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Graduate Diploma of Counselling & Psychotherapy

The Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Psychotherapy provides students with training in key therapeutic modalities and interventions. With its strong vocational emphasis, it helps students learn how to integrate theoretical constructs, gain increased personal knowledge, increase their insight and understanding, apply advanced therapeutic techniques, observational, and practice skills.

The course provides students with theoretical knowledge of contemporary psychotherapies, including the cognitive behavioural therapies, and humanistic-existential approaches taught by practitioners who are specialists in the field. The course includes knowledge and practice of thorough assessment process and brief interventions, case conceptualisation and treatment planning, and development of professional ethical stance with an understanding of the current ethical and legal regulations and best practice in the field of counselling and psychotherapy.


Location: Hawthorn East Intake: Semester 1 each year
Delivery:  Full Time and Part Time Fees:  Fee information can be found here
Duration: 1 Year Full Time or 2 Years Part Time FEE-HELP: Yes
CRICOS Course Code: 092968D Course Code: CP082
Course Duration and Structure

This one year full time program consists of 100 credit points, including 50 credit points from the Graduate Certificate of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Students undertake a total of eight units of study consisting of seven coursework units (37.5 credit points or 75%) and one placement unit (12.5 credit points or 12.5%).

Year One
CPc1 Psychotherapeutic Theories and Models
CPc2 Person-Centred Counselling
CPc4 Facilitating Therapeutic Change
CPc5 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
DPc7 Assessment Process in Counselling and Psychotherapy
DPc2 Ethics and Professional Development
DPc3 Counselling Placement 1
DPc4 Treatment Planning


For unit descriptions, please click here.

Admission Criteria

Entrance into the Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy requires:

  • a minimum three-year Australian Bachelor degree (AQF 7) in a related discipline (such as teaching, social work, social sciences, psychology, counselling or similar) with at least a 60% average marks, OR
  • a minimum three-year Australian Bachelor degree (AQF 7) in any discipline with at least a 60% average AND relevant work experience, OR
  • successful completion of a Graduate Certificate in Counselling and / or Psychotherapy with at least a 60% average, OR
  • successful completion of a Diploma (AQF 5) OR Advanced Diploma (AQF level 6) AND at least one year’s work experience in a relevant field.

Depending on your work experience, prospective students may be required to undertake The Cairnmillar Institute’s Introduction to Counselling Skills and Advanced Counselling Skills short courses prior to commencement.

To apply:

Prospective students are required to submit an application through the Apply Now page, with certified copies of the following supporting documentation:

  • Most recent academic transcripts
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • A 500 word personal statement outlining the reasons for wanting to undertake the course
  • Proof of residency/citizenship (e.g. passport, birth certificate, or citizenship certificate)
  • Two references, preferably with at least one academic, using the online HODSPA reference system. A guide on how to use the system is available here.

Prospective students who are short-listed will be invited to attend an interview with members of the School Teaching Faculty. This provides the applicant with the opportunity to connect with staff, learn more about the course, and ask any questions.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Students may only be given credit for any coursework if it is from a successfully completed approved course at the appropriate Australian AQF postgraduate level.

Graduate Learning Outcomes
  • The ability to understand and practice within the PACFA Code of Ethics and Professional Guidelines.
  • Knowledge and integration of the range of counselling and psychotherapeutic theories.
  • Understanding the importance of establishing the therapeutic relationship.
  • The capacity to relate in a way to facilitate change.
  • An awareness of the impact of the self on others and the development of relational intelligence, sensitivity, resilience and respect.
  • The capacity to be self-reflective and learn from experience.
  • The skills to conduct a suicide risk assessment and management.
  • Acquired knowledge of alternative modes of working with clients, including the use of telephone and real-time internet platforms, with an awareness of potential security and confidentiality issues.
  • Respect and acknowledgment of indigenous history and human diversity.
  • Understand the impact of gender, sexual identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, class, religion and ethnicity on therapy.
Career Opportunities

Graduates may find employment in a variety of settings including community health and community services organisations, the health professions, rehabilitation providers, human resource management, child protection, family support counselling services, allied clinics and services, and private practice.

Graduates of this program may be eligible to apply for direct entry into the second year of the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Professional Recognition

The Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Psychotherapy is accredited by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). Students who wish to deepen their practice can go onto completing Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy.