Health

Graduate Diploma of Counselling

What is a Graduate Diploma of Counselling?

The Graduate Diploma of Counselling provides a postgraduate qualification for you to enhance your skills in the professional domain of counselling and interpersonal communication. You will learn about the importance of personal and professional self-care, the effects of vicarious trauma and telehealth services. This course focuses on the theories and practices of counselling to support and foster positive human change.

You will be equipped with professional counselling experience and a wide range of skills to enable further lifelong learning, support continued resilience-building, and facilitate effective interpersonal communication across business, community, education or wellbeing settings. The Graduate Diploma of Counselling enables you to begin a career as a counsellor or to enhance your current practice. This course can also act as a pathway to the master's degree.

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Learning outcomes

  • Identify and analyse the major issues that affect the health of populations.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of policy and management to promote health and welfare.
  • Identify and describe environmental risk factors that affect the health and safety of a population.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the ethical practice of public health, and the principles of access and equity.
  • Apply local and global public health awareness to public health challenges.

ACA Recognised credentials

Our graduates qualify for membership with the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).

Study mode
Online
Campus locations
Online
Student
Domestic
Duration
1 year full time, 2 years part time
Start date

30 May 2022

12 Sep 2022

Fees

This is an AQF Level 8 course delivered by Torrens University Australia Ltd.

Designed to fit in with you
With all your learning materials online, you can tailor a schedule to fit your personal needs.

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

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

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
  • Advanced Therapeutic Communication | ATC401
    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.

  • Theoretical Approaches to Counselling | TAC402
    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.

  • Life Stages and Development | LSD403
    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.

  • Self Care & Developing Resilience | SDR404
    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.

  • Mental Health | MEH505
    In this subject, students will develop the knowledge and understanding of how to work effectively with people with a mental illness. Students will gain an understanding of common types of mental illness and the social and psychological determinants of mental health. Reduction of lethal risk and domestic abuse are key components of this subject. Common personality disorders will be outlined and explored.
  • Digital Counselling | DGC506
    Understanding digital culture and its impact upon intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intercultural experience in a globalised society is fundamental to therapeutic relationships.

    This subject examines the ways in which technology influences thinking and behaviour introducing phenomena such as disinhibition, net-worked relationships, multiple, contingent and mobile identities, dissociative imagination and behaviours, and the desire for liminal experience. Through a critical analysis of the impact of technology this subject assists students to utilise traditional face-to-face counselling theories and methods in digital environments, including apps, SMS, videoconferencing, and virtual reality as it applies to counselling.

    This subject provides students with the tools to create, and manage, a digitally competent ethical and professionally appropriate interpersonal online presence and strategies for managing client privacy and security. Current and future trends in social media and information communication technology and their impact on practice will also be considered.

  • Clinical Practice & Supervision | CPS507
    Clinical practice and supervision. Students will undertake 40 hours of supervised counselling at an external organisation or at our student-led clinic - The Practice Wellbeing Centre. The importance of ethics, professional boundaries, counselling theories and practice will be covered. Particular attention is devoted to client assessment and treatment planning; to skills of dealing with client resistance; assessing risk and to issues of transference and counter-transference. Students will be required to write up cases to professional standard.
  • Advanced Counselling Skills | ACS504
    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 Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

    • Solution Focused 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.

Industry partners

Work-Integrated Learning programs provide a valuable resource for you to develop hands-on practical experience to ensure you graduate confident and job-ready.
Work placement hours
You will complete 40 hours of supervised work placement at an external organisation. 
Andres Figueredo | TUA
I really enjoyed the practical experience during this course which allowed me to take part in role play and use the facilities in the Clinic to practice triage with video calls and recordings.
Andres Figueredo
Graduate Diploma of Counselling
Torrens University Australia | About | Woman in Orange Coat

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
graduation

Domestic entry requirements, fees and scholarships


  • Domestic
  • International

Fees: Domestic students

Domestic fees
Check the Domestic Course Fee Schedule for the cost of your course.
FEE-HELP
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.
  • Domestic fees

    Check the Domestic Course Fee Schedule for the cost of your course.

    Download domestic fees PDF

  • FEE-HELP
    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.

    View more info on fees

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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AQF Level 7 (Bachelor degree) or above in a relevant discipline
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OR A Bachelor's degree and complete the Torrens Work Life entry form demonstrating your interest in and suitability to gain entry to the course.

OR work life experience demonstrating the ability to undertake study at the required level. 

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

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

Apply Now Icon | Torrens University

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

This course is not currently available to International students.

Fees: International students

International fees
Check the International Course Fee Schedule for the cost of your course. Onshore international students requiring a student visa should choose campus-based / blended options.
Fee payment
Course fees can be paid across three study periods. Each instalment to be paid before the beginning of the academic stage census date.
  • International fees

    Check the International Course Fee Schedule for the cost of your course. Onshore international students requiring a student visa should choose campus-based / blended options.

    Download international fees PDF

  • Fee payment

    Course fees can be paid across three study periods. Each instalment to be paid before the beginning of the academic stage census date.

    Fee payment

Scholarships: International students

We want you to have the best possible chance to succeed, which is why we offer a range of financial scholarships to support our international students during their study journey.

Admissions criteria and pathways: International students

Before you begin your course application, check you meet all the requirements listed below

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Australian Year 12 or equivalent; and
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Academic IELTS 5.5 (no band less than 5.5) or equivalent.
OR alternative entry requirement may be available. Contact the International Admissions team for more information.

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. Learn more about study pathways.

How to Apply: International students

Get Started
Read through the admissions criteria and ensure you meet the entry requirements.
Offer
We’ll contact you shortly after to confirm your details and help you through the rest of the process.
Apply
It’s easy! You can apply online below or contact our International team on 1300 575 803.

Frequently asked questions

  • How do I apply for a course?
    Domestic students:

    Check the entry requirements for the course you’re interested in and submit your initial application form online to begin your journey at Torrens University Australia.

    If you have any difficulty, please contact our Course and Careers Advisors, who can talk you through the process.

    ALL SA/SACE and Victorian high school students must apply through SATAC and/or VTAC. Search for Torrens University Australia, Billy Blue College of Design or Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School.


    International students:

    If you are an international student hoping to begin your studies in Australia, study online, or transfer from another university, you may choose to do so through our Education Agents. Our agents are located throughout the world and will make sure the enrolment process runs smoothly. View the full list of International Education Agents. You can also apply online. For anything else, please contact our International team.

  • What are Torrens University Australia’s ATAR requirements for domestic students?
    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. Exceptions may apply to some courses.
  • Can I get course credit for previous experience?

    Yes, course credit is available for most courses upon application and academic approval (excluding Higher Degree by Research programs). 

    If you have already completed a qualification or have relevant work experience, you may be eligible for credit towards your course. This credit can take the form of credit transfer, block credit or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Review our Course Credits page or chat to our Course and Careers Advisors.

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

    Torrens University Australia has a range of application pathways to help you gain entry into our degrees based on different criteria.

    To find out more, visit Study Pathways or contact our Course and Careers Advisors.

  • What are Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer (CT)? How do I apply?

    Recognition of Prior Learning is an assessment process that recognises experience, previous study and qualifications, and other forms of informal and non-formal learning, to determine if you meet course requirements.

    If you have relevant qualifications or experience, you may be eligible for credit towards your course and a reduction in tuition costs.

    Please speak to our Course and Careers Advisors to discuss your prior learning experiences.

    For more information, please visit Course credits.

  • Am I eligible for FEE-HELP?

    If you are a domestic student attending university or an approved higher education provider, you can get a FEE-HELP loan to pay all or part of your tuition fees.

    You are eligible for FEE-HELP assistance for a unit of study (i.e. subject) if you:

    • Undertake study with an approved provider.
    • Meet the citizenship and residency requirements:
      • An Australian citizen or a New Zealand Special Category Visa holder who meets the long-term residency criteria and who will undertake, in Australia, at least one unit of study contributing to your course; OR
      • A permanent humanitarian visa holder who will be a resident in Australia for the duration of your unit; OR
      • Are a permanent visa holder who is undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals, and will be a resident in Australia for the duration of the study.
    • Enrolled in an eligible unit of study by the census date for the unit.
    • Have not exceeded the FEE-HELP limit.

    For full details, visit the Australian Government website Study Assist.

    If you are still unsure, please contact our Course and Career Advisors who can talk you through the information.

  • How do I apply for a scholarship?

    Torrens University has a wide range of scholarship options to support new, returning, international and Australian students. They all include a reduction in tuition fees, and some scholarships include a mentoring component with our industry partners.

    Domestic students

    When you speak to our Course and Careers Advisors, let them know you wish to be considered for a scholarship in your application form. They will show you how to apply for a scholarship.

    International students

    Please contact your Education Agent for further information. Alternatively, you can call us on 1300 575 803 or by email.

    For more details, explore our range of scholarships.

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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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