Diploma of Counselling and Communication Skills

Health courses and degrees | Diploma of Counselling and Communication

What is a Diploma of Counselling and Communication Skills?

The Diploma of Counselling and Communication Skills builds a foundation of key counselling and communication skills through a combination of theoretical and practical components. Upon completion, you’ll have the opportunity to build a career in the industry or enrol in the Bachelor of Counselling and receive credit from this counselling diploma.

This course offers the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed for a career in the community sector. You’ll develop an understanding of human behaviour at different stages, behavioural problems and strategies for positive behaviour management, and the impact of society and culture. You'll learn how to critically review a range of theories in counselling and relate them to issues in practice, take an ethical approach to counselling and develop skills to assess, manage and refer clients accordingly.


Learning outcomes

  • Explore an array of theoretical perspectives on counselling and discover the drivers for human behaviour.
  • Learn how to evaluate different situations to determine your best approach.
  • Study the core principles of case management.
  • Understand common mental health conditions, behaviours and thought patterns.

ARCAP professional registration access

Upon completion, you’re eligible to join the Australian Register of Counsellors & Psychotherapists.

Study mode
Campus locations
1 year full time, part-time options available
Start date

12 Sep 2022


This is an AQF Level 5 course delivered by Torrens University Australia Ltd.

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Ultimate flexibility
With the option to study full or part time and all your course materials online, you can tailor your study to suit your lifestyle.

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Learn from specialists in their field
Our academics understand where the industry is heading and will guide you on your learning journey.

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Tap into our knowledge
Our heritage with the Jansen Newman Institute ensures you’re learning from more than 40 years of counselling experience.

Career opportunities

This course will prepare you with the skills to enter a successful career in corporate health or aged care, or to further your study in health at bachelor’s level.

Career paths

  • Future careers
    • Mental Health Support Services
    • Domestic Violence Support services
    • Addiction Support Services
    • Family Services
    • Child Protection

Subjects and units

Each subject involves 10 hours of study per week, comprising 3 hours of facilitated study and 7 hours self-directed study.
8 Core subjects
  • Social and Emotional Wellbeing | HWEL2006
    The subject covers the principles of social, emotional and psychological health as they relate to health behaviours. Students will analyse the role of capacity building and the promotion of wellbeing through mindfulness, positive behavioural change and resilience.
  • Counselling & Communication Skills | CCS103
    Counselling & Communication Skills encompasses counselling skills commonly needed by health professionals for effective communication. This subject comprises a practical approach to a variety of communication skills and best practice strategies including promoting change, compliance, obstacles to change, transition and self-care. Sessions facilitate the development of effective listening and responding skills, increased personal awareness and insight in order to assist the building of a professional relationship for interactions with clients, colleagues and members of the community.
  • Mental Health in the Community (F2F & Online) | MHC108
    This subject provides students with basic understanding of mental health. It includes definitions of mental health, mental health theories, risk factors and disorders. The impact of mental illness in the community, and particularly on individual.
  • Introduction to Social and Psycho-educational Theories (F2F & Online) | ISP102
    In this subject, students are introduced to social and psycho-educational theories that will allow them to understand human practices, identities and social, psycho-educational structures.
  • Case Management and Ethical Principles (F2F & Online) | CMP105
    This subject examines the practice and skills required for case management and program development community services. The subject includes an overview of the theory and practice of program planning, development and evaluation using case studies that address the complex and varied needs of clients.
  • Human Development Across the Lifespan (F2F & Online) | COU103A
    This subject introduces students to the field of developmental psychology and explores what drives or motivates human behaviour throughout their life from birth to death.
  • Applied Counselling (F2F & Online) | COU104A
    The subject provides students with an opportunity to develop their counselling skills in an interactive and supportive learning environment with feedback from others. The interrelationships between counselling theories and models and skills are explored. The focus is on counselling and communication skills from empathy to listening skills and reflection. Attendance at a two-day on-campus weekend workshop is required for all online students.
  • Professional Practice (F2F & Online) | PFP107
    This subject includes 120 hrs of industry placement

Industry partners and work placements

Students are eligible to join the Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (RCAP). Work-Integrated Learning and Clinical Practicum Experience are embedded throughout the course and are incorporated into theory subjects.  
Work placement hours
During your degree, you’ll undertake 120 hours clinical experience at an external organisation.  
Elennie Perrett
When I realised I could study online and part-time, being a mature aged students, this put me at ease knowing my family and work life would not be as greatly affected.
Elennie Perrett
Diploma of Counselling and Communication Skills
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Why study with us?

As the country’s fastest-growing university, Torrens University Australia brings a fresh approach to higher education. We focus on giving you the skills and the knowledge to ensure long-term success in your career. Our academics are highly qualified and will support you in every step of your study.
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Love the way you learn
Study in a way that suits your lifestyle, on campus, online or a blend of both.
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Get more out of passionate academics
With the guidance of our industry-leading experts, you can become a leader in your field.
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A more collaborative experience
Our smaller class sizes provide a more immersive and effective learning environment. Collaborate with peers and spend more time with academics in your field.
Hear from our Health lecturers about the flexible and career-focused approach we take to your education.   
Samantha Straham
What I’ve enjoyed most about this degree is the sense of being looked after while studying, I’ve felt so supported through the course and loved the ability to collaborate and join in.
Samantha Strahan
Health Faculty

Domestic entry requirements, fees and scholarships

Fees: Domestic students

Domestic fees
Check the Domestic Course Fee Schedule for the cost of your course.
Eligible Australian students may choose to defer some, or all, of their tuition fees through FEE-HELP, a loan scheme repaid through the tax system based on income.

Scholarships: Domestic students

If you are truly passionate about health, we want to hear from you. We have a variety of health scholarships on offer to assist you in becoming a key part of the health industry:

Admissions criteria and pathways: Domestic students

Before you begin your course application, check that you meet the requirements listed below.
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Year 12 (Australian secondary school certificate) or equivalent.
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Vocational qualification (AQF Level 4), or above
OR Successful completion of a Higher Education qualification.

Guaranteed pathway and Recognition of Prior Learning

If you have already completed a qualification you may be able to credit this against your degree with us, even if it’s from another institution. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning. We also offer pathway opportunities to further your learning.

How to apply: Domestic students

Get started
Read through the admissions criteria and ensure you meet the entry requirements.
It’s easy! Apply online below or contact us and we can help on 1300 575 803.
We’ll contact you shortly after to confirm your details and help you through the rest of the process.
Apply Now Icon | Torrens University

Get started
Read through the admissions criteria and ensure you meet the entry requirements.

Apply Now Icon | Torrens University

It’s easy! Apply online below or contact us and we can help on 1300 575 803.

Apply Now Icon | Torrens University

We’ll contact you shortly after to confirm your details and help you through the rest of the process.

Frequently asked questions

  • What does admissions criteria mean?

    Admissions criteria is a set of criteria that must be met to be eligible to apply for a chosen course.

    To gain entry to an accredited undergraduate course at Torrens University Australia, applicants must both satisfy general admissions criteria and meet any additional course requirements where specified.

    All admissions criteria and course-specific requirements apply consistently across campus locations and study modes. To find out more, visit admissions criteria.

  • What if I don’t meet the entry criteria for a degree?

    Torrens University Australia has recognised pathways to help you gain entry into our bachelor degrees based on different criteria.

    To find out more, visit Study pathways or contact one of our knowledgeable Course and Careers Advisors.

  • What are Torrens University Australia’s courses’ ATAR requirements?
    Torrens University Australia no longer considers ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) as our primary entry requirement. We have removed ATAR as the key admissions criteria for applicants aiming to study at Torrens University Australia. We strongly believed an alternative to the ATAR system should be found, which more broadly assesses students, especially when soft skills are emerging as important employability attributes. So, students with a recent secondary school education are now considered for admission if they have a Year 12 (Australian secondary school) certificate.
  • Can I get course credit for previous experience?

    Yes, course credit is available upon application and academic approval.

    If you have already completed a qualification or have relevant work experience, you may be able to receive credits towards your degree. This credit can take the form of credit transfer, block credit or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

    Our Program Directors will carefully review the learning gained from your previous qualification and/or experience to ensure we provide you with credit towards our degrees whenever appropriate. Review our course credits page or chat to one of Course and Careers Advisors.

  • What are course credits?

    Course credits are credits that can be applied to your course based on your prior experience or qualifications. To find out more, visit course credits


  • Am I a domestic or an international student?

    Domestic students are Australian and Permanent Residents. International students are those who hold citizenship or Permanent Resident status of all other countries.

    International students from countries whose first official language is one other than English need to provide evidence of English Language Proficiency.

  • How do Torrens University Australia fees charge?

    Torrens University Australia is a full-fee paying institution. To find out more, visit Tuition Fees.

    Domestic students may be eligible for FEE-HELP. For more information on FEE-HELP, please visit:

    Please note we do not currently offer any full fee waivers for international students. We do not offer stipends or living allowances.

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Learn from specialists in their field
Our academics understand where the industry is heading and will guide you on your learning journey.
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