Make a positive difference to the lives of at-risk young people with the Certificate IV in Youth Work. Gain the skills and knowledge to develop and implement programs that address their social, behavioural, health, welfare, developmental and protection needs. This course teaches you to foster community engagement and participation across areas including, family violence, homelessness and more.

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

  • Nationally recognised training
    Nationally recognised training
  • TAFE Victoria
    TAFE Victoria
Interested in this course?

Find out more about this course and other Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses at one of our on-campus Try VET events. Get all the information you need to kickstart your career.

Your industry experience

Bolster your CV with real industry experience. This Certificate includes 120 hours of optional practical placement.

Skills you’ll learn

  • Address social needs of young people
  • Address behavioural needs of young people
  • Design and deliver programs
  • Address the health and welfare of young people

Your career opportunities

  • Youth worker
  • Youth housing support worker
  • Youth and family services worker
  • Residential care worker

Key codes

Hawthorn VTAC Code
Wantirna VTAC Code
International student visa

International students in Australia who hold student visas are required to study full-time and on campus. Courses that are taught entirely online are only available to international students studying outside Australia or those in Australia who are not on a student visa. Online courses are not available to international students in Australia who hold a student visa.

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.

Non school leavers without formal qualifications are welcome to apply.

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 students must hold a current Working with Children Check throughout the duration of the program.
  • All students must hold a current Police Check throughout the duration of the program* (* If a candidate believes there would be a disclosable issue on their Police Check, a confidential conversation will be required prior to enrolment to determine suitability for work within the community services environment).
  • Applicants will need to demonstrate literacy and numeracy competencies.
  • Students will need access to a computer with a reliable internet connection, with adequate speed and sufficient data allowance.

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 transfer is the recognition of academic credits gained through formal study (i.e. units of competency) completed either at another institute or in another qualification. The total amount of credit will vary from individual to individual, based on the unit/s that have been successfully completed. 

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the process of transferring the skills and knowledge that you have acquired over your lifetime (irrespective of how they were obtained) against the requirements of the unit.  

RPL is an assessment process that requires you to provide evidence that demonstrates how you meet the requirements of the unit/s. The amount and types of evidence you will need to provide will depend on the unit requirements.

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 be awarded this qualification, students will need to complete 17 units, including 15 core and two electives and successfully complete an optional  practical  placement of 120 hours. 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: 1040

Your units

Units of study Unit code
Core units
Work legally and ethically
Core unit, 55.0 credit points
Participate in workplace health and safety
Core unit, 20.0 credit points
Use communication to build relationships
Core unit, 55.0 credit points
Work with diverse people
Core unit, 40.0 credit points
Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety
Core unit, 25.0 credit points
Recognise and respond appropriately to domestic and family violence
Core unit, 50.0 credit points
Work effectively in trauma informed care
Core unit, 40.0 credit points
Work with people with mental health issues
Core unit, 80.0 credit points
Plan and conduct group activities
Core unit, 70.0 credit points
Identify and report children and young people at risk
Core unit, 40.0 credit points
Respond to critical situations
Core unit, 100.0 credit points
Provide services for the needs and circumstances of young people
Core unit, 100.0 credit points
Engage respectfully with young people
Core unit, 60.0 credit points
Work effectively with young people in the youth work context
Core unit, 60.0 credit points
Support young people to create opportunities in their lives
Core unit, 45.0 credit points
Elective units
Work in an alcohol and other drugs context
Elective unit, 80.0 credit points
Work with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness
Elective unit, 85.0 credit points

2024 fees

Full fee* ($AUD)


Skills first government-subsidised place* ($AUD)


Yearly fee* ($AUD)


2024 fees

Yearly fee* ($AUD)


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 2024 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. International tuition fees are generally inclusive of Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). 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.

Apply through VTAC

International students currently studying Year 12 in Australia must apply through VTAC. VTAC is the central office that administers the application processes for places in tertiary courses, scholarships and the Special Entry Access Scheme at universities, TAFEs and independent tertiary colleges in Victoria. 

VTAC is the central office that administers the application processes for places in tertiary courses, scholarships and the Special Entry Access Scheme at universities, TAFEs and independent tertiary colleges in Victoria.

Hawthorn VTAC code
Apply through VTAC
Wantirna VTAC code
Apply through VTAC
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