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Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy

About this course

The insight to create trust

Understand human connection. Lead a successful career in counselling and psychotherapy.

You care about health and wellbeing, and want to make a positive contribution to people’s lives. Our Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy is based on a rich understanding of the complexities of human behaviour. It offers a deep insight into why we think and act the way we do, and how to empower people to act differently.

It teaches an advanced understanding of counselling and psychotherapy practice, and helps you develop the high level skills needed to practice as a professional counsellor and psychotherapist in many specialised therapeutic areas.

The double major focusses on the interpersonal relationship between the client and therapist, and the philosophies and practices of major schools of counselling and psychotherapy.

It includes a field placement of 240 hours, including 80 hours of face-to-face client counselling. You’ll also undertake an original piece of research of your own choosing, designed to enhance the field of counselling and psychotherapy, and you’re encouraged to present and publish your findings.

Our Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy is accredited by PACFA, the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia. Graduates are eligible to be listed on the PACFA register at Intern, Provisional or Clinical level depending on experience.

This course has been accredited by the Navitas Professional Institute (NPI) under its self-accrediting authority and the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).


The 2014 Training Standards of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) requires that postgraduate students attend 200 hours of person-to-person training in counselling and/or psychotherapy. This course meets these requirements via its blended learning model by providing you with 14 hours (2 days) of compulsory on campus workshops within each coursework unit. On campus workshops will not necessarily be offered on all campuses in each trimester, as available campuses will depend on student numbers.


This course includes 240 hours in a placement agency (including 80 hours of client counselling contact and an additional 24 hours of clinical supervision). The placements are conducted over two consecutive trimesters.

What you'll learn

Expertise in human behaviour forms the foundation of all our courses including our Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy

Explore with an applied focus:

  • Person and Practice of the Therapist
  • Philosophy and Theories of Counselling
  • Counselling in a Diverse World
  • Working with Mental Health
  •  Trauma and Grief Counselling
  • Ethics in Practice
  • Increasing Therapeutic Effectiveness
  • Contemporary Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.

Electives include:

  • Group Therapy
  • Alcohol and other Drugs
  • Counselling Children and Young People
  • Advanced Contemporary Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Existential therapy

See the complete course guide here.

Course Structure

16 units

For more information see the full course guide

Course Guide

This course is comprised of a number of core and elective units.

Core units are compulsory subjects required to complete your degree.

Electives are a range of units that give you the chance to study specific topics you might be interested in. You still need to complete a set number of elective units to graduate.

Admission Criteria

Meet the following criteria:
  • Successful completion of an undergraduate degree in a cognate field of study (counselling, psychotherapy, psychology, social work, pastoral care, social welfare, mental health or palliative care nursing, medicine, occupational therapy).


  • Complete a Counselling Applicant Screening Questionnaire, AND
  • It is a condition of progression in this course that students complete a national police record check in their first trimester of enrolment.

Please click here for information on Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of prior study

If you have completed ACAP’s two year full-time Graduate Diploma of Counselling, four year full-time Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) or a four year full-time AASW accredited Bachelor of Social Work (Honours), you may be eligible for up to 50% credit in the Masters course (one year full-time).

Apply or find out more

Chat to one of our ACAP course advisors to make sure you’re picking the right course for your goals. Think about funding options, and whether full-time or part-time study suits your commitments. We’ve also got some entry requirements and practical components to complete.

Before you start studying at ACAP, check out the services and support available to students. 

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