COUN5161 Counselling over the Lifespan

Graduate Diploma Level Unit

Duration: One trimester

Level: 1st year

Credit points: 8 (out of a total of 96 points)

Prerequisites: None

Mode(s) of delivery: On Campus and Online Delivery

Core/elective: Core

Unit description

This unit provides students with a comprehensive framework for understanding physical, cognitive, and identity developments through  childhood, adolescence and adulthood. The theoretical work covers attachment, socio-emotional and moral theories of development, psychoanalytic, learning and cognitive theories,  family systems and gender-role and sexuality theories of development.

Students will be asked to identify a milestone in their developmental history  and analyse it through relevant theories of development. Students will also evaluate media reports on lifespan issues such as  the socialisation of young people, midlife crises, ageing and memory.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the unit students will be able to:

a)       identify and analyse the physical, cognitive, and identity developments in childhood, adolescence and early, mid and late adulthood

b)       evaluate attachment, socio-emotional and moral theories of development

c)       evaluate key psychoanalytic, learning and cognitive theories in developmental psychology

d)       identify and analyse family systems’ influence on development

e)       apply developmental theory to a range of situations and contexts                    

f)        identify and analyse gender-role and sexuality theories of development

g)       demonstrate advanced theoretical knowledge of the impact of multicultural issues on attachment theories

h)       analyse and synthesise theories of ageing, grief, death and dying

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 12 hours per week.

Assignment summary

Please refer to the document available here


The required text book for this unit  can be found by viewing the School of Counselling textbook list by selecting the course and trimester at the following link:

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. This includes plagiarism of any nature. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what constitutes plagiarism in order to ensure that you do not engage in it. Please refer to for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


Unit information may be subject to change prior to the teaching trimester commencing.  Once term has commenced please review the Unit Outline in your class space to ensure your trimester study plan is correct.