Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law: your complete guide

Published: 28 May 2021


Dr Julianne Jacques accepts the Tax Adviser of the Year Award, 2020

Tax is a complex, dynamic profession – there’s always a new challenge around the corner, always something new to learn. Tax advisers require not only in-depth knowledge but the skills to provide clients with higher-order professional tax planning advice.

When you’re building a successful career in tax, you don’t simply gain those skills without both hard work and support from other tax practitioners and specialists. That’s where the Tax Institute Higher Education can support you with the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law.

What is the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law?

The Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law is designed to prepare you for a career in tax. Whether you’re building a career in accountancy, law, academia or public administration, this highly specialised and tailored academic qualification will give you the in-depth knowledge of our tax system you need to succeed.

By completing the Graduate Diploma, you’ll gain not only the theoretical knowledge needed, but practical skills and understanding that will enable you to undertake highly-skilled tax work across a range of contexts.

How is it relevant to my career?

You’ll embark on a Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law specifically to gain skills for a career in tax – but that can mean many things. Tax touches many aspects of our society and the careers available in tax are just as wide-ranging. Recent Graduates of the Diploma have obtained positions such as Tax Consultant, Senior Tax Accountant and Public Administrator.

Learning with The Tax Institute Higher Education

At The Tax Institute, we’re focused solely on tax and no one knows the profession as we do. Our members, Course Convenors and lecturers are the best at what they do, which means when you study with us, you benefit from the knowledge and experience of some of the tax profession’s brightest minds and best practitioners.

Program content is developed and taught by tax experts who, based on their industry experience, know the content you need. Our focus is to equip you with the skills you need now while preparing you for career growth and to stay up to date with the ever-changing tax landscape.

When you study with us, you’ll be supported by our learning team. This includes:

  • Subject Convenor, an experienced tax professional who you can connect with to address tax technical questions and better understand the course material
  • Lecturers, who are experts in the specific areas of tax and tax law that they teach
  • Subject Coordinator, there to assist you with any administrative or other non-tax technical queries.

Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law subjects

Achievement of the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law requires the completion of three core subjects and three elective subjects.

Core subjects:

Elective subjects (choose any three):

Prior study may make you eligible for recognition of prior learning, which could exempt you from needing to complete certain subjects. We recognise any subjects you have completed through The Tax Institute and subjects and courses completed at an Australian tertiary institute. There is a limit of two exemptions for relevant postgraduate subjects.

Entry requirements

There are a few key entry requirements to make sure you’re ready to achieve in the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law. Before you start, make sure you:

Hold an Australian degree or diploma in one of these subjects:

  • accounting 
  • finance 
  • commerce
  • law (with tax or commercial law subjects)

Meet minimum English language requirements, if the language of instruction for your 6 years of secondary education was not English.

If you’re working in the Australian tax industry with non-student visa status and satisfy the above criteria (or alternative criteria below) we welcome you to enrol in the Graduate Diploma.

Alternative entry methods

If that doesn’t quite sound like you, don’t worry. Provided you meet the minimum English language requirements; alternative entry methods to the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law are available, including:

  1. Demonstrating at least 3 years relevant Australian tax or tax law experience in the last 5 years
  2. Enrolling in, and successfully completing the CTA1 Foundations and CommLaw1 Australian Legal Systems as single subjects
  3. Completing only the assessments for CTA1 Foundations or CommLaw1 Australian Legal Systems.

If you’re unsure of your best pathway into the Graduate Diploma, get in touch with our team today and we can help you map the best route to your career goals.

How you’ll study

here are different modes of study available for the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law. Aside from the CTA3 Advisory subject, the method of assessment is the same for all subjects - a series of checkpoint questions and an exam.

Online study

Learn through interactive webinars presented by industry experts. This mode runs across a full 12-week study period, with 2 webinars per module, allowing you to pace yourself and organise your learning around your other commitments. Webinars are recorded so you can revisit them whenever it suits.

Connect is The Tax Institute Higher Education's Learning Management System. On this platform, all subject materials are online in the one place, to help you better manage your study and access useful resources, including:

  • online study timetable and calendar
  • orientation information
  • subject outlines and PDF module notes
  • forum posts that keep you updated on current subject events
  • live and pre-recorded webinars
  • practice exams and revision materials
  • additional resources such as online units about searching for and interpreting legislation and case law

Intensive online study

CTA1 Foundations may be taken in intensive mode over 6 weeks. On this fast-tracked schedule, you’ll study 2-3 modules per webinar, with access to all the same great resources as regular online study.

Assessment only

If you have the requisite prior knowledge and experience, you can accelerate your progress by undertaking the assessments only. Candidates receive only access to past exam papers and online checkpoint tests prior to the exam. Please refer to Modes of study for information on assessment for the CTA3 Advisory subject as this differs.

Regardless of the study format, you will sit an online exam for each subject.

Key dates to know

Our study timetable lays out all the key dates you’ll need to know, including when enrolment closes, study commences and when exams take place for each of the three study periods.

Start your Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law today and build the career you want.