Graduate Diploma of Indigenous Research

Postgraduate coursework

Gain in-depth research training specific to Indigenous knowledge systems. Build your research capabilities and open the door to a masters or PhD.

Domestic International

Domestic student information

Key facts


1 year full-time or part-time equivalent

Current Deakin Students

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

Course overview

Are you interested in a qualification that is a pathway to a Masters or PhD by Research?

Are you interested in how Indigenous knowledge can reconfigure systems of thought in general?

The focus of this course is to equip students with in depth research training specific to Indigenous knowledge systems. The units of this course centre on:

  • Indigenous research methodologies and ways of knowing
  • Designing Indigenous research
  • Investigating debates in your discipline area

All these culminate in a comprehensive thesis that build research capabilities and capacity. This unique research qualification is delivered by Indigenous academic staff with interdisciplinary skills across diverse areas.

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Course information

Award granted
Graduate Diploma of Indigenous Research

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 qualify for the Graduate Diploma of Indigenous Research, a student must successfully complete 8 credit points of units comprising of 6 core units and 2 research units. Students must also complete

  • Academic Integrity Module DAI001
  • Academic Integrity Module (0-credit-point compulsory unit)


    Core units


    Research units


    Total units

  • Standpoint Theory in Indigenous Research
  • Indigenous Research: Ways of Valuing and Being
  • Indigenous Research: Ways of Knowing and Doing
  • Indigenous Knowledge Modalities in Research
  • Theories and Debates in Indigenous Knowledges: Sites of Struggle
  • Designing An Indigenous Research Project
  • Research Project A
  • Research Project B
  • 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 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)

    Trimester 2* - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Waurn Ponds (Geelong)

      *part-time study only

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students can apply directly through the NIKERI Institute.

    Additional course information

    Course duration

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

    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.

    NOTE: This course is only open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students offered at the National Indigenous Knowledges, Education, Research and Innovation (NIKERI) Institute.

    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

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning which exceeds the normal entrance requirements for the course and is within the constraints of the course regulations. Students are required to complete a minimum of one-third of the course at Deakin University, or four credit points, whichever is the greater. In the case of certificates, including graduate certificates, a minimum of two credit points within the course must be completed at Deakin.

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

    Applications for credit transfer will be considered depending on the quality and subject matter of the student’s prior qualifications and professional experience.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - (CSP)?
    $16,323 for 1 yr full-time - Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)
    Learn more about fees.

    A Commonwealth supported place (CSP) is only available in this course, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled with the National Indigenous Knowledges, Education, Research and Innovation (NIKERI) Institute. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing this course within the same year. 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.

    One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course.

    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 fees and available payment options.

    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

    Indigenous students

    Courses at Deakin are flexible and culturally inclusive. Explore the various ways you can apply to study this course - including through the NIKERI Institute and via the Indigenous Access Scheme.

    Need more information on how to apply?

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

    Entry pathways

    Alternative exits

    • Graduate Certificate of Indigenous Research (A501)

    Contact information

    Our friendly advisers are available to speak to you one-on-one about your study options, support services and how we can help you further your career.


    Career outcomes

    This course provides students with comprehensive research training which equips you with the necessary skills and knowledge to work in a researcher role in educational, government or private institutions. As a pathway to Higher Degree by Research programs, opportunities are open to research and academic roles in universities.

    For more information go to DeakinTALENT

    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

    Employ a specialised understanding of how to plan, analyse, and apply advanced knowledge and skills in Indigenous research methods and methodologies within a local, national, and international context as guided by appropriate protocols. Critically engage with the complexities of Indigenous Knowledge systems and the way they shape axiologies, ontologies and epistemologies.


    Apply a range of modalities to communicate Indigenous ways of Valuing, Being, Knowing, and Doing to diverse audiences and communities. Transmit, receive, and strengthen knowledge exchanges between and within Country, communities, and individuals demonstrating reciprocity through verbal, nonverbal and written modalities.

    Digital literacy

    Strengthen individual capability in navigating multiple digital spaces to responsibly and competently locate, research, express, promote and manage the complex voices and experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

    Critical thinking

    Critically analyse the multiple histories of Australia from an Indigenous standpoint and critique and evaluate past and current research methodologies and processes utilised by Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers. Facilitate culturally appropriate processes of enquiry to engage, analyse and to contribute towards the progression of Indigenous Knowledge systems and positive social justice outcomes.

    Problem solving

    Identify critical issues of significance with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ and determine research approaches and strategies to generate solutions that address issues, community priorities and enhance collective and individual agency for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’.


    Apply cultural responsiveness, autonomy and adaptability when engaging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples within a research relationship. Implement sophisticated reflexivity in the ongoing development of individual goal setting, advancing research skills, refining ethical relationships and reciprocity in progressing Indigenous Knowledges.


    Co-construct respectful relationships within group processes in a collaborative, adaptable, reflective and culturally responsive manner, engaging with multiple Indigenous standpoints and perspectives. Proactively contribute to the collective responsibility for problem solving and relationship building within the broader educational goals of Indigenous research.

    Global citizenship

    Deepen cultural responsiveness through ongoing reflexivity, ethical and critical evaluation of the community-driven research priorities. Contribute to the progression of Indigenous Knowledges through investigations of critical issues contextualised within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and integrating respective global worldviews and innovations.

    Approved by Faculty Board February 2022