Dr Brigid Mahoney leading the Counselling course review
Dr Brigid Mahoney, Program Director and Senior Learning Facilitator for Counselling & Community Services, based on our Adelaide campus, and her colleagues have recently reviewed all aspects of the degree’s content to ensure it is current and relevant today and into the future. She is excited about the benefits of the updated Bachelor of Counselling program for our students.
What motivated Torrens University to review the Bachelor of Counselling curriculum?
‘The curriculum for the Counselling degree was very solid, but of course, society moves quickly. Also, while COVID was not the primary motivation for reviewing the curriculum, it brought with it changes that we needed to consider. For example, there's more openness to tele-counselling now. So we want to equip our students with the skills to practice in person and that can also be applied to engaging with clients in an online space.
‘As well, we always listen to feedback from the Counselling industry to make sure that our students graduate with the skills and knowledge that align with industry needs. This process is so important that we meet with the industry every year and get their feedback on how our course is running. We do a review and ask industry professionals if there are any gaps in the course that we need to address. We ask what skills and experience the industry needs in our graduates. This feedback was invaluable in the process of updating the degree.’
What updates were made to the Counselling curriculum?
‘Some subjects in the degree are the same as before, such as the two placement subjects. And there are new ones, for example, a third-year subject about entrepreneurship, professionalism and business skills and health. This is a core subject that will encourage students to put their degrees into practice in the Health workforce and create a living for themselves as counsellors.
‘As well as introducing new subjects, in our review of the degree we made sure that all the course resources we are using, including the literature, are current.’
What impact will the curriculum change have on current Bachelor of Counselling students?
‘If the student has only done one year of the old degree, they can come across the new one. For students going into their final year, they will finish with the subjects from the old degree. Some students might choose to transfer over to the new degree even if they are halfway through the course and in that case, we'll assess those students on a case-by-case basis, have a look at what subjects they've completed then, and then we're able to apply for credits.’
One of our Future Career Advisors can help if you have any questions about transferring from the old course to the updated one.
What does a Bachelor of Counselling at Torrens University offer to students?
Dr Mahoney explains that the course gives students a deep awareness of the mental health experience of people in our society today.
‘I think COVID gave us all a little taste of what it feels to be socially isolated, and that seemed to bring a heightened awareness of our mental health and wellbeing across the board. And so we’ve certainly seen a surge in interest in our counselling offerings.
‘From my point of view, the strongest feature of the curriculum is the self-reflection aspect. Obviously, it's a very sound academic course and you'll learn all the academic skills you’ll need as a counsellor. But in particular, I think the person-centred practice and self-reflection, which you’ll learn in the course, are skills that you could take into any industry. Counselling’s really about learning to listen to and communicate with people. That’s what makes it a versatile degree.
‘The Bachelor of Counselling is a modern counselling course that will take you through all the fundamentals, and it is also relevant to your lived experience and for addressing the needs of people living in a changing world. It teaches those skills needed if we are to thrive in an ever-changing environment. So, it's about resilience as much as anything.’