unisa logo

Start Date

0.5 year(s) full-time

Program Code

4GC004 (Internal)

Study as
Full-time or part-time

Key features

  • Study the only Aboriginal Studies qualification in South Australia.
  • Learn from highly respected Aboriginal professionals.
  • Benefit from flexible study options, including part-time, intensive and online study.
  • Benefit from the University’s strong industry and government links.
  • Study at a university that is ranked number one in SA for research into Cultural Studies1.

1 2015 by Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)



This postgraduate qualification is designed for students of any discipline with an interest in Aboriginal history, culture, politics and education. You will graduate with a broad knowledge of Aboriginal issues and world views as they relate to:

  • health
  • law
  • history
  • education
  • environment
  • policy
  • research

This six-month graduate certificate forms part of a nested degree, which means that on completion you will be eligible for entry to the Graduate Diploma in Aboriginal Studies (Advanced Standing will apply). You are also able to study this degree on-campus or online. Part-time study options are available.

Why Graduate Certificate in Aboriginal Studies

Why this Degree

You will learn from industry experts and award-winning researchers and will benefit from our relationships and ties with industry and the State Government.

Many leading Aboriginal organisations, including the Aboriginal Health Council of SA, the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement and the Aboriginal Health Division of the SA Department of Health, have been involved in the development of this qualification, ensuring that the content is culturally appropriate.

You will also have the opportunity to learn from highly respected Aboriginal professionals and will benefit from our flexible study options - you can choose to study on-campus or online, which is great news for those trying to fit study in among work and other life commitments.

Our commitment to research with an industry focus is unprecedented in South Australia. In the 2015 Excellence in Research for Australia evaluation, 97 per cent of our assessed research was rated world-class or above. It’s a very good time to choose UniSA for your postgraduate study.

Real-world connections

A number of our academics and lecturers are Aboriginal professionals who offer a wealth of valuable experience and knowledge. We also host regular University-wide employee master classes and employment expos and alumni events in Australia and overseas.

Online study

Online study

This degree is offered online. This means that you:

  • will study online, including accessing access videos and course resources
  • participate in an interactive online learning environment
  • submit your assignments and get feedback online
  • use discussion forums for team work and communication

With interactive online course materials and a 24/7 learning environment, you can organise your study to suit your lifestyle. 

Please note that for some degrees, some on-campus attendance (such as to attend seminars, workshops or examinations) and/or placements may apply. Any applicable requirements will be detailed on the degree webpage.

Your career

Graduates from this specialisation work as project officers, community service personnel and executive officers across a range of industries and business areas. You could find employment with:

  • public service
  • human and community service organisations
  • private sector organisations

Industry facts


By 2020, employment for Indigenous health workers in Australia is projected to increase by 13.7 per cent1.

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015


Employment for education, health and welfare services managers in Australia is projected to increase by 17.6 per cent by 20201.

1Australian Government Department of Employment, Occupational Employment Projections 2015

What you'll learn

What you Learn

Through a mix of theoretical and practical learning you will cover topics relating to the global, cultural, social and political themes relevant to your area of interest. This graduate certificate enables you to explore Aboriginal culture, society and history as they relate to a broad range of disciplines, including:

  • health
  • law
  • history
  • education
  • environment
  • policy
  • research

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects and contribute to online discussion forums. So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12 – 26 hours of study when at university and 14 – 28 hours of independent study per week.



Your studies at UniSA will incorporate practical, professionally focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include:

  • essays
  • portfolios
  • research papers
  • literature reviews

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. Australian and international students may have the option to do an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas. We have links with universities worldwide. You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

What courses you'll study


Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
Cultural Competency: Challenging Racism in Australian and Indigenous Contexts SOCU 5018 4.5 Note(s): 1
Australian Indigenous Languages, Identity and Belonging SOCU 5017 4.5 Note(s): 1
Choose 2 of the following courses:
Law and Land SOCU 5013 4.5
Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing SOCU 5011 4.5
The Politics of Representation POLI 5016 4.5
Indigenous Perspectives on Globalisation SOCU 5012 4.5
Aboriginal Futures SOCU 5010 4.5
Pitjantjatjara Culture and Language LANG 5029 4.5
Elective 4.5 Note(s): 4

Areas of interest include reconciliation, immigration, multiculturalism, asylum seeker policy, racism and Australian politics.

AsPr Peter Gale

Program Director

Portrait image for AsPr Peter Gale
Portrait image for AsPr Peter Gale

AsPr Peter Gale

Program Director



Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarship search page for more.

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with advanced facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, laboratories, and areas that simulate real work environments.

Adelaide - City West campus

City West is in Adelaide’s most lively precinct, close to art galleries, music venues, cafés and restaurants. It has brand new learning spaces; modern lecture theatres; architecture workshops, contemporary art and design studios; and well-equipped student lounges. Explore City West >

Your study experience

Our campuses have fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops, laboratories, tech zones, and areas that simulate real work environments. You’ll also find student gyms and campus sport activities to keep you active. We also offer flexible study options, with online resources available for accessing lecture recordings, virtual classrooms, library resources and learning support. 

Adelaide has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation or private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages for plenty of options. If you need somewhere to live, our new student accommodation by urbanest is on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, a perfect location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our student support services can make your life at university easier. We provide a full range of support services including academic and personal counselling. You can also access a range of services through our students association, USASA. When you become a UniSA student you can contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and any other questions you might have.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

How to apply

Applying to study with us:

  • go to the top of this page and make note of the SATAC code, then click Apply
  • you will be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application

Ask UniSA

More FAQs

Future study opportunities


Related degrees