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Key details


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


Semester 1


Casuarina campus, Online
Not available to international students.

Credit points required


Course code



The Undergraduate Certificate Introduction to Social and Mental Health Care is a one-year, part-time course that offers you the opportunity to upskill, reskill and retrain in social and mental health care.

Available 100% online or on campus, this course will equip you with core skills and is a direct pathway into higher education courses in social work and psychology.

During this course you will acquire basic communication skills required for individual, family, and couples' therapy. You'll also learn about mental health and behavioural issues. This course is designed to support your learning needs and develop your study skills.

On completing the Undergraduate Certificate Introduction to Social and Mental Health Care, you'll be eligible to use the credits you've gained towards further study of a:

  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Bachelor of Psychology
  • Diploma of Social Care
  • Diploma of Counselling.

You may also use the Undergraduate Certificate as a pathway for entry into a variety of other higher education courses.

Advanced standing may be granted for some or all of the subjects you successfully complete. If further study is your intention, be sure to check the requirements of your preferred undergraduate degree to determine how many credits you can transfer.

Note: On current advice the Undergraduate Certificate must be completed by the end of 2025.


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.

All commonwealth-supported students who apply and commence this undergraduate certificate in 2022 will receive a 20% discount on their student contribution. The total cost of this course ranges from $5189.00 - $5850.00 + Student Services & Amenities fee and is dependent on your unit selection. The undiscounted price for this course ranges from $6486.00 - $7312.00 + Student Services & Amenities fee and again is dependent on your unit selection.

Information about unit fees can be found at Domestic Fees.

CDU College of Health & Human Sciences student

Why study community services & social work at CDU?

Study Social Work with us and make a real difference to local communities, families and individuals, or in the humanitarian aid industry abroad. You'll gain knowledge and skills through placements, intensive units and theoretical knowledge, and graduate as a culturally competent specialist ready to create change.

  • #2 Australian uni for graduate employment outcomes (GUG 2022)
  • #3 in Australia for social work starting salaries (GUG 2022)
  • Flexibility and support to study full-time or part-time, on campus or online

What will I study?

This 40-credit point course consist of two (2) core and two (2) specialist elective units. This course consists of a combination of introductory and first-year degree subjects, designed to help you develop core knowledge in social and mental health care and the necessary skills for successful university studies.

Course structure

A candidate must successfully complete units totalling 40 credit points (cp) as detailed below. All units are valued at 10 credit points unless indicated.

Unit type Credit Points Specific requirements
(2 units)
20cp Compulsory Core units totalling 20 credit points as detailed below.

SWK102 Communication Skills
PSY150 Introduction to Psychology A (replaces PSY140 from 2022)

Specialist Elective
(2 units)



Specialist Elective units totalling 20 credit points selected from one of the following specialisations below:

PSY151 Introduction to Psychology B (replaces PSY141 from 2022)
PSY116 Intercultural Sensitivity and Psychological Communication (replaces PSY115 from 2022)

Social Work
SWK101 Introduction to Human Services
SWK103 Social Work Skills A
HSC132 Introduction to Health Promotion

HSC119 Counselling Theory and Micro Skills (replaces PSY390 from 2022)
HSC211 Mental Health and Wellbeing (replaces PSY143/144 from 2022)

Alcohol and Other Drugs 
AOD202 Alcohol and Other Drugs Studies (replaces AOD201 from 2022)
AOD311 Counselling/ Interventions in Alcohol and Other Drugs Field (replaces AOD301 from 2022)

  40cp Total Credit Points


Students that have completed the previous unit prior to 2022 should not complete the new replacement unit.

Previous Unit Code New Unit Code New Unit Title
AOD201 AOD202 Alcohol and Other Drug Studies
AOD301 AOD311 Counselling/ Interventions in Alcohol and Other Drugs Field
PSY115 PSY116 Intercultural Sensitivity and Psychological Communication
PSY140 PSY150 Introduction to Psychology A
PSY141 PSY151 Introduction to Psychology B
PSY143/144 HSC211 Mental Health and Wellbeing
PSY390 HSC119 Counselling Theory and Micro Skills


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 part time load.

Part-time Study Plan

Legend: CO = Core Unit SE = Specialist Elective
Semester 1 Semester 2
Year 1
PSY150 Introduction to Psychology A (replaces PSY140) CO SWK102 Communication Skills CO
Specialist Elective 1 SE Specialist Elective 2 SE


Entry requirements

Admission criteria

  • Successful completion of the Northern Territory Certificate of Education and Training (or equivalent).
  • Successful completion of a national qualification at Certificate III level or higher.
  • Successful completion of at least 0.5 year of full-time study (or equivalent) of a higher education degree/diploma.
  • Overseas secondary or tertiary qualifications considered equivalent to the above Australian qualifications.
  • Attainment of a STAT Multiple Choice score of 125 or higher.
  • Successful completion of a recognised tertiary preparation course.
  • Submission of an acceptable personal competencies statement and/or employment experience.

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.

CDU brings social work to life. The lecturers are experts from various sectors of social work practice.


CDU Student

Chigozie on campus

Course details


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

Additional information

Can offers be deferred?
Undergraduate Certificate (Social and Mental Health Care)
College of Health and Human Sciences
Area of study
Community Services and Social Work, Psychology, Allied Health Sciences, Health

Contact details

For further information about the course, enrolment procedures, closing dates and other administrative issues please contact Student Central on:

Email: Phone: (08) 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.


Direct applications are available to students who have completed a CDU or BIITE course at a Certificate III level or higher. Most CDU and BIITE enabling programs are also accepted through this process.

If you do not meet any of the criteria above please visit Pathways to study to view the options available to you.


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

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