Course Details

Course Code SS51
Level Postgraduate
QTAC Code Direct Entry to CHC
Duration 2F/4P
Entry Requirements Bachelor degree, or higher qualification, in any field; English language proficiency and Personal suitability requirements apply.

Candidates who hold a PACFA-accredited qualification, such as a Bachelor of Counselling, are not eligible for admission to this course.

Assumed Knowledge N/A
Mode On Campus, Mixed Mode
Credit Points 160
Starting Semesters 1 & 2
Overseas Students Available
CRICOS Code 075672F

General Information

The Master of Counselling is a two-year course (full time equivalent), and is available on both a full time and part time basis. The course provides an initial or further professional qualification in counselling for people who have a previous Bachelor-level qualification in another field. The learning outcomes include the development and enhancement of specific professional and vocational skills or the enhancement of existing skills and knowledge acquired in undergraduate study, and the acquisition of in-depth understanding of a specific area of knowledge.

As a ‘first training’ course, the Master of Counselling is not available to students who already hold a PACFA-accredited qualification, such as a Bachelor of Counselling.

The course enables students to fulfil the academic criteria, including the number of hours of on campus studies, and some of the practical experience criteria required for registered membership of relevant professional associations (Christian Counsellors Association of Queensland and Queensland Counsellors Association), as well as those on the register of PACFA (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia). Further information regarding memberships is available from the School of Social Sciences Administration Office.

Successful engagement in the Counselling profession requires a level of personal maturity and self-awareness. PACFA (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia) therefore recommends that current and prospective students are assessed for their personal growth and likely suitability for the Counselling profession. Entry to the Master of Counselling is thus subject not only to academic requirements, but also personal suitability as assessed through an interview, a personal statement and referee reports.

Students should note that certain units can be completed on campus only, in either Internal or Intensive modes (as offered). Further information is available from the School of Social Sciences Administration Office or in the Master of Counselling information contained in the Social Sciences Courses Handbook.

The maximum time allowed for the completion of the Master of Counselling is 10 years. Extensions beyond this time may be approved where extenuating circumstances exist.

Course Accreditations

The Master of Counselling is:

Course Overview & Content

Successful engagement in the Counselling profession requires a level of personal maturity and self-awareness. PACFA (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia) therefore recommends that both current and prospective students are periodically assessed for their personal growth and likely suitability for the Counselling profession.

Career Outcomes

  • Counsellor
  • Personal Support Worker
  • Pastoral Counsellor
  • Chaplain
  • School Counsellor

English Language Proficiency Requirements

Applicants for whom English is not their first language must provide certified documentary evidence that the language of instruction of their undergraduate degree was English or they have satisfactory results in an acceptable English Language Proficiency examination (see table below). Results are to be no more than two years old as at the commencement of the course of study.

Examination Minimum result
IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in all subtests
ISLPR Not accepted
TOEFL 575 or better (pBT – paper-based); 90 or better with no subscore lower than 20 (iBT – internet-based)
STAT 156 or higher in the Verbal component

Personal Suitability Requirements

Since scholastic achievement is not the sole requirement in becoming an effective counselling practitioner, additional factors are considered in assessing applicants’ suitability for entry into the course. In accordance with the requirements of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) Training Standards (2014, p. 2), personal suitability is measured against the following standards:

1.1 Principles

1.1.1 Students need to demonstrate the presence of some fundamental human capacities as a pre-requisite for beginning training as a psychotherapist/ counsellor. These capacities can be demonstrated through live interviews, observing student’s participation in an experiential workshop, referees, etc.

1.1.2 Self-awareness. Students need to demonstrate the capacity to relate in a facilitative way with others and to reflect on and examine the impact of these actions.

1.1.3 Since therapy is fundamentally a relational art, students should demonstrate a relational capacity. This could be in a one-to-one therapeutic situation or, especially if the therapeutic modality involves couples/family/ group work, an ability to work with a group or team.

1.1.4 Students should demonstrate a capacity to understand and practice ethical behaviour and be prepared to follow a code of ethics, which is an integrated part of the training program.

1.1.5 The above qualities presume a certain level of mature life experience on the part of the applicant, and this is shown by the capacity to reflect on and learn from experience, including being open to positive and challenging feedback.

1.2 Process

1.2.1 The process of selection should be non-discriminatory on the grounds of gender, class, cultural background, sexual preference, disability or beliefs.

The criteria against which an applicant’s personal suitability for entry to the course is assessed are:

  • Recommendation by two personal referee’s reports;
  • Capacity to provide evidence, through a personal statement and at an interview with an appropriate member of the School of Social Sciences, of aptitude and potential for counselling in terms of self-awareness, relational capacity and ability to understand and practice ethical behaviour within the context of relevant life experience and overall personal maturity;
  • Preparedness to complete a minimum of 30 hours of personal counselling while enrolled in the course;
  • Agreement to adhere to the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) Code of Ethics.

These criteria are assessed through the triangulation of information collected through each applicant’s personal statement, referee reports and interview.

Applicants are notified that the progress of their application is linked to this process. This process is designed to be open and transparent and to be equitable for all applicants.

Professional Recognition

The Master of Counselling is accredited by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA). This means that graduates of the award can become Graduate Members of PACFA member organisations including the Christian Counsellors Association of Australia (CCAA) and Queensland Counsellors Association (QCA). Information pertaining to these organisations appears below.

Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA)

The Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) is a peak body for member associations which meet the standards developed by consensus as appropriate for professional practitioners within the disciplines of Counselling and Psychotherapy in the Australian community.

The Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) is the Federation of Professional Associations of psychotherapists and counsellors formed after lengthy national consultation involving many of the leading educators in these fields.

There are 31 member associations which accept the professional standards set and which adhere to the ethical guidelines established by PACFA. These member associations meet the standards developed by consensus as appropriate for professional practitioners within the disciplines of Counselling and Psychotherapy in the Australian community.

For more information, visit the PACFA website at http://www.pacfa.org.au/

Christian Counsellors Association of Australia (CCAA)

The Christian Counsellors Association of Australia (CCAA) is a member organisation of PACFA with chapters in every state. The aim of the CCAA is to support and encourage counsellors to integrate their Christian faith with their practice at a professional level. Similar associations exist in Britain and the United States and these have grown enormously as a greater number of Christians seek accreditation with a supportive body conducted on faith principles that also has very high standards of excellence. The rise of counselling in Australia as a viable profession has become more possible with associations such as the CCAA, not only demanding a very high standard from their members, but also encouraging appropriate and relevant discussion of the Christian faith.

For more information, visit the CCAA website at http://www.ccaa.net.au/

Queensland Counsellors Association (QCA)

The Queensland Counsellors Association (QCA) is a professional association for counsellors and psychotherapists established in 1973 to provide a voice for members. It is a constituent member association of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).

The QCA is dedicated to supporting its members and enhancing the quality of counselling and psychotherapy services to the community. Consumers can access a counsellor or psychotherapist who has a recognised high standard of training and ethical practice, seek information about matters relating to psychotherapy and counselling, or direct concerns about the professional conduct of a member of the association.

QCA members enjoy a range of benefits including affordable professional development throughout the year, opportunity to network with like-minded colleagues and discounted premiums for professional indemnity insurance.

For more information, visit the QCA website at http://qca.asn.au/

Course Structure

MASTER OF COUNSELLING (SS51)

The Master of Counselling comprises a program of 13 core units (130 credit points) and three counselling elective units (30 credit points). Students must complete a minimum of two elective units (20 credit points) in the same area of study. The areas of study from which students may choose elective units are:

  • Child and Adolescent Counselling;
  • Family and Relationship Counselling; and
  • Trauma Counselling.

Students who complete the first elective unit in one area of study and then to change to a different area of study are to complete the first two elective units in the second area of study.

Students also complete:

  • 200 practicum counselling hours, which are embedded in the units CO667-CO670;
  • 30 hours of personal counselling; and
  • 25 hours of counselling observations, comprising ten hours of site visits and 15 hours of external professional development events.

Students who wish to engage in a practicum placement in the area of Child and Adolescent Counselling, or to engage in a practicum placement involving children and young people under the age of 18 within a different area of study, must make application for a Blue Card (or equivalent) and have received this card prior to engaging with children and young people under the age of 18 within the course of the associated practicum placement.

Students who intend to engage in a practicum placement involving individuals or groups other than children and young people under the age of 18 must make application for a criminal history check and have received the outcome of this check prior to engaging in the associated practicum placement.

CHC provides sample unit outlines for each unit offered in this course. Should you wish to view the latest version of a unit outline, please contact the Course Coordinator via the School of Social Sciences Administration Office at socsciadmin@chc.edu.au

In planning their courses, students must consult the relevant Courses Handbook for information regarding course rules and requirements, including unit prerequisite requirements.

Core Units

UNIT SUMMARY SAMPLE UNIT OUTLINE
CO510 The Person of the Practitioner Download
CO513 Towards an Understanding of Mental Health Download
CO514 Foundational Counselling Skills Download
CO523 Ethics in Counselling Download
CO557 Theories of Counselling Download
CO610 Towards a Christian Worldview for Counselling Download
CO614 Processes and Strategies in Counselling Download
CO667 Reflective Practice: Consolidating Foundations Download
CO668 Reflective Practice: The Therapeutic Relationship Download
CO669 Reflective Practice: External Contexts Download
CO670 Reflective Practice: Personal Practice Framework Download
SO653 Research Methods Download
SO661 Group Processes Download

Elective Units

Child and Adolescent Counselling

UNIT SUMMARY SAMPLE UNIT OUTLINE
CA540 Child and Adolescent Counselling: Theoretical Foundations Download
CA541 Child and Adolescent Counselling: Intervention Frameworks Download
CA542 Child and Adolescent Counselling: Intervention Strategies Download

Family and Relationship Counselling

UNIT SUMMARY SAMPLE UNIT OUTLINE
FR540 Family and Relationship Counselling: Theoretical Foundations Download
FR541 Family and Relationship Counselling: Intervention Frameworks Download
FR542 Family and Relationship Counselling: Intervention Strategies Download

Trauma Counselling

UNIT SUMMARY SAMPLE UNIT OUTLINE
TR540 Trauma Counselling: Theoretical Foundations Download
TR541 Trauma Counselling: Intervention Frameworks Download
TR542 Trauma Counselling: Intervention Strategies Download