Specialist Certificate – Rural Paediatric Practice

Area of Study Type of Course Level of Study
Health and medical Award Specialist Certificate


Specialist Certificate in Rural Paediatric Practice

Course Code


Course Abbreviation

SCert Rural Paed. Practice

Partner Faculty

Medicine, Dentistry and Health Science (MDHS),

Rural Health Academic Centre


The University of Melbourne and the Rural Health Academic Centre, in collaboration with Echuca Regional Health and the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, are offering the Specialist Certificate in Rural Paediatric Practice (SCiPP), an academic and clinical education Masters level training program.

The course has been developed to provide inter-professional postgraduate education for health professionals within a rural context in the area of infant, child and adolescent health (paediatrics) and the opportunity to develop a comprehensive knowledge and skills base to facilitate generalist or paediatric practice for rural health professionals, such as physiotherapists, occupational physiotherapists, speech pathologists and podiatrists working in rural or remote areas.

Course Description

The Specialist Certificate in Rural Paediatric Practice (SCiPP) is a 25 point postgraduate course that aims to develop academically excellent graduates who will be competent, confident advocates and skilled clinicians accessible for families in rural and community paediatrics in inter-professional settings. It will enhance their evidence based knowledge, clinical reasoning and management skills, as a means of improving professional practice in rural general paediatrics in medical and other appropriate health professions. The course will expand and deepen knowledge of the development of the typical infant, child and adolescent and explore its application in the disability and education sectors, screening and health promotion. Graduates will be encouraged to be future leaders in their rural communities through improved communication skills and increased understanding of the rural health sector and its context in paediatric practice. They will have increased understanding of family centred practice, indigenous Australians knowledge, culture and values, and gain insight into the diversity of culture in families displaced from their countries and the effect on all of these to good health and well-being of infants, children and adolescents.

Delivery Mode

Face to face delivery, online learning and clinical practice placement

Who Should Apply

The course has been developed to provide inter-professional postgraduate education for health professionals within a rural context in the area of infant, child and adolescent health (paediatrics).

It is suitable for health professionals, such as physiotherapists, occupational physiotherapists, speech pathologists and podiatrists who regularly work with children and their families in a rural setting or are preparing for this role, and/or who want to improve their clinical management of infant, child and adolescent patients.


To satisfy the requirements of the Specialist Certificate in Rural Paediatrics Practice, students must successfully complete two subjects (each 12.5 credit points), a total of 25 points.


The theory and context of rural paediatrics will examine the key concepts underpinning rural health practice, recognise inter-professional rural health services in primary care, and understand and apply theories of child development. The context in rural paediatrics comprises understanding rural paediatric health services, the principles of family centred practice and improving cultural literacy, including indigenous, under resourced or culturally diverse child populations.

The three topics in child development in a family centred context are:

  • Understanding the child (children at school and in sport and variations in child development)
  • Communicating with the adolescent (growth, puberty and compliance)
  • Mental health.

The subject will extend the student's clinical reasoning, learning and understanding of challenges of environmental issues and disability. Specific conditions are case based. Students will present on one of the topics as part of the course.


Rural Paediatric Practice will further develop skills and competencies in the management of selected paediatric conditions using the principles of family centred practice and an evidence based approach. Students will undertake four observational visits to clinics in a tertiary hospital and contact with typically developing infants, children and adolescents to further develop communication and observation skills.

Students will be placed in a number of paediatric and disability health services, which may include their workplace, where a further twenty four hours of clinical practice is completed with support and supervision.


Each subject is formally assessed to meet the requirements of University accreditation. Assessment is designed to be practical and relevant to industry professionals.

Academic and Teaching Team

Academic Coordinator:

Elizabeth Liz Williams OAM M Physio, APAM

Honorary Senior Fellow, Rural Health Academic Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health Sciences

Rural network (RHAN) Research Coordinator, Echuca Regional Health, Victoria & Rural Health Academic Centre

The University of Melbourne

M: +61 0419 309 724

E: e.williams@unimelb.edu.au

Entry Requirements

The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicants ability to successfully pursue the course, using the following criteria:

  • An undergraduate degree in a health profession, science or social science and
  • At least two years documented relevant work and/or professional experience.

The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and may call for referee reports or employer references to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

Course Fees


$7,400.00 ($3,700.00 per subject) in 2015. Fees are subject to an annual increase.


Fee Inclusions

Fees include tuition, course materials and access to on-line resources and catering (morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea) during intensive delivery subjects.

As enrolled students of the University of Melbourne, students have access to a range of facilities and amenities provided by the University of Melbourne.


Fee-Help is a loan from the Australian Government to cover tuition fees and is available to Australian Citizens only.

Key Dates


Intensive Delivery Component

Other Course Requirements

Rural Paediatric Theory & Context (RPT)


Online Learning

Rural Paediatric Practice

Not Applicable

Completed during the year following completion of RPT intensive component and before 23 October 2015. Individual clinical placement timetables will be developed for each student

Delivery Venue

Echuca Regional Health Education Centre

Leichardt Street, ECHUCA VIC 3564


Program Coordinator - Kathy Griffiths

Phone - (03) 8344 2601