Graduate Certificate of Education (Trauma-Responsive Education)

Postgraduate coursework

Develop the skills and understanding required to create safe and trusting learning environments for all students, including those impacted by trauma.

Domestic International

International student information

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Create safe learning environments for all students

Key facts


1 year part-time


Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

Childhood trauma is a prevalent problem. In Australia, four out of ten students have been exposed to traumatic events. Young people who face traumatic events when they are still developing emotionally and mentally may suffer lasting damage. Children and adolescents with adverse experiences such as abuse, violence, displacement, and neglect can find it difficult to make friends, concentrate in classrooms, and respond to fast-paced changes. Left unaddressed, trauma may push children to social disengagement and school failure.

Guided by social justice and practice architecture theory, the Graduate Certificate of Education (Trauma-Responsive Education) (TRE) provides participants with the skills and understandings necessary to create safe and trusting learning environments for all students, including those impacted by trauma. Educators are often the first responders to children with traumatic experiences and, with the relevant knowledge and skills, they can play critical roles in creating a safe and supportive learning environment. With deep understandings of events, experiences, and effects of trauma, educators will respond effectively to the specific needs and conditions of trauma-impacted children and adolescents. This course offers theoretical insights and practical strategies that enable participants to design and enact trauma-responsive care and learning experiences.
The course consists of four units:

  1. Trauma and Trauma-Responsive Practices. This unit Offers multidisciplinary accounts events, experiences, and effects of trauma; and presents strategies for recognising and responding to needs and conditions of traumatised children as well as individuals exposed to secondary trauma.
  2. Trauma and Learning. This unit focuses on how traumatic experiences of violence, displacement, neglect, and abuse affect the learning experiences and attainment of children.
  3. Refugee Trauma and Education. This unit closely examines the effects of forced displacement and its implications for educational provisions and engagement.
  4. Trauma Responsive Educational Practice Inquiry. This unit prepares participants to investigate what trauma-responsive practices look like, what assumptions and values underpin the practices, and what needs to change and why.

In each of these units, the assessment tasks are designed for participants to demonstrate their learning through critical appraisal of policies, practices, and scholarly sources, with a focus on application to real-world contexts.

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Course information

Award granted
Graduate Certificate of Education (Trauma-Responsive Education)

2024 course information

Deakin code
Postgraduate (Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma)
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 8

Course structure

To complete the Graduate Certificate of Education (Trauma-Responsive Education), students must attain 4 credit points.

The course comprises a total of 4 credit points including:

  • 4 credit points of core units (ETR701, ETR702, ETR703, ETR704)
  • DAI001 Academic Integrity Module (0-credit-point compulsory unit)

Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements.

Core Units

  • Refugee Trauma and Education
  • Trauma-Responsive and Humanitarian Practice Inquiry
  • Trauma and Learning
  • Trauma and Trauma-Responsive Practices
  • Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 2 (part-time only) - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Online

    Trimester 1 (part-time only) - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Online

    Additional course information

    Course duration

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Mandatory student checks

    Any unit which contains work integrated learning, a community placement or interaction with the community may require a police check, Working with Children Check or other check.


    Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period for each credit point undertaking required teaching, learning and assessment activities.

    Participation requirements

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. More information available at Disability support services.

    Entry requirements

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum academic and English language proficiency requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Academic requirements

    To be considered for admission to this degree you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher
    • at least two years' relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent)

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    Admissions information

    Learn more about Deakin courses and how we compare to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning.

    Not sure if you can get into Deakin postgraduate study? Postgraduate study doesn’t have to be a balancing act; we provide flexible course entry and exit options based on your desired career outcomes and the time you are able to commit to your study.

    Recognition of prior learning

    If you have completed previous studies which you believe may reduce the number of units you have to complete at Deakin, indicate in the appropriate section on your application that you wish to be considered for credit transfer. You will need to provide a certified copy of your previous course details so your credit can be determined. If you are eligible, your offer letter will then contain information about your credit transfer. Your credit transfer is formally approved prior to your enrolment at Deakin during the Enrolment and Orientation Program. You must bring original documents relating to your previous study so that this approval can occur.

    You can also refer to the Recognition of prior learning system which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing this course within the same year in which they started. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of prior learning you have.

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together four credit points of study. Four credit points is used as it represents a typical enrolment load for a Graduate Certificate.

    Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the handbook.

    Learn more about tuition fees.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Postgraduate bursary

    If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

    Apply now

    Apply through Deakin

    Applications can be made directly to the University through StudyLink Connect - Deakin University's International Student Application Service. For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply web page.

    Deakin International office or Deakin representative

    Fill out the application form and submit to a Deakin International office or take your application form to a Deakin representative for assistance

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage
    If you’re still having problems, please contact Deakin International for assistance.


    Career outcomes

    This Graduate Certificate of Education (Trauma-Responsive Education) is intended for educators, carers, humanitarian professionals who work in educational settings. The course equips participants with the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions required for meaningfully supporting trauma-impacted children and adolescents. Graduates will be able to put their expertise into practice in a range of contexts, including schools, early childhood education and care centres, refugee resettlement settings, and other social services.

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

    Explain events, experiences, and effects of trauma in educational settings.


    Use a range of strategies to explore causes and consequences of traumatic experiences of children and adolescents and share findings with peers, educators, and work colleagues.

    Digital literacy

    Locate, evaluate, and use digitally available resources on trauma-responsive pedagogical practices within Australia and internationally, and utilize digital technologies to communicate results.

    Critical thinking

    Apply social justice perspectives to evaluate humanitarian policies and trauma-responsive services to produce knowledge that can inform practice.

    Problem solving

    Develop trauma-responsive teaching strategies that enhance educational engagement and outcomes for students impacted by trauma, including those from refugee backgrounds, and demonstrate capacity to design and enact humanitarian pedagogy that supports refugee students with trauma history.

    Global citizenship

    Enact trauma-responsive and humanitarian educational practices to support culturally diverse students impacted by forced displacement and violence.

    Approved by Faculty Board October 2021

    * U.S. News & World Report, Best Global Universities Subject Rankings 2022–2023