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Applying for Graduate Certificate or Diploma in Business

To best assist you with your application for the Graduate Certificate in Business (GCB) or Graduate Diploma in Business (GDB)  we have provided a comprehensive check list and detailed explanations of the various components of the application process:

Basic entry requirements for the GCB/ GDB

There are two pathways into the Graduate Certificate in Business (GCB) , Graduate Certificate in Procurement and Graduate Diploma in Business (GDB) degree programs – one for applicants with an undergraduate degree and one for those people without an undergraduate degree.  For applicants into the GCB and GDB degrees with an undergraduate degree all applicants must:

  1. Possess an undergraduate (or equivalent) degree from a recognised university,
  2. Have a minimum three (3) years of professional work experience.
  3. Meet the basic English language requirements via either having completed their degree in English, or achieving an IELTS overall score of 7.0 with no score being less than 6.5 on any of the components. A TOEFL score of 580 via paper-based test, 237 via computer or 100 via internet (25 in each section) is also considered as appropriately meeting the English language requirement.

I don't have a prior degree- am I excluded from applying for entry to CGSB courses?

For applicants without an undergraduate degree, it is only possible to apply for entry into the Graduate Certificate in Business (GCB) program.  All applicants must:

  1. Have a minimum of eight (8) years of professional work experience including a number of years in a managerial capacity.
  2. Meet the basic English language requirements through either being a native English language speaker, or achieving an IELTS overall score of 7.0 with no score being less than 6.5 on any of the components.

How will my work experience and achievements be assessed in my GCB/GDB application?

We review all applicants’ CVs to determine work experience and consider their major work-related achievements.  All of our units are designed to embrace adult learning principles and the experience of the class cohort is a major determinant of the quality of the educational experience for the entire class.  We therefore prefer a variety of industries and roles to be represented with significant work experience to be held by all of our students.  While the minimum requirement for entry varies between 1 and 8 years of relevant work experience (depending upon the degree program and whether the applicant holds an undergraduate degree), the average work experience across our entire student cohort is over 10 years.  It would therefore be expect that any applicant with the bare minimum of work experience (such as 1 or 2 years) would need to highlight their exceptional potential to be sure of gaining entry into the program.  At the other extreme, any applicant more than 10 years of relevant experience should expect to be ranked highly for this component.

The other major consideration is if applicants have some management responsibility – whether over people, resources, projects or finance.  Applicants without an undergraduate degree would be expected to have a number of years of managerial experience.  To ensure diversity in the cohort, we may rank a very limited number of applicants highly that have followed a non-traditional career path or are likely to be able to provide significant diversity to the student body.

Who is an acceptable referee for the two references I'm required to supply?

References are required from current (or where this is inappropriate – past) employers that detail an applicant’s leadership/managerial potential and capacity to undertake postgraduate studies.  Where applicants are self-employed or CEOs themselves, they should provide references from business partners, key customers or respected business individuals.  The references will be reviewed as part of the ranking process.

What does the 500 word GCB/ GDB application statement involve?

Applicants must provide a statement (maximum of 500 words) that outlines their motivation and reasons for undertaking the GCB/GDB.  It should demonstrate how the degree is applicable to their career, how it will help their personal development, along with what action they will take to leverage the GCB/GDB experience.  For this criteria, the highest rankings will be provided to those applicants where there is a clear nexus between the desired course of study and their existing/desired career path.  This may involve a fundamental change in their career direction or accelerated career progression within an existing career structure.

For students wishing to enter specific majors such as Procurement, Leadership, Energy, or Mineral Economics, it would be expected that they could show how this major would appropriately align with the current/likely career development.

I'm thinking of taking the GMAT to assist in my application? Will it help?

The GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is a standardised exam that is taken by many MBA applicants – particularly in North America.  It tends to be used less frequently on programs where the applicants have significant work experience (especially in Australia).  We recommend that the GMAT is undertaken in only limited cases.  If an applicant’s performance across a number of criteria is relatively weak, they may wish to emphasise their potential through a good GMAT performance.  While we will consider a GMAT score as part of the process, we will guarantee an interview to any applicant who scores above 600 on the GMAT (provided they meet the basic entry requirements).  Before undertaking the GMAT exam, you may wish to discuss your initial application with the MBA Director who will assess whether the other elements of your application are likely to be competitive and therefore whether there is any benefit in supplementing your application with the GMAT.

How competitive is entry into the GCB/ GDB program?

Based up past application trends it is expected that approximately 75% (to possibly 80%) of applicants to the GCB/GDB program will be offered a place on the program.  Clarity around the criteria we use to determine entry and strict basic entry requirements tends to limit the number of applications from clearly unsuitable applicants – hence the high acceptance rates.

Applicants with an undergraduate degree are likely to need to achieve a standard that is very similar to a typical MBA student.  While the standard of applicants may vary somewhat over time, it would be expected that someone with five to six years of work experience (especially if they had some managerial experience), a solid undergraduate degree, good references, a relatively clear nexus between their present/desired career and the course of study and a reasonable interview result could be confident of receiving an offer for a place on the Curtin GCB/GDB program.

For applicants without a degree it is much harder to outline the typical entrant into the program as the career achievements/progression and the references tend to take on a more important role.  The main difference is that the average successful applicant will have in the region of 10 to 15 years of work experience with over 5 years of managerial experience.

I am an international student, how do I apply for the GCB/ GDB?

Applications from international students will still need to be submitted through the Curtin International Office.  The same documents will need to be submitted and applications will still be assessed by CGSB staff concurrently with all other applications.

If I continue with further study after this degree, will I have to repeat the application process?

As entry to all courses at the CGSB is on a competitive basis, students wishing to progress from a GCB or GDB to a masters program will have to apply for entry to that program by completing an Application for Admission form and submitting it to the Student Services Office prior to the application closing date. Additional documentation (such as the 500 word essay and references) that would have been required for initial entry into the CGSB need not be resubmitted. An interview may be required if one was not conducted for the initial course entry. All applications will then be assessed on a competitive basis pending final results from the student’s initial qualification.

How will my application for the GCB/GDB be ranked?

All applicants that meet the basic entry requirements will then be assessed on the basis of the following:

  • Previous university study (where applicable)
  • Relevant work experience and achievements (from the CV)
  • Written references
  • Candidate-supplied 500 word application statement
  • Interview
  • GMAT (where provided)

A team of CGSB staff will then analyse the submitted materials to determine the overall rankings of all applicants.  Offers will be made depending upon the number of places available in each program.

How will my previous university experience count towards my GCB/ GDB application?

For those applicants that have previously undertaken university studies, the achievement of good grades is advantageous.  However, we recognise that in many cases the degrees were undertaken a decade or more ago when different priorities may have existed, and that past performance during a different stage of life is not necessarily a good predictor of future performance at a graduate level.  We also recognise that different education systems recognise different grade levels as constituting ‘good’ or even ‘excellent’ performance.  In essence, past performance is considered as part of the ranking process, but the longer ago the degree was undertaken, the less weighting it is given.

When will I be interviewed? What happens if I'm an online student?

Interviews will be conducted with those applicants that are likely to be accepted or close to being accepted into the program.  In many cases, and particularly for online students, these will be conducted by telephone.  Very highly ranked applicants can expect a short interview, whereas those that are closer to the cut-off point can expect a more comprehensive interview.