Grad Cert in HE Academic Practice

Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Academic Practice (GradCertHEd)

Increase your skills and understanding of teaching in higher education to ensure you meet the standards.

The Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Academic Practice is a one-year part-time (six months full-time) online course designed to enhance the knowledge, skills and understanding of academic practice in the higher education sector and specifically in independent higher education providers.

Graduates of this course will be able to reflect critically on their educational practice; explore scholarship and research related to higher education learning and teaching; construct effective pedagogies drawn from best practice principles; and understand the nature and purposes of higher education course and assessment design to enhance delivery and the achievement of student learning outcomes.

Expression of Interest

An Expression of Interest to undertake the course can be completed by clicking below.

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Course Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this course graduates will be able to:

  • Apply an advanced, systematic, and coherent body of knowledge of good practice in independent higher education providers (iHEPs) with cognitive skills to understand the quantitative and qualitative aspects of effective academic practice.
  • Critically review, analyse, consolidate and synthesise relevant academic practice information for effective decision-making and to identify and provide innovative solutions to complex problems and challenges.
  • Apply specialised technical and creative skills to teach within a complex and multi-faceted iHEP and monitor the achievement of stakeholder performance targets and outcomes.
  • Communicate complex knowledge, concepts, ideas, and skills clearly and succinctly including through the full range of communication media.
  • Demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills in relation to complex and diverse academic practice issues through initiating, planning, implementing and evaluating based on informed judgements.
  • Demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills with responsibility and accountability for personal performance outcomes and for the overall performance outcomes of relevant stakeholders.

Course details

The course consists of four core subjects:

HEP801The Delivery of Learning & Teaching in Higher EducationCore4.125None
HEP802Course and Assessment Design for Higher EducationCore4.125None
HEP803Scholarly Activity in Higher EducationCore4.125None
HEP804Online Academic PracticeCore4.125None

Students must successfully complete the four subjects listed above to graduate. Part-time students would normally take one subject per term to complete the course in 12 months. Full-time students would normally take two subjects per term to complete the course in 6 months. Subjects can be taken in any order (subject to availability).

Each subject is delivered online in a study period of 10 weeks which includes 9 weeks of structured online activities and 1 week for finalising and submitting assessments. Each subject has 4 hours of structured online educator-directed activities per week and you should allow an average of 8 hours per week of self-directed activities for reading, additional study and preparing assessment tasks. Details of subject aims, content and assessment tasks can be found via the subject code in the table above.

When can I start?

There are four intakes a year, one each quarter, so there is no need to wait to enrol.

Term start dates for 2020 are:

3 February 2020  |  27 April 2020  |  20 July 2020  |  12 October 2020

Current Academic Calendars are available on the Important Information page.

Tuition fees

Currently the tuition fee for each subject in this course is $2,500. GST is not applicable for accredited higher education courses.

Eligible students may apply for FEE-HELP assistance in order to help pay all or part of their tuition fees. For details click here.

Tuition fees are subject to annual review and may change in future years. Actual tuition fees payable are the fees published prior to the commencement of each academic year.

The current schedule of tuition fees can be found on the Important Information page.

Course admission requirements

Applicants for this course must provide evidence that they hold a bachelor degree (or equivalent or higher) in any discipline (subject to verification by the Course Coordinator).

Students may study from anywhere in the world, however applicants with international qualifications that were not delivered in English must demonstrate English equivalency by providing evidence of one of the following:

  1. Academic IELTS: 6.5 or higher overall with a writing score of at least 6.5 with no band lower than 6.0; or
  2. IBT (Internet-based TOEFL) overall score of 79 with a writing section minimum of 21 and speaking 18; or
  3. Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Overall score 180, writing and speaking 180; or
  4. Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Overall 176 with a writing and speaking minimum score of 169: or
  5. PTE Academic Module with a minimum score of 58 with a writing and speaking section minimum of 50

As participants will be investigating their own teaching practices and contexts, it is highly desirable that they are already engaged in tertiary teaching in some way.

Expression of Interest

An Expression of Interest to undertake the course can be completed by clicking below.

Enter details

Further information

As this course is delivered online you will need to have access to an electronic device (such as a laptop, tablet or smart phone) with internet access to successfully undertake this course.

We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the documents on the Important Information page before submitting your online Expression of Interest to undertake the course as they contain important information of your rights and obligations and our obligations to you.

If you have any questions about this course please feel free to contact our admissions officers at: providing your preferred contact details and we will get back to you as soon as practical.

Expressions of Interest to apply for the course can be made at any time.

Course Prospectus

The Course Prospectus can be downloaded by clicking below.

Click Here

Community Development Scholarships

HELI offers two Community Development Scholarships every year to enable selected individuals to undertake the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Academic Practice.

These scholarships may be awarded to individuals who can demonstrate the significant contribution that they could make to their communities as a graduate of the course.

For more information about these scholarships go to our Community Development Scholarships page.

Credit for prior learning

Students who have completed certain TAE Training Package qualifications and meet the course entry requirements will be granted credit for prior learning as follows:

TAE50116 Diploma of Vocational Education and TrainingHEP802 Course and Assessment Design for Higher Education
TAE50216 Diploma of Training Design and DevelopmentHEP802 Course and Assessment Design for Higher Education
TAE80316 Graduate Certificate in Digital EducationHEP804 Online Academic Practice

Also, if you have completed formal studies in a similar area or have extensive work experience you may be eligible for credit for prior learning.

The Credit for Prior Learning Policy and Procedure can be found on the Important Information page along with an application form.

If you wish to apply for credit then it is highly recommended that this is done at the time of application for admission.

Credit transfer

Students who have completed subjects in the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Academic Practice will be eligible for credit into the Master of eLearning as follows:

HEP801 The Delivery of Learning & Teaching in Higher EducationHEP805 Learning and Teaching Theory and Practice
HEP802 Course and Assessment Design for Higher EducationHEP807 Design for eLearning
HEP803 Scholarly Activity in Higher EducationHEP806 Scholarship
HEP804 Online Academic PracticeHEP808 Principles of Learning and Teaching in eLearning


HELI is a registered Higher Education Provider under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Act 2011 and the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Academic Practice is accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

Provider registration number: PRV14266         

Course ID: CRS1400528  

The Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Academic Practice is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework

This course is not available to international students studying in Australia on an Australian student visa, but may be taken by international students online outside of Australia (provided the applicant meets the published entry requirements).

Graduate Attributes

Through this course HELI is committed to graduating professional practitioners who through their life and work will strive to be:

Humane: professionals who are compassionate, who communicate and work collegially and respectfully with awareness of cultural diversity and sensitivities.

Ethical: professionals who exercise social responsibility and accountability, and manage challenges and uncertainty with integrity and professional confidence.

Leaders: practitioners who actively contribute to best practice in their professional community and guide the development of disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge and expertise through scholarly activities.

Inspiring: practitioners who influence others through their innovative, critical and independent thinking and who continue to learn throughout life.

Student orientation

Following enrolment and prior to commencing the course, students are given access to a comprehensive Student Orientation and Study Support Guide in HELI’s Canvas LMS. The Guide introduces students to various aspects of studying with HELI, including how to access support, how to use the Canvas LMS, how to access the HELI Digital Library, study techniques and tips, and other important information.

Student support

All HELI staff are available to support you, both before you enrol and following your enrolment. You can contact us on 1300 00 4354 (1300 00 HELI) or alternatively HELI’s Student Support Officer is available by emailing

After enrolment you can contact the Student Support Officer via the Canvas LMS.

Our support services cover academic issues, study assistance, help with personal / social issues, special needs assistance and hardship related issues.

Intellectual Property

HELI makes no claim to ownership of intellectual property created by students in the course of their studies.

Student representation

Students are represented on HELI’s Academic Quality Committee (AQC) to provide input about the learning and teaching environment and any other matters that directly, or indirectly, affect students. This provides a mechanism for students to participate in the academic decision-making processes of the Institute.

A graduate of the Institute is nominated as a member of the Academic Board.

The Dean will contact students and alumni directly regarding membership of the AQC and Academic Board. 

Indicative student numbers 

Indicative student numbers for this course are 100 enrolled students at any one time.