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Start Date

1 year(s) full-time

Program Code

4GD008 (Internal)

Study as
Full-time or part-time

Degree overview

  • Study the only Aboriginal Studies qualification in South Australia.
  • Top 10 in Australia for student satisfaction in Humanities, Culture and Social Sciences1.
  • 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 a curriculum informed by world-class research in Cultural Studies and Linguistics2.

1ComparED (QILT): Course Experience Questionnaire 2018-19 – Overall Satisfaction Indicator (Postgraduate). Public universities only.
22018 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 one-year graduate diploma forms part of a nested suite of degrees, which means that if you decide to exit early you will graduate with a Graduate Certificate in Aboriginal Studies, depending on the number of courses studied.

You can study this degree on-campus or online. Part-time study options are also available.

What you'll learn

What you Learn

This graduate diploma enables you to explore Aboriginal culture, society and history. You'll explore them via a broad range of disciplines such as health, law, history, education, environment, policy and research. Through a mix of theoretical and practical learning you will cover topics relating to the global, cultural, social and political themes relevant to these areas of interest. You will also complete a selection of core subjects and an elective.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
Cultural Competency: Challenging Racism in Australian and Indigenous Contexts SOCU 5018 4.5 Note(s): 4
Australian Indigenous Languages, Identity and Belonging SOCU 5017 4.5 Note(s): 4
Choose 6 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): 2

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
  • discussion papers

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

Why Graduate Diploma 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 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia evaluation, 100 per cent of our assessed research was rated world-class or above1. It’s a very good time to choose UniSA for your postgraduate study.

12018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

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.

Career outcomes

Your career

Graduates from this specialisation find work as project officers, community service personnel and executive officers across a range of industries and business areas. You could work in the public service, human and community service organisations, or in the private sector.

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

Alternative Pathways


There are other pathways you can follow to study this qualification, including: 


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 scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

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

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.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your program director


Dr Karen Sinclair

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Karen Sinclair
Portrait image for Dr Karen Sinclair

Dr Karen Sinclair

Program Director


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