What is a Master of Counselling?The Master of Counselling provides a postgraduate qualification that builds upon existing knowledge of interpersonal communication. It delivers key information about the importance of personal and professional self-care, trauma-informed practice and the use of telehealth services. This qualification has been designed to prepare you for a professional career in counselling, to improve current practice, or to take counselling theory into real-world settings.
- Support clients with a range of issues within ethical and professional requirements.
- Understand and apply psychosocial wellbeing to practice.
- Deepen and broaden communication skills.
- Apply theory and practice skills to demonstrate self-care and personal lived experience.
ACA Recognised credentials
Our graduates qualify for membership with the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).
This course has been designed to prepare you for employment in roles that require counselling and communication skills, or to progress your career in the professional domain of counselling and case management.
Potential career paths
Average salary: $83,000 - $111,000
Average salary: $77,000 - $109,000
Average salary: $77,000 - $100,000
Average salary: $60,000 - $66,000
Subjects and units
Each subject involves 10 hours of study per week, comprising 3 hours of facilitated study and 7 hours self-directed study.
Advanced Therapeutic Communication | ATC401Communication 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 | TAC402This 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 | LSD403The 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 | SDR404Resilience, 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 | MEH505In 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 | DGC506Understanding 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 | CPS507Clinical practice and supervision. Students will undertake 40 hours of supervised clinical practice and 10 hours of supervision, either in our Sydney Clinic - The Practice Wellbeing Centre (which offers low-cost counselling services to the public) and/or in selected outplacements through external organisations. 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 | ACS504This 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.
Critical Literature Review | RES611In this subject you will learn practical planning, searching, recording, analysing, interrogating and writing skills for conducting a literature review. This subject provides the critical reading skills required to undertake a research project. You will develop an understanding of the differences between practice and theory-based literature. You will develop mastery in identifying research gaps from the literature to establish future research directions. This subject will culminate in the development of a project statement for further scholarly research.
Group Leadership | GRL610This course aims to introduce students to principles, practices and theories of working with groups in a therapeutic context. The aim of this course is to provide a balance of theory and practice to assist student to gain knowledge and confidence in leading groups.
Trauma Informed Practice | TIP611The effects of trauma are seen across spectrums of human experience. This course begins with a definition of trauma and the impact that traumatic experience may have on a person. The neurobiology of trauma including the impact on the nervous system and polyvagal theory will be explored. The idea of an optimal window of tolerance for the autonomic nervous system and that adaptations such as drug and alcohol abuse and eating disorders may simultaneously be functional for survival and a problem for the individual will be explored. Research shows that the adversity we experience as children can affect us into adulthood. Students will learn about domestic abuse, applying risk assessment tools and understand the impact of domestic abuse on family, friends and community. Students will be required to demonstrate core skills that enable health professionals to apply successful trauma counselling techniques whilst maintaining appropriate boundaries and adequate self-care.
Positive Aging | POA612This subject provides students with an overview of positive aging with a focus on aging well and in optimal emotional and physical health. In this subject transition to older age is understood as a developmental stage impacted by social and emotional determinants. Students will demonstrate a critical understanding of emotional issue relating to aging and of counselling approaches applicable to positive aging. Techniques for working with older people including digital technologies, phone and telehealth, robot companionship and simulated presence therapy will be critically explored.
Grief and Loss | GAL613This subject prepares the student for working with clients through the processes of loss, grief, and change. The effects of grief in terms of human suffering and the associated costs for providing support are critical issues that need to be addressed in counsellor training. This subject provides a holistic approach to grief and loss counselling. Students learn the various experiences and stages associated with the process of grieving. Students learn the required skills to work compassionately with people who suffer psychological fall-outs and face existential questions following multiple losses such as those associated with relationship loss, declining physical and mental health, loss of role function and identity, migration and cultural status and death and dying including bereavement counselling and end of life plans. Students learn the distinction between grief and complicated grief whilst recognizing and respecting the uniqueness of each client's experience.
Coaching and Positive Psychology | CPP614In this subject, the usefulness, relevance and relationship of coaching and positive psychology to counselling will be explored. Positive psychology will be reviewed and its contribution as an approach to the ‘helping relationship’ investigated. As part of their exploration of the key positive psychology theorists, students will begin to develop an understanding of how they can synthesise that work into their potential coaching practice. They will also learn a range of particular coaching skills, including solution‐focused and strengths‐based approaches, as well as goal‐setting and personal development coaching. This subject will balance theory and practice in its delivery and students will be encouraged to engage in interactive learning through discussion and experiential practice. This subject will include 2 short courses from EXC603 Coaching as a Leadership Activity: EXC603_SC1 The GROW Model for Coaching EXC603_SC2 Reflective Practice
Social and Emotional Well-being in Australian Indigenous Populations | SEW615Connection to land, culture, spirituality, family and community are important elements of social and emotional wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples. In this subject students will critically analyse the social determinants of mental health and problems such as grief and loss, trauma, self-harm and suicidal ideation. Ethics and best practice in mental health provision will also be addressed. The link between identity, country, and mental health will be critically appraised. Students will engage in self-reflexive analysis of the impact of personal colonial history, bias, and beliefs impact self and practice with clients.
Working with at Risk Groups and Suicidality | WRG617In this subject students learn the skills and acquire the knowledge required to safely provide counselling for a suicidal person. The subject will cover definitions of suicide and serious self-harm, including risk factors for suicide with particular consideration of mental illness, domestic abuse and substance misuse. The social determinants of suicidality and the ways in which culture, ethnicity and refugee and migrant status, indigeneity, gender and sexuality, demographics and health status affect risk will be explored. The social impact of suicide, media reporting, health promotion and suicide prevention policy and practice will also be addressed. Students will learn to work with the recovery approach to suicidality, including the common factors that facilitate recovery; individual responsibility, acceptance, hope, identity, empowerment, and advocacy.
Empowerment and Advocacy | EPA618Beginning with the lived experience of mental health consumers this subject introduces empowerment as a multidimensional social process through which individuals and groups gain better understanding and control over their lives thus enabling them to change their social and political environment to improve their health-related life circumstances. Students will develop an understanding of their role as change agents and advocates for mental health consumers. This subject offers the opportunity to explore and understand advocacy organisations.
Industry partners and work placements
Work placement hours
You will complete 40 hours of supervised work placement at an external organisation.
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.
ScholarshipsIf 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:
Before you begin your application to study as a domestic student, check that you meet the requirements listed below.
A Bachelor's degree and complete the Torrens Work Life entry form demonstrating your interest in and suitability to gain entry to the course.
Work and life experience that demonstrates 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).
Guaranteed pathway and Recognition of Prior LearningIf 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
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.
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 Future Student 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.
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.
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 Future Student 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 Future Student Advisors to discuss your prior learning experiences.
For more information, please visit Course credits.
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.
When you speak to our Future Student 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.
For more details, explore our range of scholarships.
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.
What if I don’t meet the entry criteria for a degree?
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 Future Student Advisors who can talk you through the information.
Want to find out more?
Don't forget to download the course guide or get in touch with us below.