1.5 years full time
Delivery mode:
Face to Face with eLearning
Start date:
31 January 2024
Application due dates:
Applications for this course are currently being accepted.


Develop specialised skills for working with disadvantaged groups in community welfare with a Diploma of Community Services CHC52021 at Victoria University (VU).

Building on your experience in service work and client support, you’ll discover new ways to make a genuine difference in the lives of individuals and families.

As a VU student, you’ll get real workplace experience in local community organisations. The practical experience you’ll gain on placement will set you up with the confidence for a successful career in community services – and placements often lead to paid roles.

In this community services course, you’ll focus on learning to deliver, manage, and coordinate programs for people with diverse needs. You’ll build skills including:

  • advocating for people who need support
  • counselling
  • facilitating group work.

By studying at VU, you’ll tap into our strong partner network of community organisations to complete your work placement, gaining practical experience and strengthening your network.

Benefit from VU’s strong history of local community engagement and find a placement that aligns with your skills and interests. Our health and social assistance partnerships include:


Studying your Diploma of Community Services at VU means you’ll benefit from guaranteed entry and a smooth transition into a Bachelor of Social Work.

In this degree you’ll gain an in-depth knowledge on supporting individuals, groups and communities. You’ll also practise your skills under the supervision of experienced social workers in two work placements in different human service agency settings. 

Join us at one of our information sessions to find out more about our courses in community services, community development, youth work, mental health, and alcohol and other drugs. The sessions will cover:

  • the course structure
  • information industry connections
  • placement opportunities
  • pathways to further study.

Sessions will be held online via Zoom on:

  • Monday 11 December, 12–1pm
  • Wednesday 20 December, 10.30–11.30am.

Register for an information session.

Need some advice?

Request a call back from one of our experienced Victoria University Polytechnic course advisers to get your questions answered.

Request a call back

TAFE resources

Careers in community services

As a community services worker, you’ll enjoy a rewarding and fulfilling career making a real difference to the lives of individuals and communities.

With this community services course, you’ll be ready to work in a variety of roles including:

  • homeless support worker
  • child protection worker
  • community services worker
  • family support worker
  • program facilitator
  • group facilitator
  • case worker.

Course structure

To be awarded the CHC52021 Diploma of Community Services, a total of twenty (20) units of competency must be achieved, comprising of:

  • twelve (12) core units, and;
  • eight (8) elective units, of which:
  • at least six (6) must be the electives listed in Group A, B, C, D or E
  • up to two (2) may be from the training package or any endorsed Training Package or accredited course.


VU Polytechnic delivers the electives listed in the ‘course structure and units’ below. These electives have been selected based on industry needs, graduate pathways and/or student and teacher feedback. Alternative suitable electives are only available via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer (CT).



Group A, B, C and D Electives

Victoria University is not offering any electives from Group A, B, C or D at this time

Group E - General Electives

At this level, workers have specialised skills in community services and work autonomously within their scope of practice under broad directions from senior management. Workers support people to make change in their lives to improve personal and social wellbeing and may also have responsibility for the supervision of other workers and volunteers. They may also undertake case management and program coordination.

Fees & scholarships

Fee type for this course: VET

Fee type definitions

The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re offered a government subsidised place or a full fee-paying place.

Students who enrol in a:

  • government subsidised place pay subsidised tuition fees (the government contributes the rest), and may be required to pay a Student Services and Amenities Fee along with any material fees
  • full fee-paying place pay the full fee tuition rate (which includes Student Services and Amenities Fee and any material fees).

Calculate your VET course fees.

Find out more about:

Scholarships & assistance

Apply for a scholarship to help with your study costs.

We can help with fee assistance and advice.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course. Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs.

Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course.
All applicants are required to complete the following to determine suitability for admission:
complete a Pre-training Review (PTR); and
- must undertake a literacy and numeracy assessment
Practical Placement:
For employment and practical placement purposes, this vocational sector typically requires:
a current and satisfactory Police Record Check
- a current and valid Working with Children Check
- If required by the fieldwork placement host/school, students may need to provide evidence of NDIS Worker Screening Check and/or COVID-19 vaccination.
The following are suggested sites you could visit to obtain these checks:
Police Record Check - http://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=274
- Working with Children Check - http://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

Use our credit calculator to find out how much credit you could get towards your course, based on your previous study.

You may be able to complete your qualification sooner through formal recognition of your existing skills. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

To receive RPL, we assess your previous work, education and life experiences against recognised qualifications. Applications for RPL can be made prior to enrolling.

Call us on 1300 TAFE VP (1300 823 387) to discuss RPL options with the course manager.

On completion of this course you will be guaranteed entry into the following degree and in some cases receive credit for your study:

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

You will be credited for up to 96 credit points of study.

You will be credited for up to 48 credit points of study.

Find out more about our study pathways to VU

How to apply

Prior to enrolment, all applicants will be required to complete a literacy and numeracy assessment to assist with determining eligibility and to identify learning support needs.

Available start dates:

  • 31 January 2024

Before you apply

Before starting your application, please read through the step-by-step VU Polytechnic application process to make sure you have all the necessary documents and information ready to successfully complete your application.

Before applying, you should consider whether you also want to apply for:

Apply direct to VU

Apply direct to VU using our admission centre, submit applications for one or more courses, track and save your progress and upload additional information.

Apply direct to VU

Already a VU student?

If you are already a VU student, apply direct to VU using our Admissions centre to transfer into this course. Remember it’s best to be accepted into your new course before withdrawing from your current one.

After you apply

  • It’s important to check for emails from us (which may go to your spam/junk folder).
  • Complete any requests for information by the given dates, otherwise your application may not be considered

Enquire now – TAFE

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Contact VU Polytechnic

Please note that if changes to this course occur, VU will notify students as soon as possible.

At Victoria University, we aim to display accurate and complete course information online. However, we are unable to guarantee that every course change is currently displayed. You may contact the University directly on +61 3 9919 6100 to confirm the most up-to-date course fees, pathways and credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, admission and enrolment procedures, examinations and services available to our students.