Graduate Certificate
in Counselling

Develop your understanding of appropriate and
professional approaches to support those in need

Course Information

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling is ideal for those wanting to explore counselling as a new career or vocation direction, with completion of the course providing time to determine if their interest in counselling merits further study.
Students will develop a clear appreciation of the rewards and challenges associated with a career as a professional counsellor, acquiring core counselling skills, an understanding of counselling ethics and an appreciation for how relational dynamics function in personal and professional settings.
The course may also be of interest to those in helping related professions whose occupations include an incidental counselling component (e.g. education, ministry, nursing, occupational therapy, pastoral work, policing, paramedics etc), providing an opportunity for them to improve or extend their current relational skill set by learning how to counsel and support others more effectively.
The course is also helpful for those without prior undergraduate studies who are interested in counselling and would like to determine if they can manage post-graduate level studies.
Students may also use the Graduate Certificate to proceed into the Graduate Diploma of Counselling and/or the Master of Counselling. Units completed in the Graduate Certificate in Counselling comprise 50% of the Graduate Diploma of Counselling and 25% of the Master of Counselling.
The program of study consists of 4 units totalling 24 credit points and can be completed in one year of part time study.
  • Face to face (on-campus) delivery in Macquarie Park, NSW
  • Delivery Mode: Friday/Saturday Intensives
  • Credit Points: 24 / Number of Units:4
  • Student Workload: 10 hours per unit per week (includes provision for personal study)

Admission requirements

Admission Requirements

Educational Prerequisites 

Applicants may be admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Counselling  if they have previously successfully completed a relevant:  

  • Bachelor degree or 
  • Bachelor Honours degree 

Applicants may be admitted to the Graduate Certificate in Counselling if they have previously successfully completed a non-relevant undergraduate degree. 

Suitability Assessment  

  • Interview: Successfully complete an admission interview (including a Readiness for Counselling and Psychotherapy Training Questionnaire);  
  • Criminal History Record: Provide a National Criminal History Record check at time of application (obtainable from:; and  
  • Working with Children Check: Provide a Working with Children authorisation at time of application obtainable from:  

 The Graduate Certificate in Counselling is not available to overseas/international students.  

Mature Age Applicants 

For mature age (21 years and over) entry requirements please visit the Mature Age Students information page.

Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Applicants can apply for (i) Credit for previously completed post-graduate study in the area of counselling; and/or (ii) Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) related to prior counselling experiences and training. Applications for Credit and RPL are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. In some cases applicants may need to demonstrate clinical competency via a video sample of their work.
For further information about the Excelsia College Credit or RPL process or Admission requirements, please contact the Head of Counselling.

Counselling Practice I

Counselling Practice II

Relational Dynamics

Ethical Issues and Practice

Course CO40
Graduate Certificate in Counselling
Length 1 year part-time
Faculty School of Counselling

Potential Students

The postgraduate degree is particularly suited to:
  • Those wanting to confidently provide relational care and support to those experiencing mental health issues and/or life changes within the context of their current professional role – e.g. health care professionals (e.g. human services and social workers, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, psychology graduates, paramedics, nurses, etc), teachers/educators, pastors, ministers, priests and others working in ministry, the Church, and mission fields; members of the police force; engaged in community development, etc.
  • Those considering a change of career or life direction – e.g. those who want to work in a helping profession/capacity.

Delivery Mode

The School of Counselling provides a flexible timetable, allowing students to coordinate study with family, employment, church and other commitments.
  • Each semester consists of two 7 week blocks (Block A & Block B per semester)
  • Each semester runs for 16 weeks, with a 2 week mid-semester break
  • The Graduate Certificate in Counselling is a Part-Time course with students completing 1 unit in a 7 week period (two units per semester)
  • Classes are face-to-face delivery at our new campus in Macquarie Park, NSW
  • Classes are held Friday 1pm-7pm or/and Saturday 10am-4pm
  • Part-time students can select either the Friday or Saturday classes

Career Outcomes

Graduates employ the counselling skills and mental health knowledge gained through course in ways that allow them to function with increased effectiveness in their current role. As the Graduate Certificate is nested within the Master of Counselling, there are options to advance to the Graduate Diploma and Masters level, subject to satisfactory academic progression. The Graduate Certificate in Counselling also provides an optional exit award from the Master of Counselling Program.


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