1 year full time or longer for part time
Online Real Time
Delivery mode: 
Online Real Time
Start date:
19 February 2024
Application due dates:
Direct applications are due on 11 February 2024 for our next intake which starts on 19 February 2024.


Enhance your counselling knowledge and skills with a Graduate Diploma in Counselling Theory and Practice from Victoria University.

This online postgraduate counselling diploma is designed for working professionals. With our flexible course delivery, you can choose to study full-time for one year or part-time over two years.

During this time, you will expand your understanding of counselling theory and intervention practices, and apply this knowledge to a variety of scenarios.

You will enhance your ethical and professional practice with extensive learning about the impact of social systems on client wellbeing. Drawing on this expertise, you will develop specific skills in treating children and adolescents, people from diverse backgrounds, and those who have experienced trauma. 

Through role plays and class activities, you will practise counselling skills and become adept at building rapport with clients to begin the therapeutic process. This practical learning can be applied in a variety of settings, including in the workplace, community settings and private practice. You will also develop skills for assessing client needs and formulating individual plans.

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The Graduate Diploma in Counselling Theory and Practice caters to professionals who are seeking to upskill while working. Counselling skills translate to many professional roles that involve social interaction. University graduates in all fields will be able to add this diploma to their skills and qualifications to improve employability. 

The skills learnt during your counselling course will enhance any role that involves relational dynamics, or support your career change to a more wellbeing, people-focused role.

If you are working as a counsellor, this course will further develop your skills and knowledge in such areas as trauma-informed counselling, case formulation, and intervention.

This online postgraduate counselling course will benefit those working in:

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

Course structure

To attain the Graduate Diploma in Counselling Theory and Practice, students will be required to complete:

  • 96 credit points of Core studies. 

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

  1. Demonstrate advanced understanding of human development and a diverse range of human experiences and how they may impact on wellbeing;  
  2. Critically review counselling theories and contemporary professional literature to formulate and implement evidence-based counselling practice;  
  3. Exemplify understanding of cultural and systemic considerations relevant to counselling practice and when working in an interprofessional context;  
  4. Appraise and demonstrate advanced knowledge of psychological theories and therapeutic approaches relevant to counselling assessments, case formulations, and interventions;  
  5. Formulate evidence-based intervention plans for a range of counselling presentations with due consideration of psychosocial and cultural issues; and  
  6. Critically reflect on core ethical and professional conduct issues that are likely to be encountered when working with people in a counselling context.  

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 for this course: Full-fee

Fee type definitions

The amount you pay for your course depends on whether you’re offered a Commonwealth supported place (CSP) or a full fee-paying place.

Students who enrol in a:

In addition to your tuition fees, you may also be charged a Student Services & Amenities Fee (SSAF).

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.

Find out more about how to apply for our courses, and our commitment to admissions transparency.

Entry requirements

Completion of an Australian Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in any discipline
Completion of an Australian Graduate Diploma (or equivalent) in any 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.

Use our credit calculator to find out how much credit you could get towards your course, based on your previous study.

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 chair or academic adviser.

How to apply

Available start dates:

  • 19 February 2024

Before you apply

Before applying, you should consider whether you also want to apply for:

  • Special admission programs: Depending on your life circumstances you may be eligible for special consideration of your application.
  • Advanced standing: If you have significant experience or studies elsewhere you may be eligible for credit for some units of your course and not have to undertake them.

Find out more about applying for our courses.

Apply direct to VU

Direct applications are due on 11 February 2024 for our next intake which starts on 19 February 2024.

Apply direct to VU

Already a VU student?

If you are already a VU student, apply direct to VU using our Admissions centre to transfer into this course. Remember it’s best to be accepted into your new course before withdrawing from your current one.

After you apply

  • It’s important to check for emails from us (which may go to your spam/junk folder).
  • Complete any requests for information by the given dates, otherwise your application may not be considered

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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.