Enhance your career opportunities by developing your capacity to work more effectively with Indigenous communities in Northern Australia and globally with the Graduate Certificate of Indigenous Studies. This certificate is ideal for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous professionals and community members wanting to broaden their skillset with an increased understanding of the complexity of factors that impact Indigenous people today. Professionals looking to return to the workforce after a period away or planning to enter a new field can retrain and reskill to enhance their intercultural competency. This one-year part-time degree prepares graduates to work more effectively with Indigenous individuals and communities, with a view to contributing to Indigenous political and cultural self-determination agendas.
JCU’s Graduate Certificate of Indigenous Studies is the first postgraduate coursework degree in Australia to explicitly focus on the intersection of Indigenous and Western ideas, priorities and knowledge positions. This degree delves into the cultural interface by exploring both the continuities of Indigenous knowledges and traditions and the impacts of colonisation. Students are encouraged to explore the various responses given by Indigenous communities globally and to delve into the complexity that exists in this space. Your study will guide you to develop the language and dispositions to work more effectively with Indigenous communities and people through lecture, discussion and practical based learning activities.
This graduate certificate consists of four subjects: Indigenous Australians; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People as Colonial Subjects; Comparative Indigenous Studies; and Navigating the Cultural Interface. These subjects will deepen your understanding of the complexity of Indigenous experiences today. You will build a foundational basis in traditional knowledges and practices and analyse the impact of colonisation. Next, you will analyse case studies of Indigenous people throughout the world, drawing on the knowledge you have developed in your previous two subjects. Finally, you will put this learning into practice, working with a local Indigenous community to develop a project at the interface of Indigenous and Western ideas.
Experience has no substitute
Spend time on-Country and experience Indigenous knowledge in-situ in the subject Indigenous Australians. You will have the opportunity to partake in an optional field trip led by Traditional Owners while exploring the complexity of Indigenous practices and knowledge traditions. You may also have the chance to participate in an optional overseas field trip.
In the subject Navigating the Cultural Interface, you will work in groups to respond to challenges in real-world contexts and create a project proposal for an Indigenous community that is relevant to Indigenous challenges and cultural requirements. You will then present your proposal to an Indigenous community leader (either virtually or face-to-face) and receive in-depth feedback on your work. This personalised and targeted feedback from an Indigenous professional perspective will give you the tools to improve your knowledge and fine tune your skills throughout the course.
In addition to testing your knowledge application, this project proposal will also sharpen your professional skills. The project proposal provides experience in project management, including skills such as managing timelines and budgetary restraints, engaging stakeholders and pitching ideas to a range of people, particularly those within Indigenous communities. You will be better prepared to work collaboratively with Indigenous people and to develop innovative responses to complex issues.
Ready today for tomorrow
The combination of subjects in this degree will lead you through an exploration of existing perspectives and narratives that represent Indigenous people in government, academic and public spheres and how these can be incomplete or limited by personal positions or agendas. This approach will better situate you as a professional or as a researcher to build your capacity for local leadership, equipping you to bring a more inclusive and informed approach to your work.
Upon completion of the Graduate Certificate of Indigenous Studies, you will have the ability to integrate and apply a specialised body of knowledge of the historical and contemporary position of Australian and international Indigenous communities to both professional and academic settings. You will have valuable experience in navigating the boundaries of Indigenous and non-Indigenous viewpoints and practice in communicating these ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences. This set of knowledge and skills will prepare you to bring advanced intercultural and communication competencies to your work environment, which are in high demand in current professional and academic settings.
You can also pursue further study and research with the Master of Philosophy (Indigenous) and Doctor of Philosophy (Indigenous). This graduate certificate also qualifies you to enrol in the Master of Global Development with a focus on Indigenous Futures.
Professionals with education and experience in navigating the intersection of Indigenous and Western ideas and social models are highly valued in both Australian and international settings. The knowledge and skills you gain through the Graduate Certificate of Indigenous Studies are applicable to every industry and field of work or academia.
Your ability to generate innovative responses to complex social and cultural challenges can build your capacity within your current role, make you stand out to prospective employers, and assist you to take on roles with greater responsibility and interpersonal requirements.
Graduates with experience in Indigenous studies commonly pursue careers in policy, public service, corporate organisations, not-for-profit sectors, media, research and education.
You can also pursue further study and research. The Graduate Certificate of Indigenous Studies is a pathway to postgraduate research, giving you a strong foundation to continue into the Master of Philosophy (Indigenous) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Indigenous). This graduate certificate also qualifies you to enrol in the Master of Global Development with a focus on Indigenous Futures.
Information valid for students commencing in 2023
Graduate Certificate (AQF Level 8)
Indigenous Education and Research Centre (Administered by Academy)
Indigenous Education and Research Centre (Administered by Academy)
Completion of an AQF level 7 bachelor degree; or
Other qualifications or practical experience recognised by DVC (Indigenous Education and Strategy) as equivalent to the above.
Minimum English language proficiency requirements
Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 1– Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.
Academic Requirements for Course Completion
12 credit points as per course structure
Course learning outcomes
On successful completion of the Graduate Certificate of Indigenous studies, graduates will be able to:
IA5013:03 Indigenous Australians
IA5022:03 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People as Colonial Subjects
IA5029:03 Comparative Indigenous Studies
IA5030:03 Navigating the Cultural Interface
COURSE AVAILABLE AT
Expected time to complete
1 year part-time
Maximum time to complete
Maximum leave of absence
Please refer to the Coursework Enrolment Procedure
Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)
Course includes mandatory fieldwork
Supplementary exam for
Students may apply for credit for previous tertiary study in accordance with the Credit Transfer Procedure
6 credit points
Credit will be granted only for subjects completed in the 10 years prior to the commencement of this course
Credit gained for any subject shall be cancelled 12 years after the date of the examination upon which the credit is based if, by then, the student has not completed this course.
GRADUATE CERTIFICATE OF INDIGENOUS STUDIES
Exit with lesser award
Students who complete this course are eligible for entry to the Graduate Diploma of Global Development and the Master of Global Development, and may be granted credit for all subjects completed under this course.
Students may receive an Award of Recognition in accordance with the Recognition of Academic Excellence Procedure
Consult the admission requirements section in the Handbook for prerequisites and pathways into this course.