Graduate Certificate in Aboriginal Studies

School of Arts & Sciences

The Graduate Certificate in Aboriginal Studies is an intensive, one-year program that provides students with a deep knowledge and appreciation of Australia’s First Peoples and their relationship with the Australian nation since the arrival of Europeans. One particular highlight of this program is that students will have the opportunity to spend time on Country with Aboriginal Elders and facilitators in Broome.

  • Why study this degree?

    While the Graduate Certificate in Aboriginal Studies will be of particular value to those already working with Indigenous communities, this degree also provides a useful background for anyone whose career in health promotion, medicine, justice, education or social work brings them into contact with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. In particular, this degree will be of great value for anyone working in local, state or federal government – or indeed staff employed by non-government organisations (NGOs) in Australia.

    The Graduate Certificate is a part-time degree, with four subjects completed over the course of the year. All students are required to undertake a course entitled The Silent History. This provides you with a foundational knowledge of the history of Indigenous Australia, as well as how various government policies have affected the lives of Indigenous Australians.

    The remaining three electives will allow you to specialise in topics such as Aboriginal People And The Legal System, The Role of the Media In Representing Indigenous Peoples, Aboriginal Culture And Spirituality and more. To encourage a genuine understanding of Indigenous cultures, students from Sydney and Fremantle will have the opportunity to spend time at Notre Dame's Broome Campus. Here, you will be mentored by well-known and highly respected Indigenous facilitators such as Yawuru man and WA Senator Patrick Dodson or Peter Yu, a Yawuru man from Broome with more than 35 years’ experience in Indigenous affairs and advocacy.

  • Program summary

    One Aboriginal Studies subject

    • ABOR5000 The Silent History (immersion in Broome)

    Three Aboriginal Studies electives (to be chosen from the following)

    • Aboriginal People in Contemporary Australian Society *
    • Aboriginal People and the Media *
    • Aboriginal People and the Legal System *
    • The Cultural and Spiritual Life of Aboriginal People (immersion in Broome)

    * These courses are delivered in a blended learning mode with online and real-time contact with staff and other students.

    Full details of the program requirements are contained in the Program Regulations.

    Please note: The availability of these courses is indicative only and may be subject to change.

  • Entry requirements

    A Bachelor’s degree from a recognised Australian or overseas university or equivalent, plus alternative pathways for those with relevant work experience.

  • Fees

    More information can be found at the Fees page.

  • Career opportunities

    The program may lead or enrich careers in community and youth, education programs, local, state and federal government departments, healthcare and health promotion, and non-government organisations (NGOs).

  • More information

    For more information on the Graduate Certificate in Aboriginal Studies, please contact the Prospective Students Office on +61 (8) 9433 0533 or email

    All international enquiries should contact the International Students Office on

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