Graduate Certificate of Psychological Science

Graduate Diploma of Counselling

Graduate Diploma of Counselling

Graduate Diploma of Counselling
2 Years Full Time
Graduate Diploma
CRICOS Code: 048166D
Australian Qualification Framework: 8
Available at
Brisbane*, Melbourne, Sydney
*Course available to domestic students only
Study modes
Industry work placement
This course includes 200 hours experience in a professional placement, with 60 hours of face-to-face client counselling. This placement is linked with two clinical supervision units over two consecutive trimesters.
Entry requirements
FEE-HELP Available
Start dates

Be intrigued by the human mind

Bachelor of Psychological Science


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. This course is designed for students who have a degree in another discipline and want to qualify as a counsellor without undertaking an undergraduate qualification. It also 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 been accredited by ACAP under its self-accrediting authority.
* This course is only available to international students on-campus in Melbourne and Sydney.

Smiling teacher standing in front of a class with a whiteboard behind them and a whiteboard marker in their hand

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

The Graduate Diploma of Counselling course is comprised of 12 units, which are level 500 units.

The course duration is 2 years full time or up to 6 years part time. For more information on the recommended course sequence click here.

View unit descriptions


Recognition of Prior Learning is available for some units in the Graduate Diploma of Counselling qualification. It is not available for the following units:

  • COUN5231 Field Placement and Supervision 1
  • COUN5241 Field Placement and Supervision 2
  • COUN5171 Ethical Decision Making*

* Applicants who can demonstrate that they have completed an equivalent unit at a postgraduate level within the last 12 months can request to have these qualifications assessed for credit.

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.

Student woman in pink shirt
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
Before ACAP I studied the Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy. When I began working the field one of the major skills I was lacking was counselling, so I enrolled at ACAP. I completed my ACAP work placements at a 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 work placement was complete, I was offered a job. Claudia, Bachelor of Counselling
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