Skip to main content

Key details


Not available full-time
2 year/s part-time


Semester 1


Casuarina campus, Online
Not available to international students.

Credit points required


Course code



Unleash your creative side to help others. Our Graduate Diploma of Creative Therapies provides you with sound theoretical and practical foundations in creative therapies - therapies that include art, play, dance, drama, and music.

Specifically, our graduate diploma course has been designed to equip practitioners who work with diverse client groups to utilise creative therapies in your practice.

Our Graduate Diploma of Creative Therapies imparts the necessary skills in research, evaluation, and professional practice to enable you to choose suitable therapies and to accommodate the unique challenges of each client.

Our unique course blends Western approaches with Aboriginal healing practices and knowledges.

The course is designed for people working in health, community, justice, education, and cognate fields, as well as individuals who work in Aboriginal and cross-cultural communities.

Credit transfers and advanced standing


Pathways for Higher Education to Higher Education

For information about credit transfer available to students with complete or incomplete study at this or other Institutions refer to Pathways for Higher Education to Higher Education

Credit transfer

For further information on credit transfer and how to apply visit ASK CDU


Commonwealth supported places

Commonwealth Supported places are available in this course to students who meet one of the following residency requirements:

(a) Australian Citizenship; or

(b) a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident visa holder who will be resident within Australia for the duration of the unit.

2022: Information about fees and charges can be found at Fees and Payments.


Non-Commonwealth supported places

Full fee paying places are available in this course.
2022: Information about fees and charges can be found at Fees and Payments.

CDU Social Work and Psychology program

Why study psychology at CDU?

Gain a deeper understanding of human behaviour and make a positive impact on the lives of other people when you study psychology with us. Becoming a psychologist is only one of many potential careers, with graduates finding a wide variety of roles in government organisations, community services, advertising and marketing, preventative health, and more.

  • #2 Australian uni for undergraduate employment outcomes (GUG 2022)
  •  #3 in Australia for psychology starting salaries (GUG 2022)
  • Study on campus or online, full-time or part-time as it suits you


What will I study?

Our Graduate Diploma of Creative Therapies comprises units totalling 80 credit points (8 units). During the first four units of this course, you will learn the key principles of creative therapies, specifically how to apply art, play, dance, drama, and music therapies to diverse clients - such as individuals who have been exposed to trauma, refugees, and members of Aboriginal communities. During the final set of four units, you will learn how to apply and adapt these therapies to challenging circumstances - such as more complex cases. To achieve this goal, you will learn about research, evaluation, ethical principles, legal principles, and professional practices.

Course structure

A candidate must successfully complete units totalling 80 credit points as detailed below. All units are valued at 10 credit points unless indicated.

Unit typeCredit PointsSpecific requirements
Core Units
(6 units)

Compulsory Core units totalling 60 credit points as per the list of units detailed below:

SWK571 Creative Therapy: Principles and Practices
SWK572 Creative Ways of Working with Children and Young People
SWK573 Creative Ways of Working with Diverse Groups
SWK575 Creative Approaches to Case Work and Assessments
SWK576 Research and Evaluation of Creative Therapies
SWK556 Trauma Informed Practice

Specialist Electives
(2 units)

Specialist Elective units totalling 20 credit points selected from the list of available units detailed below:

IAS530 Neocolonialism, Advocacy and the Critique of Development
IAS533 Indigenous Knowledges and Epistemologies
PHM525 Indigenous Health Research
PHM527 Research, Ethics and Impact (new title 2021)
PHM588 Qualitative Research (new title 2021)
PHM593 Tropical Child and Adolescent Health

 80cpTotal Credit Points

Students who commenced in or after 2013
The grade of "PC" cannot be counted towards a Graduate Diploma AQF Level 8 course award. 
Students should refer to the current Grading Policy and Common Course Rules for further information.

Course Changes - 2021

Please note the following course structure change:

SWK574 Creative Ways of Working with Trauma has been removed and is no longer required.

Study plan

Students commencing in Semester 1

The Recommended Study Plan provided below is suitable for a student commencing in semester 1 and enrolling in a standard load. Students entering this course with advanced standing, or wishing to reduce or vary their study plan due to work, personal, financial or other reasons should use the table as a guide to create an individual study plan.

Legend:CO = Core UnitSE = Specialist Elective
Semester 1Semester 2
Year 1
SWK571 Creative Therapy: Principles and PracticesCOSWK573 Creative Ways of Working with Diverse GroupsCO
SWK572 Creative Ways of Working with Children and Young PeopleCOSWK556 Trauma Informed PracticeCO
Year 2
SWK575 Creative Approaches to Case Work and AssessmentsCOSWK576 Research and Evaluation of Creative TherapiesCO
Specialist Elective 1SESpecialist Elective 2SE

Students commencing in Semester 2

This course is not available for entry in Semester 2.

Entry requirements

Admission criteria

Successful completion of a bachelor degree or equivalent international qualification or a Graduate Certificate of Creative Therapies from Charles Darwin University.

Essential requirements

English language requirements

To gain entry into Charles Darwin University, all Higher Education applicants must satisfy the University's English Language Proficiency Requirements for their chosen course of study. International applicants will be required to supply evidence of this at the time of application.

The minimum English language requirement for this course is met by either undertaking previous education in an English-speaking country or undertaking one of the following English language tests and obtaining the minimum requirements listed below.

IELTS Academic ModuleA minimum overall score of 6.5 with no band less than 6.0.
Cambridge Advanced English (CAE)A minimum overall score of 176, with no skill below 169.
Common European Framework Certificate of English ProficiencyA minimum overall grade of C1, valid for three years from the date of the test to the date of commencement at CDU.
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic moduleA minimum overall score of 58 with no score lower than 50.
TOEFL Internet-based Test (iBT)A minimum overall score of 79 with a minimum writing score of 21.

* All tests are valid for two years from the date of the test to the date of commencement at CDU, unless otherwise specified.
* Where applicable, international applicants must also satisfy the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) English language requirements for student visa applications.

Do you have a question regarding English requirements at CDU? Please email:


If you haven't studied for a while or need to improve on your grades from high school, enrol in CDU's free Tertiary Enabling Program (TEP). This will help you lay the academic foundations to help you succeed as an undergraduate.


CDU Student

CDU Arts student Allyce smiling

Course details


This course is accredited by the University in accordance with the Higher Education Standards.

Australian qualification framework

This course is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 8.

Additional information

Can offers be deferred?
Graduate Diploma of Creative Therapies
College of Health and Human Sciences
Area of study
Psychology, Health, Allied Health Sciences

Contact details

For further information about the course, enrolment procedures, closing dates and other administrative issues please contact Student Central on: 8946 7766 or 1800 061 963 (free call)

You make CDU

Together we are a positive force for change in our communities and the world.

How to apply

There are many ways to apply to CDU. The method you use depends on your course type, where you live and whether you are a new or returning student to CDU.

Remember to apply early for your best chance at securing an offer to study with us.


SATAC is the application channel for residents of NT, ACT, SA, WA, QLD, VIC or TAS.


UAC is the application channel for residents of NSW.


UAC Code
Casuarina campus (CSP)
Casuarina campus (FF)
Online (CSP)
Online (FF)
* CSP = Commonwealth supported place
FF = Full fee

We’re here to help you

By submitting this form you agree to receive future student communications such as key date reminders, study tips, real student stories and more. Of course, you can unsubscribe at any time. See our privacy policyfor more information.