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Graduate Diploma of Counselling

Graduate Diploma of Counselling

Progress a fulfilling and insightful career in counselling.
2 Years Full Time
Graduate Diploma
CRICOS Code: 048166D
Australian Qualification Framework: 8
Available at
ACAP Sydney, ACAP Brisbane*, ACAP Melbourne, ACAP Adelaide*, ACAP Perth*
Study modes
Industry work placement
200 hours in a placement agency, over two consecutive trimesters, including 60 hours of face-to-face client counselling.
Entry requirements
Fee help available
Start dates

Be intrigued by the human mind


The Graduate Diploma of Counselling provides students with professional training in counselling knowledge, skills and interventions applicable to contemporary counselling and mental health care. Students of this course will formulate an evolving approach to counselling practice, based on theoretical and technical integration.

Gaining real world experience through the application of learning in professional placement opportunities, graduates are critically reflective, fit to practice effectively and ethically with diverse populations of individuals, groups, and communities in our rapidly changing world. The course provides direct pathway to the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy course at ACAP.

This course has been accredited by TEQSA. The course is accredited by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) and the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).

This course has also been accredited by the Navitas Professional Institute (NPI) under its self-accrediting authority.

* This course is only available to international students on-campus in Melbourne and Sydney.


What you'll learn

Expertise in human behaviour forms the foundation of all our courses including our Graduate Diploma of Counselling.


Cross-cultural Counselling
Ethical Practice
Contemporary Counselling
Mental Health and Wellbeing Practices

Course structure

Additional majors

This course is made up of 12 units


There are two separate yet integrated components to work placement in this course;  placement (within an agency) and clinical supervision (small group timetabled classes with an ACAP Clinical Supervisor).

In the final year of study, students attend a single placement site across 2 trimesters as part of their studies. Field Placement cannot start until 2 weeks prior to trimester starting and it needs to have finished prior to the end of the second trimester. The timeframe aligns with the 48 hours of group clinical supervision – 24 hours in the first trimester and 24 hours in the second trimester.

The allocation of 200 hours’ placement is as follows:

  • 60 hours of direct face-to-face counselling
  • 48 hours of ACAP Supervision
  • 92 hours of associated hours

Pathways for future study

Completion of the Graduate Diploma of Counselling provides the necessary qualification to apply for further study in counselling into the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy. This course will equip students with advanced skills in Counselling, Mental Health and Psychotherapy.

As a teenager, I had a few family members experience post-natal depression. My interest in counselling grew from wanting to understand their experience, and how to support others who may be experiencing mental health difficulties. Being face-to-face with clients and implementing treatment during my placement, gave me a true insight into what employment in the field would be like. I can’t emphasise enough how important these practices are. Sarah, Graduate Diploma of Counselling
Having studied the Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy, when I began working the field one of the major skills I was lacking was counselling. I completed my placements at Mosman Private Hospital, where I ran group sessions for patients. It was such a rich, supportive learning environment with a supervisor that was hands-on the whole way through. Before my intern was complete, I’d been offered a job. Claudia, Bachelor of Counselling

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. Feel free to get in touch with us
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