Aspire English Launches Brand New Cambridge English Courses

Aspire Institute is excited to share that new Cambridge English courses have recently commenced at Aspire English! Around the world, being able to speak English will give you an advantage in whatever you choose to do, and at Aspire English students learn the world’s language in a truly international environment.

Brand new Cambridge English courses, which recently replaced the Academic English programs, have already commenced at Aspire English. 

Aspire English is part of the greater community at Aspire Institute and the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS). This means that your classes will be on the same campus as these institutions, and you could continue on to a Diploma or Degree once you have finished your English language course.

What is Cambridge English? 

Cambridge has the world’s most recognised English exams and tests. With more than 25,000 organisations in 130 countries around the world, students can rely on their secure exams and tests as proof of English language ability.

Cambridge English offers two levels to their test preparation courses: B2 First and C1 Advanced, which you can enrol in at Aspire English. You can choose to commence into a Cambridge English course after completing the General English course as a pathway into a Diploma or Degree, or simply use the course as a stand-alone qualification to make the most out of work or studying in Australia! 

A Cambridge English B2 First certificate is recognised as proof of upper-intermediate level achievement in learning English by many administrative and service-based employers. It is also accepted by a wide range of educational Institutions worldwide for further study purposes.

This course is designed to help students prepare for the B2 First exam and to develop their English language skills to make the most of study, working and living in English-speaking countries.

A Cambridge English C1 Advanced qualification is recognised as proof of high-level achievement in learning English by many employers, Higher Education Institutions and government departments around the world. 

This course is designed to help students prepare for the C1 Advanced exam and to develop their English language skills to make the most of study, working and living in English-speaking countries.

Who should study a Cambridge English course? 

Cambridge English courses will help students to prepare for the Cambridge English examinations.

This course is designed for students who would like to improve their English skills with the aim of studying further in an English-speaking University or College or those who want to apply for a job in Australia.

Cambridge English B2 First is ideal for you if…

  • You want help to pass the Cambridge English B2 First examination
  • You want to learn about the Cambridge English B2 First examination (time, order, format)
  • You want to study further in Australia
  • You have upper-intermediate level English language skills
  • You want to get a better job in Australia
  • You want to improve your English reading, writing and overall vocabulary
  • You have an IELTS or equivalent of 5.5 overall

Cambridge English C1 Advanced is ideal for you if…

  • You want help to pass the Cambridge English C1 Advanced examination
  • You want to learn about the Cambridge English C1 Advanced examination (time, order, format)
  • You want to study further in Australia
  • You have upper-intermediate level English language skills
  • You want to get a better job in Australia
  • You want to improve your English reading, writing, text analysis and vocabulary
  • You have an IELTS or equivalent of 6.5 overall

Cambridge English has created an empowering learning experience for millions of learners everywhere, and is built on unique insights from research, expertise and experience. Each year, over 5.5 million students take Cambridge English tests and qualifications. 

“Having Cambridge English courses at Aspire English will provide students with the best opportunity to develop their English language skills and become confident English speakers,” said Linda Karlsson, Manager, English & Foundation Programs. 

Interested in developing your English skills? Aspire English will provide you with the very best English learning experience, allowing you to make the most out of studying or working in beautiful Sydney, Australia.

To find out more about Cambridge English courses, click here. 

To learn more about Aspire English, click here. 

Diploma vs Degree

Diploma vs. Degree: What’s the Difference?

Studying further is the best way to get into the career of your choice. Whether you choose to study a diploma and get qualified quickly, or study a bachelor degree and gain a more well-rounded education due to the longer length of the course, is often a personal decision.

One of the most common questions asked by school leavers is about what the difference is between a diploma and a degree.

“Choosing a diploma vs degree can sometimes be a confusing decision, but finding out more about each of these qualifications is the first step to kick starting your higher education journey,” said ICMS Student Advisor Issey Wilson.

Diploma vs Degree

What Is a Diploma?

Duration: A diploma is a certificate course that typically takes about one (1) year to complete.

Job Outcomes: A diploma qualification provides you with the skills and knowledge needed to get an entry level job in your area of specialisation.

Pathways: Sometimes you also have the option to use your diploma as a pathway to further studies at a university or college. For example, you could study a Diploma of Business at Aspire Institute.

Structure and Subjects: At the Aspire Institute a diploma is two trimesters (2 x 14 weeks), with four subjects per trimester. Some of the subjects studied under a Diploma of Business include:

  • Pathway to Success
  • Marketing
  • Management Solutions for a Changing World
  • Global Citizenship

Students who complete this qualification can use this diploma as a stand-alone qualification, or as a pathway to a Bachelor of Business degree.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Diploma?

A diploma could be right for you if you are wanting to gain an entry level job in your field in a short time.

Diploma Courses Advantages:


  • Can be completed more quickly than a bachelor degree;
  • Can have lower entry requirements, making them easier to get into;
  • May offer additional support to students needing extra assistance;
  • Give students the option to progress to a bachelor degree; and
  • Are an opportunity to gain confidence before embarking on further studies.

Diploma Courses Disadvantages:

  • Employers may favour a job candidate with a bachelor degree;
  • The range of jobs available to diploma qualified students is not as broad;
  • Those with diploma qualifications may need to work longer and harder to gain the level of seniority that a bachelor degree qualified person needs to;
  • In the future, diploma qualified employees may find themselves excluded from consideration for more senior managerial roles; and
  • The shorter time studying a diploma means that students may miss out on the university experience that is a valuable time to make connections, develop independence from parents and, of course, have fun.

What Is a Bachelor Degree?

Duration: A bachelor degree is an advanced tertiary education option awarded by a university or college that typically takes between 3-7 years to complete, depending on your choice of specialisation, such as hospitality, marketing or sport, for example.

Job Outcomes: A bachelor degree is often the minimum qualification sought by employers looking to place an employee with a view to progressing that person to a more senior management-level role.

Pathways: Depending on your level of education, you can do an undergraduate (bachelor) or postgraduate (master) degree. Individuals will first study an undergraduate degree, and then pursue a postgraduate degree – if they wish to further their education.

Structure and Subjects: Another key factor that differentiates a diploma vs degree is that a degree not only includes specialisation subjects, but also core subjects such as Marketing or Business. This allows for your education to be both well rounded and versatile. For example, a Bachelor of Business from ICMS is a three year degree with four subjects per trimester, as well as an included Industry Training component. The industry training included in the bachelor degree means that bachelor degree qualified students receive more than a formal academic qualification. They also gain real work experience, connections within companies – and an impressive CV.

The first year core subjects of the Bachelor of Business degree are the same as the Diploma of Business subjects. Along with the core subjects, other subjects offered within this degree include:

  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Pricing and Distribution
  • Guerrilla Marketing
  • Event Production

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Degree?

Bachelor Degree Advantages:

One key advantage of pursuing a degree is that most employers require one when seeking new employees. With a degree:

  • You will have increased job opportunities;
  • Can earn a higher potential income with a bachelor degree as opposed to a diploma;
  • May be offered more networking and travel opportunities;
  • Will be more likely to be considered for senior roles in the future;
  • May have more job benefits such as insurance and retirement;
  • Will have the opportunity to learn additional critical skills that aren’t included in a diploma program; and
  • Having a degree also showcases commitment and perseverance to future employers.

Bachelor Degree Disadvantages:

A degree is more expensive than a diploma.

A degree takes longer to complete than a diploma.

What’s the Best Option?

“In the end there is no definite right or wrong answer to the question of whether you should study a diploma or a degree. It comes down to what your own goals are for your career, your personal circumstances and the type of future you hope to create for yourself,” said Issey Wilson.

Diploma courses are offered at Aspire Institute. To read about Aspire Diplomas, click here.

Contact Aspire on Tel: +61 (2) 9466 1150 or email for even further assistance.

Bachelor and Master degrees are offered at ICMS. To read about degrees offered at ICMS, click here. 

Aspire now offers new Diploma of Business (Accounting)

NEW Diploma of Business (Accounting) now offered at Aspire!

We have some exciting news for those looking to pursue a career in the potentially lucrative accounting industry. The Aspire Institute’s new Diploma of Business (Accounting) is now accepting enrolments! This is a stand-alone diploma qualification which can also be used as a pathway to a bachelor degree at the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS). 

This course produces graduates who are professionally competent and capable of taking their place in a competitive global environment. Graduates will have learnt how to analyse data and advise on ethical and sustainable solutions for global business practices. They will have an understanding of the fundamentals of business and have the skills to be able to make an immediate contribution to the specialised area of accounting. 

This Diploma AQF level 5 course includes subjects such as Financial and Commercial Literacy, Pathway to Success, and Data Informed Decision Making, allowing students to explore a range of career pathways within business and management. The course is offered to both domestic and international students and is selectable on the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

Pursuing an accounting career is an excellent choice for individuals who are interested in finance, numbers, and general business activities. The Diploma of Business (Accounting) positions graduates for roles such as: Assistant Accountant, Finance Officer, Office Assistant , Administration Officer, Cost Clerk, Office Clerk, Accounts Payable Coordinator, and Accounts Receivable Coordinator.

Not only are those with key accounting skills in high demand throughout the business world, but a career within this industry provides individuals with a consistent schedule, various salary perks and a wide array of global opportunities.

Diploma of Business (Accounting) Program Manager, Marcela Hertnekyova, advises students pursuing this diploma to “work hard, get as much exposure to the industry as possible during their studies, network with other peers within the profession and not to be afraid to pursue their dreams working for large organisations.”

Upon successful completion of the Diploma of Business (Accounting), graduates will receive credit for subjects which are part of a bachelor degree at ICMS – giving them the option to transition from their diploma into the second year, should they wish to pursue further higher education studies such as the Bachelor of Business Management (Accounting).

To read more about this incredible diploma course, click here.

Apply now for the Aspire Diploma of Business (Accounting) and launch your financial career today!

CRICOS Code: 106408F

Fashion student standing with laptop in fashion boutique.

Exciting New Fashion Diploma Offered at Aspire

Aspire now offers an exciting new diploma for those interested in business, fashion, and retail management, and are looking for a fun, short course to kick-start their fashion career!

The new Diploma of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management) is designed to equip students with business skills, combined with an introduction into the exciting, trillion-dollar fashion industry. 

Along with being incredibly creative and exciting, the fashion world is also extremely fast-paced. So, receiving a fashion qualification in under a year allows students to quickly gain both the knowledge and skills needed to pursue an entry-level fashion role.

“Fashion and Global Brand Management is dynamic, fast moving and requires a fast thinking, entrepreneurial mindset” said Fashion and Marketing Program Manager Nicole Venter. “The reason many brands fail isn’t because of the product, it’s often because of the lack of understanding on how to manage the brand.”

The Diploma of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management) offers students a stand-alone diploma qualification through the Aspire Institute or, should they wish to pursue further studies, they could choose to use their diploma qualification as a pathway into the second year of a Bachelor of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management) at the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS).

Some of the subjects studied within this diploma include Styling and Creative Direction, Principles of Marketing, as well as Introduction to the Fashion and Retail Industry.

Upon successful completion of the Diploma of Business (Fashion and Global Brand Management), students receive advanced standing for completed subjects which are part of a bachelor degree at ICMS.

All Aspire diploma students are part of the greater ICMS student community, with lectures held at our Northern Beaches Campus or at our new City Campus, subject to availability. Aspire students receive dedicated academic support, including study skills.

To read more about this brand new diploma course, click here.

Aspire Diploma a pathway to a Macquarie University degree

A unique opportunity exists for students to complete a one year Aspire Business Diploma and go straight through to their second year of a prestigious Macquarie University business degree thanks to a ground breaking pathway agreement between the two institutions.

The Macquarie University pathway agreement means students can choose to complete either the university’s esteemed Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Business Administration degrees in three years, with the second and third year completed with Macquarie.

Macquarie University is ranked among the top 1 per cent of universities in the world,1 have three subjects ranked in the top 50 globally and seven in the top 100,2 and were the first Australian university to introduce a global research pathway. They are also ranked number nine in Australia for employability.3

‘We are delighted to collaborate with ICMS and open up new opportunities for bright students to accelerate their potential and future career. We look forward to working with ICMS and welcoming students to the second year of our world leading business degrees.” David Harrison, Executive Director, International – Macquarie International.

Aspire Institute, with two campuses located in Manly (Northern Beaches), NSW, and in the Sydney CBD, offers a range of pathway courses articulating to a variety of degrees. Aspire Institute is operated by ICMS.

“We are honoured to be working with Macquarie University, recognised globally for excellence in academia and graduate employability, we have a long successful history in collaboration and its fantastic to see this continue”. International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) chief executive Rowan Courtney-O’Connor said.

Students with a completed Aspire Diploma of Business (CRICOS code: 0101112) are eligible to apply for the second year of studies of either a Macquarie University Bachelor of Business Administration (CRICOS code: 027343K) or Macquarie University Bachelor of Commerce (CRICOS code: 048246D).

“This is powerful because it allows Aspire students to go directly to the second year of the Macquarie University business degree program,” Courtney-O’Connor said.

“This pathway agreement not only represents a brilliant opportunity for students wishing to graduate with a Macquarie degree but also validates the excellence of our Aspire business diploma program.”

The Aspire Diploma of Business can be completed on campus or online. For more information, click here:

1 QS World University Rankings, 2021
2 QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020
3 QS Graduate Employability Rankings, 2020

Professor Michael Keppell from Taylor’s University Appointed Aspire DVC, Teaching & Learning

Aspire Institute and the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) is proud to announce the appointment of esteemed Professor Michael Keppell as Aspire Deputy Vice Chancellor, Teaching and Learning.

Having worked at eight universities across three countries, Dr Keppell brings to the role a wealth of experience, particularly in the dynamic area of learning and teaching.

Dr Keppell holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) (Instructional Design) (1997) and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) (Curriculum and Instruction) (1989) from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; as well as a Bachelor of Education (Postgraduate) (B.Ed.) (1985) from the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

His most recent post was as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Professor, Learning and Teaching, at Taylor’s University, the top private university in Malaysia. Other posts in Professor’s illustrious career include Pro Vice-Chancellor and Professor, Learning Transformation at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, and Professor Keppell has also held positions at the University of Melbourne and Central Queensland University.

“I have a passion for enhancing the staff and student experience in University learning and teaching. My work over the last 25 years has focused on the areas of learning design, learning engagement, assessment, professional development, learning spaces, e-learning and transformational change,” Dr Keppell said.

Dr Keppell will continue to build on ICMS’ recent TEQSA re-accreditation and the successful launch of several new course offerings. In 2020 ICMS was granted a successful renewal of ICMS Registration with Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), granted for the maximum seven years with no conditions, as well as the accreditation recently of 21 undergraduate courses, both for the maximum seven years with no conditions. The new TEQSA approved courses for Aspire Institute are:

“My vision for my work is to lead and develop a vibrant, leading edge learning and teaching culture that is centered on leveraging the current strengths of the organisation. I focus on working with staff to empower graduates who are resilient personalised learners who can navigate a ‘blended’ and ‘seamless’ learning context. I look forward to putting this vision into practise here at ICMS.”

Aspire Institute is a pathway to ICMS as well as other excellent universities with which they have an agreement. These include the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), University of Wollongong, and Griffith University.

ICMS is an award-winning higher education institution with campuses in Northern Beaches, NSW, and in Sydney’s business district. Founded in 1996, ICMS is a leader in career-focused, quality education and offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses that are recognised in the same manner as all public universities in Australia.

Aspire Institute offers higher education undergraduate and postgraduate courses as stand-alone qualifications or, should you wish to further your studies, you could choose to use your qualification as a pathway into a bachelor or other program at the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) , or one of the distinguished Australian universities and colleges that Aspire has partnerships with. Aspire also offers the Australian Foundation Program, as well as both general and academic English courses. 

“We welcome Dr Keppell with great expectations for what he will bring to our academic faculty and overall learning experience here at ICMS,” ICMS CEO Rowan Courtney-O’Connor said.

“We look forward to supporting him in his role as DVC: Learning and Teaching as he continues to build on what ICMS has achieved in this area as a leading career-focused institute of higher education in Australia.”

For more information on Aspire, click here:

ICMS first in Australia for TEQSA short course approval

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) recently approved three new undergraduate certificate online-only courses to be run by the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) pathway providers, Aspire Institute and International Sport College Australia (ISCA).

In response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, TEQSA allowed institutes of higher education to offer short certification programs online. These courses will upskill or retrain many who have been impacted by Covid-19 or who are trying to get ahead with a high quality career-focused education.

“ICMS is the first institute of higher education to be awarded accreditation by TEQSA to offer these important courses, which is testament to the proactive approach we take here regarding offering career-focused education,” ICMS CEO and President Dr Dominic Szambowski said.

“We encourage anyone looking to use time they may have while at home to retrain or upskill, so they can hit the ground running when the rebound happens. The economy will improve, the job market will open up, and these courses will get you ahead of the game.”

The three TEQSA approved courses are:

Aspire Institute


The 12-week courses offer students a chance to get qualified fast, and enjoy the flexibility that online learning offers. Expert faculty, industry guest lecturers and real-world projects offer an authentic learning experience from a community of experts.

“I would urge professionals or school leavers who are having to sit at home while social distancing to make this time count for you and for your future career,” Szambowski said. “Plan your program around your schedule. No sport to watch or play? Don’t let 2020 pass you by.”

For more information on the courses, visit Aspire Institute here: or ISCA here:

NEAS Endorsement Again for Aspire Institute

Aspire English is pleased to announce that it has gained NEAS re-endorsement, a tribute to the high standard of English teaching at the higher education institution. 

“NEAS (National English Language Teaching Accreditation Scheme) is recognised internationally as a mark of quality by English language students, agents and regulators,” Aspire Head of English Language and Foundation Programs Linda Karlsson said.

Aspire Institute falls under the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS), located in Northern Beaches, NSW, and in the city of Sydney. Aspire offers higher education undergraduate and postgraduate courses as stand-alone qualifications, as well as opportunities to use Aspire qualifications as a pathway into a bachelor degree or other program at ICMS, or at one of the distinguished Australian universities and colleges that Aspire has partnerships with.

“Gaining NEAS endorsement demonstrates a high standard in our Aspire English language courses and services provided.  Quality Assurance experts have reported that Aspire English is running a quality operation in all areas: learning, teaching and assessment; the student experience, resources and facilities; administration, management and staffing; ethical promotion and student recruitment,” Karlsson said.

Aspire English programs are ideal for students who meet the academic requirements for Aspire pathways but who need, or would like, additional English language proficiency before commencing study. Students develop the essay and report writing, presentation and critical thinking skills in English that are required for success in undergraduate study.

As a Not for Profit Registered Charity, NEAS Australia is regulated by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). The NEAS tick promotes the recognition of quality in education and training. Students, parents, education agents, teachers and professional staff recognise the high value of being NEAS quality assured. NEAS quality assurance is highly regarded by regulatory and government bodies.

“Thank you to our students, staff, teachers and management who participated in the NEAS application process.”

For more information on NEAS, click here:

For more information on Aspire Institute, click here:

Aspire and UTS partner for MBA pathway

Students wishing to pursue the ultimate in business education can now take a pathway through Aspire Institute towards achieving a prestigious Master of Business Administration (MBA) with University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

“The Aspire Graduate Certificate in Business complements our existing nested courses within our MBA to provide an alternative pathway to study at one of Australia’s most respected business schools,” said Professor Sara Denize, Associate Dean (Education), UTS Business School.

Aspire Institute, which is owned and operated by the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS), has partnered with UTS to offer students the opportunity to earn advanced standing for up to four subjects of the 16 subjects required to complete the UTS MBA. Upon successful completion of the Graduate Certificate of Business at Aspire Institute, students can further their study to complete the UTS MBA in the second, third and fourth semester.

“By starting their Graduate Certificate at Aspire Institute, students get the full benefits of our supportive programs which assist them in achieving their educational and career goals in gaining entry into the UTS MBA,” Chief Operating Officer Rowan Courtney-O’Connor said.

Aspire Institute, with two campuses located in Manly (Northern Beaches), NSW, and in the Sydney CBD, offers a range of pathway courses articulating to a variety of degrees.

The Graduate Certificate of Business covers a range of areas that will lay a solid foundation for business success, giving students a deeper understanding of economics and finance, management in a global context, the value of contemporary marketing and accounting for business decisions.

“The Graduate Certificate of Business is a real ‘pathway’ to achieving an MBA which is the pinnacle of business education,” Courtney-O’Connor said.

The UTS MBA is designed for early career professionals seeking to either extend their knowledge and capabilities into managerial roles, or to change careers into a new field of business. The UTS MBA subjects are approved by an industry board that insists on ‘relevance to workplace’ as a pre-eminent subject design principle. The MBA provides knowledge and skills that are essential for superior management performance.

For more information on the Graduate Certificate of Business, a pathway to the UTS MBA, click here: