- Graduate Certificate of Education (Special Education)
The Graduate Certificate of Education (Special Education) takes a Design Thinking approach to analyse issues and challenges faced by persons with a range of additional learning needs. In particular, it focuses on problem solving, informed by advanced theoretical knowledge, from a person first perspective. The person first approach allows situations to be tackled from the perspective of the individual, and by doing so shifts the focus from a passive acceptance from the person at the centre of the issue to a more active role where their individual needs are actively considered. This approach questions traditional thinking and challenges learners’ biases, prejudice and assumptions.
The Graduate Certificate of Education (Special Education) includes topics specific to issues facing contemporary educators, such as Autism, Mental Health and Learning Differences.
Course Study Outcomes:
- Apply a ‘person first’ perspective to analyse and problem solve issues and challenges associated with a range of special educational needs with particular reference to educational outcomes and social justice
- Identify and critically analyse biases, prejudices and assumptions associated with special educational needs in society and educational practice
- Analyse, design and evaluate inclusive, ethical and effective learning environments
- Demonstrate specialised knowledge of the historical context and contemporary theories relating to a range of special educational needs
- Demonstrate an understanding of Allied Health, carer support and collaboration skills necessary to improve educational outcomes for individuals with special educational needs
Graduate employment opportunities
Graduates of the Graduate Certificate (Special Education) can progress to further postgraduate studies in related fields of education. They can also advance and diversify their position in the education field, such as advisory roles. Further, a qualification in special education opens opportunities for Graduates to work in special schools as well as expert roles in mainstream schools.
|Course Title||Graduate Certificate of Education (Special Education) (GCESE16)|
|Study Options – Domestic Australian students||Face to Face delivery
Full-time and part-time options available.
|Study Options – International students||International students on a student visa must not enrol into any more than a third or 33% of online subjects over their course and must study at least one subject that is face to face in each trimester.
International students on a student visa are required to study full time, i.e. the student must complete a minimum of 1.0 EFTSL of study per year.
|Start Dates||February, June, September
For specific dates visit the website.
|Course Length||Full-time: 1 year
Part-time: 2 years
|Payment Options – Domestic Australian students||Upfront payment
This means tuition fees will be invoiced each semester and payment is required on or before the due date.
FEE-HELP is Australian Government’s loan scheme for higher education degree courses. It can assist you in paying for all, or part of, your course fees. Repayments commence via the tax system once your income rises above a minimum threshold. Just like with any other debt, a FEE-HELP debt is a real debt that impacts your credit rating.
|Payment Options – International students||Upfront payment
This means tuition fees will be invoiced each semester and payment is required on or before the due date.
|Course study requirements||It is expected that each subject, whether studied online or on-campus, will involve a combined total of 120 hours of structured and self-directed learning, which equates to approximately 10 hours a week for subjects over 12-week trimesters.||Assessment||Essays, reports, presentations scenario and case studies, problem based tasks, portfolio, research, and reflective journals.|
|Locations||Melbourne, Online||Delivered by||Torrens University Australia|
|Provider||Torrens University Australia Ltd is registered as a self-accrediting Australian university by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).||CRICOS Course Code||095588C|
|Provider obligations||Torrens University is responsible for all aspects of the student experience, including the quality of course delivery, in compliance with the Higher Education Standards 2015
|Accrediting body||Torrens University Australia Limited ABN 99 154 937 005,
CRICOS Provider Code: 03389E.
RTO No. 41343
|Course Fees||For details, refer to the website.||Any other fees||For details, refer to the website.|
- Essential requirements for admission
The general admission criteria that apply to Torrens University Australia courses can be located by visiting the Torrens University Australia website – /general-admission-information-for-torrens-university-australia-ltd.
- Admission Criteria
(For applicants who will be selected on a basis other than ATAR)
|Special Entry||Not applicable|
Via direct application to the institution
You may be entitled to credit for prior learning, whether formal or informal. Formal learning can include previous study in higher education, vocational education, or adult and community education. Informal learning can include on the job learning or various kinds of work and life experience. Credit can reduce the amount of study needed to complete a degree.
Applicants admitted based on prior higher education study may be eligible for Advanced Standing in the form of credit and/or recognition of prior learning (RPL) under the Torrens University Australia Credit Policy – (/policies-and-forms).
- Students with completed subjects may be eligible for specified credit and/or elective exemptions
- Students who have completed a qualification at AQF level 5 (diploma) or above may be eligible for block credit (where a block credit agreement exists)
- Students with a mix of formal study and informal and/or non-formal learning may be eligible for recognition of prior learning in addition to any credit approved.
Credit will not be applied automatically. Applicants must apply for credit and/or RPL as early as possible prior to each study period, with applications not accepted after week 2.
For further information about credit and recognition of prior learning please see /apply-online/course-credits.
- Where to get further information
- Torrens University Australia (TUA) Website
- Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) Website
- Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) Website
- Additional Information
The Graduate Certificate of Education (Special Education) course structure is comprised of 4 subjects (40 credit points). The course of study is made up of 4 core and 0 elective subjects at 10 credit points each.
The course structure can be viewed or downloaded at the Student Hub, Course webpage https://studenthub.torrens.edu.au/Hub
To qualify for the Graduate Certificate of Education (Special Education), students must complete all 4 core subjects. A combined total of 40 credit points is required.
|SUBJECT TITLE, DESCRIPTOR|
|PFA401 Person First in Autism
Contemporary practice in Autism education requires sound knowledge, understanding and support by educators to effectively create an inclusive and best practice learning environment. A movement in the disability sector advocates for individuals and their carers to have their voice heard. In this subject, students examine the shift in support for individuals with Autism and their carers. More specifically, the Autism community moving to a voice that is heard, rather than passive. The person first approach is used in this subject to introduce the problem solving skills required when supporting an individual with Autism by actively listening to their needs. Students will interact with a range of experiential perspectives of Autism, using interviews and scenarios to develop the person first approach. Interactions with the varying perspectives, experiences, challenges and aspirations in the Autism community creates a platform for students to examine bias, prejudice and assumptions. The voice of the individual with Autism and their carer in this subject unveils the importance of active listening and co-design for learning. Further, an exploration of the evolution of Autism education, based on the medical theory in relation to diagnosis of Autism spanning early 1940’s to the twenty first century, introduces students to the complexity of Autism, the development of knowledge and application in education systems. This subject asks students to explore the Autism diagnosis and the impact on individuals and the Autism community. Further, students’ understanding is deepened when asked to critique the social
Implications, relating to discrimination, policy and practices specific to the history of Autism, using a person first perspective.
|IMH402 Introduction to Mental Health Conditions
Students are introduced to a range of Mental Health conditions, understanding the complexity and interrelatedness between the challenges associated within each. The person first approach is used in this subject to introduce the problem solving skills required when supporting an individual with Mental Health conditions. Students interact with a range of experiential perspectives of Mental Health, using interviews and scenarios to develop the person first approach. A range of perspectives, experiences, challenges and aspirations in the Mental Health community creates a platform for students to examine both the community and their own bias, prejudice and assumptions. Further, the range of carers involved in Mental Health conditions is considered for a deeper awareness of the impact of the conditions.
|LDF402 Learning Differences
The person first approach is used in this subject to introduce the problem solving skills required when supporting an individual with learning differences, including but not limited to dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and ADHD. This subject also explores the impact these challenges have on self-esteem and future learning aspirations. Further, examples of stereotyping, types of interventions and the genetic disposition of the learning challenges are discussed. This subject develops students’ awareness and understanding by analysing the range of traits across each learning condition. Presenting in various ways and areas of learning development, the stigmatised learning challenges are often described from a deficit viewpoint. Students will be analysing the history of such conditions and the evolution of interventions and support, in turn, continuing to evolve an attribute view of the traits of these conditions.
Viewed across a spectrum, dyslexia can be difficult to recognise. By expanding on the understanding of dyslexia traits and range of support tools, this subject uncovers the complexity of dyslexia and how to recognise and support individuals. Students will be presented with perspectives from the lived experience of individuals and parents demonstrating varying contexts and levels of support requirements. Understanding how this condition can impact an individual’s education creates the platform for students to apply their knowledge to put contemporary practices of support in the classroom.
The Graduate Certificate of Education (Special Education) (GCESE16) can be studied fully online or at the below Torrens University Campuses:
- Victoria (Melbourne)
Campus Facilities and Services
All campuses are designed to provide students with professional spaces in which to learn and work. They have been planned with student study needs in mind with well-equipped accessible learning spaces as well as student breakout areas for group work and spending time with friends.
A positive student experience
Torrens University Australia values the importance of a positive student experience, and therefore has robust processes to resolve student complaints. The Student Complaints Policy, and associated procedures, can be accessed from the website (/policies-and-forms).
Paying for your qualification
We offer two payment options for this course:
- Upfront payment
If you want to complete your qualification debt-free you can choose to pay as you go. This means tuition fees will be invoiced each semester and payment is required on or before the due date using EFTPOS, credit card or direct transfer.
FEE-HELP is Australian Government’s loan scheme for higher education degree courses. It can assist you in paying for all, or part of, your course fees. Repayments commence via the tax system once your income rises above a minimum threshold ($45, 881 in 2019-20). Just like with any other debt,
a FEE-HELP debt is a real debt that impacts your credit rating.
Further information about FEE-HELP, including eligibility, is available at:
- FEE-HELP website:
- FEE-HELP booklets:
Austudy and Abstudy