Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for this program

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Learn vital skills in creating social value through business leadership at Australia’s #1 leading business school.

 

Faculty
UNSW Business School
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended), Online
Award
Graduate Certificate in Social Impact
Commencing Terms
Term 1, 2 & 3
Duration (Full Time)
0.7 Year(s)

Overview

The Graduate Certificate in Social Impact is designed for the nextgeneration of highly skilled leaders from across sectors – not-for-profit, government, for-profit, large and small – with a desire to drive positivesocial change.

The program focuses on building professional capacity in how managers and entrepreneurs lead, organise, innovate, finance, scale, change and transition organisations to deliver greater social impact.

With interest growing in the concept of a social license to operate (SLO), you will explore how corporates can operate at the intersection of profit and purpose by incorporating social impacts into their strategies.

You will enhance your understanding of the powerful dynamics of the new social economy with its goal of transforming existing economic models to address a range of societal challenges.

In this respect, you will acquire knowledge of the latest global trends in economic thinking and practice and how these can propel a just transition towards a sustainable and inclusive economy.

Moreover, you will gain an in-depth understanding of how business, social enterprise, government, foundations and community organisations can work together to create a values-led economy.

Why study Social Impact at UNSW?

Study at Australia’s #1 Business School

UNSW Business School has been ranked the #1 business school in Australia by AFR BOSS for the last two years in a row*. That means our business education leads the way in career impact, quality and reputation, giving you a strong competitive advantage. Our career-focused education equips you for long-term success and empowers you to become an adaptive thinker to thrive in a fast-changing world. Further, you’ll have access to state-of-the-art facilities and be taught by world-class teachers and academics.

*AFR BOSS 2023 Best Business School Rankings

Shape your study to suit your goals

If you’re a busy professional or live outside Sydney, this course gives you the convenience to shape your study around your needs. The entire course takes less than a year to complete. Choose between studying either online or on campus, face-to-face – whichever works for you best. 

Gain a strong competitive edge with employability

UNSW students are sought after by employers, having been recognised for producing the Most Employable Graduates in the AFR Top100 Future Leaders Awards* for four consecutive years. Plus, studying social impact at UNSW means you’ll become part of an urgently required new generation of global leaders with a socially conscious framework.

*AFR Top 100 Future Leaders Awards 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023

Brent Hedley headshot

Brent Hedley

Graduate Certificate in Social Impact Student

"The knowledge and skills gained in the course aren’t just academic accolades, but tools that empower me to develop impactful strategies in the real world."

Read Brent's story opens in a new window

Who should choose this Graduate Certificate?

This innovative and dynamic program is geared towards professionals across a range of roles and sectors who have a passion for developing and broadening their social impact skills.

This course is ideal if you:

  • Desire an impactful leadership career in social enterprises or are already in the not-for-profit sector and want to enhance your professional capacity to create social value.
  • Aspire to hold an executive position in a for-profit organisation committed to maximising social benefit and meeting corporate ESG (environmental, social and governance) responsibilities through business practices and products.a for-profit organisation committed to maximising social benefit and meeting corporate ESG (environmental, social and governance) responsibilities through business practices and products.
  • Aim to become a senior public administrator working with community groups or a public service executive with a responsibility for developing the public policy framework that integrates social impact and sustainability.
  • Work for a foundation that seeks to ensure its social investment delivers desirable social impact.

 

Program Code
7357
CRICOS Code
0100131
Campus
Kensington
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
24
Indicative Enrolments
64

Want to see more from UNSW Business School?

Entry requirements

  • Recognised Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) with a credit average as determined by the UNSW Postgraduate Coursework Entry Calculator and a minimum of 2 year's work experience
  • Or, Minimum of 5 years relevant work experience in government, corporate or not-for-profit sector.  
  • Students must provide a detailed resume (outlining relevant competencies and achievements) and evidence of other academic and professional qualifications.

English language requirements

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

  • Recognised Bachelor degree (or equivalent qualification) with a credit average as determined by the UNSW Postgraduate Coursework Entry Calculator and a minimum of 2 year's work experience
  • Or, Minimum of 5 years relevant work experience in government, corporate or not-for-profit sector.  
  • Students must provide a detailed resume (outlining relevant competencies and achievements) and evidence of other academic and professional qualifications.

Admission pathways


If you do not meet the requirements for direct entry into your chosen degree, you may be eligible for a pathway program with UNSW College. UNSW College provides alternative entry options using university-approved content so that you can start your UNSW journey with confidence. 

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on whether you are from an English-speaking background or non-English speaking background. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

Check the specific English language requirements for this program

My course had a great mix of students that spanned the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors, which made for insightful and healthy debates and conversations. The lecturers were top-notch, bringing a wealth of experience from the fields in which they worked. Guest speakers were also an absolute highlight of the course.

- Samantha Heron, Founder of Heart & Soul Story, Graduate Certificate in Social Impact Graduate, 2013. 

Program structure

The Graduate Certificate in Social Impact focuses on creating social and environmental value through leadership. Managers and entrepreneurs across corporate, government and for-purpose sectors will gain an understanding of the critical skills and innovation required to operate in today’s changing cross-sector social landscape. 

Students must complete 24 UOC when taken as a standalone program. This will include one core social impact course and your choice of elective courses tailored to your career goals.

This includes:

Core Course: 6 UOC 

Course: Social Impact

Prescribed Electives: 18 UOC

You must take at least 18 UOC of the following courses:

  • Leading Change for Sustainability 6 UOC
  • Social Impact Investment 6 UOC
  • Demonstrating Social Impact 6 UOC
  • Design for Social Innovation 6 UOC
  • Social Impact Field Project 6 UOC
  • Corporate Responsibility and Accountability 6 UOC
  • Creating Shared Value 6 UOC
  • Collaboration for Social Impact 6 UOC
  • Leadership for Social Impact 6 UOC

Visit the Graduate Certificate in Social Impact Handbook for detailed information.

Future careers

The Graduate Certificate in Social Impact is ideal for professionals who wish to obtain a fundamental grounding in the theory and practice of social change to build and lead future enterprises.

As we witness an accelerating economic relationship – and a blurring of the boundaries – between government, business and the not-for-profit sector, the world needs leaders with the knowledge and critical thinking skills to catalyse powerful social innovation.

When you study for a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact you will attain the expertise and confidence to progress your career and/or lead your organisation in demonstrating positive social change.

Your education is shaped by industry leaders and world-class academics – experts who recognise the future will present career opportunities that don’t exist today – and your potential professional network extends to more than 90,000 Business School alumni worldwide.

UNSW Business School offers students a suite of professional development with Career Accelerator industry networking and mentoring opportunities.

Potential careers

  • Executive roles in not-for-profit and community organisations
  • Public sector managers and leaders 
  • Social policy managers in the corporate sector 
  • Social entrepreneurs 
  • Foundation executives and managers
  • Business executives and administrators
  • Corporate community engagement executives and professionals 
  • Social and ethical investment professionals 

How to apply

Applications must be submitted through our Apply Online portal. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term. Some high-demand programs and Faculties with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. Find out more.

Ready to start your application?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

Ready to start your application?

Fees & Scholarships

Commonwealth Supported Places

2024 Indicative CSP First Year Fee

$8,500*

2024 Indicative CSP Fee to Complete Degree

$8,500*

All places within this degree are Commonwealth supported. This means that if you receive an offer from UNSW Sydney as a domestic student, you will have a substantial proportion of your fees  subsidised by the Australian government. Start your application today with our guide on how to apply

2024 Indicative First Year Full Fee
$19,000*
2024 Indicative Full Fee to Complete Degree
$19,000*

*The indicative Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) fees are an estimate based on the relevant student contribution band/s for a Commonwealth Supported Place undertaking a standard full-time load of 48 units of credit per year (1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load/1 EFTSL). To find out more about Commonwealth Supported Places visit Postgraduate Commonwealth Support.

Indicative fees are a guide only and have been calculated based on the typical enrolment patterns of students undertaking the degree/program. The indicative fee listed here is an estimate for tuition only and excludes non-tuition fees and charges. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year of enrolment, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (48 units of credit (UOC) per year).

You should not rely on indicative fees as fee increases are assessed when required and may exceed the indicative figures listed here. Actual fees are calculated on enrolment. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

2024 Indicative First Year Fee
$28,000*
2024 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$28,500*

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed here.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.

Scholarships


At UNSW, we award over $83 million in scholarships each year. We pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.