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Graduate Diploma of Ageing and Pastoral Studies

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CSU’s Graduate Diploma of Ageing and Pastoral Studies will give you the skills and experience you need to make a real difference to people’s lives. You will be able to initiate, plan, implement and evaluate effective pastoral and spiritual care for older people, ensuring they receive the spiritual support they need across a wide range of residential and community settings. 


The Graduate Diploma of Ageing and Pastoral Studies is related to:


  • Why study this course?

    The Graduate Diploma of Ageing and Pastoral Studies provides a comprehensive learning experience, delivered by leading experts in the fields of pastoral and spiritual care.

    Our teaching cohort has wide-ranging industry links, so you gain knowledge about the whole discipline and can apply what you learn to workplace situations.

    The course is suitable for students from a variety of academic backgrounds. You can study this course if you have completed an undergraduate degree in one of a number of other fields – including Theology, Social Work and Psychology – or CSU’s Graduate Certificate in Aging and Pastoral Studies. Whatever your background, this course builds on your experience.

    The comprehensive curriculum will equip you to apply advanced knowledge, skills and research to a range of residential and community aged care contexts – making you highly employable. Your enhanced knowledge will also prepare you to take on management and leadership positions within the field of pastoral and spiritual care.

    CSU offers flexible learning options, so you can study in a way that fits in with your life. We are the leading Australian institution for providing online education to university students. This course also provides opportunities for studying at residential schools, where you gain practical experience and connect with a dedicated, diverse student group.

    The Graduate Diploma of Ageing and Pastoral Studies can also be your pathway to a higher degree by research.

  • Career opportunities
    The skills and knowledge you develop during the Graduate Diploma of Ageing and Pastoral Studies could be applied to a number of career areas, including:

    •    Pastoral care
    •    Nursing
    •    Case management
    •    Aged care lifestyle coordination
    •    Allied health
    •    Health care
    •    Chaplain
  • Subjects

    The below information is for new students. Current students should select their subjects by checking the Handbook for the year of their enrolment

    Course structure

    Graduate Certificate in Ageing and Pastoral Studies (32) [Exit Point Only]

    THL445 Foundations for Pastoral and Spiritual Care of Older People
    THL446 Pastoral and Spiritual Care of Older People
    THL451 Theological and Ethical Issues for People in Later Life
    and either:
    GER402 Ageing Bodies, Ageing Minds
    or
    WEL424 Loss, Grief and Palliative Care for Older People

    Graduate Diploma of Ageing and Pastoral Studies (64)

    Core Subjects (40):
    THL445 Foundations for Pastoral and Spiritual Care of Older People
    THL446 Pastoral and Spiritual Care of Older People
    THL451 Theological and Ethical Issues for People in Later Life
    GER402 Ageing Bodies, Ageing Minds
    WEL424 Loss, Grief and Palliative Care for Older People

    Students may choose to exit with a Graduate Certificate in Ageing and Pastoral Studies (32) upon completion of THL445, THL446, THL451 and either GER402 or WEL424.

    Restricted Electives (24)

    Choose three subjects (24) from the following:
    THL400 Pastoral Counselling Skills
    THL435 Applied Pastoral Theology
    THL444 Pastoral and Spiritual Care in Residential and Community Aged Care Settings
    THL521 Theological Ethics for the Helping Professions
    THL530 Social Research Methods for Pastoral Studies
    THL564 Mental Health Challenges for Pastoral and Spiritual Care
    THL566 Pastoral Practice in Ageing: Politics, Policy and Principles

    Master of Ageing and Pastoral Studies (96)

    Core Subjects (48)
    THL445 Foundations for Pastoral and Spiritual Care of Older People
    THL446 Pastoral and Spiritual Care of Older People
    THL451 Theological and Ethical Issues for People in Later Life
    GER402 Ageing Bodies, Ageing Minds
    WEL424 Loss, Grief and Palliative Care for Older People
    THL530 Social Research Methods for Pastoral Studies

    and one of the following streams

    Professional Practice (48)

    THL560 Issues in Ageing: Project (16)
    (to be completed at the end of the student’s study in the program)

    and choose 32 points from the following Restricted Electives (at least 16 points must be at the 500 level):

    Restricted Electives (32)
    THL400 Pastoral Counselling Skills
    THL435 Applied Pastoral Theology
    THL444 Pastoral and Spiritual Care in Residential and Community Aged Care Settings
    THL521 Theological Ethics for the Helping Professions
    THL564 Mental Health Challenges for Pastoral and Spiritual Care
    THL566 Pastoral Practice in Ageing: Politics, Policy and Principles
    MIN550 Advanced Seminar in Chaplaincy (16)

    Research (48)

    THL660 Masters Dissertation in Ageing and Pastoral Studies (32)
    (to be completed at the end of the student’s study in the program)

    and choose 16 points from the following Restricted Electives:

    Restricted Electives (16):
    THL400 Pastoral Counselling Skills
    THL435 Applied Pastoral Theology
    THL444 Pastoral and Spiritual Care in Residential and Community Aged Care Settings
    THL521 Theological Ethics for the Helping Professions
    THL564 Mental Health Challenges for Pastoral and Spiritual Care
    THL566 Pastoral Practice in Ageing: Politics, Policy and Principles
    MIN550 Advanced Seminar in Chaplaincy (16)

    Students may choose to exit with a Graduate Certificate in Ageing and Pastoral Studies (32) upon completion of THL445, THL446, THL451, and either GER402 or WEL424.

    Students may choose to exit with a Graduate Diploma of Ageing and Pastoral Studies (64) upon completion of the core subjects (40) THL445, THL446, THL451, GER402, WEL424, and three Restricted Electives (24).

    Enrolment pattern

    Graduate Certificate in Ageing and Pastoral Studies (32) [Exit Point Only]

    Session 1
    THL445 Foundations for Pastoral and Spiritual Care of Older People
    THL451 Theological and Ethical Issues for People in Later Life

    Session 2
    THL446 Pastoral and Spiritual Care of Older People
    GER402 Ageing Bodies, Ageing Minds 

    Graduate Diploma of Ageing and Pastoral Studies (64)

    Session 1
    THL445 Foundations for Pastoral and Spiritual Care of Older People
    THL451 Theological and Ethical Issues for People in Later Life

    Session 2
    THL446 Pastoral and Spiritual Care of Older People
    GER402 Ageing Bodies, Ageing Minds

    Session 3
    WEL424 Loss, Grief and Palliative Care for Older People
    1 x Restricted Elective (8)

    Session 4
    2 x Restricted Electives (16)

    Master of Ageing and Pastoral Studies (96)

    Session 1
    THL445 Foundations for Pastoral and Spiritual Care of Older People
    THL451 Theological and Ethical Issues for People in Later Life

    Session 2
    THL446 Pastoral and Spiritual Care of Older People
    GER402 Ageing Bodies, Ageing Minds

    Session 3
    WEL424 Loss, Grief and Palliative Care for Older People
    THL530 Social Research Methods for Pastoral Studies

    Session 4
    2 x Restricted Electives (16)

    Session 5
    Either
    2 x Restricted Electives (16)
    or
    THL660 Masters Dissertation in Ageing and Pastoral Studies (32) (Commenced)

    Session 6
    Either
    THL560 Issues in Ageing: Project (16)
    or
    THL660 Masters Dissertation in Ageing and Pastoral Studies (32) (Completed)

  • Residential schools

    The following subjects may have a residential school component:

    THL435 Applied Pastoral Theology
    THL521 Theological Ethics for the Helping Professions
    THL400 Pastoral Counselling Skills

  • Admission information
    1. Successful completion of an undergraduate degree in either Theology, Social Work, Psychology, or equivalent;
      or
    2. Successful completion of the CSU Graduate Certificate in Ageing and Pastoral Studies, or equivalent.

    See standard CSU admission criteria

  • Cost of study

    Fees - please visit the fees and costs page or contact us for current fee information.

    Tax deduction - in some instances a tax deduction may be claimed for self education expenses. Please seek independent qualified taxation advice.

    Alumni discount

    Already studied with CSU? Our 10% Alumni discount applies to this course!
    Find out more

  • Course details

    Campus locations listed for Distance Education students are purely for administrative purposes and have no relevance to the student experience.

    Enrol TypeModeCampusFee typeSession1Session2Session3Admission Code
    DirectDistance Education
    On Campus
    CanberraFPPGYYNOADJ
    DirectDistance EducationCanberraFPOSYYNJADJ

    LEGEND
    CGS: Commonwealth Government supported places
    FPPG: Fee-paying postgraduate places
    FPOS: Fee-paying overseas student places
    Admission Code: For your reference if required during your application process
    NO TAC: An admission code is not required for applications to CSU Study Centres
    TEMP: An admission code has not yet been assigned for this course

    Graduation requirements

    To graduate, students must satisfactorily complete 64 points as outlined in the course structure.

  • How to apply
    Apply direct to CSU

    An online application to CSU takes about 15 minutes to complete. Find out more

    Apply online

    Apply direct to CSU

    Apply direct to CSU for on campus study at a CSU regional campus, or study by distance education.

    Apply online

    Recruitment agent

    Contact a Recruitment agent in your country who can answer your questions about CSU as well as help with the student visa application process.

    International recruitment agents

    Thinking of deferring?

    Find out more about deferral

  • About the School
    School of Theology

    CSU’s School of Theology has an established reputation for its emphasis on student learning, quality teaching and research. The ethos of the School is ecumenical, with staff drawn from a variety of Christian traditions, all committed to developing and delivering a comprehensive, rigorous and vibrant theological education. Combined with a flexible learning environment and four teaching sites, the School provides a wide range of learning opportunities to students who wish to explore their faith and beliefs as well as those of other cultures. Students can study on campus at CSU’s Canberra and Parramatta campuses or via distance education. The School is also affiliated with St Barnabas Theological College in Adelaide and St Francis College in Brisbane and there may be opportunities for students to study some parts of their course at these locations.

  • Preparing for Study

    STUDY LINK

    This School recommends any of the following short, self-paced, online STUDY LINK subjects to students who wish to reinforce knowledge and skills prior to starting at CSU:

    • SSS021 - Transition to University Study

    These subjects are particularly useful for those people who feel that they may have knowledge gaps and need a refresher because they have not studied for some time. STUDY LINK subjects are free for CSU Commonwealth-supported students as soon as they accept their offer of a place; small fees apply for others. They are non-credit bearing subjects.  A Subject Coordinator assists students with any questions. The full subject list and enrolment forms are on the STUDY LINK website.

  • Academic expectations

    For each 8 point subject at CSU, students should normally expect to spend between 140-160 hours engaged in the specified learning and assessment activities (such as attending lectures or residential schools, assigned readings, tutorial assistance, individual or group research/study, forum activity, workplace learning, assignments or examinations). The student workload for some subjects may vary from these norms as a result of approved course design.

    Students will be assessed on the basis of completed assignments, examinations, workplace learning, or other methods as outlined in specific subject outlines.

    Where applicable, students are responsible for travel and accommodation costs involved in workplace learning experiences, or attending residential schools (distance education students).

    Expectations relating to academic, workplace learning, time and cost requirements for specific subjects are provided in the subject abstracts and in course materials.

    Throughout their studies, CSU students have a responsibility to continue to develop skills in English Language, literacy and numeracy as appropriate to their discipline. This ongoing development will enable students to effectively participate in their course and graduate as competent professionals.

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