Use your lived experience with mental health to assist others by studying the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work. Learn skills to work in roles that support the promotion of wellbeing. This course is presented online and on campus by experienced facilitators and uses actor simulations to teach workplace practice scenarios. 

This is a nationally approved vocational course that is recognised throughout Australia.

  • Nationally recognised training
    Nationally recognised training
  • TAFE Victoria
    TAFE Victoria
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Your industry experience

To maximise experiential learning, you’ll also get real-world work experience in the form of placements. Completion of this course requires you to complete 80 hours (a minimum) of workplace training.

Skills you’ll learn

  • Theoretical training
  • Communication skills
  • Coaching skills
  • Listening skills

Your career opportunities

  • Peer practitioner
  • Mental health peer support worker
  • Consumer advocate
  • Carer
  • Family peer support

Location options

Diploma of Community Services

Study Community Services at Swinburne

Have a passion to work in the community services industry? Put your learnings into practice with our Diploma of Community Services.


Applicants require a minimum of completion of Year 12 or equivalent and be at least 18 years of age.

Non school leavers without formal qualifications are welcome to apply.

One of the following:

  • successful completion of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or its equivalent, such as an interstate or international Year 12 qualification
  • completion or partial completion of an approved tertiary qualification (including certificates IV (completed), diplomas, advanced diplomas, associate degrees and degrees).

You’ll be guaranteed a place in this course if you meet or exceed the ATAR Guaranteed Entry Score, provided you meet the course prerequisites.

If your ATAR is below the guaranteed entry score, you can still be offered a place as your ATAR may be adjusted based on subject bonuses, equity schemes or other factors. Use the above ATAR as a guide on your eligibility, and see the course handbook page for more information on entry requirements. 

Successful completion of Australian Year 12, or equivalent overseas qualification.

Other requirements

The following additional criteria for entry apply for this course:

  • All applicants must be a minimum of 18 years old at the commencement of the course
  • All applicants must have lived experience of mental illness as a consumer or carer
  • All students must have a valid Working With Children Check (or be prepared to obtain this prior to placement)
  • All students must have a valid National Police Check (or be prepared to obtain this prior to placement) *If a candidate believes there would be a disclosable issue on their National Police Check, a confidential conversation will be required prior to enrolment to determine suitability for work within the non-clinical mental health environment
  • Applicants will need to demonstrate literacy and numeracy competencies.
  • Access to a computer with an internet connection, a microphone and a webcam.

Informed Choices Statement

View the Informed Choices statement, which provides information about the inherent requirements of community services, specifically the essential physical and behavioural abilities needed to perform assessment tasks, professional placements and progress to a career in this field. This information is intended to assist you to choose whether you can successfully participate in and complete a course.

Admission requirements

Meeting the minimum entry requirements for the course does not guarantee an offer of a place. See admission requirements for general information about the admission process.

English language requirements

Satisfactory completion of one of the following:

Need to undertake an English assessment for entry?

A prerequisite for many courses, the Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic) can now be done at our Hawthorn campus.

Credit transfer

Credit is granted in recognition of previous study and allows students to gain advanced standing towards their course. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) allows students to gain credit (advanced standing) towards their course in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/or formal training. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Finding your fit

At Swinburne, we recognise that not one size fits all. If this course doesn’t meet all your study criteria, check out these alternatives.

Course structure

To obtain the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work students must complete 15 units made up of 8 core and 7 elective units in addition to a 80 hour work placement. Students will be supported in finding a suitable work placement.

The course includes a mix of delivery methods, such as face-to-face class time, online work, and project work.

Assessment requires group work, actor simulation, role play, written assignments. Students may be required to attend other campuses from time to time for events and other course engagements.

Core units
Elective units
Indicative nominal course hours: 870

Your units

Units of study Unit code
Core units
Work with diverse people
Core unit, 40.0 credit points
Participate in workplace health and safety
Core unit, 20.0 credit points
Assess and promote social, emotional and physical wellbeing
Core unit, 80.0 credit points
Contribute to the continuous improvement of mental health services for consumers and carers
Core unit, 40.0 credit points
Promote and facilitate self advocacy
Core unit, 50.0 credit points
Work effectively in trauma informed care
Core unit, 40.0 credit points
Apply peer work practices in the mental health sector
Core unit, 35.0 credit points
Apply lived experience in mental health peer work
Core unit, 40.0 credit points
Elective units
Work with people with mental health issues
Elective unit, 80.0 credit points
Work effectively in consumer mental health peer work
Elective unit
Reflect on and improve own professional practice
Elective unit, 120.0 credit points
Provide services to people with co-existing mental health and alcohol and other drugs issues
Elective unit, 90.0 credit points
Plan and conduct group activities
Elective unit, 70.0 credit points
Recognise and respond to crisis situations
Elective unit
Work effectively with carers as a mental health peer worker
Elective unit

2024 fees

Full fee* ($AUD)


Skills first government-subsidised place* ($AUD)


Concession rate* ($AUD)


2024 fees

Fees are estimates only

Fees published on this page are estimates only and are subject to change depending on individual circumstances at the time of enrolment. The above fees apply for units studied in 2023 only and may change for units studied in future years. There may be additional costs related to learning material and equipment.

Fees are estimates only

The indicative course fees shown apply to international students for the relevant year only. They are based on a standard study load per year. However, please note that fees are assessed according to a student's study load in each semester, and variation to study load will result in an adjustment to tuition fees. All fees are subject to annual review and may be adjusted.

Skills first government-subsidised place

To qualify for a government-subsidised place, you must meet various eligibility criteria. The course you’ve applied for must also be offering government-subsidised places. Swinburne will determine your eligibility by conducting a full assessment of your eligibility during the course application process.

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your Swinburne fees in person, via credit card, BPAY, or at Australia Post. Check to see if loans and employer sponsored training are also available.

International students need to pay tuition fees up-front by the relevant due date. You can find the due dates on your Statement of Account.

To pay your fees:

  • log in to My Financials
  • check your Australian bank account details are correct 
  • check your Statement of Account to see how much you owe 
  • pay using your preferred payment method.

Concessions rates for vocational students

If you’re enrolling in a Certificate IV-level program or below, are eligible for a government-subsidised training place and hold a valid concession card, you may be eligible for a concession of 80 per cent off the published fee of your unit(s) tuition – which means you’ll only be charged 20 per cent of the published fee.

  • Portrait   Female Nurse  Scrubs  Hospital Work  Smiling  Happy  Clipboard

    Study this course for free in 2023

    You could have your tuition fees covered in 2023 thanks to the Victorian Government's Free TAFE for Priority Courses initiative. 

    Free TAFE for Priority Courses is available to any Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizen.

    There are other factors, too. The best way to find out if you’re eligible is to apply!


Scholarship applications for 2023 are open. Scholarships at Swinburne are about providing opportunity, promoting equity and recognising excellence and achievement. We want you to reach your potential and achieve your life and career goals. 

Our handy guide will assist you to gather documents for your application.

When you apply for a Swinburne course, we automatically consider you for an international scholarship of up to 30 per cent off your course fees – no separate application required! Just apply for your Swinburne course of choice and when we review your course application, we will also assess you for an international scholarship.

Apply through an agent

Most international students use an education agent to help them through the application process. Swinburne has agents all over the world that can help you with your application to study. Search for a Swinburne representative in your country. If your country is not listed, please contact us.

Representatives and agents
Search for agents

Apply directly

Ready to take on a new challenge and reach your academic goals? If you already know which course you want to study and understand the entry requirements, what are you waiting for? Apply online! Remember, you cannot apply direct if you have an active VTAC application.

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