I am a prospective
student, looking to study at
Duration0.5 years full-time or part-time equivalent up to 3 years maximum.0.5 years full-time.
Mode of deliveryOnline
Start datesSemester 1 (21 Feb 2022), Semester 2 (18 Jul 2022),
Program Code40267

Study Early Childhood Disability Support

Extend your understanding of early childhood disability support and education in this dynamic graduate certificate course.

Explore the constructs of holistic child development, focusing on young childrens’ development in the context of their family/carers and early childhood settings.

Learn about different communication skills and strategies to promote language as well as augmentative and alternative communication systems. Increase your knowledge of childrens’ social and emotional development and positive behaviour support and explore collaborative, family-centred and inter-disciplinary approaches to early intervention, within the context of early childhood education and care.

Why study with us?

  • Study anywhere at any time – Whether you choose part-time or full time, on campus or online, our flexible program and advanced online learning system allow you to study anytime, anywhere to balance work, life and study.
  • Ideal program for many professions – the Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Disability Support provides opportunities for both teachers and health-related professionals working with children and adolescents with additional needs.
  • Be recognised internationally – The University of Newcastle’s School of Education is ranked in the world’s top 150 for Education (QS World University Rankings by subject 2020).
  • Become an Industry expert - you’ll graduate with an expanded knowledge of early childhood students with additional needs and possess the ability to create a supportive learning environment.

Person holding clipboard, with parents and child in background

#5 in Australia ? for overall postgraduate education experience
#6 in Australia ? for overall postgraduate teaching quality
#7 in Australia ? for overall postgraduate student satisfaction
World top 150 ? for Education

What you will study

The two CORE courses will support your drive and direction in:

  • teaching methods and techniques in special and inclusive education
  • critical reflections in special and inclusive education settings

Your choice of two DIRECTED courses supports skills development across a range of disability support areas and also offers a taste of available options, should you choose to articulate into the full MSIE Early Childhood specialisation:

  • supporting communication skills
  • contemporary issues in early childhood intervention
  • social-emotional learning and positive behaviour support for children 0-5 years
  • collaborative and inter-disciplinary approaches in early childhood intervention


Career opportunities

The University of Newcastle’s Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Disability Support will enhance your expertise in the areas of disability, and additional needs, whether that focus is on face-to-face education, support, child development, or working with families.

For those with a teaching qualification you will be additionally equipped with skills and knowledge to assess student needs and abilities and to address unidentified developmental difficulties or challenge-specific areas. Your learning journey will empower you to apply research-based strategies to your professional context.

For graduates with a prior degree in an allied health related field – you can be part of a brighter future in community or disability services. You will be additionally equipped with the insight to understand the impacts of deficit or disability on a child’s social, physical and academic functioning and to implement effective family-centred approaches and intervention strategies.

Professional recognition

Upon completion of the program, qualified teachers will have advanced skills if wishing to embark on career pathways in special or inclusive education settings or early childhood intervention services. Career pathways for those with an allied health degree include special care worker, developmental support worker, community/disability support worker, or therapeutic support staff.

Please note the program does not provide a pre-service teaching qualification.

How to apply

Applying for Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Disability Support

I am a prospective
student, looking to study at

Before you get started

To ensure that the process goes smoothly for you, you should complete the following steps before applying:

  1. Review the program that you wish to apply for. Note the admission criteria, admission instructions, requirements & structure and any additional information listed.
  2. Review the program fees and costs.
  3. Check whether your postgraduate program has a Semester or a Trimester closing date. Please view the application closing date.
  4. If you are from a non-English-speaking background, you need to satisfy the University's English language requirements and ensure that you can provide evidence of your English proficiency if required.

You will be considered for entry based on criteria such as your undergraduate studies and/or equivalent prior learning and/or relevant work experience.

Postgraduate application process

Other things to consider

Make sure you double check the special entry requirements, assumed knowledge or recommended studies for the degree:

Entry into the Graduate Certificate in Early Childhood Disability Support (40 units) will be available for applicants who have:

  • 4 year Bachelors Degree; or
  • 3 year Bachelors Degree; or
  • Advanced Diploma or Diploma in a related field/discipline and 2 years relevant work experience; or
  • Advanced Diploma or Diploma not in a related field/discipline and 3 years relevant work experience; or
  • At least 5 years relevant work experience in a related field/discipline.

Related fields/discipline areas are:

  • Teaching, Early Childhood Educator
  • Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy, Psychology, Social Work,
  • Mental Health Care Worker, Community Care Worker,  Disability Support Worker, Art and Music Therapy

All Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the University’s English proficiency requirement. Further information regarding English language proficiency requirements can be found at the English Language Proficiency for Admission Policy here.

Applicants for this program must satisfy a minimum English Language Proficiency Standard equivalent to an IELTS overall minimum of 6.5 with no subtest result below 6.0.

You can look at Uni prep for options to brush up on knowledge before you start.

View University key dates

Ok, great, let's go!

Applications to study are now open. Submit your application now.

Apply to study in Australia

Both students and education agents can submit applications online. This is our preferred way of application. You can save your application after you have started, and come back to it later.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.