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Counsellors are amongst Allied Health professionals working in a variety of public and private settings and fields including health promotion and health care, community, family, youth, ageing, mental health, and relationships. Students do our courses to gain essential skills in order to enhance their employment prospects as well as their practice as a helping professional.

The University of Canberra is committed to building a strong and sustainable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and sport industry workforce.
If you are an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person interested in studying a health or sport course, please contact Rachel Harrigan or phone 6201 2608.

As part of our integrative counselling studies, we offer counselling in undergraduate programs with a minor and major in counselling, as well as entry level and advanced counsellor training programs.

Our post graduate awards include a Graduate Diploma in Counselling and a Master of Counselling. These are well recognised and sought after counselling qualifications leading to membership of professional organisations.


This minor/major provides students in various degrees with counselling skills and knowledge that will extend their effectiveness in today's demanding workplace and/or community. It is relevant to students from a number of health, education, business degrees or anywhere interpersonal communication skills are important. Units cover interactional skill and theory components, conflict resolution, group-leading as well as ethical and innovative practices.

For more information, contact the program/course convener Bruce Munro


These awards are well-recognised and sought-after counselling qualifications, leading to membership of professional organisations and eventually to PACFA Registration. The first equips students from a range of disciplines and professional backgrounds with counselling skills and theoretical foundation, for use in their professional roles. The second trains students to become professional counsellors in a supportive learning environment with a focus on skills development and interactivity. The course covers a range of individual and group counselling models taught within research-informed, evidence-based and ethical frameworks.

For more information, contact the program/course convener Christine Moulet

For information on requirements relating to registration of health professionals in Australia or recognition of prior qualification from an overseas institution please use go to the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia website.

In addition to independent research works, the counselling team at University of Canberra is conducting research on:

  • educational aspects of counsellor development;
  • reflective practice; and
  • clinical supervision.

Select from our staff below for their biographies, qualifications, publications, grants and awards.

Academic Staff


thedesk is a free online program supported by beyondblue (the national depression initiative).

It provides tertiary students with strategies and skills to cope with problems they may encounter, and promotes skills for academic success and wellbeing.

visit the desk websitethedesk offers students tools:

  • to help with problem-solving
  • to challenge unhelpful or negative thoughts
  • to assist with relaxation and
  • to check their progress through quizzes in a range of areas

There is a range of learning modules including:

  • "Getting things done";
  • "Staying calm";
  • "Staying connected"; and
  • "Feeling good"

In addition, the program has an online Coffee House for social networking. This moderated forum helps students connect with each other and their institution, encourages discussion about current issues, and enables students to share their artwork, music, and recommendations about great places to eat around campus.

image - frequently asked questions iconFind the answers to frequently asked questions about Counselling below.

Counselling -frequently asked questions

You need to have completed an undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant discipline; have two years relevant experience in a helping role (paid or voluntary) and provide relevant documentation (transcripts, references…).

Special consideration can be given to applicants who have not completed an undergraduate degree but have been working in the field for a minimum of 10 years.

All applicants will need to attend a pre-admission interview.

Any paid or voluntary activity in which you would have engaged in a helping role. This can include teaching or a range of work or community organisations roles. A number of students also complete the Lifeline or other similar training, and work as volunteer counsellors for such organisations before they commence their counselling studies.

The Graduate Diploma in Counselling is a part-time program that takes 2 years to complete.

The Master of Counselling can be completed part-time or full-time (2-4 years).

Details and typical study plans for both programs can be found on the website under course information.

You can certainly undertake studies in either award on a part-time basis whilst working. You need, however, to carefully plan for your studies. In particular, you need to ensure that you are able to attend lectures and tutorials on campus and make provision with your employer to attend units delivered in intensive mode and, also, that you are able to complete your placement (practicum) of 260 hours.

You can apply through the University of Canberra’s on-line enrolment portal.  Follow the instructions and submit your application with the required documentation. It will be processed and assessed by Student Admissions and the Program Convenor. If you meet all the eligibility criteria, you will then be contacted by the Program Convenor to arrange a pre-admission interview.

Yes. Delivery is largely in face-to- face teaching mode. Units are web-enhanced, but this is not a distance education program. Some of the units in the Master of Counselling are fully on-line.

Yes. Upon successful completion of the Graduate Diploma or Master, you will be eligible for membership of professional counsellor organisations [the Psychotherapy and Counselling Association of Australia (PACFA) or the Australian Counselling Association (ACA)] and with relevant professional experience you can apply to be listed in the PACFA Register of counsellors.

Only the Master of Counselling provides a study load compatible with international student visa requirements. Please also note that enrolment in the Master program on a full time basis is only available for commencement in first semester.

The Graduate Diploma in Counselling comprises 7 units for a total of 24cp including a placement (practicum). It is a part-time program that can be completed in two years and includes all the foundation knowledge and skills required to be able to work in the counselling field. The program is accredited by PACFA and ACA which means that on completion you will be able to apply for membership of these professional organisations.

The Master of Counselling provides an advanced level of training for professional counsellors. It includes the same foundational units as the Graduate Diploma plus additional units making up a total of 48cp. The Master can be completed on a full-time basis (2 years) or on a part-time basis (generally 4 years). However, if you intend to study full-time, we strongly recommend that you commence studies in semester 1, and follow the study plan for the sequencing of units. It includes 2 placements (practicums) and extensive clinical supervision of practice.

In addition to the core units worth 36cp, you can take a number of clinical or application units to develop your knowledge and skills in particular fields of counselling (e.g. group facilitation, loss and grief, addictions or relationship counselling) or alternatively you may choose the research stream and complete up to 12cp in research units in preparation for HDR.

Although the Graduate Diploma is the entry-level qualification in professional counselling, a Master Degree might provide an added advantage when applying for certain positions in the counselling field.

Many opportunities exist for qualified counsellors to work in a broad range of sectors, including in policy and research, a wide range of allied health services, community agencies, human resources, and private practice.

The Post Graduate qualifications we offer in Counselling open the door to a range of possible options in community services and Allied Health settings including: adolescent & youth counselling, mental health promotion and care services, corrective services, family and child services, drugs and alcohol counselling,  social services, aged-care, and transcultural and refugee agencies.  There is an increasing demand for qualified counsellors in the Allied Health workforce.

Most of the information on our courses is available on the UC website, including requirements for admissions, course structure and typical study plans.  If you have any questions, the first point of contact is Student Centre, and then the Faculty of Health education support staff if you have any questions about admission or course structure.  If you are planning to apply but unsure if you meet the requirements, did not find the relevant information on the website, or in these FAQs, in the first instance, please contact: Where appropriate, your questions will be your questions will be referred to the program/course convener who will respond to you directly.