Graduate Diploma of Child, Youth and Family Mental Health

February 2024 applications are now closed!

Applications for February 2024 intake to the Graduate Diploma 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: FM082
Location: Online only
Study Load: Part-time (2 years)
Delivery Mode: Online
Intake: Semester 1 each year
Semester 1 each year
Application Type: Domestic only
Fees: $23,520*
CRICOS code: N/A
Post-nominal: N/A

Course Overview

The Graduate Diploma of Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health provides students with training in assessment and therapeutic modalities and interventions for working with children, youth, and families. The course is designed with a holistic and systemic approach to mental health in mind, which incorporates prevention, early intervention, and treatment.

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. Students will also learn about family systems and trauma-focused intervention and be trained in professional practice and ethics. Students in this course will also undertake a supervised placement unit. On completion of the course, students will have counselling knowledge and skills to apply to their current work practices and to enhance self-reflection and understanding. Psychologists, counsellors, and social workers (i.e., those with mental health accreditation) who undertake this course will be eligible to apply for Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) specialist accreditation.

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

The course is designed to provide students with advanced assessment and therapeutic techniques, observational, and practice skills. Students are provided with guided readings and lectures and an opportunity to practice communication, problem-solving and develop lifelong learning skills.

Application Period

Applications for February 2024 are now closed!

Course Structure

The Graduate Diploma of Child, Youth and Family Mental Health consists on 100 credit points. This includes seven coursework units (87.5 credit points) and one practical placement unit (12.5 credit points).

Part-time (2 year) structure:

Year Semester Unit Code Unit Name Credit Points
1 1 FMH401 Counselling Skills and Psychotherapeutic Approaches 12.5
1 1 FMH402 Foundations in Child and Adolescent Development and Assessment 12.5
1 2 FMH404 Prevention and Early Intervention 12.5
1 2 FMH406 Working with Families 12.5
2 1 FMH403 Supporting and Coaching Parents and Families 12.5
2 1 FMH405 Professional Practice and Ethics 12.5
2 2 FMH407 Advanced Child and Adolescent Development and
2 2 FMH460 Supervised Placement 12.5


Entry Requirements

Applicants must have completed an Australian Bachelor degree (AQF 7) with a minimum of credit average (60%).

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).

See our How to Apply page for detailed instructions on applying through our online Application Portal.

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

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
  • Critically evaluate theories and therapeutic models to generate novel solutions to complex 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
  • Employ autonomy, responsibility, and accountability in self-directed learning that facilitates lifelong learning and ongoing professional development

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 of the Graduate Diploma of Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health will be able to apply knowledge and skills acquired to their workplaces.

Graduates will also be able to consider further study or employment in a range of fields such as community health and community services, rehabilitation, human resources, child protection, family support services, allied health clinics and services, and private practice.

On completion of the course, graduates who are mental health professionals (such as psychologists, counsellors, social workers) will be eligible to apply for specialist accreditation with PACFA.

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


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