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Editor: Sandra Poletto

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Copyright: 2012 Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors


Prospective students of AIPC often have similar questions about the Diploma. These often relate to the industry, the course structure, investment options or options after graduation. Here are some of our common FAQs:


Can I work as a counsellor?


YES. On completion of the nationally recognised training program Diploma of Professional Counselling, you can practice in all states of Australia. The Institute has one of the highest graduate success rates in the industry. In a recent survey of graduates, over 90% indicated that their course met their enrolment goals. If you'd like to hear from some successful graduates, visit us at


By what method can I complete my course?


AIPC students enjoy the most flexible study modes in the industry. They can study their course externally (home study); by attending classes; online; or any combination of these!


Studying online is becoming an increasingly popular method of study. Students enjoy the flexibility and benefits of accessing our Virtual Campus on our website. They can download their workbooks, complete their assessments, upload their workbooks for marking, and then receive their result, all online. We now have many thousands of students registered and completing their studies by this mode alone.


Students who want more face-to-face contact are able to attend classes which are held at many of our Student Support Centres in metropolitan areas. Students are also able to change between study modes at any time.


All students, irrespective of their mode of study, can access study support services such as the national toll free Study Assistance Line and Virtual Campus. There are a number of study support tools available for all students on the AIPC website. These include seminar timetables, the online Knowledge Base (with over 4,000 questions), and contacting an Online Education Adviser by email.


What are the course entry requirements?


The Institute has broad entry requirements to enable people from many backgrounds access to the course. For instance, as a mature age student (over 21), you may not have completed high school but gained sufficient life experience to qualify for entry.


As a mature age student, Year 12 or a Certificate III in another area would also qualify you for entry. Similarly, if you are under 21 years of age, you will need to have completed Year 12 or a qualification at Certificate III level or higher. If you are living overseas, it is recommended that you have completed your country's school system or a minimum of one year further education or study.


If I have studied before, can I get academic credit toward the course?


If you have been working in a counselling or similar field, or have completed related study, you may be eligible to gain exemption from certain units of the course via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).


We have a very simple system for assessing exemptions and it means you won't be asked to complete work you already have competency in. More information about the RPL process can be obtained from the 'Students' section of our website (


Do I have to complete my course in a specified time?


NO. The Diploma is designed to allow you to work at a pace that you find comfortable. This is known as Self Paced Learning. There is no such thing as an average student and each of us has other commitments as well. What is important is that you follow the guidelines provided in the Student Handbook and set a study plan to work to.


Will I be able to receive Austudy while I study the Diploma?


YES. The Diploma of Professional Counselling course is Austudy and Abstudy approved. To find further details about your eligibility, please contact the Austudy Student Assistance Centre on 13 24 90.


Do I have to keep paying for my course until I graduate?


NO. One of the unique aspects of our study program is that we give you the option of paying for your course on a monthly basis. This means that you pay a nominated amount each month for a set number of months. If you complete paying for your course prior to completing your studies, no further fees are due while you finish your academic requirement. You are FREE to complete your studies in your own timeframe.


How do I get practice in the field?


The structure of the Diploma of Professional Counselling ensures you graduate with a sufficient level of practical skill so that you can apply your counselling knowledge and skill with confidence. The course includes a number of compulsory practical components that cover a range of topics including communication skills, application of five counselling therapies and counselling groups.


These practical components can be completed by attending seminars, one-on-one or small group assessment sessions, or video recording role plays. We provide you with guidelines on how to complete these practicals via video, while qualified assessors are available in many regional areas of Australia.


Got some more questions? If you would like to know more about the Institute or the Diploma of Professional Counselling, visit

The Institute's Bachelor of Counselling


The Bachelor of Counselling is a careful blend of theory and practical application. Theory is learnt through user-friendly learning materials that have been carefully designed to make your studies as accessible and conducive to learning as possible.


The course and its subjects are structured to progressively develop your knowledge and skills from foundational, theoretical concepts through to more complex concepts and advanced skills and applications. 


Learning Structure


-         First year subjects focus on building a strong foundational knowledge and skill base including an overview of the counselling industry, the role of the counselling professional, philosophical tenets, counselling micro skills and counselling perspectives. You are encouraged to adopt an integrative approach to practice and develop your own counselling framework and helping philosophy.


-         Second Year subjects focus on broader, contextual issues such as culture, social issues and theoretical frameworks that impact the client, the counsellor and the helping relationship. Ethical and legal issues are examined as they relate to the counselling relationship, and you start exploring the concept of your 'self' and reflective practice.


-         The Third Year integrates specialist knowledge and skill with focused application in areas such as Grief Counselling, Group Work, Domestic Violence, Abuse, Working with Children, and Mental Health Issues. You will consolidate and extend your emerging practice framework and exhibit a high degree of self-awareness and professional reflection skills.


Upon Completion


On completion, you will have the capacity to apply counselling theory and skills in an intentional and mindful manner. You will have the ability to evaluate and apply a variety of counselling models according to the needs of your client. You will also have the ability to analyse counselling issues with consideration to broader social and cultural perspectives and will be equipped to make a natural transition into the role of Counsellor.


More information about Australia's most cost effective and flexible Bachelor of Counselling? Then visit


PS: The Institute is approved to provide higher education courses.  The Bachelor of Counselling is accredited by the Minister for Education and Training, the accrediting authority under the Higher Education (General Provisions) Act 2003.

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