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BESC2001 Social, Legal and Ethical Frameworks

Bachelor Course Unit

Level: 200

Credit points: 6

Prerequisites: None

Unit Description

This unit is a central and integrative part of the Bachelor of Counselling, Bachelor of Counselling (Coaching) and Bachelor of Applied Social Science degrees. It analyses the roles of codes of ethics, legislation, moral discourses and ethical principles as they apply to counselling, coaching or related fields of practise, assists students to identify areas of risk, and appropriate actions to address them. Students will identify and critique their own values and beliefs in relation to the social, legal and ethical needs of people with cultural differences, disabilities, and those affected by physical and emotional abuse. Power at social and interpersonal levels will be analysed in relation to the impacts on clients, including when they see counsellors and coaches, to help students develop self-awareness.    

Students will reflect on their values and beliefs and be encouraged to think ethically. They will also acquire the skills to apply awareness, personal responsibility and ethical decision making to work with client or personnel. Students are expected to understand the effects of values, labelling and stereotyping for their practice as counsellors, coaches or managers.  Emphasis is places on the professional’s need to recognise clients or personnel as individuals regardless of their gender, disability and/or social and cultural background.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to: 

a)  Analyse codes of ethics, legislation, moral discourse, values and ethical principles in relation to ethical decision making in their field of practice

b)  Describe, identify and critique ethical and legal responsibilities inherent in providing professional services in their field of practice

c)  Analyse the influence of professional and social power upon professional and social relationships and the limitations of ethical principles in creating fair and just societies

d)  Identify appropriate actions in circumstances of risk to self and others


Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week.


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:


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. Please refer to the Academic Misconduct Policy for full details.


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.