White Arrow Bachelor of Counselling

Bachelor of Counselling

As a counsellor with a Bachelor of Counselling, there are many opportunities for you as an employee or in private practice. You can make a real difference in areas such as grief and loss; relationships; abuse; youth and adolescents; family; stress; trauma recovery; addictions; mental health and many more.

AIPC’s Bachelor of Counselling provides a flexible and affordable alternative to traditional tertiary education.

There has never been a better time for you to become a counsellor or further develop your counselling qualifications. The need for counsellors in Australia has never been greater. As a counsellor with a tertiary qualification, you’ll be doing what you love and have the security of knowing there are many opportunities for work and self employment.

We’ve helped people from all sorts of backgrounds become counsellors. Our tertiary students come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are seeking to acquire counselling skills as an adjunct to their core profession, such as teachers, nurses, ministers of religion, corrective services officers and administrators. Some are seeking a fresh start in a rewarding profession. While others already have a vocational counselling qualification and are looking to supplement this with a tertiary qualification.


36 months (full time)

Next Intake

March, July, November


22 Units

Course Delivery

Online, Full-time, Part-time

Entry Requirements

You must have achieved one of the following; A nationally recognised Diploma from any field of study; or Year 12 or Higher School Certificate with at least a Sound Achievement in English; or a year-long tertiary studies preparation program (eg Certificate IV in Adult Tertiary Preparation); or at least 12 months of tertiary studies with a University or non-university Higher Education Provider with a GPA of at least 4.0; or achieved an overall score of at least 160, or a verbal subscore of at least 155, in the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT).

Course Recognition

The Bachelor of Counselling has attained industry accreditation through the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). ACA is the leading industry body for Counsellors in Australia. Upon graduation, you automatically qualify for membership to the ACA.

Payment Options

FEE-HELP or Pay Direct via Credit Card/Direct Debit or Split payments

  • Structure
  • Tuition
  • RPL
  • Support
  • Testimonials
  • Benefits

Unit Number



YEAR 1 (Semesters 1 and 2)


Scholarship: Academic Writing & Study Skills


A core first year subject that introduces students to the important area of academic writing and study skills. Successful completion of this subject develops the skills and knowledge required to write research reports and literature reviews according to APA guidelines and allows for a foundational understanding of how to present information verbally and in poster form to the scientific community, professional colleagues and peers. This subject equips students with essential skills to meet the demands of written and verbal assessments throughout this degree program while also establishing a foundation for ongoing academic writing and presenting that is required in postgraduate study and in future careers.


Communication Skills


Communication Skills is a core, first year subject that examines the crucial role of negotiation and conflict resolution in the professional consulting and/or managerial environment. Specifically, three areas of professional interaction are examined. They include; (i) communication skills that aim to facilitate and enhance sound understanding and mutual respect between colleagues, superiors and subordinates within any professional work environment, (ii) negotiation strategies that encourage collaborative work environments to enhance mutually beneficial team outcomes and (iii) conflict resolution skills to deal efectively with professional disagreements and clashes around critical issues of concern.


Through lectures, tutorials, microskill practice activities and assignment tasks students are encouraged to integrate theory and specific skills within those areas of communication, negotiation and conflict resolution literature most pertinent to optimising their contribution as a professional within a range of work environments.


This subject sets a solid theoretical foundation for understanding the role of communication, negotiation and conflict resolution across an array of contexts, and also provides key theoretical models which students can operationalise through participation in group projects and future practice.


Introduction To Counselling


Introduction to Counselling provides a foundational framework to analyse issues in contemporary counselling practice. You are introduced to the history and philosophy of counselling theory and practice. Through critical analysis, you are encouraged to develop an awareness of the role and responsibilities of the contemporary counsellor and an understanding of client rights. You are required to reflect on the value of evidence-based practice and understand the significance of the counselling relationship, and reflect on the impact of cultural difference and diversity on the formation of a therapeutic alliance. This first year subject also provides an overview of counselling and the role of the counsellor and provides a foundation on which to build more specialised skills and knowledge in subsequent subjects.


Theoretical Foundations Of Counselling


Theoretical Foundations of Counselling introduces the key theoretical perspectives that underpin counselling practice. You examine each major theoretical approach in terms of its concepts and applications in counselling. An integrative framework is considered and case studies are analysed to facilitate the application of theory to practice. This first year subject provides a foundation on which to build specialised knowledge and practice through second and third year studies.


Group Work


Group Work, Team Dynamics and Leadership is a core, first year subject that introduces students to the principles of leadership, the dynamics of teams and the processes of group work. Particular focus is given to an understanding of diversity and the effects of such on group and team cohesion. Power dynamics and the management of conflict within groups is considered from both participant and leader perspectives. This subject sets a solid theoretical foundation for understanding the functioning of teams and groups across an array of contexts, and also provides key theoretical models which students can operationalise through participation in group projects and future practice across a abroad range of professions.


Social Frameworks


Social Frameworks is a core, first year subject that provides students with knowledge to study real world issues through the application of theoretical frameworks such as Functionalism, Interactionism, Marxism, Feminism and Postmodernism. These frameworks are expanded upon and applied to the role of the state, social inequality, the family, health, mass media, gender and ethnicity and their impact on individual’s and groups within society. Various theoretical perspectives are explored and applied to contemporary issues to ensure students understand the social structures and issues impacting on individuals and groups within society.


The Counselling Process


The Counselling Process overviews the process of counselling from initial contact with the client to case closure. You explore personal fears, expectations and beliefs about what it means to be a counselling professional. The process of referral and case closure are considered along with strategies to monitor and evaluate your effectiveness as a counsellor. The requirements for completing paperwork and case documentation are also discussed. This second year subject provides a framework for practice that enables the application of more complex concepts in counselling, required in subsequent subjects.


Micro-Counselling Skills


Micro-counselling skills are essential for many professionals, particularly those working within the human services area. This subject explores the application of the key counselling micro-skills to therapeutic practice. You are required to demonstrate all key skills in roleplay scenarios and are assessed on your ability to integrate these skills into a counselling interview. You are encouraged to critically evaluate your use of each counselling micro-skill and assess the effectiveness of your application of the skills in facilitating client change.

YEAR 2 (Semesters 3 and 4)


Developmental Psychology I: Childhood and Adolescence


Developmental Psychology I: Childhood and Adolescence is a core second year subject that examines the broad theoretical domain of development from infancy to adolescence. Various aspects of physical, cognitive, social and emotional development are examined through reviewing theoretical and empirical data pertaining to specific areas of research and topics in the area. This subject complements the content of Developmental Psychology II: Adulthood and Aging which examines physical, cognitive, social and emotional development from early adulthood onwards. This subject is an important component of undergraduate psychology training with benefits to future practice application in the profession.


Counselling And Diversity


This subject facilitates a general exploration of the social divisions of gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexuality and ability. These divisions are explored in relation to their effect on the availability and access of support and counselling services to marginalised groups in Australia. Barriers in the application of appropriate counselling interventions are considered and you are encouraged to explore your own values, beliefs and assumptions in relation to marginalised groups and their portrayal in the media.


Counselling Therapies I

COU102, COU104

Counselling Therapies I introduces the practice of Person-Centred and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Both approaches are considered in terms of their underpinning philosophy and assumptions about human nature. You demonstrate the application of each approach in a role-play scenario. This first year subject builds a foundation for more complex application in subsequent therapy subjects.


Ethics, Law And Counselling


This subject develops a reflective and analytical understanding of the ethical, legal and practice issues emerging in, and specific to, the counselling profession. You cover the legal and ethical responsibilities of the counsellor and analyse dilemmas from the perspective of best practice. Relevant laws and ethical codes are analysed in relation to real-life examples from practice. This second year subject provides you with the ethical and legal framework to work in community and private settings.


Developmental Psychology II: Adulthood and Aging


Developmental Psychology II: Adulthood and Aging is a core second year subject that examines the physical, cognitive, social and emotional development from early adulthood and beyond. This subject includes a focus on the psychology of aging as wel as issues of death, dying and bereavement. Theoretical and empirical research pertaining to specific areas of mid-life are also critically examined and students are required to develop a research proposal on a selected area of focus area.


Reflective Practice


This subject encourages reflection on personal experiences, values and beliefs within the context of counselling practice. You are required to analyse the use of Self in counselling and establish strategies for effective reflective practice. This subject teaches the value of reflective practice and provides foundational reflective skills for incorporation into future learnings in the second and third years of study.


Counselling Therapies II

COU102, COU104

Counselling Therapies II introduces the practice of collaborative, competency-based counselling. Students are required to develop an understanding of social constructivism as it relates to the role of the counsellor. Specific techniques from the narrative and solution-focused approaches are explored. This is a second year subject that builds a foundation for more complex application in subsequent therapy subjects.


Family and Couple Counselling


Family and Couple Counselling is a core second year subject that introduces interpersonal and systemic approaches for working with couples and families. This subject examines major theoretical concepts and therapeutic processes of family and couple counseling, helps to develop understanding of the dynamics of intimate relationships, and helps build the skills and confidence required to work with interpersonal issues.

YEAR 3 (Semesters 5 and 6)


Grief Counselling

COU104, COU205

This subject introduces the process of working with clients on issues of grief and loss. The major theoretical models of the grief process are examined and specific techniques and strategies for the facilitation of uncomplicated grief are applied. You learn the distinction between normal and complicated grief responses and reflect on the challenges of working with a family system in response to grief. This third year subject builds on the foundational counselling frameworks and approaches acquired through first and second year studies to develop professional skills in a specialised treatment area.


Working With Children And Adolescents

COU104, PSY201

This subject provides an understanding of how to apply the strengths-based approach to facilitate change in children, adolescents and their families. This approach can harness individual and collective resources, facilitate change and empower families to shift ineffective behavioural patterns. This third year subject builds on the foundational counselling frameworks and approaches acquired through first and second year studies to develop professional skills in working with specific client groups.


Counselling Practicum I

COU104, COU203, COU204, COU205, COU206

This subject provides the opportunity to work within the human service industry, providing invaluable experience and exposure to practical issues. You will develop assessment and intervention skills and further explore your own practice framework under the guidance and supervision of an experienced practitioner. During the placement, you attend 24 hours of supervision to further develop your skills in reflective practice and intervention.


Research Methods


This subject equips you with the skills to research counselling issues, interpret reports and research papers, and collect and analyse outcome data. The development of these skills enable you to have an informed understanding of the benefits of research for the counselling industry, as well as developing practical skills in critical evaluation of existing research. With this knowledge, you are able to source empirical evidence to support methods of practice and keep up-to-date with industry standards.


Counselling And Mental Health

PSY201, PSY204, COU204

This subject provides an insight into mental health conditions and their presentation in counselling. You will develop an introductory knowledge of indicators and support options for people with a variety of mental health issues. A variety of case studies will be considered from the perspective of support options and appropriate referral pathways.


Counselling Practicum II


This subject builds on the introduction and experience of practical issues offered in Counselling Practicum I. You will further develop your counselling skills in a relevant human service environment under the guidance and supervision of an experienced practitioner. Individual and group supervision via teleconference is also included to continue development of skills in reflective practice and intervention.

Please refer to for current subject fees and indicative additional and non-tuition costs.

On your Application Form, you chose one course payment option to pay for your course. You are able to:

Option 1: Pay for your course using FEE-HELP (if you are eligible).
Option 2: Pay for each semester of your studies upfront.
Option 3: Pay for a portion of your fees upfront and the remaining portion using FEE-HELP.

If your application is successful and you accept your placement, the investment for each subject is payable via the following methods after accepting your placement:

  1. If you are choosing to pay all or part of your subject fees through FEE-HELP, you will need to return your Request for FEE-HELP Assistance form for the semester by the due date indicated in your semester enrolment letter.
  2. Payment by credit card, cheque or money order for the semester by the due date indicated in your semester enrolment letter (usually within two weeks of the semester commencing).
  3. If you are paying some of your fees yourself and some through FEE-HELP, then returning your Request for FEEHELP Assistance form and payment of the remaining amount by credit card, cheque or money order by the due date of the semester.

If accepted into the course, you nominate your preferred payment method on your Confirmation of Acceptance form to confirm your place in the course. Please note that the subject fees, and any other associated fees, are current only for the subjects in which you are presently enrolled, and can be reviewed and changed at the Institute’s discretion for future semesters.

Subjects where credit is granted

Students are able to apply for credit of previous studies and experience as described in the RPL and Credit Transfer Policy and are not required to pay the subject fee for each subject in which credit is granted.

Students articulating from the Diploma of Counselling or the previous AIPC Diploma of Professional Counselling are automatically eligible to receive credit for 6 subjects of the Bachelor of Counselling program detailed in the RPL and Credit Transfer Policy. The Institute will take this automatic awarding of credit into account when processing enrolments for graduates of the Diploma with the student’s Course Enrolment Confirmation Letter detailing the reductions in course fees applicable to students receiving this automatic credit.

Students are able to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Credit Transfer to receive credit for one or more subjects** of the Bachelor of Counselling (up to a maximum of 8 subjects). This enhances student progression through the course and provides recognition for students entering the course with relevant prior studies and work experience. Students granted RPL or credit are not disadvantaged in achieving the expected learning outcomes of the course, and the integrity of the qualification must be maintained.

RPL recognises that students, due to relevant life and work experiences, may already possess the requisite skills and knowledge for subject/s in the Bachelor course. Students who have been working within a counselling environment for a number of years are able to apply for recognition of this prior learning or experience. Exemption can be applied for one or more course subjects** (up to a maximum of 8 subjects).

Assessing credit from prior experience takes into account the authenticity, currency, quality, relevance, transferability and comparability of the experience to the requirements of the subject for which credit is being applied.

Credit Transfer:

Credit Transfer refers to obtaining credit towards another course on the basis of having completed previous study of an equivalent subject or unit. Students who have completed similar units to those included in the Bachelor of Counselling are welcome to apply for Credit Transfer. Students who have completed or partially completed another counselling course are particularly encouraged to apply for Credit Transfer.

Credit will not normally be granted for formal study completed more than 10 years prior to application unless there is evidence of continued relevance of this study for the course towards which credit is sought. Credit is granted where there is substantial overlap with the content and/or learning outcomes of the subject for which credit is being applied.

When assessing credit based on prior study, consideration is given to the objectives of the course, methods of delivery and assessment, admission requirements, course durations, the breadth and depth of the course material, practical training requirements, and experience requirements.

**Students can only obtain credit for a total maximum of 8 subjects inclusive of whether this credit has been obtained via RPL or credit transfer.

Students Articulating from the Diploma of Counselling

Students progressing into the Bachelor of Counselling from the Institute’s Diploma of Counselling/Diploma of Professional Counselling (Curriculum Codes: AIP CND, DPCA, DPCB, DPCC, DPCD, CDA, CDB) will automatically receive credit for the following subjects:

  • COU101 Introduction to Counselling
  • COU102 Theoretical Foundations of Counselling
  • COU103 The Counselling Process
  • COU104 Micro Counselling Skills
  • COU202 Counselling and Diversity
  • COU203 Counselling Therapies I

The student’s record will be automatically updated and a confirmation letter sent to the student. Students are not required to formally apply through the RPL process.

For over 28-years AIPC has set the benchmark for service and support in external counselling studies. We are the only counselling educator to offer a complete external study support system that has been developed and refined over decades of research and continual student feedback.

Study Assistance Line

You have unlimited use of the toll free 1300 Study Assistance Line which puts you in contact with your Lecturer who will answer all your questions and assessment queries.

Residential Schools

Residential Schools teach you to apply your theoretical knowledge to counselling scenarios. Residential Schools provide you with an ideal teaching forum to handle practical counselling issues. You also meet and share ideas and experiences with fellow students and have the opportunity to reflect on the development of your counselling skills.

Residential Schools are held at our academic rooms in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth*, Australia and are scheduled at the end of each semester. Depending on the numbers of subjects you have undertaken during the semester, Residential Schools are up to one or two weeks’ duration. If studying full time, you complete between 2.5 and 10 days at a Residential School at the end of each semester. Not all subjects include a Residential School component. If you are studying part time, you only need to attend the days of the Residential School allocated to the specific subject.

Residential Schools are a great opportunity to get together with fellow students and participate in casework sessions under the guidance of your Lecturer. To help facilitate your learning, our Residential Schools use case scenarios relating to everyday, contemporary issues and provide a wonderful supportive forum for group discussion, interaction and reflection.

Work Placements

The Bachelor of Counselling includes two counselling practicum subjects where you undertake clinical practice in a work setting. Work placements are essential in assisting the transition from application in a simulated setting to real practice and enable the development of clinical skills in a supportive, professional context.

Each Practicum involves the completion of 12 hours work each week for 12 weeks along with 24 hours to attend individual counselling supervision with the workplace supervisor and group supervision by teleconference with the Lecturer.

The Institute has a network of community organisations and counselling practices to approach. The Institute provides guidelines to students on how to approach agencies, assists with initial contact between you and the placement organisation, and follows up with you and the workplace supervisor regularly during the placement to ensure everything is progressing smoothly.


Some subjects within the Bachelor of Counselling include progressive participation in webinars. Webinars provide an interactive and stimulating teaching environment based on discussion of concepts and ideas to encourage the transition from teaching to practice.

Institute Website

The Institute website is an extremely helpful study resource. Via the website you can access the My.AIPC Student Portal which is your link to numerous study support and e-learning functions. You can:

  • Download electronic versions of your workbooks
  • Complete your activities and upload for marking
  • Contact an Online Education Adviser for study assistance
  • Access the Knowledge Base, a massive database of the most commonly asked academic questions, categorised for particular subjects, activities and concepts
  • See when seminars are available in your area
  • Plus much more

Read what our graduates are saying...

Below are some of the numerous comments we’ve received from students and graduates. When you read through the comments you’ll gain a sense of how personally and professionally enriching a counselling qualification can be.

"I was invited to apply for the AIPC degree course after finishing my Diploma, which was well timed as I was looking around to upgrade it. The home based study..."

Maureen Filippi

"My personal growth journey started a few years before I decided to study and I am still thoroughly amazed by what I am doing with my life. As well as..."

Louise Fitzgerald

"I started the Bachelor of Counselling Course in March 2008. When I first found out about the course I was excited at the prospect of doing a Degree that was..."

Claudia Kuerschner

"At the beginning of 2004 I found myself enrolled in the course with the lovely people at AIPC, the administration team and student support team have both been amazing in..."

Brian Rhodes

"With one hand I receive my Diploma with excitement, pride, joy, and dreams realised, but on the other hand I reach out to those who may need guidance and direction..."

Mari Shell

"With the guidance and support of the AIPC team I completed my Diploma in November 06, and by January 07 landed my dream job as a trainer (who also requires..."

Jan Burguez

"The last four and a half years have certainly been a time of self-development for myself due to the subjects we covered in the Diploma. I was able through my..."

Michelle Lees

"I would like to explain the journey of my studies with the A.I.P.C. From the first unit I started I was unsure of my ability's in completing the 22 Units..."

Lynn Holt

"Since graduating with the Diploma in July 2006 - it's such an unbelievable feeling to accomplish and also it's providing opportunities and changes in my life that were not possible..."

Carol Lockwood

"I never thought I'd be writing my own success story, just like the one's I read at the beginning of my studies. About halfway through the Diploma we were living..."

Davina Gleeson

"My journey into studying counselling began over three years ago, when I felt the need for self exploration after many years of various personal traumas..."

Marilyn Tisdall

"AIPC has been an exceptional institution to study through. I have studied with a few institutions over the years but AIPC has by far been the best. What..."

Will Flynn

Load More

Show Less

Hear from some of our Degree students...

Maureen Filippi

Danielle Russell

Colette Naehu

Lois Spark

  • Study online from home and at your own pace, so you can fit learning around your lifestyle.
  • Maximise your investment and save thousands of dollars off traditional classroom programs.
  • Industry Accredited by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).
  • Nationally Recognised training program.
  • Complete access to the My.AIPC Student Portal which contains all your course material, bonus resources, tutor contacts and video lectures and also facilitates assignment submission.
  • Dedicated study support system. We are the only counselling educator to offer a complete external study support system that has been developed and refined over decades of research and continual student feedback.
  • The Institute has been operating for over 28-years and remains the only exclusive national provider of counselling education.

Ready to start?

Applying is easy using our simple online application process.

ORC Login
blue base