Master of Counselling

Why study the Master of Counselling at UNE?

The Master of Counselling provides professional, specialised training in counselling to prepare graduates to work in a range of professional contexts. Emphasis is given to producing counsellors who are self-reflexive and committed to lifelong learning. This award incorporates the Graduate Diploma in Counselling.

This course aims to equip students with advanced counselling skills, the ability to apply specialised knowledge to new situations, and to conduct research in order to solve the complex problems that arise in counselling practice.

Master of Counselling students will undertake a capstone unit or a research project in the final teaching period. This will enable students to apply their knowledge, investigate practice problems or professional issues and seek innovative solutions to real concerns in therapy.

The course provides a pathway to the Doctor of Philosophy and other doctoral programs. Students who choose the research pathway and achieve 5.5 GPA results can apply for a doctoral program and pursue an academic or research career.

Career Opportunities

Enhanced employment opportunities enabling people to work in welfare, health, education (independent schools) and private practice settings.

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Degree Snapshot

DURATION

Up to 6 years Part-time

FEES

CSP (quotas apply)
Full Fee
International

2015 STUDY OPTIONS
Armidale

Trimester 1, Off Campus
Trimester 2, Off Campus
Trimester 3, Off Campus

Official Abbreviation MCouns
Course Type Postgraduate
Commencing
Responsible Campus Admission Period Mode of Study
Armidale Trimester 1 Off Campus
Armidale Trimester 2 Off Campus
Armidale Trimester 3 Off Campus
Course Duration
  • Up to 6 years Part-time
Fees CSP (quotas apply) / Full Fee / International
Total Credit Points 72
How to Apply

All domestic students apply direct to UNE. This course is only available off-campus (distance education).

For more information, click here

International students apply direct to UNE through International Marketing and Pathways. This course is only available off-campus (distance education).

For more information, click here

Intensive Schools

Mandatory intensive schools are a requirement of some of the units in this course. See Unit Catalogue for specific requirements.

Entry Requirements

A candidate shall:

(a) hold an AQF Level 7 Bachelor qualification in the same or a closely-related discipline* from a recognised educational provider; or

(b) hold an AQF Level 7 Bachelor qualification in a different discipline from a recognised educational provider and hold the AQF Level 8 Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Practice from the University of New England; or

(c) hold the 2015-onwards AQF Level 8 Graduate Diploma in Counselling from the University of New England; or

(d) hold the AQF Level 8 Graduate Diploma in Counselling for Health and Social Care from the University of New England; or

(e) hold an AQF Level 7 Bachelor qualification in the same or a closely-related discipline* and hold the AQF Level 8 Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Practice from the University of New England; or

(f) hold an AQF Level 8 postgraduate qualification in the same or a closely-related discipline* from a recognised educational provider.

*Closely-related disciplines are: Counselling, psychology, social work, children's services, youth work, care for the aged, care for the disabled, residential client care, welfare studies, human welfare studies and services.

Advanced Standing

Candidates admitted under Rule (a), (b) and (f) are referred to the University Policy on Advanced Standing.

Students admitted under Rule (c) shall be granted a maximum of 48 credit points of Specified Advanced Standing based on their admission to candidature (for units HSCS435, HSCS452, HSCS472, HSCS474, HSCS478, HSCS533, HSCS536 and a Listed Unit).

Students admitted under Rule (d) shall be granted a maximum of 36 credit points of Specified Advanced Standing based on their admission to candidature (for units HSCS435, HSCS452, HSCS472, HSCS478, HSCS536 and HLTH510).

Students admitted under Rule (e) shall be granted a maximum of 12 credit points of Specified Advanced Standing based on their admission to candidature (for units HSCS435 and HLTH510).

Academic Colours

Old Rose (BCC 157)

Further Information

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These course rules & plans are ONLY to be used if you commenced, transferred or changed versions in the Master of Counselling in 2015.

Admission to Candidature

A candidate shall:
(a) hold an AQF Level 7 Bachelor qualification in the same or a closely-related discipline* from a recognised educational provider; or
(b) hold an AQF Level 7 Bachelor qualification in a different discipline from a recognised educational provider and hold the AQF Level 8 Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Practice from the University of New England; or
(c) hold the 2015-onwards AQF Level 8 Graduate Diploma in Counselling from the University of New England; or
(d) hold the AQF Level 8 Graduate Diploma in Counselling for Health and Social Care from the University of New England; or
(e) hold an AQF Level 7 Bachelor qualification in the same or a closely-related discipline* and hold the AQF Level 8 Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Practice from the University of New England; or
(f) hold an AQF level 8 postgraduate qualification in the same or a closely-related discipline* from a recognised educational provider.

*Closely-related disciplines are: Counselling, psychology, social work, children’s services, youth work, care for the aged, care for the disabled, residential client care, welfare studies, human welfare studies and services.

Advanced Standing

Candidates admitted under Rule (a), (b) and (f) are referred to the University Policy on Advanced Standing.

Students admitted under Rule (c) shall be granted a maximum of 48 credit points of Specified Advanced Standing based on their admission to candidature (for units HSCS435, HSCS452, HSCS472, HSCS474, HSCS478, HSCS533, HSCS536 and a Listed Unit).

Students admitted under Rule (d) shall be granted a maximum of 36 credit points of Specified Advanced Standing based on their admission to candidature (for units HSCS435, HSCS452, HSCS472, HSCS478, HSCS536 and HLTH510).

Students admitted under Rule (e) shall be granted a maximum of 12 credit points of Specified Advanced Standing based on their admission to candidature (for units HSCS435 and HLTH510).

Period of Candidature

For candidates admitted under Rule (a), (b), (e) and (f) the period of candidature shall be up to six years as a part-time candidate.

For candidates admitted under Rule (c) the period of candidature shall be up to two years as a part-time candidate.

For candidates admitted under Rule (d) the period of candidature shall be up to three years as a part-time candidate.

Course Requirements

To qualify for the award a candidate must pass units to the value of 72 credit points, including a minimum of 36 credit points at 500-level.

Program of Study

Candidates shall complete an approved program of study as outlined in the Course Schedule comprising:

For candidates admitted under Rule (a), (b) or (f)
Course Structure Credit Points
Core Units 42 cps
One Approved Pathway 24 cps
Listed Units 6 cps
Total 72 cps

To view complete Program of Study click here

For candidates admitted under Rule (c)
Course Structure Credit Points
Specified Advanced Standing 48 cps
One Approved Pathway 24 cps
Total 72 cps

To view complete Program of Study click here

For candidates admitted under Rule (d)
Course Structure Credit Points
Specified Advanced Standing 36 cps
Core Units 12 cps
One Approved Pathway 24 cps
Total 72 cps

To view complete Program of Study click here

For candidates admitted under Rule (e)
Course Structure Credit Points
Specified Advanced Standing 12 cps
Core Units 36 cps
One Approved Pathway 24 cps
Total 72 cps

To view complete Program of Study click here

Award of Degree

Candidates who meet the course requirements shall be awarded the Master of Counselling.

Appointment of Supervisor in the Research Pathway in Counselling

Students enrolled in the Research Pathway in Counselling are appointed a research supervisor; a co-supervisor may be appointed prior to enrolment in the thesis or dissertation unit. Normally, students meet with their supervisor fortnightly at the start of their program. Meetings will become less frequent as the program progresses. Meetings may be in person, online, video conference or telephone conference. From time to time students may be requested to attend supervision meetings in person.

Dissertation or Thesis in the Research Pathway in Counselling

(a) On completion of the course of advanced study and research in the Research Pathway in Counselling, the student shall present for examination a dissertation/thesis, embodying an independent investigation on a topic approved by the course coordinator, in a form approved by the School. The results of the student’s work shall make a sound contribution to the discipline of Counselling.
(b) Depending on the topic under investigation, the approval of the relevant Ethics Committee must be sought if required.
(c) Except with the permission of the School, on the recommendation of the supervisor, the dissertation shall not be less than 10,000 words of text excluding appendices, and the thesis shall not exceed 15,000 words of text, excluding appendices.
(d) Candidates in the Research Pathway in Counselling shall be required to enrol in and complete the dissertation/thesis in one teaching period.

Submission of Dissertation/Thesis in the Research Pathway in Counselling

(a) The dissertation/thesis is due in the last week of the teaching period. Candidates must submit an electronic copy of the dissertation/thesis for examination to the Course Coordinator. A final electronic version of the dissertation/thesis, incorporating any changes recommended by the examiners, must also be submitted prior to a grade being awarded for the dissertation/thesis. The presentation of the dissertation/thesis must follow the guidelines outlined in the School of Health Coursework Dissertation/Thesis Handbook.

(b) The student shall state generally in the preface of the dissertation/thesis, and specifically in footnotes or endnotes where appropriate, the sources from which the information is derived, the extent to which the student has made use of the work of others and the portion of the work which is claimed as original. The student may not present as the dissertation/thesis any work that has been the basis of the award of a degree at this or another university, but will not be precluded from incorporating such in the thesis provided that, in presenting the dissertation/thesis, the student clearly indicates the part of the work which has been so incorporated.

(c) At the time the dissertation/thesis is submitted, the supervisor shall inform the Course Coordinator in writing that:
(i) the principal supervisor and co-supervisor(s) have discussed with the student and amongst themselves the academic content of the dissertation/thesis in the form submitted and that, while neither expressing nor implying a judgement about the merit of the work, in the principal supervisor's opinion all are agreed that it is ready for submission for examination for the degree; and
(ii) the physical form and presentation of the dissertation/thesis are appropriate to the discipline.

(d) The student shall, upon submission of the dissertation/thesis, following protocols approved by the School of Health, make arrangements for all original data to be retained in an area of safe storage for a period of not less than five years from the date of submission. The data stored must be in a form that would, at a minimum, permit replication of all analyses reported in the dissertation/thesis.

Examination of Dissertation/Thesis in the Research Pathway in Counselling

(a) The dissertation/thesis is examined by two examiners - one is normally external to the School. The supervisor must submit the name and contact details of the recommended examiners to the Course Coordinator at least four weeks prior to submission of the dissertation/thesis for examination. A short statement should accompany the recommendation of the external examiner indicating their qualifications and the reason they are deemed appropriate to examine the dissertation/thesis.
(b) A dissertation/thesis will not be examined by a candidate's supervisor, but the supervisor should be consulted in the determination of the final result.
(c) The supervisor may consult with the candidate prior to the submission of the dissertation/thesis regarding potential examiners, but the name of the examiners should not be made available to the candidate.
(d) Examiners are normally expected to complete and return their report to the Course Coordinator within FOUR (4) weeks of the dissertation/thesis being delivered.
(e) Examiners may request to not have their name released to the student.
(f) The examiners shall decide whether to recommend that the dissertation/thesis be given the grade of Fail, Pass, Credit, Distinction or High Distinction, or that it be revised for re-examination.
(g) In the event of a disagreement between the examiners, they may be asked to consult and report to the Teaching and learning Committee through the Course Coordinator.
(h) If the examiners are unable to reach an agreement, the Teaching and Learning Committee shall refer their reports to a sub-committee appointed by the Chair for a recommendation.
(i) The Course Coordinator will advise the supervisors of the outcome of the examination, along with a copy of examiners' reports as appropriate, indicating any amendments to be considered. Students need to consult with the supervisor and undertake any minor amendments to the satisfaction of the supervisor.
(j) In the event of a disagreement between the examiners, they may be asked to consult and report to the Teaching and Learning Committee.
(k) If the examiners are unable to reach an agreement, the Teaching and Learning Committee shall refer their reports to a sub-committee appointed by the Chair for a recommendation.
(l) After considering the examiner's recommendation(s) and report(s), any comments from the supervisor and any recommendations from the appointed sub-committee, the Teaching and Learning Committee may:
(i) recommend that the dissertation/thesis be awarded the grade of Fail, Pass, Credit, Distinction or High Distinction;
(ii) allow the candidate to revise the dissertation/thesis for re-examination; or
(iii) appoint an additional examiner or examiners.
(m) The supervisor is to send a note to the Course Coordinator, that amendments suggested by the examiners have been addressed to his or her satisfaction and that the result may be finalised. The Course Coordinator will finalise the result and make a summary recommendation to the Examination Board regarding:
(i) the grade to be awarded for the dissertation/thesis (Fail, Pass, Credit, Distinction or High Distinction);
(ii) the percentage mark to be awarded for the dissertation/thesis;
(iii) if amendments to the dissertation/thesis were made before the grade was finalised;
(iv) whether the candidate should be allowed to revise and resubmit the dissertation/thesis for re-examination (a maximum grade of Pass and score of 50% shall be given for any resubmitted dissertation).
(n) The School Teaching and Learning Committee shall make the final determination as to the outcome of the examination of the dissertation/thesis, based on the recommendation from the Course Coordinator.
(o) After the grade has been finalised, the student is required to archive a final copy of the dissertation/thesis in accordance with the processes outlined in the School’s Honours Handbook.

Suspensions and Extensions

The school may grant an extension or suspension of candidature, or a combination of both, to full-time candidates for up to six months or to part-time candidates for up to 12 months as follows:
(i) to compensate by way of extension of candidature, a candidate for time lost by ill-health or unforeseeable and unavoidable difficulties; or
(ii) to compensate by way of suspension of candidature, a candidate who produces evidence that he/she shall not be in a position to pursue work towards the Master of Counselling Dissertation or Thesis.

Re-enrolment in the Master of Counselling (Research Pathway in Counselling)

(a) A student enrolled in dissertation or thesis component of the Master of Counselling (Research Pathway in Counselling) may be granted special leave by the head of school to re-enrol in a subsequent year if he or she withdraws from candidature by the Census date of the teaching period in which they commenced; without prejudice to the right to re-enrol in a succeeding year.
(b) A student may re-enrol in the same subject for the degree, provided that:
(i) two years will have elapsed before such re-enrolment;
(ii) the topic of study undertaken within the dissertation is different from that of the original enrolment.
(c) A candidate who withdraws later than two months prior to the date on which the dissertation/thesis is required shall be deemed to have failed.
(d) Unless a candidate shows good cause why such action should not be taken, the School may, on the recommendation of the Course Coordinator, withdraw a candidate on the ground of his or her having failed to meet the requirements of the course and deem him or her to have failed in it.
(e) A candidate who is deemed to have failed may, after a lapse of three years, be permitted to apply for re-admission to the course, provided the proposed dissertation/thesis work is in a different topic of study from that of the original enrolment.

Exit Pathways

Subject to meeting Advanced Standing rules, candidates admitted to the Master of Counselling under Rule (a), (b), (e) or (f) and who apply to discontinue their studies in the course may be eligible to exit with the Graduate Diploma in Counselling upon completion of 48 credit points comprising units HSCS435, HSCS452, HSCS472, HSCS474, HSCS478, HSCS533, HSCS536 and a Listed Unit.
Candidates who apply to discontinue their studies must apply for readmission and will be subject to current course requirements of the Master of Counselling. This may mean that they will not receive full recognition for their previous studies should the course structure have changed in response to University requirements.

Appeals

Candidates are referred to the University Policy on Student Appeals.

Improper Conduct

Candidates are referred to the Student Coursework Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct Rules.

Course Aims

This course aims to equip students with mastery of specialised counselling skills.

Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. demonstrate specialised theoretical knowledge and skill-based practice in the discipline of counselling;
  2. utilise contemporary research and evidence-based guidelines together with a professional and integrated understanding of diverse client populations and the main theoretical approaches used, in order to best meet their needs;
  3. utilise codes of practice for counsellors and apply principles of ethico-legal practice to plan and document ways of working with clients in complex situations, demonstrating respect for diversity and well developed judgement;
  4. conduct a range of counselling sessions in a professional manner, demonstrating mastery of specialised knowledge in order to best meet the needs of clients, groups and communities;
  5. engage reflexively in robust analysis of their case conceptualisation, counselling and supervision skills and develop a plan for ongoing supervision and professional development; and
  6. demonstrate the capacity to work in collaborative practice, to develop academic and research skills, and to communicate knowledge, skills and ideas to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
Graduate Attributes
Knowledge of a Discipline

Students will acquire an advanced knowledge of this discipline for a range of contexts including professional practice and scholarship, including the ability to apply knowledge and skills in counselling clients.

Communication Skills

Students will develop communication skills to build empathic relationships with clients based on approaches outlined, the ability to critically reflect on the use of these skills, and communication and research skills to justify complex research decisions to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Global Perspectives

Students will acquire a critical understanding of a global perspective of this discipline that is culturally sensitive and a capacity to understand the implications of global developments for individual clients.

Information Literacy

Students will increase their capacity to critically analyse and evaluate the sources and validity of information relevant to this discipline, their ability to think critically and evaluate complex ideas and experiences and the ability to design, and to implement research that contributes to professional practice or scholarship in this field.

Life-Long Learning

Students will expand their capacity to demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge, reflect critically on theory and professional practice, and to take responsibility and be accountable for personal and professional practice as a counsellor through self-reflexive practice.

Problem Solving

Students will develop their ability to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, to apply theory to practice in an integrative way, and to critically reflect on appropriate ways to support clients.

Social Responsibility

Students will improve their capacity to practice at the highest standards of ethical behaviour in counselling, including an understanding of ethical, social justice and equity responsibilities towards clients, research subjects, colleagues and the wider community.

Team Work

Students will extend their understanding of the importance of effective, multi-disciplinary teamwork, its importance to positive mental health outcomes, and develop the skills and ability to operate effectively in a team.

How to Apply

Domestic Students

All domestic students apply direct to UNE. This course is only available off-campus (distance education).

For more information, click here

International Students

International students apply direct to UNE through International Marketing and Pathways. This course is only available off-campus (distance education).

For more information, click here

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