Levels of Study

Levels of Study: What they mean

Terms such as certificate and diploma mean different things in different industries, countries and contexts.

The value of terms such as certificate and diploma have been degraded in some situations. Sometimes certificates are awarded for attendance at a one day event and diplomas given for little more effort than that.  Even government endorsed institutions (in some countries) are awarding certificates and diplomas for much less effort than what would have been expected in the past.

Credible study programs wherever you are in the world are always best judged on who teaches them, and the complexity, content and duration of the course.

  • Being accredited can be misleading.
  • Being labeled with a higher number doesn't necessarily mean the level of study is higher.

At the end of the day, the value of any course is seen best by what is learnt and how successful the graduates become.

This school has always maintained high standards and achieving an ACS study program is not as easy as in some places; but an ACS study program is substantial.

In awarding even a standard certificate this school is endorsing a student as having achieved the following:

  • An improved capacity to think laterally and solve problems related to their discipline
  • A foundation that positions them to evolve and adapt to change in that discipline.
  • A capacity to operating independently within their discipline, at a technical or semi professional level

Most Levels of study offered fit into the following scheme: 

Type of Course    Duration Purpose 

 Mini Course

10 or 25 hrs

General Interest, Professional Development or simply an  Introduction to study (Try something short and achievable first)

 Short Course

100 hrs

Interest (Amateurs), Entry level for a career, or Professional Development (specialist courses)


600 or 700 hrs

Commonly entry level. Develops skills to work independently or semi independently in own business or employed at any level up to a largely unsupervised employee.

Advanced Certificate

900 hrs

Develops a foundation for a career at a supervisory level or operating a small business, taking a limited degree of responsibility

Foundation Diploma

1000 hrs

Provides a foundation for further studies, and employment as a first step toward a professional career.

1500hr Learning Bundle

1500 hrs

A basis for working at a technical or managerial level or in self employment; within a narrow scope of operation in a discipline or industry

2100hr Learning Bundle

2100 hrs

As with 1500hrs, but a broader scope; or a first step toward an academic career.

2500hr Learning Bundle

2500 hrs

As with 2100hrs, but an even broader scope.

Bachelors Degree

3000 hrs

Foundation for a fully professional or academic career. ACS is not a University and does not offer degrees.


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