence for the GCTE. This memo is only provided as a VU internal document for probation requirements. Evidence will be based on the principles of Advanced Standing, but will apply to the entire course.

  • Volume of learning appropriate for an AQF 8 Graduate Certificate (i.e. 0.5 years full-time equivalent) must be demonstrated.
  • Evidence will be structured around the current GCTE learning outcomes.

Applications must be forwarded to the GCTE Course Coordinator. Please contact the Course Coordinator for advice. All applications are then forwarded to the School of Education Recognition Committee for consideration and recommendation.

Further studies

Graduates are invited to negotiate an appropriate pathway of 48 credit points into the Master of Education at Victoria University.