Progressive, real-world learning. Online.
There may be on campus intensives offered.Cloud (online)
Direct applications to Deakin for Trimester 2 2021 have closed
Current Deakin Students
To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook
Sometimes children don’t have the words to express what they are thinking or feeling. Studying therapeutic child play at Deakin will give you additional skills to pursue your rewarding work with children and their families.
Deakin’s therapeutic play and child play therapy courses are the first of their kind offered by an Australian university. The Graduate Diploma of Therapeutic Child Play is taught by practiced clinicians and educators equipped with overseas teaching experience, and by pioneering academics in Australian play therapy research.
The course is designed for medical, allied health, welfare, and education professionals who work in community based services with children, adolescents and families who have experienced developmental, emotional, trauma or events that result in or comprise a mental health issue or concern.
The role of play in lives of children will be explored with an introduction to the theories, models, and practices of therapeutic play. You will learn how to assess and observe a child’s play behaviour, examining the behavioural characteristics present when children have a play deficit.
You will gain knowledge about children's development of play skills and coping, and consider the role of the practitioner in providing age appropriate play based experiences to children and young people.
This includes the study of several aspects of child development (cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, biological, motor and moral development) from infancy to adolescence.
There will also be an exploration of childhood developmental neuroscience and psychopathology, covering a range of mental health issues such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism spectrum disorders, eating disorders, child abuse and bereavement.Read More
To complete the Graduate Diploma of Therapeutic Child Play students must attain 8 credit points comprising 7 core units (these are compulsory) plus 1 unit from the electives listed below.
All commencing Faculty of Health Undergraduate and Postgraduate course work students are required to complete HAI010 Academic Integrity in their first trimester of study (0 credit point compulsory unit).
Select one unit:
2022 course information
This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.
The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 8.
Campuses by intake
Campus availability varies per trimester. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Read more to learn where this course will be offered throughout the year.
Trimester 1 - March
- Start date: March
- Available at:
- Cloud Campus
Trimester 2 - July
- Start date: July
- Available at:
- Cloud Campus - part time students only
Additional course information
Course duration - additional information
Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.
Mandatory student checks
In accordance with Department of Human Services policy, all students are required to undertake a National Police Record Check at the commencement of their course. This police check needs to be completed annually for the duration of the course.
Students are also required to hold a current Working with Children Check in Victoria (or the interstate equivalent) at the commencement of their course.
Students who fail to obtain both a Police Record Check and Working with Children Check prior to the commencement of their first unit will not be able to commence clinical components and this will impede progress in the course.
NB: Clinical components include observation of a child at play, infant-parent observation, play assessment, and a clinical placement in therapeutic play, which must be undertaken in Australia.
The Faculty of Health Work Integrated Learning Team utilise an online service called ‘Fit2Work’ for police checks, and students will receive an email with instructions on how to apply. Students should not apply for a police check until they have received this email from Fit2Work.
As a student in a Cloud (online) course in the Faculty of Health you will be expected to spend 8-10 hours per unit every week studying, interacting via CloudDeakin and completing assessment tasks for each unit in your course.
Students are required to attend intensive workshops for several units in the Master of Child Play Therapy and Graduate Diploma of Therapeutic Child Play. Dates for 2021 are: Monday 12 July to Thursday 15 July.
The course involves a compulsory clinical placement of 60 hours during Trimester 2. The placements must be undertaken Australia.
Compulsory attendance is required at a four-day on-campus intensive placement workshop at the Geelong Waterfront Campus as well as the 60 hours in a professional placement and 17 hours of online clinical supervision.
Placement can occur at any time, including during standard holiday breaks listed here
The course includes units that requires students to undertake at least 10 hours (HSO710 – 3 hours, HSO711 – 6 hours and HSO713 – 1 hour) of suitable practical experience in Australia. This experience may be in an educational setting, private practice, home environment or public area, where the student will observe and analyse e.g. child play and family interactions.
The course includes a mandatory 1 credit point unit (HSO712), that requires students to undertake at least 60 hours of suitable practical experience. This experience may be in a school environment or community based clinic, where the student will undertake supervised practice in engaging children in play using directive approaches. The placements must be undertaken in Australia.
Ask a question about studying at Deakin
Entry will be based on performance in:
- Bachelor Degree or higher
- two years relevant work experience or
- evidence of academic capability judged to be equivalent
Deakin University offers admission to postgraduate courses through a number of Admission categories.
All applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements.
Please note that meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee selection, which is based on merit, likelihood of success and availability of places in the course.
For more information on the Admission Criteria and Selection (Higher Education Courses) Policy visit the Deakin Policy Library
Recognition of prior learning
Students may be eligible to apply for credit for this course.
Pathways for credit are available for this course. Details of institutional credit agreements are published in the RPL database.
Students who complete the following courses will be guaranteed a place in the course and receive credit as specified:
Graduate Certificate of Therapeutic Child Play, 4 credit points
Fees and scholarships
Learn more about fees and your options for paying.
The available fee places for this course are detailed above. Not all courses at Deakin have Commonwealth supported places available.
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.
What is FEE-HELP?
FEE-HELP loans cover up to 100% of tuition fees for eligible students. By taking out a FEE-HELP loan, the government pays your tuition fees directly to Deakin, and the balance is repaid from your employment income - but only once you're earning over $46,620.
Please note: fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and based on 2021 rates. Actual fees may vary. We advise confirming fees with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.
Estimate your FEE-HELP
per pay cycle
after FEE-HELP and tax
per pay cycle
Your estimated FEE-HELP repayments
- $* is the estimated full cost for a Graduate Diploma of Therapeutic Child Play (8 credit points), based on the 2021 fees.
- is the annual FEE-HELP payment, based on your current salary
- of your current salary be spent on FEE-HELP
Deakin University (Deakin):
- gives no warranty and accepts no responsibility for the currency, accuracy or the completeness of the information provided;
- advises users that no reliance should be placed upon on the information provided, and;
- instructs users that they should confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.
This tool provides indicative information about the fees that will be payable in respect of courses and subjects offered to prospective students domiciled in Australia during the periods indicated.
Please note that the fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and actual fees may vary. Users are advised to confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.
The estimated course fee is based on the tuition fee costs applicable to a domestic full time student commencing the course in Trimester 1 and studying full time for the duration of the course but:
- does not include non-tuition costs that may apply, such as Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF);
- does not take into account any scholarships or bursaries awarded to the student (including the 10% Deakin alumni discount);
- assumes the maximum number of units that need to be successfully completed actual number completed may be reduced if recognition of prior learning is granted;
- assumes that no exceptional, or non-typical, circumstances apply to the proposed course of study;
- assumes that the options that the user selects are appropriate for the course of study that they intend to undertake;
- where fees are estimated for future years those fee will be subject to annual increases in accordance with increases in the cost of course delivery.
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.
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.
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.
This course provides a pathway to other postgraduate coursework programs.
Prospective Student Enquiry Centre
1800 693 888
Graduates will be eligible to work in professional healthcare teams, in individual private practice, and in a range of health, education and community contexts.
The Master course H705 Master of Child Play Therapy leads to professional recognition. This Postgraduate Diploma is a skills enhancement program that supports practitioners to engage new learning and enhance their existing skills.
Note: All information regarding professional recognition is accurate at the date of publication. Enquiries regarding accreditation and professional membership should be directed to the School of Health and Social Development in order to ascertain the current status of accreditation at any future point in time beyond publication. Representations about accreditation apply only to the course, and the relevant professional body retains discretion as to who they admit as members of their association. Deakin University cannot exercise any control over membership of an external body.
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.
Graduate Learning Outcomes
Course Learning Outcomes
Discipline Specific knowledge and capabilities
Integrate knowledge of attachment, child development, neuroscience and psychopathology to design, implement and scaffold a therapeutic child play intervention.
Demonstrate verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills necessary to convey ideas, proposals and findings, pertaining to therapeutic child play to a variety of audiences.
Use appropriate technologies to find, use and disseminate information; and use technologies consistent with ethico-legal requirements for the management of personal information and clinical record keeping.
Demonstrate an ethical research approach to identify, analyse and critically evaluate evidenced-based practice integrated with relevant literature.
Apply knowledge and skills to assess, plan, implement, evaluate a therapeutic treatment plan or refer to a Child Play Therapist or other Practitioner.
Demonstrate personal autonomy and professional judgement in the field of therapeutic child play showing responsibility and accountability, in conjunction with reflective and ethical practice.
Establish and maintain collaborative professional relationships demonstrating responsibility and accountability to the child, family and carers.
Demonstrate professional and ethical practice and respect for diverse social, cultural and environmental contexts that may impact children and families.