For the latest updates on COVID-19 arrangements and advice and guidelines visit our COVID Safe Campus page

Key facts

Are you currently working in disability support, health, human services, or rehabilitation, or are interested in embarking on a rewarding career in any of these areas? Our Graduate Certificate in Disability Practice has been developed in accordance with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) professional standards and will help equip you with the key knowledge and skills to guide you in adopting person-centred approaches in assisting people with a disability and their families.

With the demand for specialised client support, intervention and management continuing to increase, upon completion of our Graduate Certificate in Disability Practice you will be ideally placed for a career in NDIS service delivery.

  • Up to 2 years part-time
  • Trimester 1 - Mar 2021
  • Trimester 2 - Jun 2021
  • Online
Entry requirements
  • Guaranteed ATAR: Not applicable
View full entry requirements
  • Commonwealth Supported Place (quotas apply)
    Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) (Quotas Apply)

    An Australian Government subsidised university place, only granted where Commonwealth Supported Places are still available. UNE has a cap on the number of CSP places that can be granted for certain course types and bands.

  • Full Fee
    Full Fee

    Tuition fees for domestic students not admitted to a Commonwealth Supported Place (i.e. no available government subsidy).

  • International

    Tuition fees for international students, i.e. those not Australian or New Zealand citizens or residents.

View more fees information
UNE Course Code

Course information

UNE student studies on computer and laptop in classroom

Why study the Graduate Certificate in Disability Practice with UNE?

The Graduate Certificate in Disability Practice is designed to train you to become an effective disability practitioner within human service organisations in the government, private, and community sectors.  It will enable you to enhance your knowledge and skills in areas critical to the delivery of disability services.

You will study clinical, assessment and treatment issues in disability, with an emphasis on understanding disability from the perspective of the person who is experiencing it. You will also gain specialised knowledge of disability practice and management including clinical knowledge and practice, focused upon the delivery of disability services.

Our course is underpinned by internationally renowned research programs in Autism Spectrum Disorder, anxiety, and depression. That research, which involves outstanding clinical researchers from the USA, UK and Europe, links directly to our teaching to provide an evidential component to all learning.

The course takes a unique approach to training well-informed practitioners by increasing your competencies in:

  • understanding the scientific basis of disability,
  • planning and delivering evidence-based services to individuals and groups, and
  • transforming your business and people management practices within the specific setting of a disability service organisation.

You will complete in-depth study on disability identification, management, and resourcing, by investigating important issues that impact on clients, families and support personnel. There is also a strong focus on gaining knowledge in the activities involved in professional practice.

What makes our course different?

The focus in our Graduate Certificate in Disability Practice is on the practical, technical and professional skills needed to help people with a disability. Learning content will draw on scientific and humanistic perspectives essential for supporting people with disabilities to lead inclusive and successful lives. You will have the opportunity to:

  • Examine the disability field from strength-based and client-focused perspectives.
  • Build expertise in addressing challenging behaviour from a functional assessment standpoint.
  • Be taught by staff who have worked extensively in the field of disability and understand what it’s like to help people with a disability to cope and thrive.
  • Study part-time, online, allowing you to fit study around your busy lifestyle, not the other way around, no matter where you are in the world.

Year after year, students award UNE the maximum 5-star ratings in The Good Universities Guide for Student Support and Overall Experience, so when you choose to study with UNE, you are in very good hands.

Study online

Most of our students choose to study online across three study periods with 24/7 tutor support* and fit study around work and family commitments. Uniquely, our online students are mostly over 30 and bring valuable experience with them. They form a community of adults juggling the same challenges and priorities and who bring their life and work experience together to build real world networks for the future.

Study on campus

Many of our students choose to take advantage of the on-campus lifestyle in Armidale, in the beautiful New England region, with access to unparalleled support, accommodation and sporting facilities. These students are often starting their first degree and have left school recently. Through access to academic and career support they get a fantastic start to their careers.

* 24/7 tutor support includes: essay feedback (within 24 hours); live chat 24/7 for generic feedback on academic writing; and subject-specific help at a foundation or first-year level for subjects including mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics, business, accounting, microeconomics, macroeconomics and statistics. There are also a wide range of workshops, resources and courses available in academic skills support to assist you and help you to succeed.


Admission periodMode/location
Trimester 1Online
Trimester 2Online

Entry requirements

A candidate shall::
(a) hold an AQF Level 7 Bachelor qualification in a relevant discipline*; or
(b) hold an AQF Level 7 Bachelor qualification in a non-relevant discipline and at least one year of full-time equivalent experience in an area of service provision; or
(c) hold an approved AQF Level 5 Diploma or AQF Level 6 Advanced Diploma and at least two years full-time equivalent experience in the area of service provision; or
(d) have at least five years of full-time equivalent work experience including at least three years in an area of service provision**.

Applicants admitted under Rules (b), (c) or (d) must submit a Statement of Service from their employer.

*Relevant disciplines include, but are not limited to:
Social Work
Other similar disciplines as determined by the course coordinator.

** Service provision can refer to any aspect of provision of services to people with or without disability and will be determined by the course coordinator.

Students must meet the Inherent Requirements in order to complete this course.

Candidates are referred to the University Policy on Advanced Standing.

Fees and scholarships

How much will it cost?

Estimated fees for your first year of study in this course are:

Fee typeCost
Full Fee$12,184*
Commonwealth Supported Place (quotas apply)$4,900*
*The costs will depend on the units you choose to study as the cost of individual units vary. “Estimated fees” are provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students undertaking a study load of 48 credit points in the first year of this course. For courses that require less than 48 credit points the fees indicated are based on the total credit points required for completion of that course. For more information, please see fees and costs.


UNE scholarships are open for all to apply and offer financial help while you are studying. If you are commencing your university studies or if you are already a student at UNE, there are a number of scholarships to help you throughout your studies. There are UNE scholarships for students:

  • with high academic achievement
  • from rural areas
  • studying specific degrees
  • in disadvantaged groups
  • who excel at sport
  • living in a UNE residential college.

UNE scholarship applications are free and confidential. You may apply for more than one scholarship.

Course structure

To qualify for the award a candidate must pass units to the value of 18 credit points at 400-level or above.

18 credit points

Complete the following units:

Note: When a unit is offered at multiple levels you can only choose ONE unit.

6 credit points

Complete 6 credit points from the following units or any unit as approved by the Course Coordinator.

Note: When a unit is offered at multiple levels you can only choose ONE unit.

See UNE Handbook for more details. The Handbook contains detailed course information designed for enrolled students, including course plans, intensive schools, and work placement requirements.

Course outcomes

The Graduate Certificate in Disability Practice is designed for support workers and others employed by organisations that are delivering disability services, those seeking such employment, and those interested in the field of disability management. It will enable students to enhance their competencies in areas critical to the delivery of disability services. The course will produce graduates with a specialised knowledge of disability practice and management including clinical knowledge and practice, focused upon the delivery of disability services.
  1. demonstrate through their own study and practice knowledge of disability practice and management including: clinical knowledge and practice, encompassing the broad context of health, family, and community services, in order to be an effective clinical practitioner and clinician;
  2. utilise cognitive and communication skills, tools, and digital technologies to communicate appropriately and persuasively with a range of stakeholders;
  3. demonstrate a well-developed ability to use creativity and judgement in analysing problems and to work independently and collaboratively with others to generate solutions to problems;
  4. demonstrate advanced skills in utilising information drawn from a range of sources;
  5. demonstrate an ability to critically evaluate and formulate responses to social, cultural and ethical issues that emerge in disability management; and
  6. demonstrate preparedness to pursue knowledge and understanding to enhance professional practice.
Knowledge of a Discipline

Graduates will have an enhanced knowledge of disability management/care/services through the learning and teaching activities associated with each unit and interaction with the unit coordinators, lecturers and tutors, including lectures, tutorials, workshops, online activities and discussion board. Students will be assessed using assignments; individual and group project reports; and written examinations.

Communication Skills

Graduates will have advanced cognitive and communication skills acquired through written assignments and reports, oral presentations and participation in online activities and discussion board.

Problem Solving

Graduates will have well-developed problem solving skills in all aspects of disability management/care/services. All units teach and assess problem solving skills.

Information Literacy

Graduates will be able to synthesise and evaluate information from a range of sources, using a range of technologies. Students are required to demonstrate information literacy in assessment tasks for all units.

Ethical Conduct and Social Responsibility

Graduates will have an in-depth understanding of the social, cultural and ethical issues related to the provision of disability services. Social responsibility and professional practice is embedded in the course content.

Lifelong Learning

Graduates will have the fundamental skills required to supplement their knowledge and to keep abreast of any changes in the provision of disability services. This will be taught and practised in most units.

Independence and Collaboration

Graduates are able to apply their skills and knowledge individually and as part of collaborative teams. They are able to work with intellectual independence, and to collaborate with colleagues and clients. Working in a group environment is an essential component of the course and in provision of disability services. To develop these skills, some units require students to work in groups and provide guidance and assessment on group work.

A five-star experience

Teaching Quality
Teaching Quality NSW
Good Universities Guide 2021
#1 in Australia Postgraduate Teaching Quality
Postgraduate Teaching Quality
Good Universities Guide 2021
Student Support
Undergraduate Student Support
Good Universities Guide 2021
Overall Experience
Overall Experience
Good Universities Guide 2021
Woman studying online at home

Studying online

At UNE we know it takes more than just being online to be a great online university. It takes time and experience. We pioneered distance education for working adults back in the 1950s, so we’ve been doing this longer than any other Australian university.

We understand the challenges faced by busy adults studying at home. We know that a vital part of online study is your engagement with the learning community. Communication with your classmates, teaching staff and university support staff will enhance your study experience and ensure that your skills extend beyond the subject matter. UNE’s teaching staff are experts in their field which is why UNE consistently receives five stars from students for teaching quality, support and overall experience.*

*The Good Universities Guide

Your career

Career outcomes

The Graduate Certificate in Disability Practice is designed for those already working in, or looking to transition into, the fields of:

  • disability support
  • health
  • human services
  • rehabilitation.
Other career information

Our Disability Practice program enables you to progress from the Graduate Certificate in Disability Practice, to the Graduate Diploma in Disability Practice, or the Master of Disability Practice.

Stay connected

Register your interest and we'll keep you updated

Your privacy is always assured.

Why study with us?

The advantage of online study is that I can be flexible and adjust this schedule if circumstances change and other commitments arise.

UNE law student Breezy Altmann studies on her laptop while commuting by trainBreezy Altmann

What happens next?

laptop icon
1. Decide on your course

Got any questions about a course you would like to study? Don’t hesitate to contact us, our Future Student team is standing by to help.

pencil icon
2. Apply

2021 applications are now open. The application process only takes 20 minutes to complete. Don’t delay, apply now!

form icon
3. Receive an offer, enrol and start studying

Your start date is based on the study period you choose to apply for.