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Youth research

Youth research centres and expertise

Youth research centres

Australian Youth Research Centre (AYRC, or, YRC)
Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne

Established in 1988, this centre focuses on research and development that aims to enhance young people's learning and wellbeing. The YRC has expertise in research on education, transition pathways, social justice, health and work issues as they affect young people.  It is committed to fostering young people?s participation in research and in their communities. The YRC undertakes research and publishes the outcomes for policy makers and the youth sector; provides information and policy advice to governments and other organisations; assists and encourages individuals or groups working with young people.

Child and Youth Interdisciplinary Research Centre
(Website viewed June 2008).
The Child and Youth Interdisciplinary Research Centre is based at the University of Wollongong. It brings together researchers from a range of disciplines who work with social and cultural theory to address child and youth issues in local, national and international contexts. The purpose of the centre is to inform policy and practices affecting children and young people with a view to improving their quality of life. The centre has a commitment to work collaboratively with children and young people and with those services, networks and organisations that impact on their lives. The work of researchers in the centre focuses on environments (e.g. physical, cultural, social, institutional; local and global) and on young people (e.g. issues to do with marginalisation and social inequality).

Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth
Web site:
ARACY focuses on the impact of all social, economic and health investments and social interventions regarding children and young people.
The organisation was founded by a group of eminent experts and organisations who, noticing  increasingly worrying trends in the wellbeing of Australia's young people, saw the need to work together in new, collaborative ways in order to find solutions to the complex problems affecting Australia's youth. By using the latest information technology to span the distances of the nation ARACY has become a broker of collaborations, a disseminator of ideas and an advocate for Australia's future generation.

Also see:

University of Melbourne's Centre for Adolescent Health

Australian Catholic University: Quality of Life and Social Justice Flagship (St Patrick's Campus, Victoria)

RMIT: Global Studies, Social Science and Planning Unit

Studying youth studies

About youth work courses and youth studies in Australia

Youth studies courses and qualifications

  • Tertiary courses: All those universities with youth studies areas have the capacity to supervise postgraduate research candidates for Masters and PhD programs. A supervisor can help you in thinking about your postgraduate research and will direct you to resources and research in your general field. Some universities will have a research unit focused on your particular area of interest, containing the work of academics on that subject.

  • For non-tertiary youth work diploma information:
The information below includes tertiary courses listsed by state/territory, short courses, and international courses, some of which are  available to Australian students via distance education.

Courses by State

Courses relating to youth studies
by State/Territory:

Australian Catholic University Limited

Canberra campus:

* Master of Human Services
* Master of Human Services (Child protection)
* Postgraduate certificate in human services (Youth work)
* Postgraduate certificate in human services (child protection)

Also see Victoria section for their Melbourne campus courses.

ACT: Youth work diploma information:

NSW courses

University of Western Sydney, Bankstown campus
* Bachelor of Community Welfare (Youth Work) (See handbook)
* Graduate Certificate in Social Science (Child and Youth Studies) (See handbook)
* Graduate Diploma in Social Science (Child and Youth Studies) (See handbook)
* Master of Social Science (Child and Youth Studies) (See handbook)
Address: Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South, DC NSW 2214
Ph: 1800 897669
Web site:

University of New Castle's Family Action Centre has a range of programs and projects for those working or involved family services, childcare or education including courses on the education of boys in schools.

The NSW Institute of Psychiatry
For current courses, contact the institute at
Locked Bag 7118, Parramatta BC NSW 2150
Ph: (02) 9840 3833.

Queensland University of Technology, Carseldine Campus
For courses taught, contact faculty at: ph: (07) 3864 4611; Fax: (07) 3864 4995
Web site:

University of Queensland
The following three levels at UQ include Community and Adolescent Heath components:
Graduate Certificate in Health Studies
Graduate Diploma in Health Studies
Master of Health Studies
Web site:

(No tertiary courses listed at present)

Other sources of information:
Flinders University information
Tabor College information
TAFE SA information
Youth Health website on youth work training options.

Victorian courses

Australian Catholic University Limited

Melbourne campus:

Postgraduate certificate in human services
Postgraduate certificate in human services (Youth work)
See web site for contact details.

Also see ACT section for their Canberra campus courses.

RMIT University (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)

  • Bachelor of Social Science (Youth Work)
    Contact: Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, RMIT University GPO Box 2476V Melbourne Victoria 3001
    Ph: (03) 9925 2493 Fax: (03) 9925 1087
    Or contact RMIT admissions for current information:
    RMIT Office for Prospective Students, RMIT University
    GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne, Victoria 3001
    Ph: (03) 9925 2260.

  • Commonwealth Diploma in Youth Development Work
    RMIT University provides this two-year diploma via distance education in partnership with the Commonwealth Youth Programme. See details.

University of Melbourne

University of Melbourne
Australian Youth Research Centre
The YRC provides support for the Master of Youth Health and Education Management mentioned above via the University of Melbourne, as well as supervision of postgraduate studies (Masters by thesis or course work and PhD).
Address: Australian Youth Research Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010.
Ph: (03) 8344 9633; fax: (03) 8344 9632
Email: [email protected]

Victoria University
Footscray Campus

  • Bachelor of Arts (Youth Studies)
  • Masters of Education, Experiential Learning and Development (major streams: wilderness adventure-based therapy, community arts or youth development)

Contact details: Ph: (03) 9688 4861; fax: (03) 9688 4646
Web site: (link to course information)

Edith Cowan University, Joondalup Campus
* Bachelor of Social Science (Youth Work)
* Bachelor of Social Science (Youth Work) with Honours
* Bachelor of Arts (Education) / Bachelor of Social Science (Youth Health and Physical Activity)
Contact: the course advisor, ph: (08) 6304 6304.
Web site:

Disclaimer: ACYS is not the provider of any of these courses. Information here has been obtained from sources deemed to be reliable. However, in all instances, and before acting on this information, please contact the relevant course provider(s) for up-to-date details about their courses. This content is at present being updated (January 2008)

Short courses

Centre for Adolescent Health
Besides the courses of study mentioned, workshops and professional development short courses are available for on-campus study. See their website.

Mental health and youth: training courses

EPPIC Statewide Services provides education, consultation, and development support to early psychosis services in Victoria and around Australia.

ORYGEN Youth Health provides education and training on a range of issues related to youth mental health. The training is designed for a range of workers and professionals who wish to further enhance their skills and knowledge in youth mental health. The training programs are varied, offering a choice in training from an introductory level, through to a graduate diploma. Workshops, short courses, and a graduate diploma in mental health sciences are some of the choices available.

Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre Inc
Education and Training Unit

Turning Point is a registered training organisation integrating education and training with research and specialist clinical service delivery. Services are provided to new professionals, A&D specialists and other professionals and workers in the trade and corporate sector. Opportunities for student placement within the specialist clinic and research unit are available. Phone: (03) 8413 8413 Fax: 03 9416 3420
Web site:

UnitingCare Moreland Hall
Education and Training Unit

In the area of drug and alcohol issues, UnitingCare Moreland Hall has developed and delivered a range of specialised professional development training and can tailor programs to suit specific needs.
Phone: (03) 9386 2876
Fax: (03) 9383 6705
Web site:

Living Works: suicide intervention course:
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

Living Works ASIST, courses help attendees to learn how to identify and asist someone who is suicidal. Suitable for sports coaches, teachers, ministers, youth workers, health care workers, parents and community members. Contact: Community Network Support Worker
Queensland Government Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy
Northern Downs and Toowoomba Health Service Districts
PMB 2 Dalby Qld 4405
ph: (07) 4669 0501; fax: (07) 4669 0796; email: [email protected]

Workshops for young refugees

The Ecumenical Migration Centre of the Brotherhood of St Laurence holds workshops for young people or young people from refugee-like backgrounds that help develop skills in speaking out on behalf of yourself and/or your community. The topics addressed include: identifying issues of concern, working as a group, advocacy, leadership, public speaking and using the media.Contact the Ecumenical Migration Centre of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, Melbourne; ph: (03) 9483 1183

Youth Enterprise

From time to time there are training opportunities offered by the International Young Professionals Foundation, web site:

Disclaimer: ACYS is not the provider of any of these courses. In all instances, please contact the relevant course providers for more details. This list may not be exhaustive and despite our best efforts, may not be current. Information here has been obtained from sources deemed to be reliable. However, before acting on this information, check with the relevant course provider(s) for the current details about their courses.

Archival information:

The Resourceful Adolescent Program (RAP) aimed to develop, evaluate and disseminate school-based programs aimed at building resilience and designed to prevent adolescent depression. RAP consisted of the RAP-A program for adolescents and RAP-P for parents. Training events were offered at regular intervals at Griffith University, Mt Gravatt Campus, Brisbane, Australia, at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry in Sydney, Australia and in various locations in Tasmania, and Western Australia.

International youth studies courses

International courses of interest to Australian students

Commonwealth Diploma in Youth Development Work

RMIT provides this two-year diploma in partnership with the Commonwealth Youth Programme via distance education. It reaches youth workers in 40 member countries, in partnership with 25 universities and other institutions. The diploma's 14 modules provide youth workers with the knowledge and skills they need to be effective in their work, covering the theoretical and practical aspects relating to youth empowerment, development and leadership. The main objective of this programme is to equip youth practitioners and leaders with a set of generic core competencies in youth development, through knowledge, values and skills development. Applicants must be working in the field to qualify for admission to the course. The Diploma is funded through the Commonwealth, with an annual student fee of $900.00. To apply, send your details, including your address, to Jennifer Brooker, Coordinator Youthwork Programs VE&T; email: [email protected] or ph: (03) 9925 4115. (Source: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology email, 15 March 2007; updated 25 January 2008.)

Also see Brunel University information on their BA (hons) in Youth and Community, for those who hold the Commonwealth Diploma in youth development work.

New Zealand

University of Auckland
Diploma in Youth Studies
Contact Makiroa Ngametua, email: m.ngametua [AT]

Bachelor of Human Services (Youth Work)
Contact Dot Nicholls, email: d.nicholls [AT]

Workforce Development Ltd is a national private training organisation in New Zealand, providing training in a variety of areas, including youth work. (Certificate 3 and 4) See details.



The World Assembly of Youth, in conjunction with UNESCO, at times conducts a Certificate in Youth Studies program. See the TakingITGlobal web site at:

International Centre for Distance Learning, The Open University

New Zealand: Auckland College of Education

United Kingdom: see the Open University list of courses.

Other courses of interest to youth work

The National Training Information Service (NTIS) was developed by federal and state governments to provide access to current and emerging training market information and products in vocational education and training. It is useful for finding details of non-tertiary youth work courses, certificates and diplomas, inormation about youth worker qualifications and a list of providers of the Diploma of Community Services (Youth Work). See the NTIS web site.

Many other courses, such as social work, will lead to qualifications which can be used in the youth work field. Please check with individual institutions for details.

Short courses:

Short courses are offered from time to time in various States by institutions working in conjunction with a university. See our list of short courses.

Faith-based and Christian youth work courses:

Examples include the Bachelor of Arts (Youth Work) offered by Tabor College. Their Adelaide course is for those wishing to be eligible for employment in faith-based youth work initiatives, such as high school chaplaincy and local church youth worker positions as well as the broader community services youth sector. Also contact YFC Australia.

Sources of information on youth work

"Year 12 what next" is a guide to help Year 12 students plan their post-school education and training.

University courses:

  • 'Going to uni' The Course Information system is a searchable online database of courses offered by Australian universities and higher education providers that have been approved under the Higher Education Support Act 2003. It helps you find courses and to compare them on a nation-wide basis by a variety of criteria.

  • Good Universities Guides: this is now an online publication containing all you need to know about postgraduate course and higher education institution options in Australia. See:
  • Open Universities Australia is a flexible way to study toward a university degree when you can't study on-campus. The content of what you study, the units and the qualifications are exactly the same as those completed by on-campus students.

Training courses: 

National Training Information Service: use the NTIS database to trace providers of certificate and diploma qualifications in youth work; it is also a source of current and emerging training market information and products in vocational education and training.

Training information is also available through these resources:

  • EdNA (Education Network Australia) is a service that aims to support and promote the benefits of the Internet for learning, education and training in Australia. It is organised around Australian curriculum, its tools are free to Australian educators, and it is funded by the bodies responsible for education provision in Australia.