The Graduate Certificate in Education (Special Education) is an 18-unit program offered by the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work and is available on campus and in distance mode.

Admission requirements

Applicants must normally hold an approved degree or equivalent qualification in education, disability studies, psychology, speech and language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy or a closely related discipline from an approved tertiary institution. However, the Faculty Board may, under certain circumstances and subject to specific conditions, admit others who can show evidence of fitness for candidature.

Course aims

The Graduate Certificate in Education (Special Education) is professionally-oriented and is intended for people currently employed in the field of education and those who have an interest in further enhancing their knowledge and practice in special education. It provides candidates with opportunities to critically examine recent literature, engage in debate and reflection, and expand and apply in-depth knowledge of:

  • policies and practices related to their area of interest within special education;
  • methods for fostering collaborative transdisciplinary and intercultural partnerships;
  • curriculum, pedagogy and assessment policies and practices designed to improve learning outcomes; and
  • contemporary theoretical and practical issues in special education.

Learning outcomes

It is expected that graduates will:

  • further enhance dispositions, cognitive skills, reflective awareness and creativity to facilitate the application of evidence-based knowledge, skills and capacities to educational practices;
  • apply high-level technical and communication skills to design, evaluate, implement, analyse and theorise about developments that contribute to professional practice or scholarship;
  • critically reflect on, evaluate and synthesise knowledge gained from reading, discussion and writing to demonstrate an advanced understanding of educational research, policies and practices in special education and;
  • demonstrate the application of contemporary evidence-based knowledge to practices and contexts in special education.


Credit may be granted, on application, for topics completed or being undertaken towards another relevant Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma or Masters degree, or for accredited professional development.

Program of study

To qualify for the Graduate Certificate in Education (Special Education) specialisation, a student must complete 18 units with a grade of P or NGP, or better, in topics listed below.

Core - Year 1 topics

EDUC8129  Contemporary Issues in Special Education  (4.5 units)

Option - Year 1 topics

Select 13.5 units from the topics listed

 EDUC8541  Studies in Vision Impairment 1  (4.5 units)
 EDUC8791  Gifted Education: Conceptions of Giftedness, Intelligence and Creativity  (4.5 units)
 DSRS9060  Intellectual Disability  (4.5 units)
 DSRS9061  Management of Physical and Multiple Disabilities  (4.5 units)
 DSRS9062  Transition from School to Adult Life for Students with Disabilities  (4.5 units)
 DSRS9063  Autism Spectrum Disorder: Theory and Practice  (4.5 units)
 DSRS9064  Technology and Disability  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9307  Educational Planning and Assessment for Students with Special Needs  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9409  Intervention for Students with Numeracy Difficulties  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9501  Understanding Behaviour in Educational Contexts  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9503  Supporting Behaviour Change  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9504  Supporting Positive Behaviour in Schools  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9511  Complex Communication Needs and Augmentative and Alternative Communication  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9512  Supporting Learners with Disability and Challenging Behaviour  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9513  Designing Individualised Functional Curriculum  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9521  Supporting Students with Learning Difficulties in Schools  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9522  Intervention for Students with Literacy Difficulties  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9531  Current Perspectives in Early Intervention  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9532  Early Intervention: Learning From and Through Play  (4.5 units)

 EDUC9542  Studies in Vision Impairment 2  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9543  Studies in Braille: Research and Practice  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9544  Studies in Orientation and Mobility: Research and Practice  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9551  Introduction to Sensory Impairment  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9552  Collaborative Consultation  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9553  Autism Spectrum Disorders: Teaching and Learning  (4.5 units)
 EDUC9792  Gifted Education: Curriculum and Differentiation  (4.5 units)