World-class learning on your terms

By Tessa Shaw

Choosing to advance your career with study shouldn't be a compromise. Your choice of provider should be based on the best available rather than what you can work into your already hectic schedule. Is online learning the answer?

If you are like most, advancing in your career will sit high on your list of priorities. Besides gaining experience from outside the daily grind, professional development is now widely recognised as necessary to expand your knowledge and further your career.

This is where the Graduate Certificate in Business fills the gap. An extraction of core studies from one of Melbourne Business School's (MBS) most successful suite of programs, the Master of Management, this certificate is made up four subjects (students choose from six) designed for anyone from a non-business background who is keen to gain exposure to the full breadth of business management.


Professor Nasser Spear, Deputy Dean of MBS, says its breadth and academic expertise is what makes the online course unique. “This program provides you with foundational studies in accounting, finance, management, marketing, economics, and quantitative analysis – tools required to run a successful business. As a stand-alone, it provides a comprehensive summary of business principles, but is also a natural pathway to more advanced studies in a Master of Management degree, should you aspire to do so,” he explains. “Furthermore, you can do it in the comfort of your own space and time, online.”

What sets the course apart is the specially selected line-up of academics leading the learning experiences: the group is comprised of teaching professionals passionate about online education.

These are people who are very capable in that space, who are able to effectively translate and transfer knowledge, not just in traditional classrooms, but through online mediums. Professor Nasser Spear

The team delivering the Graduate Certificate in Business has ensured that the latest trends are embedded in teaching examples, and the subject matter within each unit is relevant to today’s world. Experts in their disciplines, each possesses significant industry experience, and have conducted extensive research that is incorporated in their teaching.


We speak with some of the team who will be teaching you to find out more about who they are, and what drives their interest in their disciplines.

Jeff Borland is Truby Williams Professor of Economics. His main teaching is in microeconomics, economic history and sports economics. He is currently President of the Victorian branch of the Economic Society of Australia. Jeff has won numerous awards for his teaching, and in 2010 was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard. He has also acted as a consultant on labour market and microeconomics issues to organisations such as the OECD, IMF, ACCC, New Zealand Treasury, and Productivity Commission.

Professor Jeff Borland
Teaching: Economics of Markets and Organisations

Can you share the importance of Economics?
A knowledge of economics is a foundation for working in the world of commerce – it gives insight into how your business should operate, the workings of the markets where you'll sell your output, and the range of 'macro' influences that can affect the performance of your business.

What is the knowledge you hope to impart?
The objectives of Economics of Markets and Organisations are for students to learn key tools and concepts from economics, and most importantly, to develop the skill to be able to apply them in the workplace.

Mick joined the Department of Economics in October 2005 after completing his PhD in Economics at the University of British Columbia earlier that year. Prior to that, Mick completed his Bachelor of Commerce (Economics Honours) at the University of New South Wales, and a Master of Arts (Economics) from the University of British Columbia. Mick's current work focuses on empirical research in both labour economics and the economics of education.

Dr Michael Coelli
Teaching: Empirical Methods for Business

Why is data analysis and forecasting essential to business management?
With the recent explosion in the amount of data available, if you do not know how to use it effectively in decision-making you will be left way behind, as your competitors are using this new wealth of information.

How is your research important in real-world applications?
My current research focuses on the role of technology and trade on the labour market, and on the development of skills via education and training. With technological change continuing to affect us and the economy in many ways, understanding how these changes affect employment and skill development is essential.

William is the recipient of Melbourne Excellence Award – Edward Brown Award for Teaching Excellence in 2016. He teaches operations management, supply chain management, and business analytics at undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD, and executive levels.

Dr William Ho
Teaching: Business Analytics for Decision Making

What is your background?
I have worked in operations and supply chain management for nearly two decades, and have worked on several research projects in this area to solve challenges in minimising cost and maximising reliability. One of my key achievements has been developing a decision support framework to help organisations make strategic sourcing decisions in multi-stakeholder and multi-perspective environments to increase competitiveness.

Why is your teaching important?
I enjoy conducting applied research while using business analytics approaches. This is a proven to be particularly effective in solving complex strategic business problems in various sectors all over the world. My aim is for students to employ these real-world applications and better understand contemporary business environments and decision-making processes.

Bryan is a Senior Lecturer of Finance, and has been at the University of Melbourne since 2008, teaching investments and financial management. Prior to this, Bryan had earned his BA from Columbia University, New York, and his PhD from UC Santa Barbara. His research has been published in journals such as Journal of Financial Economics and Journal of Banking and Finance. Bryan's primary research interest is the transmission of news in financial markets.

Dr Bryan Lim
Teaching: Managerial Finance

Tell us about Finance.
To me, finance is a life skill. It has a big role in modern life. Many seemingly innocuous decisions can have an outsized effect on the future. Managerial Finance gives you the tools to look at the world around you, at the financial decisions you are going to make, and have a basis for saying, “This is good” or “This is bad.”

What can students expect to learn from you?
The bare minimum I’d expect is for you to understand the technical aspects and the basics of mathematics and statistics, then use these tools as a way to critically evaluate the financial world around you.

Colin McLeod is a Professor in the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne. He is also a Director and advisor to companies ranging in size from start-ups to $100+ million in transport, financial services, retail technology, education wearable technology, and aged care. He has previously held senior management roles at the AFL; Goldman Sachs JBWere and Telstra. Colin served as a member of the Executive Committee that raised almost $200 million to construct the Olivia Newton-John Cancer  Wellness Centre at the Austin Hospital and is a member of the AFL Research Board.

Professor Colin McLeod
Teaching: Value Creation Strategies

What is the significance of Value Creation Strategies in the real world
The reality is that organisations simply won’t survive if they can’t create value, but the problem is that they need to create value for customers, employees, shareholders, and increasingly, the broader community. Understanding how to create and deliver value while balancing the needs of multiple stakeholders is a challenge that every organisation faces today, so identifying appropriate value creation strategies is a real focus for 21st century managers.

What will students learn and how can they use the skills developed?
Imagine you make a product that customers love, but retailers don’t want to stock your product, high-quality employees don’t want to come and work for you, and investors won’t support you financially because they don’t like the overall business plan. So, understanding value from the perspective of multiple stakeholders and working out how to create and deliver value is a real challenge that organisations need to address if they hope to survive and thrive. This subject will equip students with the knowledge and skills to address these challenges.

Brad has held various accounting roles, including consulting, for over 20 years. His experience has stemmed from working in professional accounting, hospitality management, and large corporations. For the last decade, he has dedicated his time to academia, and is a Director of the Centre for Accounting and Industry Partnerships. Brad’s research and consulting experience encompasses financial accounting and disclosure for both private sector and public sector entities.

Associate Professor Brad Potter
Teaching: Accounting Analysis and Decisions

What interests you about accounting?
My interest in accounting is really in where accounting information and decisions intersect. The way in which we can use accounting techniques and approaches to help decision-making is really, really interesting to me.

How can students expect to learn from you?
I am here to introduce students to accounting, to help them become more sophisticated in both preparing accounting information, and in using that information in a business decision-making context. I encourage students in the virtual space to engage with your subject coordinator and with other students. The entire team, not just me individually, will go to great lengths to ensure you will feel connected, and that the experience will be a rewarding one for you, as well as for us.

With these world-class academics leading you this online learning journey, you can rest assured that you will receive a highly-valued qualification, and be part of an enriching experience. To see who else you will be learning from, please visit the Graduate Certificate in Business (online) webpage.

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