Graduate Certificate of Child, Youth and Family Mental Health

Applications for February 2024 are now closed!

Applications for February intake to the Graduate Certificate of Child, Youth and Family Mental Health are now closed!

Applications are submitted via Cairnmillar’s Application Portal.

See our How to Apply page and FAQ page for important information on applying to study with Cairnmillar.

Key Facts

Course Code: FM081
Location: Online Only
Study Load: Part-time (1 year)
Delivery Mode: Online
Intake: Semester 1 each year
Semester 2 each year
Application Type: Domestic only
Fees: $11,760*
CRICOS code: N/A
Post-nominal: N/A

Course Overview

The Graduate Certificate of Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health introduces students to working with children, youth, and families to promote mental health. The course is designed with a holistic and systemic approach to mental health in mind, which incorporates prevention and early intervention. Students will be trained in foundational skills required to practice counselling within a child, youth, and family context. While there are various definitions of ‘child’, ‘adolescent’, and ‘youth’, the course follows the World Health Organisation (WHO) definition that places childhood between the ages of 0 – 19 years with adolescence between 10 – 19 years, and youth up to 24 years.

The course content encapsulates foundational elements of developmental theory, assessment processes, family structure and influence, and early intervention, within a therapeutic framework. On completion of the course, students will have counselling related knowledge and skills to apply to their current work practices and to enhance self-reflection and understanding.

The course is designed to provide experiential training and development of skills through regular small group practice, observations, and reflections. Students are provided with guided readings and lectures and an opportunity to practice communication, problem-solving and develop lifelong learning skills.

Please note: Cairnmillar’s courses are subject to minimum and maximum group numbers. Courses may be cancelled or postponed if minimum numbers are not achieved by the start date of the course. Courses may close prior to the start date if the maximum numbers are reached. In that situation, eligible applicants will be offered a place in the next available intake.



2023 Course Information Session

Application Period

Applications for February 2024 are now closed!

Course Structure

The Graduate Certificate of Child, Youth and Family Mental Health consists of 50 credit points over four coursework units.

Part-time (1 year) structure:

Semester Unit Code Unit Name Credit Points
1 FMH401 Counselling Skills and Psychotherapeutic Approaches 12.5
1 FMH402 Foundations in Child and adolescent Development and
2 FMH406 Working with Families 12.5
2 FMH404 Prevention and Early Intervention 12.5

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have completed an Australian Bachelor degree (AQF 7) with a minimum weighted average mark (WAM) of 55.

Documentation required in the application:

  • Most recent academic transcript(s).
  • A current Curriculum Vitae (resume).
  • A 500-word personal statement, outlining what factors have contributed to the application and why you wish to study this course at Cairnmillar.
  • Two references, preferably at least one academic, using the HODSPA reference system.
  • Proof of residency/citizenship (e.g., passport, birth certificate, or citizenship certificate).

Short-listed applicants will be invited to attend an admissions interview with members of Cairnmillar’s academic faculty. This provides applicants with the opportunity to discuss any questions they have about the course of study. Further information on interviews can be found here.

Inherent Requirements

Inherent requirements are those skills, values and behaviours which must be demonstrated by students in order that they successfully complete the program of study. As a guide for prospective and current students, a series of inherent requirement statements have been developed that relate to student admission and progression through the course.  These requirements are mandatory; however, there may be some flexibility in how they can be demonstrated. Click here to view the Inherent Requirements.

Graduate Learning Outcomes

Students who satisfactorily complete this course will have achieved advanced knowledge and skills to
be able to:

  • Demonstrate applied knowledge of core developmental and counselling theories, concepts, and practice
  • Synthesise research and theory from major fields in psychology and counselling and apply this knowledge to address complex real-world problems
  • Critically evaluate theories and therapeutic models to generate novel solutions to problems in child, youth, and family contexts
  • Demonstrate self-awareness and reflective practice, and relate to others respecting all aspects of human diversity
  • Communicate clearly, effectively, and professionally in written and oral communication across face-to-face and online environments
  • Apply knowledge of theoretical concepts, therapeutic models, and counselling skills to facilitate change ethically and professionally

Fees & Scholarships

*Total fees are estimates only based on the current fee schedule. Annual tuition fee review and possible increases applies, see: Fees & Scholarships.

For general information, please visit our FAQ page.

Career Opportunities & Study Pathways

Graduates might apply knowledge and skills acquired in the Graduate Certificate of Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health in their workplaces.

Graduates will also be able to consider further study or employment in a range of fields where the knowledge and skills they have acquired might be applied.

Graduates will also be eligible to apply for the Graduate Diploma of Child, Youth and Family Mental Health.


The Graduate Certificate of Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health is accredited by TEQSA and abides by the Higher Education Standards Framework (2019). The course sits within level 8 of Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process where a student may be granted credit or partial credit towards a qualification in recognition of previous study, skills or experience.

Students may only be given credit for any coursework if it is from a successfully completed approved course at the appropriate Australian AQF postgraduate level.

Cairnmillar’s RPL policy can be viewed here. Further information on RPL can be found here.

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