Master of Counselling

Be introduced to the latest clinical and
theoretical research and clinical resources

Course Information

The Master of Counselling provides advanced training in counselling theory and practice, with an introduction to a range of counselling specialisations. The postgraduate degree integrates mental health and wellness/strength-based models within a Christian worldview*, encouraging and equipping counsellors to work with the whole person.The course aims to:
  • Produce self-reflexive counsellors who can (i) develop and maintain respectful, caring and collaborative therapeutic relationships and (ii) effectively function both independently and within multi-disciplinary settings;
  • Prepare counsellors to work in a variety of settings with clients of diverse ages, backgrounds and life issues;
  • Highlight the importance of lifelong learning that is informed by counselling-focused research, set within ongoing professional development.
During the program students complete 16 units of study and gain professional industry experience (200 hours of face-to-face counselling in various agency settings) This practical experience is supported by group and individual clinical supervision (50 hours) and ongoing personal development (minimum of 25 hours), the cost of which is included in the course fee. This combination meets the highest training standards as specified by PACFA 2014 Training Standards.
  • Face to face (on-campus) delivery in Macquarie Park, NSW
  • Delivery Mode: Friday/Saturday Intensives
  • Credit Points: 96 / Number of Units: 16
  • Student Workload: 10 hours per unit per week (includes provision for personal study)
  • Austudy approved

Admission requirements

Intakes are in January and July (with three round offers for Semester 1 and two round offers for Semester 2). However applications can be lodged any time during the year for the next academic semester.
Applicants for admission must:
  • Provide evidence of completion of an accredited undergraduate degree, and
  • Demonstrate their suitability for counsellor training by means of written rationale, a written set of goals, and participation in an admission interview designed to explore interpersonal skills.
  • Provide two personal references from persons able to comment on the applicant’s suitability to work within a helping profession.
  • Candidates whose qualifying studies were completed in a language other than English will normally be required to demonstrate English proficiency equivalent to the overall minimum score of 7.0 in the IELTS Academic test.
Applicants without undergraduate qualifications can apply for admission via the Mature-entry pathway which may consider other forms of study completed in the higher education and vocational sectors, volunteer activities, contribution to church life, professional development relevant to counselling; personal references and an admission interview.

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, Dr Marie-Thérèse Proctor on (02) 9189-8834 or at

International Students

Candidates whose qualifying studies were completed in a language other than English will normally be required to demonstrate English proficiency equivalent to the overall minimum score of 7.0 in the IELTS Academic test.

Course Units & Progression

Counselling and Christianity: An Integrative Perspective
Counselling Practice I: Person-centred Therapy
Counselling Practice II: Narrative Therapy
Counselling Practice III: Cognitive-informed Therapy
Counselling Practice IV: Advanced Clinical Practice
Counselling Practicum I
Counselling Practicum II
Counselling Theories and Models
Development and Diversity
Ethics issues & Practice
Introduction to Counselling Children and Young People
Introduction to Chronic and Complex Trauma Counselling
Introduction to Couples Work
Introduction to Grief Counselling
Introduction to Group Work
Introduction to Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
Introduction to Trauma-Informed Counselling
Mental Health Issues in Adulthood
Relational Dynamics
Research I: Method and Application
Research II: Research Project
Special Topics in Counselling



Course CO54 Master of Counselling
CRICOS 056057J
Length 2 years full-time or up to 4 years part-time
Faculty School of Counselling

Potential Students

  • The course is particularly suited to:
  • Current counsellors seeking additional training at a post-graduate level;
  • Individuals with undergraduate qualifications (or equivalent) wanting to enter the counselling profession;
  • Other professionals seeking to diversify and extend their current skill set or change career direction.

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 18 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 (i.e., on campus) 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

The Master of Counselling degree prepares graduates for a range of counselling-related positions within the mental health sector. For example, graduates work in private practice and a variety of Christian, church-based and secular counselling services, centres and programs (such as schools; private, government and NGO agencies; and child and adolescent services). They work with varied age groups and target populations (children and adolescents, the homeless, troubled youth, adults with a range of mental health issues, the unemployed, the elderly); addressing a range of life issues including trauma, loss and grief, relationship and family issues, identity formation, spiritual concerns, illness and disability.
The Master of Counselling degree is a PACFA accredited course (PACFA - Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia). Historically graduates of the program have applied for membership with various PACFA Member Associations, subject to meeting their membership requirements; most commonly joining is the Christian Counsellors Association of Australia (CCAA). Concurrently graduates are able to apply for listing on the Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (ARCAP), subject to meeting the ARCAP registration requirements.
*It is not necessary to be a Christian to undertake this course.


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