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Graduate Diploma in Counselling

Why study with us?

The Graduate Diploma in Counselling is a 96 credit point course delivered at AQF Level 8, divided over 16 units (15 counselling units and one religious studies unit to meet Avondale's requirements as a Christian College of Higher Education). It provides students with both the experiential and theoretical foundation to function as professional counsellors in Australia. Posited in a Christian worldview, this supportive, two-year course emphasises the common factors essential to counselling, introduces various counselling methods, and builds basic and advanced counselling skills. The Graduate Diploma in Counselling also introduces students to research in the science of counselling and provides a one-year clinical placement. An application for accreditation of the course with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) is planned as the course is designed to meet the requirements of PACFA but it should be noted that accreditation is not yet in place given the recency of the course commencement.

Key Information

Study Mode:
On campus, Mixed mode
Avondale Campus - Lake Macquarie
Full-time: 2 years, Part-time: Equivalent years
Course Code:

Course Details

Upon successful completion of the Graduate Diploma in Counselling, graduates will be able to:
  • Demonstrate professional 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.
  • Apply principles of ethical practice in complex client presentations and show awareness of relevant legal issues in professional counselling practice.
  • Engage with research analytically and design a simple research project.
  • Integrate and apply spiritual and psychotherapeutic perspectives to particular client presentations.
  • Reflect on their interpersonal and intrapersonal process as a professional counsellor utilising regular supervision and peer support.
  • Engage professionally and competently in the work place
  • Demonstrate an ability to integrate systemic and relationship perspectives into their counselling practice.

An AQF Level 7 qualification in any field.

Tertiary qualifications as above. Interview with Course Convenor, Placement Coordinator and experienced Psychologist or Counsellor.

Units for Graduate Diploma in Counselling

Name of Unit

Name of Unit

Name of Unit

Name of Unit

Sem 1

Fundamentals of Counselling

Psychotherapy and Counselling Theories

Ethics, Diversity and Spiritual Integration

Developmental Theories and Counselling

Sem 2

Systemic and Family Therapy Approaches

Spiritual Perspectives on Emotional Disorders

Introduction to Psychology for Counselling

Interpersonal Approach and Treatment Strategies

Sem 3

Mental Health & Psychopathology

Counselling Children & Adolescents

Counselling Practice I

Research in Counselling Practice A

Sem 4

Counselling Couples

Religion Unit

Counselling Practice II

Research in Counselling Practice B

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

Students are required to complete a 1 year internship in the second year of the program. A minimum of 40 hours of face to face counselling is required in order to graduate.

Upon graduation, students will be able to apply for provisional registration with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia or apply for membership with the Australian Counselling Association and with the Australian Christian Counsellors Association

Career Opportunities

Successful completion of the Graduate Diploma in Counselling will allow the student to be industry ready and to seek employment in a counselling or counselling related position such as:

  • School counselling
  • Gambling counselling
  • Private practice
  • Telephone counselling
  • Relationship counselling
  • Drug and alcohol counselling
  • Welfare and youth work counselling

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