Discover Avondale University

Graduate Certificate in Counselling

Why study with us?

The Graduate Certificate in Counselling is an introduction to the essential skills and theories used in the Counselling profession. Within the context of a Christian worldview, this course builds foundational counselling skills and introduces various counselling methods. Graduate Certificate in Counselling graduates will gain enhanced people skills as well as insights into human behaviour and common emotional disorders.

With the ability to choose an elective, the Graduate Certificate is a flexible introduction to counselling and a pathway to becoming a qualified Counsellor. It is designed for those with a bachelor’s degree in any discipline who seek a career change. However, the Graduate Certificate in Counselling does not allow the graduate to work as a qualified Counsellor. It provides a pathway into the Graduate Diploma of Counselling with full credit for all units completed.

Key Information

Study Mode:
On campus, Mixed mode
Avondale Campus - Lake Macquarie
Full-time: 0.5 years, Part-time: Equivalent years
Course Code:

Course Details

Upon successful completion of the Graduate Certificate in Counselling, graduates will be able to:
  • Demonstrate foundational counselling skills matched to client need, with due attention to developmental stages and relevant cultural and spiritual issues.
  • Articulate a current body of theoretical knowledge upon which to build competent clinical practice.
  • Integrate and apply spiritual and psychotherapeutic perspectives to particular client presentations.

To qualify for admission, an applicant must have achieved:

  • an Australian Bachelor’s degree or higher; or
  • an overseas qualification comparable to an Australian Bachelor’s degree or higher.

In exceptional circumstances an applicant may be admitted based on qualifications deemed equivalent as assessed by the Course Convenor in consultation with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).

International Students

This course is available online to international students residing outside Australia. Students must be able to obtain an appropriate visa to visit Australia for the compulsory on-campus intensive study period. The course is not available to international students residing in Australia. For information regarding visas refer to

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose primary language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency through one of the following:

  1. achieving an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with no sub-band less than 6.0, or
  2. one of the other ways outlined in Appendix 2 of the Admission Policy (HE), or
  3. documentary evidence of a prior qualification (or at least two years of tertiary study) conducted and assessed in English in a recognised country^ and completed within the last two years.

^Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom, or the United States of America.

Advanced Standing

Applicants who have completed prior study may be eligible for advanced standing (credit recognition). Applicants should discuss their eligibility for advanced standing with the Admissions Team or the Course Convenor.

The Graduate Certificate in Counselling consists of 4 units and requires 24 credit points for completion. Every unit has a 6 credit-point value.

The Graduate Certificate consists of three core units and one elective unit.

Core Units

Students complete all three core units.

Unit CodeUnit NameSemester Offered
CNSL41100Fundamentals of Counselling1
CNSL41110Psychotherapy and Counselling Theories1
CNSL41120Spiritual Perspectives on Emotional Disorders2

Elective Units

Students choose one of the following elective units.

Unit CodeUnit NameSemester Offered
CNSL41160Introduction to Psychology for Counselling1
CNSL41200Interpersonal Approach and Treatment Strategies2
CNSL41240Systemic and Family Therapy Approaches2

To find out more about any of the units listed here, copy the unit code and then search for that unit here.

To view unit information, note the unit code and search for the unit in  Unit Outlines.

None applicable.

The Graduate Certificate is not a stand alone qualification and thus upon completion graduates are not able to join a professional counselling association without additional training.

Career Opportunities

The combination of skills and knowledge gained in this course will complement any role that involves interacting with people, such as:

  • youth and welfare work,
  • case management, or
  • disability support worker

apartmentpencillicensebookmarkchevron-downcheckmark-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram