The Master 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 four semesters (each of 13 weeks duration), with four subjects taught in each semester. It comprises:
- 12 subjects (120 credit points) of core subjects
- 3 subjects (30 credit points) of specialisation subjects
- 1 subject (10 credit points) research capstone subject
To qualify for award of the Master of Counselling, a candidate shall accrue an aggregate of at least 160 credit points, including satisfactory completion of the core subjects.
For more information see the Student Handbook.
- SSC400 Foundations in Social Research, Writing, and Methods
- ACA401 Faith and Purpose
- SSC410 Psychology of Emotion and Wellbeing
- SSC413 Interpersonal Communication Skills
- SSC510 Human Lifespan Development
- SSC521 Foundations of Professional Practice
- SSC516 Mental Health
- SSC517 Applied Counselling Theories
- SSC519 Professional Accountability
- SSC522 Ethical and Professional Issues
- SSC535 Culturally and Socially Diverse Practice
Professional Practice Specialisation
10 credit points of Counselling Theory and Therapy subjects, such as:
- SSC531 Solution Focussed Therapy and Positive Psychology
- SSC532 Narrative Therapy
- SSC533 Creative Therapies
- SSC536 Cognitive Behaviour Theories and Therapies
This specialisation is recommended for students seeking professional registration as Counsellors in Australia.
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 a related discipline by an authorised institution, as determined by the Program Director, 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:
- aptitude for tertiary study and personal suitability with use of references, including technological competence and computer literacy
- capacity to develop effective interpersonal skills with input from academic staff
- capacity to understand ethical behaviour and willingness to follow the PACFA Code of Ethics
- openness to self-reflection and feedback
- awareness of need to participate in a planned and structured client contact setting
- career Goals and objectives and their relevance to the program
- openness to personal and professional development
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.
Study ModesLocations: Online, Sydney
Full-time Duration: 2 years
Part-time Duration: Up to 4 years
2023 Intakes: Oct Intake, Nov Intake
2024 Intakes: Sem 1, Sem 2, Nov Intake
See the timetable to confirm individual subject location and mode availability.
Mandatory Supervision and Face-to-Face Requirements
Students will be required to participate in individual and group supervision as part of this course. Students will also be required to attend a minimum 166 hours of face-to-face learning, in addition to 100 hours of face-to-face work-integrated learning (professional practice), which includes 40 hours of client contact. Students who are unable to attend one of AC’s campuses are encouraged to contact the Program Director to discuss options for completing the minimum face-to-face components.
Course Learning Outcomes
- advanced and integrated understanding of key issues, practices, scholarship and recent developments within the specialisation of counselling;
- knowledge of general research principles and methods, and advanced knowledge of specific research approaches used in counselling;
- advanced and integrated understanding regarding the planning, implementation, assessment and reporting of counselling activities consistent with a Christian worldview and appropriate to the demands of the counselling context;
Demonstrated ability to:
- evaluate, synthesise and critically engage the theoretical knowledge in the counselling contexts;
- analyse and synthesise counselling approaches and develop skills and strategies (including technologies) in counselling practices;
- design and implement an action research project which examines a complex problem or issue using appropriate counselling methodologies and theories;
- communicate effectively complex ideas and proposed solutions to peers and general audiences;
- identify and critically evaluate new developments of research and scholarship in counselling;
Application of Knowledge and Skills:
Demonstrated ability to:
- articulate new questions or issues and apply the knowledge and skills developed in the counselling field to develop appropriate solutions;
- work independently, responsibly and with the level of professionalism expected of an expert in the counselling field;
- design and implement a major research project to advance personal and professional development;
- comply with professional codes of ethics and regulations which impact on the ability to work in counselling contexts and keep abreast of changes in the legislation and practice applicable to the specific counselling context.
The Master of Counselling will prepare you for working with individuals, groups, and communities in various environments to aid in improving their quality of life. Graduates will be trained to provide counselling services but 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. At the completion of this study, graduates can apply for membership with relevant accreditation bodies.
Your graduate employment opportunities can include:
- Accredited Counsellor* - specialise in areas such as schools, community work, careers, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation
- Mental Health Practitioner
- Counselling and Support Services in areas such as health, women, disability, children, migration, and refugees
*Graduates can gain accreditation as Counsellors through the Australian Counselling Association. Further study can equip Counsellors for specialist areas such as family, marriage, and trauma counselling.
“Stepping into AC to study has opened up more opportunities than I could ever have imagined. These two years have laid a foundation for the rest of my life and was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have studied at university and the difference is stark. At AC, the teachers are proactive in educating within a community atmosphere, and are always accessible. AC teachers know the power of a positive word. They have been overwhelmingly supportive, always, and I mean always, encouraging me to have confidence in my scholarly abilities, and they opened doors of opportunity wherever possible. The AC teachers have encouraged me to aim as high as possible and to believe those heights are achievable.”
For more information on the suite of student support services available, please see our Student Services section.