Ethics and Professional Practice for Counsellors

Unit code: APT6020 | Study level: Postgraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
City Campus
City Flinders


This unit of study will examine the ethical factors relevant to counselling. The unit will address ethical issues in counselling, ethical principles and ethical dilemmas: the philosophical basis of ethical principles; client rights and responsibilities, counsellor rights and responsibilities and referrals from an ethical perspective.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyse and formulate ethical responses to dilemmas which may arise in counselling practice;
  2. Plan and implement ethical decision-making in counselling; and
  3. Investigate a range of ethical codes of conduct and apply ethical principles relevant to the Australia Counselling Association (ACA) and/or Psychotherapy And Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) professional Codes of Ethics.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Test
Grade: 20%
Test on codes of conduct and ethics applications relevant to a counselling context (60min)
Assessment type: Report
Grade: 45%
Ethical self-reflection – identify and discuss one potential challenge and barrier to being an ethical counsellor. (1500 words)
Assessment type: Presentation
Grade: 35%
In-class group presentation & student-facilitated discussion on ethical dilemma to a counselling scenario drawing on theory relevant codes of ethics

Required reading

Issues & ethics in the helping professions.
Corey, G., Corey, M. S., & Corey, C. (2019).| South Melbourne, Victoria: Cengage Learning. ISBN: 9781337406291

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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