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COUN5161 Counselling over the Lifespan

Graduate Diploma Level Unit

Duration: One Trimester

Level: 1st year

Credit Points: 8 (out of a total of 96 points)

Prerequisites: None

Mode(s) of Delivery: Online, On-Campus

Core/Elective: Core

Unit Description

This unit provides a comprehensive framework for the consideration of developmental psychology across the lifespan. Through this unit you will acquire in-depth knowledge of developmental psychology for understanding and appreciating your own development, as well as that of the people you interact with in your counselling or work-related role.

Emphasis throughout this unit is on applying the theory to practical situations you may encounter in your work roles.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the unit students will be able to:

  • Identify and analyse the physical, cognitive, and identity developments in childhood, adolescence and early, mid and late adulthood
  • Evaluate attachment, socio-emotional and moral theories of development
  • Evaluate key psychoanalytic, learning and cognitive theories in developmental psychology
  • Identify and analyse family systems’ influence on development
  • Identify and analyse gender-role and sexuality theories of development                  
  • Apply developmental theory to a range of situations and contexts
  • Demonstrate advanced theoretical knowledge of the impact of multicultural issues on attachment theories
  • Analyse and synthesise theories of ageing, grief, death and dying
  • Identify and evaluate the value of incorporating an understanding of developmental theories in counselling

Unit Workload

The workload for this unit is 12 hours per week.


The required text book for this unit  can be found by viewing the Discipline 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. This includes plagiarism of any nature. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what constitutes plagiarism in order to ensure that you do not engage in it. 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.