Graduate Diploma of Counselling

Postgraduate coursework

Develop essential knowledge, with a focus on telecounselling and counselling diversity, to compassionately support the mental health of individuals.

Domestic International

Domestic student information

Key facts


Trimester 1 commencing students: 1 year over 2 consecutive trimesters, or part-time equivalent
Trimester 2 commencing students: 1.5 years over 3 consecutive trimesters

The course is available to students on a full-time or part-time basis for Trimester 1 entry and part-time basis only for Trimester 2 entry.


Key dates

Direct applications to Deakin for Trimester 2 2024 close 26 May 2024

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

Our Graduate Diploma of Counselling will provide you with essential knowledge and skills in counselling required to effectively and compassionately support individuals with mild or moderate mental health problems and normal developmental issues. You will undertake 100 hours of valuable counselling placement^ during your course which will equip you with practical counselling experience and enable you to develop relationships that will support your future employability.

Want to enter a career in counselling and be equipped to support the mental health of individuals?

The Graduate Diploma of Counselling will be a perfect fit for you if you’ve considered a career related to counselling or would like to develop counselling expertise to support your current role and expand your career opportunities (i.e. support workers, social workers, teachers, student advisors, nurses, supervisors, managers, doctors, occupational therapists etc.).

The course has a particular focus on telecounselling and counselling diversity, both of which are of increasing importance and experiencing higher demand in Australia and globally. As a graduate you will be armed with practical knowledge and expertise relating to counselling micro-skills, mental health issues, professional practice issues, human development, multicultural counselling, counselling therapies and ethics.

By studying counselling with Deakin, you will be joining a university ranked well above world standard for our Psychology and Cognitive Sciences research.*
*Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) 2018
^ All placement hours must be completed with the placement host and students physically located in Australia.


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Course information

Award granted
Graduate Diploma of Counselling

2024 course information

Deakin code
Postgraduate (Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma)
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 8

Course structure

To complete the Graduate Diploma of Counselling, students must attain 8 credit points. The course is structured in two parts:

1. Foundations of Counselling (4 credit points)

2. Fundamentals of Counselling (4 credit points)

Depending upon prior qualifications and/or experience, you may receive credit for the Foundations of Counselling units.

All commencing Faculty of Health Undergraduate and Postgraduate course work students are required to complete DAI001 Academic Integrity Module (0-credit-point compulsory unit) in their first trimester of study.

You can complete the 8 units in any order, though you must complete two essential units that have been designed to prepare you with the knowledge and skills to begin placement (HPY730 Principles of Counselling and Telehealth; HPY734 Ethical and Legal Issues in Counselling), before undertaking HPY737 Counselling Placement 1. Although, you could begin sourcing a placement earlier. All placement hours must be completed with a placement host and students physically located in Australia.

Course completed over 2 trimesters of full-time study (Trimester 1 intake only) or 3 to 4 trimesters of part-time study.

Students are required to meet the University's academic progress and conduct requirements.

Trimester 1 Intake (Full Time)

Trimester 1

  • Academic Integrity Module (0 credit points)
  • Principles of Counselling and Telehealth ^
  • Professional Counselling Roles ~
  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Counselling ^
  • Counselling Diverse Populations ~
  • Trimester 2

  • Mental Health Counselling ^
  • Lifespan and Developmental Counselling ^
  • Contemporary Counselling Therapies ~
  • Counselling Placement 1 ~*
  • ^Foundations of Counselling unit

    ~Fundamentals of Counselling unit

    * All placement hours must be completed with the placement host and students physically located in Australia.

    Trimester 1 Intake (Part Time)

    Trimester 1

  • Academic Integrity Module (0 credit points)
  • Principles of Counselling and Telehealth ^
  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Counselling ^
  • Trimester 2

  • Mental Health Counselling ^
  • Lifespan and Developmental Counselling ^
  • Trimester 1

  • Professional Counselling Roles ~
  • Counselling Diverse Populations ~
  • Trimester 2

  • Contemporary Counselling Therapies ~
  • Counselling Placement 1 ~*
  • ^Foundations of Counselling unit

    ~Fundamentals of Counselling unit

    *HPY737 is offered in Trimester 1, Trimester 2 and Trimester 3

    Trimester 2 Intake (Part Time)

    Trimester 2

  • Academic Integrity Module (0 credit points)
  • Mental Health Counselling ^
  • Lifespan and Developmental Counselling ^
  • Contemporary Counselling Therapies ~
  • Trimester 1

  • Principles of Counselling and Telehealth ^
  • Professional Counselling Roles ~
  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Counselling ^
  • Counselling Diverse Populations ~
  • Trimester 2

  • Counselling Placement 1 ~*
  • ^Foundations of Counselling unit

    ~Fundamentals of Counselling unit

    *HPY737 is offered in Trimester 1, Trimester 2 and Trimester 3

    Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Online

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Online

    Additional course information

    Course duration

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Mandatory student checks

    In order to undertake placement, students will be required to attain a police check and a Working with Children Check, or equivalent based on their State of residence.

    Students undertaking placement in any environment may be required to work with children, or incidentally exposed to children due to the nature of the counselling profession. Hence, the University has an obligation to ensure that students are suitable for placement and the children they work with are safe.

    To gain professional accreditation with the Australian Counselling Association, students are required to disclose and explain any professional misconduct, formal complaints made against them as a counsellor, serious criminal offences, current investigations, or refusal of application to work with children.


    As a student in the Faculty of Health you can expect to participate in a range of teaching activities each week. This could include lectures, seminars, workshops, online interaction and clinical placements. You can refer to the individual unit details in the course structure for more information. You will also need to study and complete assessment tasks in your own time.

    All years of the course require a part-time commitment, with a substantive load of required learning activities and study time. Although the course is designed for working health professionals, students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities per unit credit point.

    Participation requirements

    Students will be required to complete 100 hours of placement, composed of 40 hours of client contact, 10 hours of supervision, and 50 hours of non-contact counselling related activities. All placement hours must be completed with the placement host and students physically located in Australia.

    Entry requirements

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum academic and English language proficiency requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Please note, there are limited places in this course and entry is competitive. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an application as soon as possible. Applications for this course may close prior to the published closing date if all places are filled.

    Academic requirements

    To be considered for admission to this degree you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher
    • at least two years' relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent)

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    Admissions information

    Learn more about Deakin courses and how we compare to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning.

    Not sure if you can get into Deakin postgraduate study? Postgraduate study doesn’t have to be a balancing act; we provide flexible course entry and exit options based on your desired career outcomes and the time you are able to commit to your study.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place
    $28,600 for 1 yr full-time - Full-fee paying place
    Learn more about fees and your options for paying.

    The available fee places for this course are detailed above. Not all courses at Deakin have Commonwealth supported places available.

    The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing this course within the same year. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of prior learning.

    One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course. Completing this course within the same year is possible for students commencing in the Trimester 1 intake and undertaking studies in Trimester 1, 2 and 3. Course information for the Trimester 1 intake is detailed above.

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.

    Learn more about fees and available payment options.

    FEE-HELP calculator

    What is FEE-HELP?

    FEE-HELP loans cover up to 100% of tuition fees for eligible students. By taking out a FEE-HELP loan, the government pays your tuition fees directly to Deakin, and the balance is repaid from your employment income - but only once you're earning over $51,550.

    Please note: fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and based on 2024 rates. Actual fees may vary. We advise confirming fees with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

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    • $* is the estimated full cost for a Graduate Diploma of Counselling (8 credit points), based on the 2024 fees.
    • is the annual FEE-HELP payment, based on your current salary
    • of your current salary be spent on FEE-HELP


    Deakin University (Deakin):

    • gives no warranty and accepts no responsibility for the currency, accuracy or the completeness of the information provided;
    • advises users that no reliance should be placed upon on the information provided, and;
    • instructs users that they should confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

    This tool provides indicative information about the fees that will be payable in respect of courses and subjects offered to prospective students domiciled in Australia during the periods indicated.

    Please note that the fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and actual fees may vary. Users are advised to confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

    The estimated course fee is based on the tuition fee costs applicable to a domestic full time student commencing the course in Trimester 1 and studying full time for the duration of the course but:

    • does not include non-tuition costs that may apply, such as Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF);
    • does not take into account any scholarships or bursaries awarded to the student (including the 10% Deakin alumni discount);
    • assumes the maximum number of units that need to be successfully completed actual number completed may be reduced if recognition of prior learning is granted;
    • assumes that no exceptional, or non-typical, circumstances apply to the proposed course of study;
    • assumes that the options that the user selects are appropriate for the course of study that they intend to undertake;
    • where fees are estimated for future years those fee will be subject to annual increases in accordance with increases in the cost of course delivery.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Postgraduate bursary

    If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

    Apply now

    Apply direct to Deakin

    Some of our courses have limited places available - for the latest on courses still open for application, visit Courses by trimester.

    Create an account in the Deakin Application Portal, start your application, enter personal details, education experience, upload supporting documents and submit. Need help? Play this video, or contact one of our friendly future student advisers on 1800 693 888 or submit an online enquiry.

    Need more information on how to apply?

    For more information on the application process and closing dates, see the How to apply webpage. If you're still having problems, please contact us for assistance.

    Entry pathways

    This course can be a pathway to:
    H758 Master of Counselling

    Contact information

    Our friendly advisers are available to speak to you one-on-one about your study options, support services and how we can help you further your career.


    Career outcomes

    The course has been designed to foster practical counselling skills that can be applied in-person, over the phone or online via videoconference. There is a growing demand for these skills across a range of occupations related to mental health, disability, allied health and social support services with an expected very strong increase in demand over the next five years.*

    As a counsellor you will provide advice and information on relationships, social, educational, occupational and a range of other every-day life difficulties. You will develop rapport and a healthy therapeutic relationship with people to help them to identify and define their emotional issues through a range of therapies including cognitive behaviour therapy, interpersonal therapy and other talking therapies.

    The course has been designed to meet the requirements of the Australian Counselling Association, so you will be eligible for membership upon graduation, increasing opportunities for employment.

    *Australian Government Job Outlook

    Professional recognition

    The Graduate Diploma of Counselling is accredited by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

    Demonstrate specialist knowledge of counselling roles, skills, theory, interventions, ethics, and legal issues across the lifespan to a variety of audiences relevant to professional counselling.


    Employ clear written and oral communication skills in order to effect therapeutic change in counselling. Convey complex counselling theories and ideas to a variety of audiences.

    Digital literacy

    Select appropriate digital tools to find, use, and disseminate information in counselling practice.

    Critical thinking

    Identify, synthesize, integrate, and critically reflect on research to inform counselling practice.

    Problem solving

    Appraise, select, and apply specialized counselling skills and knowledge to solve complex problems in the field of counselling. Initiate, plan, and implement counselling interventions that creatively solve problems.


    Demonstrate high-level self-management and awareness in learning and practice that reinforces the importance of responsibility, accountability, and ethics in professional counselling.


    Work effectively in supervisory, leadership, and managerial capacities with diverse ethnic and cultural partners and teams. Communicate and collaborate with other mental health professionals to support clients.

    Global citizenship

    Evaluate and apply ethical principles to work productively in the field of counselling within diverse social, cultural and environmental contexts. Collaborate and communicate in a self-reflective and culturally sensitive manner.