1. About the Graduate Certificate Counselling

Counselling has been practiced since the 19th century to enable an individual a confidential space to be heard with non-judgement to express, explore and work through issues that may be preventing them from optimal wellbeing.

Counsellors require a deep knowledge of the theoretical and ethical underpinnings of counselling, delivery methods including telehealth, suicidality, common mental health conditions and the importance of personal and professional self-care and effective boundaries.

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling qualification is designed to prepare its graduates for employment in a role, which leverages counselling and coaching skills within a specialist work environment. The qualification also meets the need of those seeking work in community and business settings to facilitate positive human change.

A Torrens University graduate is capable of providing counselling and support across the life-stages using a range of theoretical and practical skills. This accredited master degree is the highest level of counselling training available in Australia and provides a holistic environment for students to gain hands-on experience practicing their counselling skills.

Graduate employment opportunities

As a graduate of the Graduate Certificate of Counselling, there are a number of career opportunities available to you:

  • Private Practice
  • Addictions Counselling
  • Case Management
  • Child and Family Support
  • Community Services
  • Research
  • Case management
  • Corporate health consultancy
  • Writing for journals, textbooks and media

Course Overview

Course Title Graduate Certificate Counselling
Study Options – Domestic Australian students Full-time or Part-time Dynamic Online Study, on Campus or Blended mode Study Options – International students This course is currently not available to international students needing a visa to study in Australia
Start Dates February, June, September

For specific dates visit the website.

Course Length Full-time: 2 trimesters

Part-time: 4 or more trimesters

Payment Options – Domestic Australian students Upfront payment

This means tuition fees will be invoiced each semester and payment is required on or before the due date.


FEE-HELP is Australian Government’s loan scheme for higher education degree courses. It can assist you in paying for all, or part of, your course fees. Repayments commence via the tax system once your income rises above a minimum threshold. Just like with any other debt, a FEE-HELP debt is a real debt that impacts your credit rating.

Payment Options – International students Upfront payment

This means tuition fees will be invoiced each semester and payment is required on or before the due date.

Course study requirements Each subject involves 10 hours of study per week, comprising 3 hours of facilitated study and 7 hours self-directed study. Assessment  Essays, reports, presentations scenario and case studies, and reflective journals. Other assessment tasks may include research, collaboration / facilitation of discussion, scenario responses and problem based tasks.
Locations ·         Melbourne (Flinders St),

·         Sydney (Pyrmont)

·         Online

Delivered by Torrens University Australia
Provider Torrens University Australia Ltd is registered as a self-accrediting Australian university by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). CRICOS Course Code 102918E
Provider obligations Torrens University is responsible for all aspects of the student experience, including the quality of course delivery, in compliance with the Higher Education Standards 2015 Accrediting body Torrens University Australia Limited ABN 99 154 937 005,
CRICOS Provider Code: 03389E.
RTO No. 41343
Course Fees For details, refer to the website. Any other fees For details, refer to the website.
  1. Essential requirements for admission

The general admission criteria that apply to Torrens University Australia courses can be located by visiting the Torrens University Australia website – /general-admission-information-for-torrens-university-australia-ltd.

  1. Admission Criteria
Title of course of study Graduate Certificate Counselling
Applicants with higher education study Combining online study with mandatory residential on campus classes in a hybrid learning format, the course is ideally suited to individuals with a prior degree in any discipline wishing to gain an industry-recognised qualification whilst continuing to meet their work and family commitments.

To qualify for entry to the course applicants must usually hold a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline or hold a Bachelor’s degree and complete the Torrens Work Life entry form demonstrating their interest in and suitability to gain entry to the course. Relevant disciplines include, but are not limited to: Counselling, psychology, social work, nursing, teaching, human resources, life coaching, community services, children’s services, youth work, care for the aged, care for the disabled, residential client care, welfare studies, human welfare studies, pastoral care and medicine.

Students who do not have a prior degree in a related field must successfully complete the Graduate Certificate prior to enrolling in the Graduate Diploma, Master or Advanced Master.  This is a professional accreditation requirement.

Applicants with vocational education and training (VET) study

Not applicable
Applicants with work and life experience Demonstrated skills and knowledge gained through paid or unpaid employment, formal learning and/or non-formal learning (presented on a current resume with attached cover letter).
English Language Proficiency

(applicable to international students, and in addition to academic or special entry requirements noted above)

Equivalent IELTS 6.5 (Academic) with no skills band less than 6.0 (or equivalent TOEFL, CAE or PTE).
Applicants with recent secondary education (within the past two years) with ATAR or equivalent*

(for applicants who will be selected wholly or partly on the basis of ATAR)

Not applicable

Other admission options

 (For applicants who will be selected on a basis other than ATAR)

Special Entry Not applicable
  1. How to apply

Via direct application to the institution

  1. Advanced standing/academic credit/recognition of prior learning (RPL)

You may be entitled to credit for prior learning, whether formal or informal. Formal learning can include previous study in higher education, vocational education, or adult and community education. Informal learning can include on the job learning or various kinds of work and life experience. Credit can reduce the amount of study needed to complete a degree.

Applicants admitted based on prior higher education study may be eligible for Advanced Standing in the form of credit and/or recognition of prior learning (RPL) under the Torrens University Australia Credit Policy – (/policies-and-forms)

  • Students with completed subjects may be eligible for specified credit and/or elective exemptions
  • Students who have completed a qualification at AQF level 5 (diploma) or above may be eligible for block credit (where a block credit agreement exists)
  • Students with a mix of formal study and informal and/or non-formal learning may be eligible for recognition of prior learning in addition to any credit approved.

Credit will not be applied automatically. Applicants must apply for credit and/or RPL as early as possible prior to each study period, with applications not accepted after week 2.

For further information about credit and recognition of prior learning please see /apply-online/course-credits.

  1. Where to get further information
  1. Additional Information

Course Structure

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling program follows a trimester model (12-week teaching periods).  Students studying full time would normally complete the course in two trimesters.  The course comprises four subjects worth 10 credit points each for a course total of 40 credit points.

  • Core subjects = 4
  • Elective subjects = 0

The course structure can be viewed or downloaded at the Student Hub, Course webpage https://studenthub.torrens.edu.au/Hub

Course Rules

To graduate with the Graduate Certificate Counselling, students must satisfactorily complete the 4x core subjects for a total of 40 credit points.


ATC401 – Advanced Therapeutic Communication

Communication skills are fundamental to therapeutic relationships. This subject explores the nature of interpersonal communication including different communication channels and barriers to effective communication.  The role of self-perception and culture in interpersonal communication, listening and reflection play in effective communication will be critically appraised.

Students will examine how different types of relationships both personal and professional can be enhanced through more effective communication. This subject concludes with a discussion of power in interpersonal relationships, and how and when confidentially and the therapeutic responsibility to exercise ‘duty of care’ might conflict

Students will demonstrate micro-skills, attending and communication process skills, verbal and non-verbal communication, nuanced listening and reflecting skills, and the use and abuse of questions.

TAC402 – Theoretical Approaches to Counselling

This subject introduces a variety of counselling approaches. Students are required to explore approaches to theories, modalities and practice skills.
Students are introduced to a selection of counselling theories, including:

·         Person‐centred Therapy

·         Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy and Solution Focused techniques

·         Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Mindfulness based practice

Students will participate in different experiential learning scenarios to develop their understanding of various counselling interventions This subject also establishes a firm foundation for the concepts and techniques developed in later subjects.

LSD403 – Life Stages and Development

The subject introduces the field of developmental psychology and explores why people behave in certain ways, what drives or motivates human behaviour, and links between developmental experience and trauma. Students will examine the key life stages of birth, early and later childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, mid‐life, aging and death in their social and cultural contexts.

The subject provides an opportunity for students to explore how theories of attachment, cognitive and social development explain human development across the lifespan with particular reference to the effects of trauma. The influences of biology, gender, culture, ethnicity and socio‐political contexts in these development periods will also be investigated.

SDR404 – Self Care & Developing Resilience

Resilience, a quality that allows individuals to recover from times of difficulty and crisis and can be developed through understanding and practice. The subject covers the principles of social, emotional, physical and psychological wellbeing as they relate to health behaviours. Students will analyse the role of capacity building and the promotion of wellbeing through strategies to enhance personal and professional self-care. The impact of vicarious trauma and the effects of burnout for professionals will be explored.

Students will be required to critically self-reflect applying theories and practice skills to personal lived experience and history and use this knowledge to develop a cohesive self-care plan suitable to future industry practice.


The Graduate Certificate Counselling will be available fully online or at the Torrens University Campuses:

  • Adelaide campus
  • Sydney, Pyrmont campus

Campus Facilities and Services

All campuses are designed to provide students with professional spaces in which to learn and work. They have been planned with student study needs in mind with well-equipped accessible learning spaces as well as student breakout areas for group work and spending time with friends.

A positive student experience

Torrens University Australia values the importance of a positive student experience, and therefore has robust processes to resolve student complaints.  The Student Complaints Policy, and associated procedures, can be accessed from the website (/policies-and-forms).

Paying for your qualification

We offer two payment options for this course:

  • Upfront payment

If you want to complete your qualification debt-free you can choose to pay as you go. This means tuition fees will be invoiced each semester and payment is required on or before the due date using EFTPOS, credit card or direct transfer.


FEE-HELP is Australian Government’s loan scheme for higher education degree courses. It can assist you in paying for all, or part of, your course fees. Repayments commence via the tax system once your income rises above a minimum threshold ($45, 881 in 2019-20). Just like with any other debt,
a FEE-HELP debt is a real debt that impacts your credit rating.

Further information about FEE-HELP, including eligibility, is available at:

Austudy and Abstudy

Students enrolled in this course may be eligible for government assistance, such as Austudy or Abstudy.