COUN6111 Counselling in a Diverse World

Master Course Unit

COUN6111: Counselling in a Diverse World

Duration: One trimester

Level: 1st year

Credit points: 3 (out of a total of 48 points)

Prerequisites: None

Mode(s) of delivery: Blended Delivery

Core/elective: Core

Unit description

This unit prepares students to work in an informed way with diversity within client settings.  It develops knowledge and skilled practice in the areas of social identity, stigma and discrimination, gender and sexuality, internalised homophobia and ageing. Students will become conversant with the complex interplay involved in the following:

  • the salience of social and individual identity in contemporary society
  • the human need for belonging and consequent categorisation of self and others
  • the attitudes and behaviours that lead to stigma and discrimination
  • the values, beliefs and behaviours impacting the development of gender and sexuality
  • the development of attitudes and constructs regarding internalised and externalised heterosexism
  • the vulnerabilities faced by ageing and disabled people, encompassing health, mobility, ageism, loss, isolation and mortality 

The unit provides students with opportunities to explore the diversity of client presentations for counselling and psychotherapy, and supports the development of skills in self-awareness, sensitivity, multicultural counselling and informed practice.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the unit students will be able to:

a)      demonstrate understanding of social theories of identity 

b)      recognise and distinguish the key concepts of stigma, prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination, and critically reflect upon the implications of diversity, inequality, social injustice and advocacy

c)      demonstrate understanding of the influences impacting on psychosexual development, including critical analysis of values, beliefs and biases regarding gender and sexuality

d)      understand and apply social policy on social inclusion to intervention planning with client populations that experience stigma, inequality and injustice

e)      critically analyse values, beliefs and biases (including the core constructs of internalised homophobia and their outcomes), regarding gender and sexuality

f)       demonstrate a knowledge of and sensitivity to a diverse range of clients (including those from culturally diverse backgrounds, First Australians, elderly people and those from the LGBTIQ community), through the provision of a safe and inclusive space for counselling and in responding to client needs appropriately

g)    critically evaluate counselling skills and interventions employed with clients from diverse backgrounds and apply learning to their developing counselling practice framework. 

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week.

Assignment summary

Please refer to the document available here.

Graduate attributes

The material covered in this unit will contribute to the development of the following graduate attributes:

  • Communication

The ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in a range of contexts using literacy, numeracy and information technology skills. 

  • Independent and Lifelong Learning

A commitment to continued and independent learning, intellectual development, critical analysis and inquiry, integrative thinking, and creativity.

  • Problem Solving

The ability to problem solve across a range of settings including professional, social and cultural contexts. 

  • Information Literacy

The ability to assimilate, analyse and utilise information effectively in a range of contexts, genres and texts types.

  • Innovation and Sustainability

A capacity to promote innovation within a socially sustainable environment.

  • Social Justice

An acknowledgment of and respect for equality of opportunity, individual and civic responsibility, indigenous and other cultures and times, and an appreciation of cultural diversity.

  • Discipline Knowledge and Skills

A command of a significant body of discipline knowledge and relevant professional skills.

  • Ethics and Ethical Practice

An awareness of, and sensitivity to, ethics and ethical standards on interpersonal and social levels, and within a field of study and/or profession.  To demonstrate integrity on social, cultural, and environmental issues.

  • Teamwork and leadership

A capacity for and an understanding of teamwork and leadership.

  • Global Perspective

An appreciation, respect and valuing of cultural and intellectual diversity.

Special provisions

Students will attend an on campus workshop of 14 hours in this unit. These workshops are compulsory to meet PACFA Professional Training Standards which require a minimum of 200 hours of face-to-face teaching.


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:

Relevant journals and resources

Knowledge and understanding of these topics will be enhanced by wide reading of international peer-reviewed journal articles from various domains of counselling and psychotherapy, which can be accessed via the ACAP Library’s journal databases.

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.