COUN6311 Advanced Alcohol and Other Drugs Counselling

Master Course Unit

COUN6311: Advanced Alcohol and Other Drugs Counselling

Duration: One trimester

Level: 2nd year

Credit points: 6 (out of a total of 96 points)

Prerequisites: 5 Year 1 units must be completed

Mode(s) of delivery: Blended Delivery

Core/elective: Elective

Learning outcomes

By the completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • apply a range of treatment options appropriately according to the assessment of client needs
  • critically analyse the evidence base for alcohol and other drugs counselling
  • critically analyse the interactions between individual drug use and the social context
  • analyse the impacts on families of substance use, abuse and dependency
  • critically analyse the literature on AOD counselling with clients who have concurrent conditions
  • develop and apply advanced knowledge and skills in assessing clients’ levels and types of substance use, abuse and dependency
  • match alcohol and other drug treatment options to individual client needs
  • develop assessment and referral skills for working effectively with clients who present with substance use, abuse and dependency issues
  • identify special needs groups and clients, including ATSI and CALD communities, and develop evidence based interventions to meet their needs
  • develop strategies for relapse prevention during and post counselling
  • discuss current practice issues for substance use, abuse and dependency counsellors

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week.

Assignment summary

Please refer to the document available here.

Graduate attributes

The material covered in this unit will contribute to the development of the following graduate attributes:

  • Communication

The ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in a range of contexts using literacy, numeracy and information technology skills. 

  • Independent and Lifelong Learning

A commitment to continued and independent learning, intellectual development, critical analysis and inquiry, integrative thinking, and creativity.

  • Problem Solving

The ability to problem solve across a range of settings including professional, social and cultural contexts. 

  • Information Literacy

The ability to assimilate, analyse and utilise information effectively in a range of contexts, genres and texts types.

  • Innovation and Sustainability

A capacity to promote innovation within a socially sustainable environment.

  • Social Justice

An acknowledgment of and respect for equality of opportunity, individual and civic responsibility, indigenous and other cultures and times, and an appreciation of cultural diversity.

  • Discipline Knowledge and Skills

A command of a significant body of discipline knowledge and relevant professional skills.

  • Ethics and Ethical Practice

An awareness of, and sensitivity to, ethics and ethical standards on interpersonal and social levels, and within a field of study and/or profession.  To demonstrate integrity on social, cultural, and environmental issues.

  • Teamwork and leadership

A capacity for and an understanding of teamwork and leadership.

  • Global Perspective

An appreciation, respect and valuing of cultural and intellectual diversity.

Special provisions

The unit includes 14 hours of on campus teaching.


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:

Relevant journals and resources

Knowledge and understanding of these topics will be enhanced by wide reading of international peer-reviewed journal articles from various domains of counselling and psychotherapy, which can be accessed via the ACAP Library’s journal databases.

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 for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


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.