Information on this page is for Australian residents

2 years part time
Delivery mode: 
Face to Face

Applications are not being taken at this time


The Graduate Diploma of Counselling will extend your expertise in counselling theory and practice.

You will cover:

  • psychological theory
  • counselling interventions and psychological therapies (either for adults, or children and adolescents)
  • an understanding of a range of presenting issues, including depression, anxiety, grief and loss
  • an understanding of the ethics of the ethics of counselling
  • practical skills through industry-based learning and placement.

The course is offered part-time over two years and is designed to provide a professional foundation in counselling theory and practice. You can specialise in one of two streams:

  • general
  • child and adolescent.

This course is accredited by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).

Please note, this is not a psychology course accredited by the Australian Psychological Society.

VU’s Learning Hubs are welcoming spaces where you can improve your study and employability skills.

Our students can attend Learning Hubs at one of five VU campuses.

We offer maths, writing, careers and English-language advice and can show you effective ways to study and manage your time.

Our programs include:

  • workshops
  • drop-in sessions
  • peer mentoring
  • maths and writing resources
  • resume and career guidance.

We also have accessibility support services and counselling services available to all students.

Our campus libraries have photocopying, computing and printing facilities as well as electronic and print resources.

You'll also have access to a rich collection of online resources at any time of the day or night, including:

  • databases
  • e-learning content for courses
  • student email
  • student software packages
  • social networking tools.

On campus, we make sure that all of our students have access to digital resources. We offer:


Graduates find employment in human services fields such as:

  • social work
  • multicultural services
  • counselling
  • family support
  • community work
  • refugee services
  • youth work.

Course structure

To attain the Graduate Diploma in Counselling students will be required to complete 96 credit points in total consisting of:


  • 72 credit points of Core Counselling studies
  • 24 credit points of Elective studies


  • 84 credit points of Core Counselling studies
  • 12 credit points of Elective studies

Where students are eligible for exemption from APT5035 Theories and Techniques of Counselling, they will be required to complete an extra elective unit.


Year 1


12 credit points (equivalent to 1 unit) of Elective studies from the list below

Year 2


12 credit points (equivalent to 1 unit) of Elective studies from the list below



Year 1


12 credit points (equivalent to 1 unit) of Elective studies from the list below

Year 2


12 credit points (equivalent to 1 unit) of Elective studies from the list below


On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Critically review a range of theoretical orientations in counselling;  
  2. Exhibit practical skills in the application of a range of counselling paradigms;  
  3. Analyse the impact of social structures upon the counsellor/client relationship and the community to which the client belongs;  
  4. Inquire into aspects of cultural difference relevant to counselling practice;  
  5. Appraise ethical issues relevant to professional practice;  
  6. Investigate the interface of counselling theory and practice;  
  7. Develop and implement the skills acquired during field placement within a community organisation.  

What's a unit?

A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.

Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take, and optional \'elective\' units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.


Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.

Fees & scholarships

Fee type: Full-fee

The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re a Commonwealth supported student or full-fee paying.

If you enrol in a:

To calculate the total cost of your course:

  1. Select which units you’d like to study.
  2. Look up the individual unit costs in the higher education unit of study fees list.
  3. Add up the relevant amounts.

Scholarships & assistance

Apply for a scholarship to help with your study costs.

We can help with fee assistance and advice.

Admission & pathways

Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course.

Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.

If you do not meet the minimum requirements you may be eligible for one of our special admission programs. We also encourage you to explore our study pathways to help you reach your goal.

  • Mature: Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in any discipline
    Completion of an Australian Graduate Diploma (or equivalent) in a similar discipline.

There are many ways you can start your education journey at VU. Pathways offer an easy transition between courses at different levels, so that you can start with a certificate and progress right through to postgraduate study.

Find out more about pathways and credits.

If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.

Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course coordinator or academic adviser.

How to apply

Applications for this course are not being taken at this time.

Browse our other Community Services courses or send us an enquiry to be notified of updates relating to this course.

Enquire now

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At Victoria University, we aim to display accurate and complete course information online. However, we are unable to guarantee that every course change is currently displayed. You may contact the University directly on +61 3 9919 6100 to confirm the most up-to-date course fees, pathways and credit transfer, recognition of prior learning, admission and enrolment procedures, examinations and services available to our students.