Student Placement Requirements

Bachelor of Counselling

Student placements are periods of unpaid work experience in approved organisations that provide counselling services in which students have opportunities to put theory into practice. Student placements are also an excellent opportunity to develop networks and explore career options and professional pathways.

In the course of undertaking their placements, students will

  • apply theory and research to counselling practice with a range of counselling populations
  • participate in small group supervision of their practice to build case conceptualisation and ethical decision making skills
  • develop their professional identity as counsellors

Bachelor of Counselling students will undertake one student placement in a suitable counselling agency. Placement commences prior to enrolment in the unit Counselling Placement and Supervision 1 and continues for two consecutive terms including the unit Counselling Placement and Supervision 2. As a minimum, students complete 250 hours of placement (including 46 hours of client counselling) and 54 hours of supervision provided on campus or online. Minimum hours can be achieved doing placement one day per week, however many students prefer to do two days a week and complete placement with double the number of hours and twice the experience as preparation for employment.

To successfully complete each of these units, students are required to:

  • be assessed as satisfactory in the mid placement review and on completion of the placement by their placement organisation
  • satisfactorily complete an eportfolio of their placement experience using Mahara software
  • be assessed as satisfactory by their clinical supervisor
  • demonstrate they have met required placement hours.

What is considered client counselling?

Client counselling hours are face-to-face or person-to-person counselling or psychotherapy practice. In some circumstances such as counselling in rural and remote areas, or counselling of people with disability, this can include up to 10 hours of telephone or web counselling. Counselling or psychotherapeutic group work, co-counselling or co-facilitation of a counselling group are acceptable as counselling hours when the student takes a lead role.

Case management, counselling research and informal work with individuals, children and families are considered as general placement hours.

Counselling in placement organisations may include the following:

  • Individual counselling
  • Group counselling e.g. anxiety, depression, self-esteem group programs (not including support groups, as counselling must be the group purpose )
  • Co-counselling where the student has a leadership role
  • Family counselling
  • Counselling with children and young people and their families
  • Crisis and trauma counselling
  • Refugee or migrant counselling
  • Grief and bereavement counselling and palliative care


There are two levels of supervision provided in the counselling placement and supervision units: placement and clinical.

1. The Placement Supervisor is the supervisor employed by the placement organisation with whom students work closely on a daily basis while on placement. The organisational supervisor must:

  • be in a managerial or supervisory role  in the organisation
  • Have at least three years relevant experience
  • Not be in a dual relationship with the student (eg. family member, partner, etc.)

2. The Clinical Supervisor is an experienced counsellor and supervisor who is employed by the School of Counselling to provide small group supervision (maximum of five students).