Bachelor of Arts (Counselling)

Course Code4005
Course duration /
Study mode

Course duration: 3 years full-time (or part-time equivalent)
Study mode: On-campus with distance education available for some units

LocationAvondale Campus - Lake Macquarie
Fee Support

This course attracts Commonwealth funding and is available to students who are eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP).


Avondale’s Bachelor of Arts (Counselling) is a three-year degree that equips graduates for a wide range of employment opportunities in both the private and public sectors. Designed  within a Christian world-view, the degree offers the required units of study to gain employment as a counsellor and includes options for a minor from other fields. The course provides ample opportunities to develop foundational skills in problem recognition and solving, research, analysis, synthesis, critical and reflective thinking, and written and non-verbal communication. The degree provides broad preparation for future employment, as well as a sound basis for those wishing to pursue graduate diplomas and other postgraduate degrees.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Bachelor of Arts (Counselling), graduates will be able to:
  • demonstrate a capacity for autonomous, life-long learning informed by Christian belief, critical thinking, ethical practice and awareness of current research
  • demonstrate an awareness of cultural diversities necessary for respectful engagement with local, national, international and professional communities
  • demonstrate a philosophy of service in both professional and personal spheres
  • 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
  • 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
  • demonstrate an ability to integrate systemic and relationship perspectives into their counselling practice.
  • engage professionally and competently in the workplace

Career Opportunities

The career possibilities for Avondale Bachelor of Arts (Counselling) graduates are available in both the private and public sectors. 

  • Counsellor
  • Marriage Counsellor
  • Family Therapist
  • School Counsellor
  • Welfare and Youth Counsellor


Admission Criteria

To be eligible for entry into the Bachelor of Arts (Counselling), you must qualify for admission. General admission is based on your academic background. There are also specific admissions requirements for this course.



General admission requirements are met by any of the following:

A. Applicants with higher education study

  • Successful completion of at least one (1) semester (typically four (4) subjects) of a higher education degree/diploma; or
  • Successful completion of a bridging or enabling course, or other recognised tertiary preparation course; or
  • Successful completion of the first one (1) or two (2) semesters of the Undergraduate Certificate in University Preparation


B. Applicants with vocational education and training (VET) study

  • Successful completion of a national qualification at Certificate level or higher, usually in a cognate area.


C. Applicants with work and life experience

  • Appropriate scores in both the uniTEST and the Tertiary Online Writing Assessment (TOWA); or
  • An appropriate score in both the Multiple Choice and the Written English Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT).


D. Applicants with recent secondary education (within the past two years)

  • ATAR of 60.00*; or
  • OP of 16 or less; or
  • Satisfactory completion of Year 13 with NCEA Level 3 results, identifying University Entrance attainment; or
  • Successful completion of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma with a minimum of 24 points; or
  • Overseas secondary qualifications considered equivalent to Australian studies, as stated in the Admission to Higher Education Undergraduate Courses Policy


*After adjustment factors have been applied


Current legislation requires that all students enrolled in counselling and psychology courses comply with the special requirements for working with children.



International students are not eligible to enrol in this course. International students should instead enrol in the BA and complete a Counselling Specialisation within that degree.



Applicants whose first language is not English may be required to demonstrate proficiency in English as per the Admission to Higher Education Undergraduate Courses Policy


Course Structure


Course Duration: Three years full-time (or part-time equivalent).

Study Mode: On-campus with distance education available for some units.

Maximum time to complete: 8 years

Course Structure:

The BA (Counselling) is composed of 24 units (144 credit points) of study over six semesters. All units are worth six credit points.

  • 4 x Core units include the following: 3 units classified as Christian Studies, and ARTS11110 Art of Scholarship
  • 14 x Counselling Specialisation units (see list below)
  • 4 x Minor Units
  • 2 x Elective units


Counselling Specialisation units are:

CNSL11100 Foundational Counselling Skills

CNSL21100 Foundational Counselling Theories

CNSL21120 Emotional and Behavioural Responses

CNSL21130 Advanced Counselling Skills

CNSL21140 Family Therapy Theories

CNSL31100 Counselling Ethics & Spiritual Integration in Counselling

CNSL31130 Clinical Internship I

CNSL31140 Clinical Internship II

CNSL31150 Couple Counselling

CNSL31160 Child and Adolescent Therapy

CNSL31180 Personality and Psychopathology

PSYC101 Introductory Psychology (through UNE)

PSYC102 Introductory Psychology II (through UNE)

PSCY213 Lifespan Developmental Psychology (through UNE)


*For other units available to contribute to minors and electives, see the BA course pages at


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

Practical Experience

Placements giving students practical experience are incorporated and Counseling students engage in their clinical placement for one day per week where scheduled.


Avondale is a self-accrediting Higher Education Provider, and the Bachelor of Arts (Counselling) course is offered within the terms of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).  In 2014 Avondale was granted self-accrediting status by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).  The Counselling program at Avondale University has provisional accreditation with The Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) allowing graduates to register with the federation.

Where to get further information

Course Enquiries

Student Administration Services

Phone: +61 2 4980 2377
Email: [email protected]
Monday-Thursday, 9.00am-5pm
Friday, 9.00am-12.00noon


This course attracts Commonwealth funding and is available to students who are eligible for a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP).

View current information on tuition fees


There are scholarships available for those enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (Counselling). Visit 


Mikaela Matthes (Provisional Psychologist) has put her passion for helping other people into practice. Learning about human behaviour, emotions and mental health also helped with personal growth Mikeala says “you can’t help but use this knowledge as a new lens to look at your own life and relationships.”