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Master of Counselling

Our Master of Counselling is the most popular graduate pathway to become a Registered Counsellor in Australia. Entry is available to anyone with a prior undergraduate (Bachelor) degree in any field.

Our Master of Counselling is the ideal qualification for you if you want to transition into a counselling career. As a counsellor with a Master of Counselling, there are many opportunities for you in employed positions 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.

Our program is approved for FEE-HELP, industry accredited with the Australian Counselling Association, and is delivered mostly online with some residential schools at our national campuses.

COURSE GUIDE

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Icon-Course-Delivery Course Delivery

Online, Full-time, Part-time

Icon-Duration Duration

24 months (full time)

Icon-Units Structure

14 Units

You can apply for entry to the Master of Counselling if you have successfully completed an undergraduate (Bachelor) degree in any field.

The Master 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.
  • Icon-Small-Tick FEE-HELP is a loan scheme for eligible students to pay their tuition (subject) fees.
  • Icon-Small-Tick Pay your subject fees direct to the institute each semester for each subject in which you are enrolled.
  • Icon-Small-Tick Split Payments. This means you can pay a portion of your subject fees yourself, and the remaining portion using FEE-HELP (if elgible).
  • Icon-Small-Tick Pay via Credit Card or Direct Debit.

Request a Course Guide

Please complete this form and we will respond within 24 working hours.

ITECA-Logo ACA-Accredited-Logo

Why study our Master of Counselling

Our Master of Counselling provides a flexible and affordable alternative to traditional tertiary education.

0 Career ready

When you graduate, you will be extremely well prepared to pursue a career in counselling – employed or self-employed – enjoying our strong industry reputation and linkage.

1 Extremely applicable

This course is extremely applicable to people from all sorts of backgrounds. Whether you are seeking a fresh start in a rewarding profession; or want to acquire counselling skills as an adjunct to your core profession – such as teachers, nurses, ministers of religion, corrective services officers and administrators.

2 Counselling education specialists

We believe you're better off learning from a specialist than a generalist. Many training providers deliver courses across a variety of industries. At AIPC, we prefer to concentrate on counselling and community services education.

3 Flexible learning

With so many demands on our time it can be difficult to fit study in around other commitments, that's why our Master of Counselling has been designed to maximise your learning from home where you can progress through your studies in a full-time or part-time pace.

Course Outline

SEMESTER
UNIT CODE
TITLE
PREREQUISITE

This unit introduces students to counselling as a profession. Students will learn about the development of the counselling profession, its relationship to other professions and its future directions. The unit introduces students to a trans-theoretical counselling framework and includes topics such as characteristics of effective counsellors; the role of the therapeutic relationship and therapeutic techniques in facilitating client outcomes; counselling in a culturally diverse society, and ethical issues in counselling practice.

This subject focuses on stages of counselling that are common across therapeutic approaches, including the development of the therapeutic relationship; clarifying concerns; goal-setting; applying techniques and interventions, termination and evaluation. Students reflect upon and analyse the effect of the counsellor’s Self on the counselling process and apply their knowledge of the stages of the counselling process in initial and final counselling session role-plays.

This subject focuses on stages of counselling that are common across therapeutic approaches, including the development of the therapeutic relationship; clarifying concerns; goal-setting; applying techniques and interventions, termination and evaluation. Students reflect upon and analyse the effect of the counsellor’s Self on the counselling process and apply their knowledge of the stages of the counselling process in initial and final counselling session role-plays.This unit introduces students to the foundational practical skills of counselling. Students will develop an understanding of the key therapeutic conditions required to facilitate change and the role counselling skills play in establishing and maintaining those conditions. Students will learn through direct teaching, demonstration and supervised practice and will demonstrate key skills and integrate these into a counselling session.

This unit introduces students to the ethical principles that inform counselling practice and ethical issues and dilemmas counsellors face. Students will reflect upon and analyse their own beliefs, values, attitudes and biases to understand how these may impact on their counselling practice. They will evaluate counselling scenarios to clarify and develop solutions to ethical dilemmas common in counselling practice, including those relating to confidentiality, client rights, dual relationships, and values conflicts.

Integral to this unit, students will develop reflective practice skills to assist in ongoing selfevaluation and personal and professional development. Students will also examine the role of supervision in ensuring ethical professional practice, and will learn skills involved in providing supervision to others.

SEMESTER
UNIT CODE
TITLE
PREREQUISITE

This unit examines physical, cognitive, emotional, social and moral human development across the lifespan. Students will identify developmental issues that occur as part of normal human development, as well as issues that may occur when development is impaired or delayed. Students will evaluate various theories of development and apply these to case studies.

This unit provides students with an in-depth understanding of the theoretical foundations, concepts, processes and techniques of cognitive-behavioural counselling approaches. Students will learn to use these approaches in counselling sessions and will evaluate the differences between cognitive-behavioural approaches, including an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses and applications of each.

This unit provides students with an in-depth understanding of the theoretical foundations, concepts, processes and techniques of collaborative and competency-based counselling approaches. Students will learn to use these approaches in counselling sessions and will evaluate the differences between approaches, including an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses and applications of each.

In this unit, students learn the principles and skills of assessment and case conceptualisation. Students will distinguish issues suitable for counselling intervention from those requiring mental health or other interventions, and will learn to use assessment tools and methods appropriate for counselling settings. In addition students will be introduced to a case-conceptualisation framework and will learn to conceptualise cases and plan treatment from behavioural, cognitive, feminist, emotion-focused, dynamic, family, transtheoretical, and constructivist theoretical perspectives.

SEMESTER
UNIT CODE
TITLE
PREREQUISITE

This unit introduces students to counselling as a profession. Students will learn about the development of the counselling profession, its relationship to other professions and its future directions. The unit introduces students to a trans-theoretical counselling framework and includes topics such as characteristics of effective counsellors; the role of the therapeutic relationship and therapeutic techniques in facilitating client outcomes; counselling in a culturally diverse society, and ethical issues in counselling practice.

This subject focuses on stages of counselling that are common across therapeutic approaches, including the development of the therapeutic relationship; clarifying concerns; goal-setting; applying techniques and interventions, termination and evaluation. Students reflect upon and analyse the effect of the counsellor’s Self on the counselling process and apply their knowledge of the stages of the counselling process in initial and final counselling session role-plays.

This subject focuses on stages of counselling that are common across therapeutic approaches, including the development of the therapeutic relationship; clarifying concerns; goal-setting; applying techniques and interventions, termination and evaluation. Students reflect upon and analyse the effect of the counsellor’s Self on the counselling process and apply their knowledge of the stages of the counselling process in initial and final counselling session role-plays.This unit introduces students to the foundational practical skills of counselling. Students will develop an understanding of the key therapeutic conditions required to facilitate change and the role counselling skills play in establishing and maintaining those conditions. Students will learn through direct teaching, demonstration and supervised practice and will demonstrate key skills and integrate these into a counselling session.

This unit introduces students to the ethical principles that inform counselling practice and ethical issues and dilemmas counsellors face. Students will reflect upon and analyse their own beliefs, values, attitudes and biases to understand how these may impact on their counselling practice. They will evaluate counselling scenarios to clarify and develop solutions to ethical dilemmas common in counselling practice, including those relating to confidentiality, client rights, dual relationships, and values conflicts.

Integral to this unit, students will develop reflective practice skills to assist in ongoing selfevaluation and personal and professional development. Students will also examine the role of supervision in ensuring ethical professional practice, and will learn skills involved in providing supervision to others.

This unit examines physical, cognitive, emotional, social and moral human development across the lifespan. Students will identify developmental issues that occur as part of normal human development, as well as issues that may occur when development is impaired or delayed. Students will evaluate various theories of development and apply these to case studies.

This unit provides students with an in-depth understanding of the theoretical foundations, concepts, processes and techniques of cognitive-behavioural counselling approaches. Students will learn to use these approaches in counselling sessions and will evaluate the differences between cognitive-behavioural approaches, including an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses and applications of each.

This unit provides students with an in-depth understanding of the theoretical foundations, concepts, processes and techniques of collaborative and competency-based counselling approaches. Students will learn to use these approaches in counselling sessions and will evaluate the differences between approaches, including an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses and applications of each.

In this unit, students learn the principles and skills of assessment and case conceptualisation. Students will distinguish issues suitable for counselling intervention from those requiring mental health or other interventions, and will learn to use assessment tools and methods appropriate for counselling settings. In addition students will be introduced to a case-conceptualisation framework and will learn to conceptualise cases and plan treatment from behavioural, cognitive, feminist, emotion-focused, dynamic, family, transtheoretical, and constructivist theoretical perspectives.

SEMESTER
UNIT CODE
TITLE
PREREQUISITE

In this 12 credit unit, students will learn the role research plays in professional counselling practice and will examine the contributions counsellors can make to the generation of research. Students will review quantitative and qualitative research methods relevant to counselling practice, apply basic statistical procedures and interpret statistical information in counselling research. Particular attention will be paid to qualitative research designs such as narrative analysis and single-case studies, as students may use these when they undertake the capstone project in Semester 4.

This subject offers students the opportunity to gain experience with and exposure to practical counselling issues in a supervised counselling environment. Students will spend a total of 168 hours on placement, including 12 hours of agency supervision.

In conjunction with the counselling placement, the Capstone Project component of the subject allows students to synthesise and integrate knowledge and skills gained throughout the course into counselling practice. Students begin their Capstone Project by preparing a plan detailing how they will integrate course outcomes into both their placement activities and their professional lives on completion of their degree. Students then undertake projects which may relate to their placement (e.g., case study or service evaluation) or may address issues that affect the counselling industry in some way (e.g., develop and administer a survey regarding counsellor burnout).

SEMESTER
UNIT CODE
TITLE
PREREQUISITE
SEMESTER
UNIT CODE
TITLE
PREREQUISITE

In this 12 credit unit, students will learn the role research plays in professional counselling practice and will examine the contributions counsellors can make to the generation of research. Students will review quantitative and qualitative research methods relevant to counselling practice, apply basic statistical procedures and interpret statistical information in counselling research. Particular attention will be paid to qualitative research designs such as narrative analysis and single-case studies, as students may use these when they undertake the capstone project in Semester 4.

This subject offers students the opportunity to gain experience with and exposure to practical counselling issues in a supervised counselling environment. Students will spend a total of 168 hours on placement, including 12 hours of agency supervision.

In conjunction with the counselling placement, the Capstone Project component of the subject allows students to synthesise and integrate knowledge and skills gained throughout the course into counselling practice. Students begin their Capstone Project by preparing a plan detailing how they will integrate course outcomes into both their placement activities and their professional lives on completion of their degree. Students then undertake projects which may relate to their placement (e.g., case study or service evaluation) or may address issues that affect the counselling industry in some way (e.g., develop and administer a survey regarding counsellor burnout).

UNIT CODE
TITLE
PREREQUISITE

This unit examines the effects of crisis and trauma on individuals and families. The relationship between stress, crisis and trauma is explored, and students learn interventions that address both the immediate and the longer term effects of traumatic events. Approaches suitable for diverse counselling populations are examined and the concept of vicarious traumatisation is addressed.

This unit introduces students to the theory and practice of counselling with families and couples. Students will learn to critically analyse dynamics and issues in family and couple relationships, including those relating to conflict, violence and abuse. Students will be introduced to different therapeutic approaches and will have the opportunity to develop relevant practical skills.

This subject focuses on the theory and practice of counselling with children and adolescents. Students will learn to respond appropriately to this client group as well as identify and address specific issues that may arise including behavioural problems, family conflict, self-harm, identity issues, abuse and violence, and school issues such as bullying. Ethical and legal issues are addressed in this unit, and students will learn appropriate responses to these.

This unit introduces students to theories of substance misuse and addiction, including intervention strategies to address addiction issues. Students will develop an understanding of the relationship between social, biological and psychological factors of addiction and will consider contextual and cultural factors in the development and maintenance of addictive patterns of behaviour. Motivational interviewing and primary, secondary and tertiary relapse prevention strategies will be covered.

This unit explores the experience of loss and grief and introduces students to conceptual models of the grieving process as well as counselling approaches to use with clients experiencing loss and grief. Students will learn to assess and respond appropriately to complicated and traumatic grief.

Below are the upcoming intake periods for the Master of Counselling. You can also download the 2021 Higher Education Academic Calendar in PDF format here.

Semester 1, 2021

Semester Commences
Census
Residential School
8th Mar 2021
24th Mar 2021
17th May - 28th May 2021

Semester 2, 2021

Semester Commences
Census
Residential School
12th July 2021
28th July 2021
20 Sept – 1st Oct 2021

Semester 3, 2021

Semester Commences
Census
Residential School
8th Nov 2021
25th Nov 2021
24th Jan – 4th Feb 2022

Semester 1, 2022

Semester Commences
Census
Residential School
7th Mar 2022
23rd Mar 2022
16th May – 27th May 2022

Semester 2, 2022

Semester Commences
Census
Residential School
11th Jul 2022
27th Jul 2022
19th September – 30th September 2022

Semester 3, 2022

Semester Commences
Census
Residential School
7th Nov 2022
24th Nov 2022
23rd January – 3rd February 2023
Course

Master of Counselling (14 Subjects)

Year
Tuition Fee per Subject

$2,550 (2021)
$2,590 (2022)

Total Course Cost

$35,700 (2021)
$36,260 (2022)

Master of Counselling (14 Subjects)
2021
$2,550 each
$35,700
Master of Counselling (14 Subjects)
2022
$2,590 each
$36,260

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. You can find out more about FEE-HELP from the following publication: Fee Help Information – 2021
  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 AIPC Bachelor of Counselling are automatically eligible to receive credit for 4 subjects of the Master 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 Bachelor of Counselling with the student’s Course Enrolment Confirmation Letter detailing the reductions in course fees applicable to students receiving this automatic credit.

Additional and Non-Tuition Costs

The following additional and/or non-tuition costs apply:

Please refer to the following textbook lists for the current prices of textbooks. Students are encouraged to submit their online textbook order through the Booktopia prior to commencing their studies for the semester. Students are able to source textbooks from other suppliers if they choose. Students are able to choose from textbooks or e-books, depending on availability, and further information is provided each Semester as to where these can be sourced from.

Master of Counselling Textbook and e-Book List

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.

Students are required to meet personal expenses such as travel, accommodation and meals. Travel includes travel costs to and from where the Residential School is held and travel to and from the Institute's premises each day.

When attending a residential in a city in which you do not live, you should allow approximately $300 per day for accommodation, meals and incidentals. This daily allocation has been determined by the ATO's recommended allowance rates for Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, available at: http://law.ato.gov.au/atolaw/. You should also add the cost of return airfares, or cost for another mode of travel, from your place of residence to the Residential School location.

Students have access to comprehensive online library of texts and resources.

External students borrowing hard copy library resources will need to pay for postage to return the borrowed item/s to the Institute at Locked Bag 15, Fortitude Valley 4006. Please refer to the Australia Post postage calculator for current indicative pricing: http://auspost.com.au/apps/postage-calculator.html.

For students living overseas, please check postage costs with your chosen postal or courier service. Overdue items are charged at $1- per day until the item is returned.

Students are able to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Credit Transfer to receive credit for one or more subjects** of the Master of Counselling (up to a maximum of 4 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 Master 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 4 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 Master 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 4 subjects inclusive of whether this credit has been obtained via RPL or credit transfer.

Master of Counselling

Students progressing into the Master of Counselling from the Institute’s Bachelor of Counselling will automatically receive credit for the following subjects:

  • MC01 Introduction to Counselling
  • MC02 Counselling Process
  • MC03 Counselling Skills
  • MC05 Counselling and Human Development

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.

Dependent on the chosen specialty stream within the Graduate Diploma, the student will also receive credit for the following subjects:

Graduate Diploma Specialty Stream Credit offered towards
Family Therapy MC12 Counselling for Families and Couples
Addictions MC14 Counselling for Alcohol and Other Drugs
Loss and Grief MC15 Counselling for Loss and Grief

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.

Students progressing into the Master of Counselling whom have completed an undergraduate degree in Counselling with another Higher Education Provider, or an undergraduate degree that has included the completion of a Counselling Major (ie, 8 subjects in Counselling) can apply for credit of up to four subjects in the Master of Counselling.

The student is required to apply for Credit Transfer as per the Applying for RPL or Credit Transfer process outlined below and supply a certified copy of their Qualification and Academic Transcript in support of their application.

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We understand that sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where you are unable to continue with your studies. If you need to withdraw from a subject, simply follow our formal withdrawal process prior your census date and you will not be charged the subject fee.

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