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COVID-19 Higher education relief package: short online courses

Upskill or retrain with online study 

Through the Government's short online courses scheme, you may be eligible to complete a graduate certificate at the University of Sydney in 2020 at a significantly discounted rate. 

The Government's short online courses scheme promotes study in areas that align with national priorities and addresses the needs of large and growing sectors of the modern economy, including: health, education, science and information technology. It allows you to access the support you need to achieve your goals, change careers or extend your employment opportunities. 

To help you make the most of this opportunity and to boost your career, we are offering a select number of graduate certificates online at the discounted rates. These graduate certificates can provide a pathway to further studies in the relevant graduate diploma and/or master's, subject to meeting progression requirements. 

The number of available places at the discounted rate is limited and if exhausted, eligible students may still apply for these graduate certificates at the domestic tuition fee rate applicable for the course.

To find out more, visit the relevant course page on Sydney Courses and check the tuition fee for domestic students.

Important update on available online courses

The number of available places at the discounted rate has been reached for all of the following courses and applications for discounted and full fee places have now closed for Semester 2 2020:

  • Graduate Certificate in Agriculture and Environment
  • Graduate Certificate in Computing
  • Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (Educational Management and Leadership)
  • Graduate Certificate in English Studies
  • Graduate Certificate in Environmental Science
  • Graduate Certificate in Infection and Immunity
  • Graduate Certificate in Information Technology
  • Graduate Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning

Available online courses

View all approved units of study available at the discounted rate.

Discounted student course fees

For domestic students, the graduate certificates listed above will be discounted at the below rates to commence in Semester 2, 2020, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria outlined below and any additional criteria issued by the Government. 

Field of education
Discounted student course fee (student contribution amount for 24 credit points)
Agriculture $1250
Architecture and Building $2500
Education/Teaching $1250
English $1250
Environmental Studies $2500
Information Technology $2500
Medical Science $2500

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible to receive the discounted fee rate under the Government's higher education relief package, you must meet the following criteria.

  • Be a domestic student, i.e. an Australian or New Zealand citizen, a permanent resident of Australia or a permanent Australian Humanitarian visa holder.
  • Be a newly enrolling student who applies to commence and enrols in an eligible course in Semester 2, 2020. Students who are already enrolled in relevant fields are not eligible.
  • To receive the discounted rate (or Student Contribution Amount) for a full graduate certificate course, you are required to complete the course by 31 December 2020.
  • If you cannot complete the course by 31 December 2020, your student contribution rate will revert to the non-discounted standard rate applicable for the remaining units of study. To find out the standard rate, visit the relevant course page on Sydney Courses and check the Student Contribution Amount.
  • The discounted rate applies to a maximum of four units of study or subjects (a total of 24 credit points) within the prescribed course. View all approved units of study available at the discounted rate. For any units of study that may be taken outside the designated field of education(s) for the course, you may be charged a separate non-discounted standard rate that can impact the overall Student Contribution Amount you need to pay.

Important to note:

  • Places are capped and not guaranteed for the available Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) at the discounted rate. You will still be able to defer payment through HECS-HELP
  • These courses are delivered entirely online for Semester 2, 2020. Units of study not completed by December 2020 may not be available by online study mode after semester 2, 2020. 
  • The University’s standard course completion date for Semester 2, 2020 is prior to 31 December.

How to apply

Detailed information on each of the eligible courses, including information on how to apply and applicable fees, is available on Sydney Courses


The Department of Education, Skills and Employment provides useful information and answers to common questions for applicants. We encourage you to visit their website for more information and updates on the COVID-19 support package. 

Other short courses

The University's Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) also offers several online shorter courses, aligned to the priority areas (course duration and cost vary). For a list of courses, visit the CCE.

Our Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are also available for short training and upskilling. The courses may be completed in your own time and are open to everyone. Course materials can be accessed at no charge, and participants can complete all assessment tasks and receive a verified certificate on payment of a small fee. Browse the full course list on Coursera