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Graduate Certificate in Fire Investigation

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Designed to enhance your practice as an investigator, the Graduate Certificate in Fire Investigation provides a critical understanding of recent developments in the field.

Learn about current investigative best practice, the physics of fire behaviour and the theories of deviance associated with fire setting.

The Graduate Certificate in Fire Investigation is related to:

  • Why study this course?

    The Graduate Certificate in Fire Investigation provides specialist knowledge and skills in fire investigation.

    Current issues in investigation

    You will study the recognition and interpretation of the patterns and phases of fire, the determination of cause and origin, and the preservation of a fire scene. The course also covers the early identification of fraud indicators, exhibit handling, the provision of expert witness evidence, and fire-setting behaviour as it relates to the investigative process. You will also gain a foundational understanding of wildfire investigation.


    Assessment topics encourage you to apply theory and exercise best practice in your own investigations.

    Flexible online study

    This course is delivered in a flexible and supportive online study environment; there are no residential components. Part-time online study is an ideal way to upgrade your qualifications while continuing to work.

    Professionals teaching you

    Established in 1993, CSU's Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security (AGSPS) is an international leader in fire investigation, emergency management, law enforcement and security education. Academics bring a wealth of practical, operational, policy and strategic experience to their teaching roles.

  • Career opportunities

    The Graduate Certificate in Fire Investigation is a highly regarded postgraduate qualification for those working in fire investigation and related insurance areas. It represents an ideal program of professional development for those wishing to build on previous qualifications and experience and advance their knowledge of fire investigation. Skilled and professionally qualified fire investigators are required in a range of workplace settings. You may work on behalf of the public, for insurance companies or for a volunteer or career fire service. To do this, you must be conversant with current investigative best practice, the physics of fire behaviour and the provision of expert witness evidence in court. Your investigations may take you into specialist areas, such as marine fires, vehicular fires, electrical incidents and explosion investigation.

  • Credit and pathways

    Credit for prior learning and credit for current competencies will be granted to eligible applicants.

    More about Credit

    There is an articulation agreement with the NSW Police Arson course for one subject credit, JST415. The Diploma in Fire Investigation from QLD Fire and Rescue is recognised with one subject credit, JST415. The AFAC Advanced Diploma of Fire Investigation is recognised with one credit for JST415 and one elective.

  • Subjects

    The below information is for new students. Current students should select their subjects by checking the Handbook for the year of their enrolment

    Course structure

    Graduate Certificate in Fire Investigation (32 points)
    JST415 Foundations of Fire Investigation
    JST496 Fire-Setting Behaviour, Legal Issues and Investigative Practice
    JST455 Wildfire Investigation
    One elective

    Graduate Diploma of Fire Investigation (64 points)
    All the requirements of the Graduate Certificate in Fire Investigation, plus:
    JST484 Structure and the effects of fire
    JST488 Specialist Fire Investigations (16)
    One elective

    Master of Fire Investigation ( 96 points)
    All the requirements of the Graduate Certificate of Fire Investigation, plus:
    EMG505 Workbased Project (16 points)
    EMG506 Literature Review (16 points)

    Selected from any Level 400 subject offered by the AGSPS; check for pre requisites and residential requirements before making your selection. Subjects at Level 400 outside of the AGSPS will be considered by the Course Coordinator.

    Enrolment pattern

    Session 1

    JST415 Foundations of  Fire Investigation

    JST496 Fire-Setting Behaviour, Legal Issues and Investigative Practice

    Session 2

    JST455 Wildfire Investigation

    One elective

    Session 3

    JST484 Structures and the Effects of Fire

    one elective

    Session 4

    JST488 Specialist Fire Investigations (16 points)

    Session 5

    EMG505 Workbased Project (commenced)

    EMG506 Literature Review (commenced)

    Session 6

    EMG505 Workbased Project (completed)

    EMG506 Literature Review (completed)

  • Admission information

    Admission to this course is open to those people who can demonstrate a genuine connection with fire services or an occupational requirement to study this area.
    Applicants must also have:
    1) an undergraduate degree; or
    2) a minimum of five years experience in the field of fire services or a related area, as determined by the Course Coordinator.

    See standard CSU admission criteria

  • Cost of study

    Fees - please visit the fees and costs page or contact us for current fee information.

    Tax deduction - in some instances a tax deduction may be claimed for self education expenses. Please seek independent qualified taxation advice.

    Alumni discount

    Already studied with CSU? Our 10% Alumni discount applies to this course!
    Find out more

  • Course details

    Campus locations listed for Online students are purely for administrative purposes and have no relevance to the student experience.

    Enrol TypeModeCampusFee typeSession 1Session 2Session 3Admission Code

    CGS: Commonwealth Government supported places
    FPPG: Fee-paying postgraduate places
    FPOS: Fee-paying overseas student places
    Admission Code: For your reference if required during your application process
    NO TAC: An admission code is not required for applications to CSU Study Centres
    TEMP: An admission code has not yet been assigned for this course

    Graduation requirements

    To graduate students must satisfactorily complete 32 points.

  • How to apply
    Apply direct to CSU

    An online application to CSU takes about 15 minutes to complete. Find out more

    Apply online

    International students from the United Kingdom and Canada should select the Planned Course of Study with Code CACF when completing an online application.

    Apply direct to CSU

    Apply direct to CSU for on campus study at a CSU regional campus, or study by distance education.

    Apply online

    Recruitment agent

    Contact a Recruitment agent in your country who can answer your questions about CSU as well as help with the student visa application process.

    International recruitment agents

    Thinking of deferring?

    Find out more about deferral

  • About the School

    Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security (AGSPS)

    Established in 1993, CSU’s Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security (AGSPS) is a leading provider of postgraduate research and education for professionals in law enforcement, emergency management and security. CSU’s courses offered through AGSPS span a broad range of global issues that include international terrorism, intelligence analysis, transnational crime, fraud and financial crime, corruption, cyber-crime, and natural disaster management. Our faculty members are leaders in their fields and have significant experience and academic expertise. The School continues to grow through close collaboration with law enforcement, regulators, universities, research bodies, private industry and emergency services providers in Australia and overseas, with courses attracting students from around the globe. AGSPS also provides education and training programs in Abu Dhabi, China, India (National Police Academy), New Zealand, Indonesia (UNODC), Singapore, Canada and the United Kingdom.

  • Academic expectations

    For each 8 point subject at CSU, students should normally expect to spend between 140-160 hours engaged in the specified learning and assessment activities (such as attending lectures or residential schools, assigned readings, tutorial assistance, individual or group research/study, forum activity, workplace learning, assignments or examinations). The student workload for some subjects may vary from these norms as a result of approved course design.

    Students will be assessed on the basis of completed assignments, examinations, workplace learning, or other methods as outlined in specific subject outlines.

    Where applicable, students are responsible for travel and accommodation costs involved in workplace learning experiences, or attending residential schools (distance education students).

    Expectations relating to academic, workplace learning, time and cost requirements for specific subjects are provided in the subject abstracts and in course materials.

    Throughout their studies, CSU students have a responsibility to continue to develop skills in English Language, literacy and numeracy as appropriate to their discipline. This ongoing development will enable students to effectively participate in their course and graduate as competent professionals.

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