Short Courses: Commonwealth Support Places
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The Australian Government has allocated additional Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) to give additional options to students and the recently unemployed to undertake higher education, preparing our nation and workforce to move out of the economic downturn. It also enables Australians to retrain and upskill in priority areas such as health.

The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is offering a selection of their graduate certificates with CSP under the government scheme. These certificates will commence on 19 April and must complete in Term four (ending December 2021) A graduate certificate is a full qualification at AQF level 8, but it can also provide a pathway to a Masters Degree in universities across Australia (subject to the entrance requirements of the university).

The number of available supported places is limited and does not cover graduate certificates or subjects that involve clinical placements. If places are exhausted for available specialisations, or if alternative specialisations or clinical experience is desired, eligible students can still apply for these graduate certificates at the domestic tuition fee rate.

What courses are available?

Please note we are no longer accepting applications as part of the Short Courses: Commonwealth Support Places for the below ACN Graduate Certificate courses, due to high submission numbers.
  • Graduate Certificate in Acute Care Nursing
  • Graduate Certificate in Cancer Nursing
  • Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing
  • Graduate Certificate in Community and Primary Health Care Nursing
  • Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Paediatric Nursing Studies
  • Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care
  • Graduate Certificate in Perioperative Nursing

Frequently asked questions

What is a short course?

A short course is a government initiative under the Short Courses: Commonwealth Support Places that allows students to complete a graduate certificate with heavily subsidised fees. Short courses must be completed within the 2021 calendar year.

How do I get a CGS place?

ACN have been allocated a limited number of CGS places to give to students who complete a graduate certificate online before 31 December 2021 (“Short courses”). Students must be prepared to take four units of study in the three terms before the end of the year, starting 19 April 2021. Apply [here] for a graduate certificate with a CGS place.

What are the citizenship requirements of a CGS place?

You must meet residency requirements as set out by HESA to study on a Commonwealth Supported Place in Australia. This means you must be an Australian citizen, or a permanent resident who will reside in Australia for the duration of study, or a New Zealand citizen who will reside in Australia for the duration of study.

Can I complete a whole graduate certificate on the discounted rate?

Yes, if you are successful in your application for a place in a “Short Course” and complete before 31st December 2021.

Is this course free?

No. Students completing a short course do so under a Commonwealth Supported Grant, and therefore pay a student contribution. Nursing students have a contribution of $3950 per EFTSL. A graduate certificate is 0.5 EFSTL. Please see for reference.

Can I do this course part time?

In order to get a CGS place through the Short Courses: Commonwealth Support Places, you must complete four units of study before 31st December 2021. This means that you will do at least two units of study in one term, equating to 30 hours per week, and 1 unit of study in the other two terms, equating to 15 hours per week. If you wish to a graduate certificate at your own pace, you can apply to study our graduate certificate without a CGS place.

I have applied; when will I receive my result?

ACN will make multiple rounds of offers in order to ensure that the most possible number of students can study with us. If your application is unsuccessful, we will be in contact with you within 10 working days. If you are offered a place in the first round, you will also be contacted within 10 working days and will need to immediately confirm and pay the student contribution to hold your place. If you do not receive a first-round offer but have not been unsuccessful, you have been put onto a waiting list for the second round of offers. You will be notified if a place becomes available to you before the census date. All places will be finalised and students enrolled before census date on 3 May.

I’ve been offered a place; how do I confirm my spot?

The ACN has had extraordinary demand for their short course offerings. We therefore ask that you confirm your offered place and pay the student contribution within three working days so that unconfirmed offers can be offered to other applicants. We are unable to reserve your place without confirmation of acceptance.

Can I do this course in less than three terms?

It is possible to do this course in two terms if you complete two units of study per term. Please see ACN term dates 2021 here.

How is the graduate certificate offered under the Short Courses: Commonwealth Support Places different from the other graduate certificates that ACN offer?

All short courses must be completed fully online before 31st December 2021. Most of our graduate certificates are already offered online, and so there is no difference between the teaching quality or the course delivery between the CGS places and the regular places for these subjects. However, there are more courses and electives through our regular delivery, including those that require clinical placement. Our usual delivery of graduate certificates can also be completed at your own pace and do not need to be completed by December 31 2021.

What qualifications can the courses lead to?

The graduate certificate is a stand-alone qualification (Australian Qualification Framework Level 8), but it can also articulate into Masters Degrees in Australian Universities, subject to the entrance requirements of the university.

Can I get discounted rates to complete a qualification after December 2021?

No. Government funded places under the Short Courses: Commonwealth Support Places must be completed before 31 December 2021.

Are all ACN courses available to study under this scheme?

No. The Short Courses: Commonwealth Support Places is designed only to fund fully online courses. To maintain the high standard of our courses, we are only offering courses that are already successfully being delivered in a fully online model and that can be effectively taught in a compressed model, allowing you to complete before the end of the year. Courses with clinical places are not being offered under this scheme, although you can still take graduate certificates that have a clinical component without a CGS place.

Can I do clinical placements?

Courses with clinical places are not being offered under this scheme, although you can still take graduate certificates that have clinical components without a CGS place.

Can I do these courses if I am currently employed?

You can apply for a CGS place regardless of whether you are currently employed. However, you must be able to complete the course by 31st December 2021. If you are employed full time, be aware that this will be a very heavy workload and may not be appropriate to all students. Additionally, some graduate certificates require you to have current recent experience in a relevant nursing field. See individual graduate certificates for entrance requirements.