Graduate Certificate in Aged Care

Graduate Certificate in Aged Care

Duration: 6 months full-time / 1 year part-time
Intake: February and July
Delivery: Online
Credit points: 24
Available to: Domestic
IELTS: 6.5
AQF: Level 8
Financial Information: $10,000 FEE-HELP available for domestic students

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By 2060, the federal government estimates the number of Australians over the age of 75 will rise to four million. As the demand for aged care services increases, so too does stronger governance and leadership within the sector as identified by the Royal Commission.

The Graduate Certificate in Aged Care utilises a Christian framework that is also inclusive and respectful of other faiths. This allows students to learn about working with service users and their families, ensuring their rights are heard and ethically practised. This course has been designed to provide a comprehensive learning experience and flexibility to study online whilst continuing to work.

The Graduate Certificate in Aged Care will help students to gain the knowledge and skills that can be applied to leadership and management roles within residential and community-based agencies. A report by CEDA (Committee for Economic Development of Australia) titled Duty of care: Meeting the aged care workforce challenge estimates a shortage of 400,000 workers by 2050. By 2031, nearly 20 per cent of the population is expected to be aged over 65, up from approximately 16 per cent so there is an increasing demand for capable and responsive leadership across a range of healthcare settings. 

This requires an understanding of a range of services provided by government, non-government, religious, cultural, and charity sectors to older people and their carers. Students will be introduced to an array of services and resources to expand their knowledge base and gain an understanding of the aged care sector within community and residential settings.


This unit will enable students to appreciate the practical journey of acquiring aged care support and services. Through this process it is aimed that students will be empowered to assist patients/clients to effectively know what is available, and to share information. This unit has been designed to integrate practical and theoretical awareness of the aged care system within Australia.


Students will consider the special needs of elderly people in accessing services, recognising the diversity of the older population. Consumer directive care will be examined and its impact upon practice. This form of care underpins service delivery where older people can choose their service provider and make decisions on the type of care received. However, before making that choice an assessment process is required to determine the level of care needed.

This unit aims to contribute knowledge of contemporary and evolving legal and ethical issues relevant to the lives of elderly people. Students will be introduced to a range of ethical and legal issues where responsibilities, principles, and obligations will be outlined to fulfil competent professional practice within aged care. Legal issues and the acquisition of information, resources, and support services will be highlighted throughout this unit. Practice and policy are interwoven, and the implications of policies present and proposed will be critically examined.


Topics within the ethics section of this unit will include ethical awareness, ethical values, code of ethics, ethical conflicts, end of life ethics, and ethics with technology such as robotic care. Appreciation of the scope of ethical issues will be explored.


Specific legal issues within the aged care context will be addressed to determine their impact upon service delivery and care planning. Key legal issues such as consent, capacity, decision-making, duty of care, dignity of risk, mandatory reporting, safeguarding elderly people, estate planning, and advance directives will be introduced to understand best practice.

This unit’s foundation is to support meaningful emotional connection with elderly people with dementia. Central to this focus is dispelling myths and stereotypes, and instead focusing on person-centred care. Both practical and theoretical approaches will be explored in aiming to contribute to enhancing dementia care within the community and residential settings.


An awareness and understanding of the dementia process to elderly people, their carers/significant others, and to health professionals within the aged care workforce will be addressed. Students will examine and critique dementia care, which is being provided to elderly people in Australia and internationally. This includes making a difference to service delivery through design.


A major focus within this unit is to provide students with the opportunities to enhance skill development, reflection, and promotion of a range of interventions that will contribute to quality service provision within dementia care. Dementia prevention and public health policy will also be examined to illustrate the modified risk factors and their potential effect in reducing an individual’s risk of dementia.

This unit examines six diverse groups of elderly people, emphasising individuality, shared experience, and promoting respect through valuing people’s diverse needs. Specific needs will be highlighted related to entering and navigating the aged care system. The Royal Commission on Aged Care (March 2021) reported that First Nations elderly people, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) elderly people, homeless elderly people, LGBT elderly people, rural elderly people, and veterans were disadvantaged within the Australian aged care system and advocated for structural change.


Students will consider the implications and special needs of elderly people from these diverse groups in accessing services, as well as critically examine the availability of formal and informal services. The central premise of this unit is to encourage students to reflect on service provision and to explore alternative service development by adopting a rightsbased approach. Integral to the rights -based approach is the provision of opportunities to enable elderly people from diverse groups to express their views, attitudes, and perceptions of what they want, and the barriers encountered whilst engaging with aged care providers. Proactive service delivery and interventions will be addressed throughout this unit to facilitate inclusive practice.

Educational Prerequisites 

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

• bachelor degree or

• bachelor honours degree.

‘Relevant’ means a degree that includes subjects in human services, psychology, social work and education. ‘Non-relevant’ means degrees that are science based (not including psychology), where you have not human services-related subjects.

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 educational sector and vocational sectors. These include volunteer activities with older people,  participation in religious communities supporting older people, church contributions, and professional development relevant to human services and aged care. 


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

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