Disability Studies

Providing you with essential skills in understanding disability, organisational management and transformation.

Are you currently working in any of the following areas, or looking to transition into these fields: disability support, health, human services, or rehabilitation?

Driven by the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), UNE has developed an innovative and flexible program designed to equip you with the key knowledge and skills to help you adopt a more person-centred approach to people with a disability and their families. Our Graduate Certificate in Disability and Graduate Diploma in Disability are unique in that they have a dual focus on:

  • helping you to understand the scientific basis of disability, and
  • helping you to identify how to transform your business and people management practices within the specific setting of a disability service organisation.

The program is designed to give you the skills to help your organisation to transition into the new era of service delivery, whether that be in the government, private or community services sector. Prior qualifications are not necessary.

Weight lifting and exercise


Two courses are available to students wishing to study disability services and management.

Graduate Certificate in Disability (up to 2 years part-time)
Graduate Diploma in Disability (up to 4 years part-time)

Students will study clinical and neurobiological issues in the provision of disability services and management, and NDIS business management. They will also gain hands-on experience in the disability field through completion of a work-based unit of study.

Teaching staff for this multi-disciplinary program are drawn from the School of Science and Technology, and the UNE Business School.

Both courses may be completed online on a part-time basis, allowing students to balance study with work and other commitments.

Entry pathways into these programs are available for individuals holding a Bachelor’s degree, Diploma or Advanced Diploma, or for individuals with relevant work experience. Prior qualifications are not necessary.


All students of the Graduate Certificate in Disability will complete the following units of study:

MM521 - Processes of Management
HDEV402 - Clinical and Neurobiological Issues in Disability Management
WORK500 - Work Integrated Learning - Professional Skills Development

As well as one of the following units:

HDEV401 - Introduction to Human Development
MM403 - Strategic Planning and Management

Students completing the Graduate Diploma in Disability will complete four units as per requirements for the Graduate Certificate. They may then choose to specialise in a biomedical stream, to gain greater understanding of the biology of disability, or a management stream, to enhance skills in business management. Students may also elect to combine units from across both streams.

Biomedical Science Stream

HDEV403 - Biomedical Basis of Disability Identification, Impact and Resourcing
HDEV404 - Biomedical and Functional Impact of Disability
HDEV405 - Biobehavioural Strategies for Managing Disability
NEUR334 - Neurobiology of Developmental, Cognitive and Affective Disorders

Management Stream

MM403 - Strategic Planning and Management
MM431 - Marketing Management
MM453 - Workforce Planning and Human Resource Development
MM573 - Management of Change

Or other relevant units offered by the UNE Business School.


The implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has created a demand for employees with specialist education and training in the disability and human services sector.

Graduates will be well prepared for a variety of roles within the disability sector – in business management or in service provision. Potential careers include roles in disability advocacy, case management and human services, rehabilitation and employment services, and disability policy and program


Enquiries about studying the Graduate Certificate and the Graduate Diploma in Disability at UNE can be made to the Course Coordinator:

For general and administrative enquiries, AskUNE.