Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (GCHE)

The Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (GCHE) provides academic staff an opportunity to undertake a teaching qualification that aims to formally credit practice-based learning about teaching. It comprises 4 x 15 credit point subjects which can be taken part-time over two years or full-time over one year.

Staff will actively participate in Communities of Practice facilitated by an academic developer. They will engage with digital resources in order to complete assessment tasks based on practice and informed by theory. The course is aligned with the La Trobe academic promotions matrix, and participants will collect evidence of excellence in teaching delivery, design and leadership throughout the course.

Download our Frequently Asked Questions

Download the Community of Practice timetable

For information about course applications or fees, contact La Trobe Learning and Teaching.

For information about course structure or recognised prior learning, contact Robyn Yucel.

Getting the most out of the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (GCHE)

How to Apply, Accept, Enrol & Fees


Ongoing and contract academic staff

To be eligible for the course, you must:

  1. be engaged in an academic role; and
  2. have successfully completed an undergraduate degree; and
  3. be employed at La Trobe University for 0.5 time fraction or above; and
  4. be employed in a role that involves teaching and/or the provision of learning support services

Sessional/casual staff

To be eligible for the course, you must:

  1. have successfully completed an undergraduate degree, and
  2. have at least one year’s teaching experience in a higher education setting, and
  3. over a semester, be employed in teaching and teaching-related duties for at least 6 hours per week, and
  4. be likely to be able to complete the GCHE in two semesters (two 15 CP subjects per semester) whilst being employed at La Trobe University, and
  5. be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or New Zealand citizen. La Trobe sessional staff on student visas are not eligible for sponsorship.

Sessional academic staff must also provide endorsement from their Head of School or Head of Department.  Upload the signed Endorsement Letter as a supporting document when applying for the course.

This course is not available to student visa holders. Applicants who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents or New Zealand citizens must hold a visa which allows them to undertake study in Australia.


Subject fees are fully-funded by the University; the Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF) is payable each semester by the staff member. Instructions on how to make the SSAF payment are available on the Statement of Account which can be generated through Student Online.

Guide to applying, accepting and enrolling

Download the GCHE Help Guide to find out how to Apply, Accept and Enrol

Got an offer?

Step 1: Accept your offer

Step 2: Enrol!

Applications for Semester 1 2019 close March 8, 2019.

Course Structure

Study mode and campus

The course is fully online with asynchronous and synchronous online delivery. Four scheduled 1.5 hour Community of Practice (CoP) sessions are held throughout the semester for each subject. These are facilitated by an academic developer and are designed as a forum to share practice ideas and experience with colleagues. The CoP sessions will be facilitated via Zoom so that staff can join from any location.

Community of Practice Timetable

There are also online materials available in the LMS site for each subject. LMS sites are set up for self-enrol using your La Trobe staff password. You will not be automatically enrolled in these LMS sites as a student. To find the LMS sites, search for the subject codes in LMS.

2019 subjects:

EDU4CTL - Curriculum Teaching and Learning
Subject coordinator: Ying Yu

EDU4HEC - Higher Education Curriculum Design
Subject coordinator: Nauman Saeed

EDU4HET - Teaching in Higher Education: Effective, Reflective Practice
Subject coordinator: Robyn Yucel

EDU4HEL - Developing Leadership in an Academic Setting
Subject coordinator: Suzanne Fegan

Course Aims

The GCHE course provides participants with the scholarly basis to develop and extend their teaching, learning, and curriculum knowledge, skills and decision-making capacities. Informed by the research into higher education teaching and learning, the course situates the practices of teaching, learning and curriculum development within debates about the changing nature of higher education. In particular, it encourages participants to consider what might be done to improve student engagement and learning.

The GCHE has been specifically designed so that participants can apply their learning and design solutions to relevant practical issues, challenges and puzzles in their own work/professional contexts. Participants have the option to focus their learning on aspects of higher education curriculum, teaching and learning of interest to them. To this end, the assessment tasks in the course are also closely aligned with La Trobe's own Promotions Evidence Matrix.

Course Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of the GCHE, you will have had the opportunity to:

  1. Describe the main drivers which have contributed to the changing nature of teaching, learning and curriculum in higher education
  2. Apply key La Trobe teaching, learning and curriculum policies to your teaching/professional context
  3. Develop and defend a scholarly view of the purpose of higher education curriculum, teaching and learning drawing on Boyer's view of scholarship
  4. Explain how a student-focused view of teaching, learning, assessment, and curriculum can be implemented in your discipline and/or professional context
  5. Identify relevant aspects of the field of higher education teaching and learning of interest to your ongoing professional teaching development
  6. Re-develop a subject or course drawing on a range of curriculum models including constructive alignment
  7. Develop knowledge and skills related to reflective teaching practice in higher education
  8. Develop a well-designed plan for carrying out higher education research/development project into an aspect of your teaching and curriculum practice
  9. Contribute to, and learn from, the experiences of other participants in the course.

Recognition of prior learning and credit for previous study

Credit for previous study is available. You will need to provide evidence of the following:

  • a formal transcript
  • a description of the learning outcomes of the subject/unit/module completed

The GCHE is designed so that staff can accumulate subject completions over time. Attainment of the GCHE requires completion of the 4 subjects above (each 15 credit points). However, you can undertake a subject and decide not to complete the GCHE depending on your interests and needs.


University regulations allow for one subject in a Graduate Certificate to be made available on the basis of prior or concurrent experience. This means that if you undertake a Professional Development activity that maps to the ILOs for one of the subjects, you can obtain an exemption for that subject if you can demonstrate how you have met the subject ILOS.  Applications for exemptions can be made online.