Graduate Diploma
of Counselling

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

Course Information

The Graduate Diploma of Counselling is ideal for anyone in a helping, educational, ministry and/or community support and engagement profession who desires to integrate counselling skills and mental health knowledge into their current vocation.
Students are exposed to a range of theoretical, therapeutic and clinical models and techniques, acquiring an understanding of
(i) appropriate and professional approaches to supporting those in need and;
(ii) contemporary mental health issues and related life challenges.
Whether you are a nurse, paramedic, occupational therapist, speech pathologist, social, community or welfare worker, or involved in another helping profession; teacher/educator; minister, pastor, priest or other church worker; member of the police force; engaged in community development etc., become equipped and confident to provide quality relational care and support to those encountering life difficulties (e.g., crisis and trauma, grief and loss, relational difficulties, illness or disability, employment issues, mental health issues etc).
Students who satisfactorily complete the Graduate Diploma of Counselling can advance to the Master of Counselling.
The Graduate Diploma of Counselling is designed to equip individuals whose profession/employment calls for some mental health and wellness/strengths-based counselling (e.g. incidental counselling). Students are exposed to contemporary counselling theory, with an emphasis on the development of practical skills relevant to a variety of counselling situations and challenging life issues.
  • Face to face (on-campus) delivery in Macquarie Park, NSW
  • Delivery Mode: Friday/Saturday Intensives
  • Credit Points: 48 / Number of Units: 8
  • Student Workload: 10 hours per unit per week (includes provision for personal study)
  • Austudy approved

Admission Requirements

Educational Prerequisites

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

  • Bachelor degree or
  • Bachelor Honours degree

Applicants may be admitted to the Graduate Diploma of 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

International Students

The Master of Counselling is available to overseas/international students, subject to satisfying the aforementioned admission criteria. International students are only permitted to commence in the course in the first semester of each academic year so as to ensure completion of the full-time course within the required two years (as per Australian student visa requirements).

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose qualifying undergraduate studies were taken in a language other than English will be required to demonstrate English proficiency as per the table below:

Examination Minimun Score 

6.5 with no band less than 6 

TOEFL iBT (Internet-based)

79* with no score less than 60

PTE Academic 51 with no score less than 51

Visit the International Student page

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.

Course Units & Progression

Counselling Practice I
Counselling Practice II
Mental Health Issues in Adulthood
Counselling Theories & Models
Counselling Practice III
Relational Dynamics
Development & Diversity
Ethical issues & Practice

Course CO45
Graduate Diploma of Counselling
CRICOS 056056K
Length 1 years full-time or up to 2 years 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
  • Full-Time students complete 2 units per 7 week block (four units per semester)
  • Part-Time students complete 1 unit in 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
  • Full-time students need to complete both the Friday and 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 Diploma is nested within the Master of Counselling, there are options to advance the Masters level, subject to satisfactory academic progression. The Graduate Diploma of Counselling also provides an optional exit award from the Master of Counselling Program.


Fill out an enquiry form or call us on 02 9819 8810.


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