The Graduate Diploma of Counselling will teach you the technical and theoretical aspects of professional counselling, integrated with a Christian worldview. This course has an emphasis on vocational readiness and will teach you to apply counselling skills with integrity and professionalism. The units from this course can be used for credit towards the Masters-level counselling degree.
The course structure is based on two semesters (each of 13 weeks duration), with four subjects taught in each semester. It comprises:
- 8 core subjects (80 credit points)
To qualify for award of the Graduate Diploma of Counselling, a candidate shall accrue an aggregate of at least 80 credit points, including satisfactory completion of the core subjects.
For more information see the Student Handbook.
Core / 8 Subjects (80 credit points)
Applicants with Recent Secondary Education (within the past 2 years)
This course of study requires the completion of a higher education qualification by an authorised institution. Applicants with recent high school education only are not eligible for direct entry into this course.
Applicants with Vocational Education and Training (VET) Study
This course of study requires the completion of a higher education qualification by an authorised institution. Applicants with a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification only are not eligible for direct entry into this course.
Applicants with Higher Education Study
Applicants whose highest level of study enrolment since leaving secondary education is a higher education qualification must demonstrate the completion of an AQF Level 7 Bachelor degree (or higher) in any discipline by an authorised institution for admission into this course.
Applicants with Work and Life Experience
This course of study requires the completion of a higher education qualification by an authorised institution. Applicants with no higher education study are not eligible for direct entry into this course.
Essential Entry Requirements
All applicants must submit a Statement of Intention as part of their application for admission into this course. This should include the email and phone contact details for at least one professional referee.
The Program Director or delegated representative may conduct a pre-admission interview for applicants as part of their application for admission into this course. As part of this interview, applicants will be assessed on the presence of some fundamental human capacities, their self-awareness and relational capacity, capacity to understand and practice ethical behaviour and willingness to follow the PACFA Code of Ethics, capacity to reflect on and learn from experience, and willingness to participate in a planned and structured client contact setting.
All students are required to complete the new Working with Children Check online before they will be allowed to participate in professional practice subjects. Students will be classified as a ‘volunteer’.
Overseas students are required to demonstrate their English proficiency skills. Such students admitted into our programs must attain an overall IELTS (or equivalent) score of 6.5 (with no score below 6.0 in any of the four skills areas). IELTS (or equivalent) is not required for applicants who have undertaken five years of required higher education study (or equivalent) in English from an approved country or who have completed a Certificate IV or higher qualification awarded in English under the Australian Qualification Framework by an authorised institution or registered training organisation.
Delivery Mode*: Face-to-Face (Campus class), Online Live (Zoom class), Online Recorded
Locations**: Hobart, Sydney and Online
Duration: 1 year full-time/up to 3 years part-time
Intakes: Semester 1, Semester 2
* Our study modes are flexible so you can mix-and-match different modes throughout your course to fit your needs. For example, a face-to-face student can choose to attend some classes online or an online student may choose to take some subjects face-to-face.
** Some subjects may only be available in certain study modes each semester. Please check the timetable for the most up-to-date information. Face-to-face classes can be delivered weekly or via intensives, where the subject is delivered in a block over consecutive weekdays and/or weekends. Some subjects must be completed face-to-face to meet professional accreditation requirements.
Course Learning Outcomes
- integrated understanding of key issues, theoretical concepts and practices within counselling context;
- knowledge of various approaches used in counselling within the Christian worldview framework;
Demonstrated ability to:
- critically apply knowledge developed for use in counselling;
- use critical, evidence-based and innovative thinking skills to analyse and synthesise ideas and theories from other disciplines related to counselling;
- effectively communicate ideas and proposed solutions to peers and general audiences;
- identify and critically evaluate new developments and scholarship in counselling;
Application of Knowledge and Skills:
Demonstrated ability to:
- articulate appropriate solutions to emerging counselling challenges;
- evaluate broad conceptual frameworks in counselling;
- critically and independently apply the knowledge and skills required as an informed counselling practitioner.
The Graduate Diploma in Counselling will prepare you for working with individuals, groups, and communities in various environments to aid in improving their quality of life. Graduates may find employment in a range of professional and educational contexts, not-for-profit and mission-focused organisations, community service roles, and positions that require research skills and critical thinking, as well as the opportunity to continue studying at a Masters level.
Your graduate employment opportunities can include:
- Counsellor in training - specialise in areas such as schools, community work, careers, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation
- Community or Case Worker
- Youth Worker
- Policy/Project Officer
- Family Support Officer
- Support Services in areas such as health, women, disability, children, migration, and refugees
"My time at AC has really grounded me in having a biblical approach and worldview and I really appreciate how my lecturers share from a place of genuine experience. After graduating I hope to work in youth or community development where I can bring people together and share Christ's love with them practically."
Social Science Graduate
For more information on the suite of student support services available, please see our Student Services section.