Graduate Certificate

of Counselling (Bridging Course)

Graduate Certificate in Counselling Bridging - Counselling Courses

Qualification / Award CO41 Graduate Certificate of Counselling (Bridging Course)
Course Duration 1 semester
Intake February, July
Credit Points 24
Delivery On Campus
Available to Domestic / International
IELTS 6.5 with no band less than 6
CRICOS Code 102445M
Financial Information FEE-HELP available for Domestic Students
Course Fees Page

Level 8

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The Graduate Certificate of Counselling (Bridging Course) is ideal for those wanting to explore counselling as a new career or vocation direction, with completion of the course providing time to determine if their interest in counselling merits further study.

Students will develop a clear appreciation of the rewards and challenges associated with a career as a professional counsellor, acquiring core counselling skills, an understanding of counselling ethics and an appreciation for how relational dynamics function in personal and professional settings.

The course may also be of interest to those in helping related professions whose occupations include an incidental counselling component (e.g. education, ministry, nursing, occupational therapy, pastoral work, policing, paramedics etc), providing an opportunity for them to improve or extend their current relational skill set by learning how to counsel and support others more effectively.

The course is also helpful for those without prior undergraduate studies who are interested in counselling and would like to determine if they can manage post-graduate level studies.

Students may also use the Graduate Certificate to proceed into the Graduate Diploma of Counselling and/or the Master of Counselling. Units completed in the Graduate Certificate in Counselling comprise 50% of the Graduate Diploma of Counselling and 25% of the Master of Counselling.


English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose qualifying undergraduate studies were taken in a language other than English will be required to demonstrate English proficiency as per the table below:

Examination Minimum Score
IELTS 6.5 with no band less than 6.0
TOEFL iBT (Internet-based) 79 with no score less than 20
PTE Academic 58 with no score less than 50

Applicants with Higher Education

Educational Prerequisites

Applicants may be admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Counselling if they have previously successfully completed a relevant:

  • Bachelor degree or
  • Bachelor Honours degree

‘Relevant’ means a degree that includes subjects such as psychology, social work and education where you studied human motivation and behaviour. “Non-relevant” means degrees that are science based (not including psychology), where you have not studied human motivation and behaviour.

Applicants with non-relevant degrees will be considered on the basis of their Work and Life Experience.

Applicants with Work and Life Experience

Applicants without undergraduate qualifications can apply for admission via the Work and Life Experience pathway which may consider other forms of study completed in the higher education and vocational sectors, volunteer activities, contribution to church life, professional development relevant to counselling. For more information refer to the Student Selection and Admissions Policy and Procedure.

Suitability assessment

All applicants will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Interview: Successfully complete an admission interview (including a Readiness for Counselling and Psychotherapy Training Questionnaire).

Recognition of Prior Learning

If the applicant is successful they will be issued an offer letter and a written agreement. Students will need to respond to the offer within 6 weeks. This is done online and a confirmation will be emailed back to the applicant. At this point, applicants are welcome to apply for Credit or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). If you are eligible for credit or RPL, you may be exempt from completing some units and you may be able to finish your degree in a shorter amount of time.

Please refer to the Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy reference.

Download the Student Selection and Admissions Policy and Procedure.

Please note this course is not available to International Students.


  • Four cognate units as a pathway to study Master of Social Work (Qualifying)
  • Pathway to Graduate Diploma in Counselling, followed by Master of Counselling to become a qualified PACFA accredited counsellor


Relational dynamics are at the heart of human engagement and communication and, from the earliest years, counsellors and clients alike are influenced and affected by significant relationships in their lives. For this reason, processing adverse effects of relational experiences within the psychotherapeutic space is often central to client psychological health, wellbeing and recovery. Responding appropriately within the therapeutic space relies on counsellors having developed a repertoire of interpersonal skills, and the ability to understand and conceptualise interactive processes, so as to effectively co-create and sustain safe therapeutic relationships. It is the ability to navigate their own and their clients’ relational histories which significantly contributes to client psychological health, well-being and recovery.

Across the lifespan humans grow and change, and an individual’s personal growth trajectory is affected by a range of developmental and socio-cultural factors which, ideally and in combination, contribute to normative outcomes. Non-normative outcomes, where they occur, may be the result of genetic mutation or genetic variation, illness, disability, psychopathology, and/or the influence of a range of family, community and societal factors. Employing bio-psychosocial and socio-cultural lenses, this unit introduces students to the major theories of human development, with an emphasis on the characteristic developmental changes in individual behaviour that arise from the interdependent and interactive effects of maturation and experience. Particular emphasis is given to the influence of environmental, societal and cultural factors on individual development and growth, enabling students to identify and understand the factors that may lead to perceived dysfunction, and a need to seek counselling to facilitate coping.

In this unit students learn how to ethically and responsibly manage this position, becoming conversant with all relevant regulatory codes and Australian legislative requirements that govern the Health sector. They explore ethical principles in professional decisionmaking processes, reflect on the benefits of professional association membership, and are encouraged to be aware of, and thoughtful about, how their personal moral stance and ethical framework informs and influences their professional practice.

This special topic elective unit is a shell unit that gives the School of Counselling flexibility to pick any topic of relevance. Introduction to Australian Society is the Special Topic for this stream.


Data will be available after the first year of teaching.

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