Graduate Certificate in Family Studies

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Program Code 12276
Graduate Level Postgraduate
  • Online
  • On Campus + Online
Contributing Schools and Faculties
Admission Instructions:

How to apply as a:

Program Award Rules and Schedules
Mode of delivery Distance and Online Learning. Some Directed Courses may have additional requirements.
Program Enrolment Checklist


Supporting families in their diversity of form and need is a priority in most nations and requires a skilled and highly educated workforce capable of working with complex issues in varied cultural, social and political contexts. The Graduate Certificate in Family Studies (GCertFamStud) provides students with comprehensive multi-disciplinary knowledge and skills to undertake policy development and service delivery directed towards strengthening families. The programs cater to the needs of people transitioning from a generalist degree into professional roles, those already working as practitioners and/or managers in family services, or those looking to build careers in policy or practice in the field of Family Studies. Throughout the program, students will be provided with several opportunities to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills required for successful professional roles in this field. Students have the option of an industry based project that provides a pathway into the international and domestic family services sector. Students will also have an opportunity to develop an understanding of research methodologies as they apply to practice fields related to Family Studies.

Why study with us?

The Graduate Certificate in Family Studies draws on the research and practice expertise of the University’s internationally renowned Family Action Centre, Discipline of Family Studies, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine. As a Centre engaged in the provision of family programs, research and policy advocacy, the Family Action Centre is well positioned to provide theoretical and practical education that will equip graduates for leading roles in family work positions or for the application of Family Studies in other professional roles in fields where understandings of families are important. The School of Health Sciences is one of the most comprehensive tertiary education providers for the health professions. The University of Newcastle is one of the leading suppliers of online postgraduate coursework in Australia, providing student-focussed support and online assistance to more than 3,000 students from over 60 countries.

Career Opportunities

It is envisaged that Family Studies graduates will work domestically or internationally in specialist areas of family work in the human services sector. Career options include: * Family Service Manager. * Family Program Coordinator. * Research and Policy Officer in government, non-government and corporate sectors. * Family and Relationship Services Practitioner. * Specialist family work roles in nursing, allied health, youth work, drug and alcohol, mental health, early childhood, education, law.

Study a Language

All domestic students can now enrol in an undergraduate Diploma in Languages alongside their main degree program. This diploma will enhance proficiency in another language or languages, and will increase international career opportunities. Subject to course availability, this additional program will generally add an extra year to studies, and students will graduate with a Diploma in Languages as well as their other degree. Please note that all language courses are held on campus (face to face) at Callaghan.

International students cannot enrol concurrently in the Diploma in Languages alongside their primary program unless they can complete both programs within the duration of their primary program CoE. For more information please contact the ESOS Student Compliance Unit

Admission Requirements

Level 6 applicant

  • Advanced Diploma (including Hospital Trained Nurses) Must demonstrate a minimum of 3 years’ experience (see cognate areas) through the provision of a CV and statement of service

Level 7 applicant

  • Bachelor degree in a cognate area
  • Bachelor degree in a non-cognate area: must demonstrate a minimum of one year experience through the provision of a CV and statement of service

Level 8 applicant

  • Bachelor Honours degree
  • Bachelor degree plus a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma
  • Bachelor Medicine/ MBBS

Cognate areas include, but are not limited to:

Counselling Psychotherapy Psychology Social Work Medicine Nursing Allied Health Applied Science Law Social Science

Credit Transfer

If you wish to apply for credit for studies completed at another institution or if you are changing programs within the University and wish to transfer your credit to new program go to and click on How to apply for credit.

Practical Experience

Students undertaking the Drug and Alcohol Studies courses in the Family Studies program are required to do 100 hours of practical experience in MEDI6145 and MEDI6160 (50 hours in each course). Students undertaking the HLSC6011 are required to complete an industry based project with a Family Services or related organisation. Students in the Family Dispute Resolution Specialisation are required to complete supervised directed clinical assessments within their workplace in HLSC6012 and HLSC6013 within a Family Law environment. Students must work in a setting (either voluntary or paid) which provides access to supervised clinical assessment with clients. Students in the Relationship Counselling Specialisation are required to complete supervised directed clinical assessments within their workplace in HLSC6016 and HLSC6017.

International Students

The Graduate Certificate in Family Studies is structured to provide opportunities for off-shore international students. Applicants will be assessed on an individual basis. Strategies for program-specific online student support will be developed in consultation with participating students.

Special Needs

The University policy on Students with Special Needs is implemented at all times. The Faculty accepts responsibility, in liaison with the Student Support Unit, for providing reasonable accommodations to allow students with disabilities to complete the program.

Additional Information


Requirements and Structure

The Graduate Certificate in Family Studies (GCertFamStud) program requires 40 units of coursework over 1 year full time or part time equivalent. Students undertake 10 units of Core Courses and 30 unites of Directed Courses.

Course Information

Code Name Availability Units
Complete the following core courses to fulfil the requirements of this program.
HLSC6106 Foundations in Family Studies Semester 1 - 2015 (GradSchool)
Trimester 3 - 2015 (GradSchool)
10 units
Directed Courses
Code Name Availability Units
Choose 30 units from Directed Courses.
HLSC6105 Community Engagement: Cross sector perspectives Semester 1 - 2015 (GradSchool) 10 units
HLSC6112 Father-Infant Attachment and Co-Parenting: Theory and Intervention Semester 1 - 2015 (GradSchool) 10 units
HLSC6126 Working With Fathers in Vulnerable Families Semester 2 - 2015 (GradSchool) 10 units
HLSC6503 Engaging Men and Fathers in Human Services: Theory and Practice Semester 1 - 2015 (GradSchool) 10 units
HLSC6514 Child-Centred Practice in Family Work Semester 1 - 2015 (GradSchool) 10 units
HLSC6515 Responding to Risk in Family Work Semester 2 - 2015 (GradSchool) 10 units
MEDI6130 Basis of Drug/Alcohol Problems Semester 2 - 2015 (GradSchool) 10 units