Graduate Diploma of Leadership



Great leaders are ambitious, open to challenge, and willing to step outside their comfort zones. Deakin’s Graduate Diploma of Leadership is designed to give you the knowledge, theory and practical opportunities you need to prepare for your role as a future leader.

Leadership is important at every organisational level and may become more important than technical skills as you rise up the chain of command. Deakin’s leadership program is designed with the learning needs of mid-career professionals in mind. There’s a strong emphasis on learning from experience through work-based projects and intensive residential placements that provide a ‘hot-house’ learning environment.

Your learning will be largely experiential and is aimed at developing innovative and influential leadership skills. Course content is underpinned with an exploration of current directions in thinking and research in this very dynamic field of research.

You’ll explore the relevance of leadership theory to real world issues. In particular, you’ll focus on the ethical behaviour of leaders, leadership under pressure and in times of crisis, and leadership in response to global issues such as sustainability and terrorism. You will be encouraged to develop case studies of contemporary issues that allow you to apply course theories and explore leadership in ‘real’ situations.

Elective units may include corporate governance and ethics, research design and analysis, human resource management and international business management. There are opportunities to include elective units from other disciplines, or to link studies to your employer’s interests (and your career) through leadership-related projects.

As a graduate of the course you will have developed an awareness of your own leadership styles, strengths and weaknesses. You’ll also cultivate an appreciation of the way leadership operates at different levels, and in different contexts, as a key factor in enterprises. You’ll be able to apply these skills to your current career, or pursue senior leadership positions across a range of different work settings.

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Key facts


1 year full-time or part-time equivalent


Offered at Burwood (Melbourne)

Trimester 1

  • Start date: March
  • Available at:
    • Burwood (Melbourne)

Trimester 2

  • Start date: July
  • Available at:
    • Burwood (Melbourne)

Trimester 3

  • Start date: November
  • Available at:
    • Burwood (Melbourne)

Key information

Award granted

Graduate Diploma of Leadership


2017 course information

Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

$33,280 for 1 yr full-time - Full-fee paying place
Learn more about fees and your options for paying.

Estimated tuition fee - (CSP)

Not applicable

Deakin code



Postgraduate (Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma)

Approval status

This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.

Australian Quality Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 8.

Entry requirements

Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories.
In all categories of admission, selection is based primarily on academic merit as indicated by an applicant's previous academic record.

All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.


Minimum entry requirements^

  • Bachelor degree in any discipline and 3 years leadership experience OR
  • Graduate certificate in related discipline and 5 years minimum leadership experience

From Trimester 3 2017:

  • Bachelor degree in any discipline and 3 years relevant work experience OR
  • Graduate Certificate in a related discipline and 5 years relevant work experience.


^All applicants must provide the following with their application:

  • current CV
  • a statement (max. 500 words) about their current leadership role, their background, and what they hope to achieve from the course

For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit Deakin Policy Library.

Career outcomes

As a graduate of the Graduate Diploma of Leadership you will have developed an awareness of your own leadership styles, strengths and weaknesses. You will also develop an appreciation of the way leadership operates at different levels, and in different contexts, as a key success factor in enterprises.

Course learning outcomes

Graduate Learning Outcome Course Learning Outcome
Discipline specific knowledge and capabilities Integrate advanced leadership theories, concepts into leadership practice in a range of personal and professional circumstances.
Communication Employ a variety of advanced communication skills to alter the perceptions of people in leadership environments.
Digital literacy Use digital technologies to source information, data and images to produce persuasive messages.
Critical thinking Critically analyse leadership situations to assess how leadership perceptions are formed and might be influenced.
Problem solving Manage a range of complex leadership-related issues to shape perceptions of audiences and present solutions to address complex leadership challenges.
Self-management Demonstrate an understanding of self, personal biases, values, beliefs, and mental models and extrapolate from it to others in leadership situations.
Teamwork Possess a sophisticated understanding of people and demonstrate an ability to shape perceptions when faced with complex leadership situations and challenges.
Global citizenship Not explicitly addressed as a learning outcome in this award.


Course Structure

To complete the Graduate Diploma of Leadership, students must attain a total of 8 credit points including 4 credit points of core units and 4 credit points of elective units. Most units (think of units as 'subjects') are equal to 1 credit point. Electives may be selected from any postgraduate units offered by the University, subject to eligibility.


Core units


Elective units


Total units

Core units

  • MBR730/MBA730Principles of Leadership *+
  • An Act of Leadership MPM772
  • Plus 2 credit points of units from:

  • MBR721/MBA721People Management *^
  • Contemporary Issues in Leadership MPM773
  • Personal Leadership MPM775
  • MPR707/MPM707Leading Change *
  • Leadership in the Real World MPR779 *
  • which may also include one unit from:

  • Audacious Leadership MPT738 #
  • The Leadership Adventure MPM778
  • * MPR code denotes residential version of the unit.  

    # MPT code denotes study tour version of the unit. 

    + previously coded MPR771/MPM771

    ^ previously coded MPR721/MPM721

    Elective units

    Students may select any four Postgraduate units.

    How to apply

    Apply direct to Deakin

    Applications must be made directly to the University through the Applicant Portal. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the how to apply web page. Please note that closing dates may vary for individual courses.

    Apply through Deakin

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For more information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage. If you're still having problems, please contact us for assistance.

    Register your interest to study at Deakin

    Please complete the Register your interest form to receive further information about our direct application opportunities.

    Course pathways

    Further study options

    M738 Master of Leadership

    Credit for Prior Learning

    Am I eligible to receive credit for prior learning?

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.

    You can also refer to the Credit for Prior Learning System which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

    Faculty contact information

    Faculty of Business and Law - student advisers
    Tel 03 9244 6555


    As a student in the Faculty of Business and Law, you can expect to participate in a range of teaching activities each week. This could include classes, seminars, practicals and online interaction. You can refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information. You will also need to study and complete assessment tasks in your own time.

    Fee information

    The tuition fees you pay will depend on the type of fee place you hold. 

    • If you are enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place, your tuition fees are calculated depending on the units you choose.
    • If you are enrolled in a full fee paying place, your tuition fees are calculated depending on the course you choose.

    In both cases, the ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Credit for Prior Learning you have.

    Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The ‘Estimated tuition fee’ is calculated by adding together 8 credit points of a typical combination of units for that course. Eight credit points is used as it represents a typical full-time enrolment load for a year.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

    Learn more about fees and available payment options.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship could help you pay for your course fees, living costs and study materials. If you've got something special to offer Deakin - or maybe you just need a bit of extra support - we've got a scholarship opportunity for you. Search or browse through our scholarships

    Offered campuses


    Just 30 minutes from the city centre, the Melbourne Burwood Campus is Deakin's thriving metropolitan campus.

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