IERC Indigenous Courses

Indigenous Courses

IERC majors and subjects

Our team of professional lecturers teach various Indigenous subjects to further enhance your learning outcomes while studying a degree at JCU. Our students gain knowledge and understanding of the importance of culture to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and other Indigenous peoples living in the Tropics.

All courses are available internally at JCU Townsville and JCU Cairns.

Semester 1, also available externally.

Includes field trips: Cairns students - Mossman Gorge, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Centre. Townsville students - Cape Cleveland and Harvey's Range, JCU oval fire and weaponry display with Uncle Rusty.

Find out more: IA1011 subject information

Semester 2, also available externally.

Includes field trips: Cairns students - tour Australian Tropical Herbarium with Indigenous ethnobotanist Gerry Turpin. Townsville students - behind the scenes tour of Indigenous artefacts at the Museum of Tropical Queensland.

Find out more: IA1012 subject information

Semester 1, also available externally.

Find out more: IA2022 subject information

Semester 2, also available externally.

Find out more: IA2023 subject information

Semester 2, also available externally.

This subject includes an optional field trip to Malaysia in SP2 2020 for twenty IA2030 students.

Held during the Malaysian summer, this field trip will explore the Indigenous Communities of Malaysia. Students are required to attend lectures for one week and field trips over two weeks to various Indigenous Communities.

The cost of the course is $US2,200 plus airfares. The $US2,200 covers the cost of the program, accommodation, meals and transport within Malaysia during the program.

Airfares and other incidentals will need to be covered by the students. Financial assistance is available through OS-HELP.

There are 10 New Colombo Plan Grants (for Australian Citizens) up for offer which is $3000.  This will cover the cost of the program.

This will be held in the last week of June and first two weeks of July (exact dates will be released in February 2020).

To be eligible for this trip, you must be enrolled in IA2030 in 2020.

For a glimpse of what to expect during this incredible opportunity, check out:

Find out more: IA2030 subject information

For more information please contact:Dr Dianna Hardy or Sandra Boswell

Semester 1, also available externally.

Find out more: IA3024 subject information

Semester 1, also available externally.

Find out more: IA3025 subject information

Semester 2.

Find out more: IA3030 subject information

A JCU Master of Philosophy (Indigenous) provides exceptional students with the opportunity to complete a significant independent research thesis. Find our more about the MPhil (Indigenous) here.

Indigenous Teaching Programs lecturers: Sandra Boswell (Townsville), Dr Ailie McDowall (Townsville), Associate Professor Felecia Watkin-Lui (Cairns), Dr Vincent Backhaus (Cairns) and Dr Dianna Hardy (Townsville).

JCU university preparatory programs for Indigenous students

The JCU Summer Pre-program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is a new initiative of the Indigenous Education and Research Centre (IERC), in partnership with the JCU academic Colleges.

Summer Pre-program conducts pre-programs for prospective Indigenous students who have completed Year 12 QCE or HSC requirements and are seeking to gain entry into JCU.

Summer Pre-programs are intensive preparation programs related to a students' preferred course of study. The pre-programs also serve as an alternative selection process for students who may not achieve the required OP, ATAR or HSC score for their preferred course of study.This year, the initial Summer Pre-program will conduct a pre-program for prospective engineering and nursing students only.

For further information on our 2019 program, contact IERC on (07) 4781 4676 or email

Want to know what it's like to be a uni student? Then our residential preparatory program for high school students may be the program for you.

The JCU Winter School for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students offers students in Year 10, 11 and 12 the chance to experience university life during the school holidays.

Over five days, students live on campus and take part in academic lectures and team-building activities in an interactive program that provides opportunities to meet University staff and students and form bonds with other students in the program.

On-campus accommodation allows for a complete university experience. Accommodation is in the residential colleges on campus and catering is provided for all participants while students are on campus. JCU covers the cost of return travel, including flights, bus or train, for students outside of the Townsville region.

To find out about the next opportunity or for further information, contact the Indigenous Education and Research Centre administration team.

RATEP is an award winning community-based program which enables Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to become fully qualified teaching assistants and/or registered teachers. It is offered in partnership with the Queensland Department of Education and Training and TAFE Queensland North.

Eligible students who live in locations where there is a RATEP Study Centre can apply through QTAC for entry into the full-time 4-year Bachelor of Education (Primary).

For further information hear from a former RATEP participant, contact or visit the Queensland Government website.