Get The Taste For An MBA With These Free And Nearly Free Short Courses


Thousands of Australians have taken the opportunity of COVID-19 lockdowns to start, or re-start, their higher education journey.

For those considering an MBA, but still not sure what it involves, a number of universities are now offering free or very low cost courses that provide the perfect introduction to postgraduate business education.

Victoria’s La Trobe University is offering support to businesses and individuals facing the challenges of COVID-19 through a free online leadership development program delivered by the highly regarded La Trobe MBA.

Open to everyone, the La Trobe Business School Leadership Professional Development Program is run by leading business academics and alumni from the University’s MBA program who are volunteering their time to help the wider community.

The La Trobe Business School has invited some of the University’s key partners including The Australian Ballet and NORTH Link to participate in the program.

MBA Program Director Dr Geraldine Kennett said she hoped individuals and business owners would see the course as a valuable way to equip themselves with new skills and professional development during the COVID-19 economic slowdown.

“These are challenging times for any organisation, and as a community leader La Trobe wants to do what we can to help our communities and leaders adapt to meet the demands they are now facing,” Dr Kennett said.

“Participants in our three-module, 12-hour program will connect with peers from other organisations to share thoughts, experiences and develop ongoing mutually beneficial relationships. They will gain knowledge, skills and capabilities required to lead an organisation or team in these uncertain times,” she said.

“We want participants to understand their personal leadership style, strengths and gaps. We want them to understand their team’s dynamics and identify forthcoming challenges. But most of all we want them to be able to apply creative problem-solving and critical-thinking skills to the situations they’re facing right now,” Dr Kennett said.

The University of Queensland has also stepped up to offer a number of free courses to support business and individuals.

The courses available cover leadership, innovation, management and resilience-building across a range of industries – including the hard-hit tourism industry. There’s a course to suit all levels of experience, including those without a previous university education.

University of Queensland Business School Dean Professor Michael Brunig said the Queensland tourism industry, along with many industries across the rest of Australia, had taken a beating.

“We want to provide some hope for individuals and businesses during this crisis by offering access to some of our best online courses and inspiring those affected with the tools to rebuild and recover.”

An initial quote of 1,000 free courses has already been filled but you can still register for UQ’s three most popular courses for only $8.

Arguably the most famous school in the world, Harvard, is also doing its bit to help people up-skill with free lessons. The current lesson focusses on becoming a more resilient leader in turbulent times.

During the 35-minute lesson, Harvard Business School Professor Nancy Koehn delves into the career of legendary explorer Ernest Shackleton. She unpacks the courageous actions he took in the midst of crisis and highlights the skills all leaders need to guide themselves and others through challenging times. Sign up here.

If you are prepared to spend a little money there are a range of high-quality, relatively low cost virtual programs available. many of them have been developed by the same teachers and platforms that are used to deliver their MBA programs.

Queensland’s QUTex, the executive education division of the universities highly-ranked business school, has combined a number of short courses into a single program called “Leading Through Turbulent Times”.

The series, which commences on May 12 and costs $550 (incl. GST), consists of five 30-minute pre-recorded webinars followed by 60-minute live conversations via a virtual classroom.

The topics covered will include Resilience; Teleworking/Working from home; Working collaboratively; Coaching in the VUCA world; and Leading teams through crisis. For more information visit here.

QUT will also be hosting one of its regular MBA Primer events on June 18, 2020 where potential MBA students can explore how to become a more confident leader by communicating with influence, facilitated by our globally experienced facilitator and executive coach, Aubrey Warren.

The interactive, online event, also provides the opportunity to meet QUT MBA Director, Associate Professor Glen Murphy, and discuss the opportunity presented by a QUT MBA. Email Sarah Bishop for more information or to register to attend.

Karen Rodrigues Adjunct Faculty Member for AGSM @ UNSW Business School and Co-Program Director for the Leading with Resilience Virtual Learning Course

In late April, AGSM @ UNSW Business School has launched its AGSM Virtual Learning Short Courses, a suite of practical and interactive learning experiences that equip leaders with practical knowledge and skills that can be immediately applied to their organisations.

The Virtual Short Courses are designed to address the unprecedented disruption impacting people and organisations today.

“Research conducted recently by demographer and strategist Mark McCrindle said that 90% of Australians felt personally affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, though it was heartening to hear that 32% expected positive benefits to emerge from it, including the ability to grow their knowledge and skills,” said Karen Rodrigues, Adjunct Faculty Member for AGSM @ UNSW Business School and Co-Program Director for the Leading with Resilience Virtual Learning Course.

Karen believes that right now is a great time for everyone to take stock of their current skillset and identify how leaders can incorporate professional development within their schedules. What skills, knowledge and capabilities are needed that will set organisations up for success, now and in the future? How can they build confidence and help future proof businesses to not just cope, but to thrive as they transition to working in virtual environments

Karen teaches across a number of AGSM MBA Programs, specialising in leadership and change and is the Director of the Krysalis Group consultancy that specialises in Change management and Leadership Development.




Ben Ready
Ben Ready founded MBA News in 2014 and is the Managing Editor. He is a former business and finance journalist with Australian Associated Press (AAP) and Dow Jones Newswires in London. Ben completed his MBA in 2012 and was awarded the QUT GMAA Entrepreneurship Prize. He is also the founder and Managing Director of RGC Media & Mktng (