Graduate Diploma of Disability

Graduate Diploma Disability

Graduate Diploma of Disability

Duration: 1 years full-time/2 years part-time
Delivery: Online or on-campus
Credit points: 48
Intake: July and February
IELTS: 6.5 with no band less than 6.0
Available to: Domestic
AQF: Level 8
Tuition Fee: $20,000 FEE-HELP available for domestic students

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The Graduate Diploma of Disability was developed in line with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) practice standards and quality indicators and is grounded in the international human rights framework of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and its expression in Australia’s National Disability Strategy. The course will emphasise and recognise the distinctively caring and pastoral nature of disability and care by utilising a Christian framework that is also inclusive and respectful of other faiths.

This course offers a unique integration of inclusive practice approaches, ethics, person-centred support and case management, with a focus on deepening knowledge and applying inclusive methodologies to policy, program and practice. The course develops the capabilities and knowledge needed for leadership to deliver quality and innovation in the disability sector and beyond to the broader health and human services context in which specialised disability knowledge is mobilised for inclusive disability studies.

Scaffolded within these units is the Christian world view which emphasises and recognises the distinctively caring and pastoral nature of disability care and support. This course has been designed to provide a comprehensive learning experience and flexibility to study online whilst continuing to work.

The Graduate Diploma of Disability builds on the Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies. Students will become equipped with the academic knowledge needed to work in the disability, health and human service-related sectors. 

According to Australian Government Job Outlook, key employment areas for disability workers include healthcare and social justice, public administration and safety and education and training. Graduates could end up working in supervisory and management positions within the disability sector.

Labour Market insights predicts a very strong growth in future job opportunities for disability workers, increasing to 28% or 74,900 jobs by 2026.

This foundational unit establishes the theoretical underpinnings for an understanding of the contemporary position of people with disability in society and how these frame approaches to policy, service delivery and professional practice. In considering the influence of human rights and the driving framework of inclusion we examine the ways that lived experience of disability maps to contemporary systems of classification of disability and impairment. Building on this understanding, the unit develops knowledge of the current disability policy framework in Australia and explores the nature of specialist disability and mainstream service systems designed to support the inclusion of people with a disability in all aspects of life. The roles and responsibilities of the contemporary disability workforce are explored in order to develop comprehensive foundations for best practice person-centred approaches. This unit will deliver a sound appreciation of the critical challenges and opportunities in creating an inclusive contemporary Australian disability landscape.

This unit introduces the contemporary landscape of person-centred support and develops understanding of systems, services and practices of contemporary disability support. It explores the genesis and development of person-centredness as an approach to policy and practice in disability and examines how this maps to the nature and structure of the Australian disability service system. Knowledge will be developed about the range of service types, the disability workforce and the diversity of service users and their support needs and applied to real world settings. Characteristics of the range of models of support, assistive technologies and support relationships (both formal and informal), are explored in order to develop a deep understanding of the issues that people with disability and those who support them experience in the support encounter. Key frameworks underpinning disability support in the context of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and beyond, including safeguarding, service quality and practice standards will be explored to promote understanding of best practice in person-centred support to enable  people with disability to exercise choice and control in their lives and promote their independence.

This unit introduces students to the key ethical challenges in promoting and supporting the rights and choices of people with disability. Spanning issues of social justice, human and legal rights, risks and safeguards, the ethical responsibilities of professionals working with people with disability to support their rights and choices is explored as an integral part of disability practice. In engaging with ethical issues of practice and in and about the lives of people with disability, students will develop knowledge and skills to recognise and articulate their own lifelong learning needs in relation to disability and develop capabilities and strategies to maintain professional, technical and research-based knowledge to ensure their professional practice aligns with contemporary developments and innovation in the field of disability.

Person-centred planning is central to the achievement of choice and control by people with disability in the services and supports they require to live a good life. This unit explores the theory and practice of inclusive and participatory individualised planning. Beginning with the theoretical orientations that inform quality of life and the underpinning principles of individualised planning, students will acquire knowledge and skills crucial to working with people with disability in the development, preparation and implementation of effective individualised support plans. Consideration will be given to contemporary funding models and the variety of contexts and types of plans, including person-centred and family-centred planning approaches. The unit explores key knowledge, skills and elements of the planning process including identifying and working with key stakeholders in the planning process. Particular focus is given to accessible modes and methods of engagement with people with disability and their informal supports, including effective communication, both verbal and non-verbal, for those with complex communication needs, strategies for advocacy and self-advocacy, and support for decision-making in relation to designing supports that are responsive to need and to a person’s goals and aspirations.

In this unit students will develop skills in applying the theory and principles of program design, implementation and evaluation to the range of disability programs and services. Integrating the values of inclusion and participation with theoretically and evidence-informed program content and processes is central to best practice in the provision of quality disability programs and services. Drawing on knowledge from a range of disciplines, this unit will prepare students for leadership roles in policy and service development in disability and in the inclusion of considerations for people with disability in other fields such as health, education and social services. The unit will explore the principles and benefits of co-design and co-production in disability program design and evaluation that are central to contemporary inclusive service provision. Skills and techniques necessary for rigorous program evaluation are explored, with specific attention to question formulation, identification of key measures, data collection, and analysis and interpretation. Benefits, responsibilities and innovative approaches to program evaluation knowledge exchange across the disability sector more generally are highlighted.

This unit explores the ways disability and inclusion are understood and responded to beyond the specialist disability service system, examining the impact of barriers to social and economic participation in the broader service and community context.  Foundational concepts of inclusion, participation, citizenship, and access and accessibility are examined in the context of meeting human rights obligations and societal expectations that people with disability are able to make choices and have opportunities to take part in the political and policy process, education, employment, recreation and culture on the same basis as others. Similarly, mainstream human, social and other services have obligations to make their services accessible and responsive to the needs of people with disability. Students will explore the multiple interpretations of community participation and consider different models for working to support inclusion through universal design, disability adjustments and accommodations and systems change.

This unit develops knowledge and skills required of practitioners to select, implement and evaluate approaches to case management across human services with a focus on disability and aged care. Students will develop advanced knowledge of the definitions, theories, characteristics and processes of case management in human services focusing on the NDIS and the aged care sector. Approaches to critiquing the influences on services and practice models and critical issues and ethical dilemmas in case management will be canvassed. Collaborative skills and key research literacies will be explored to enable students to develop their expertise to implement knowledge into their professional practice.

This unit explores issues in theory, policy and practice in working with diversity and complexity in client populations. Utilising the theoretical orientation of intersectionality, students will develop a critical appreciation of the multiple and intersecting domains of difference and the ways that these can compound to heighten risks for marginalisation and social disadvantage. Understandings of key principles in working with the variety of diverse and complex issues associated with gender, race, ethnicity, and disability/impairment are developed and best practice approaches explored.

Educational Prerequisites 

Applicants may be admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Disability or the Graduate Diploma of Disability, if they
have previously successfully completed a relevant:

• bachelor degree or

• bachelor honours degree

‘Relevant’ means a degree that includes subjects such as psychology, social work and education and health sciences where you studied human services and behaviour. ‘Non-relevant’ means degrees that are not related to welfare, human services and behaviour. Applicants with non-relevant degrees will be considered on the basis of their work and life experience.


Applicants with Work and Life Experience

Applicants without undergraduate qualifications can apply for admission via the work and life experience pathway which may consider other forms of study completed in the higher education and vocational sectors, volunteer activities, contribution to church life, professional development relevant to human welfare and disability. 

For more information refer to the Student Selection and Admissions Policy and Procedure.

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