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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Area of Study

Managing facultyFaculty of Arts
Offered bySchool of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies
Campus(es)Caulfield, Clayton


  • These programs will cease to be taught after Semester 1, 2012 (June 2012). In 2011, there will be an intake for Semester 1 only, and all newly enrolling students will be required to study full time in order to complete their degree by the end of 2011.


The programs in civil ceremonies prepare students to plan and conduct public ceremonies of recognition such as weddings, namings and graduations, and ceremonies of grief such as funerals and divorce. They aim to enable graduates to provide expert advice on precedent and etiquette and to help people handle the often emotionally charged processes of moving through a rite of passage. The programs aim to prepare graduates to orchestrate the delicate issues of planning and conducting rites of passage with sensitivity, dignity and propriety. They are designed to develop an appropriate understanding of the possibilities and limitations of the role of a celebrant, including listening carefully to clients and, where appropriate, referring them elsewhere for professional legal and counselling advice. Literary and musical content of ceremonies are considered.

This emerging profession has grown substantially since the first appointments were made in 1973 such that more than half of all marriages in Australia are now performed by civil marriage celebrants. People who perform functions touching the lives of others are widely expected to have been trained to undertake what they do.


For a list of units studied or course outlines, refer to the relevant courses.

Relevant Courses

  • 2158 Graduate Certificate in Civil Ceremonies
  • 2157 Graduate Diploma in Civil Ceremonies
  • 4038 Master of Civil Ceremonies