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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 a development of professional ethical stance with 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 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
Admission Criteria

An Australian AQF 7 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in any discipline with at least credit (60%) average AND relevant professional experience

OR successful completion of the Graduate Certificate of Counselling and Psychotherapy with at least a 70% average OR successful completion of a Diploma (AQF 5) OR Advanced Diploma (AQF 6) AND at least one year’s work experience in a relevant field (Applicants will be assessed on a case by case basis).

Prospective students may be required to undertake The Cairnmillar Institute’s Introduction to Counselling Skills and Advanced Counselling Skills short courses prior to commencement.

For entry into the course, students are required to submit an application through the Apply Now page, with certified or original scanned copies of the following supporting documentation:

  • Most recent academic transcripts
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • A 500 word personal statement outlining what factors have contributed to the application
  • 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.

Successful applications will be invited to attend an interview with members of the School Teaching Faculty, providing students the opportunity to discuss any questions they have about the proposed course of study.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Students may only be given credit for any coursework if it is from a successfully completed approved course.

Credit for placement experience completed as part of current employment can be given, if it is work ordinarily carried out by a psychologist, counsellor or psychotherapist and if supervision is arranged.

Students cannot be given credit for any research experience prior to undertaking the course.

Graduate Learning Outcomes
  • The ability to understand and practice within the PACFA Code of Ethics and Professional Guidelines.
  • The capacity to relate in a facilitative way.
  • Understanding and capacity for human relatedness.
  • An awareness of the impact of the self on others within ethical guidelines and frameworks.
  • The capacity to be self-reflective and learn from experience.
  • The skills to ability to suicide risk assessment and management.
  • Alternative modes of working with clients, including telephone and real-time internet, incorporating potential security and confidentiality issues.
  • Knowledge and integration of the range of understanding human diversity.
  • Respect and acknowledgement of indigenous history.
  • 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 course is part of the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy which is accredited by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) and by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). Graduates of the program will be eligible to apply for listing on the PACFA register as an Intern.