Employers are looking for graduates who can quickly adapt to organisational objectives and become an important member of their team. Undertaking an internship placement component as part of your UniSC degree helps you prepare to meet industry expectations.
Undergraduate Counselling placement courses
The Counselling Placement courses COU363 Counselling Placement 1 and COU364 Counselling Placement 2 enable students to complete their placements in their final year of studies. They provide an opportunity for students to obtain academic credit for a course at university at the same time as gaining valuable experience in the workplace prior to completing their studies and seeking employment in their chosen field. A Counselling Placement provides students with the opportunity to develop links to theory learnt on campus in a practice based setting; reflect on theory supporting practice; critique their developing skills, theories and knowledge; develop a range of essential skills sought by employers; establish a work history; and create networking contacts.
Counselling development supervision courses
The Counselling Development and Supervision courses COU361 Counselling Development and Supervision 1 and COU362 Counselling Development and Supervision 2 provide on campus supervision and counselling development in conjunction with the placements. This provides students with weekly professional counselling supervision in a group learning environment along with ongoing professional development.
Master of Counselling internship courses
The University of the Sunshine Coast offers internship opportunities in the counselling field as part of its Master of Counselling Program. Internship provides opportunities to apply academic learning within a practical setting where students begin to develop a sense of themselves as professional practitioners: they learn to work within the professional framework of Australian Counselling Association (ACA) in addition to the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA), code of ethics and values. In addition, students also learn how to manage themselves in the workplace in their role as team member and colleague.
Students undertaking a Master of Counselling will complete COU703 Internship 1 and COU704 Internship 2 Internships, in conjunction with two Professional Development co-requisite courses for internship.
Counselling development co-requisite courses
Students completing their internship will also undertake a co-requisite of COU702 Professional Development 1: Clinical Practice or COU705 Professional Development 2: Grief, Loss and Trauma. These professional development courses provide students with weekly professional counselling supervision in a group learning environment along with ongoing professional development.
The placement experience
Fields of practice
Examples of the fields of practice offered by organisations that recently hosted UniSC Counselling students include:
- School Counselling
- Corrective Services
- Employment Services
- Identity Theft
- Domestic Violence
- Mental Health
- Youth Work
Structure of placement
Undergraduate students undertake two placements of 250 hours. Each placement is normally 2–3 full days per week across either semester 1 or semester 2.
Master of Counselling students undertake two placements of a minimum of 200 hours each. Master of Counselling students attend their internship a minimum of 2 days per week.
This provides an opportunity for students to become immersed in organisation practice and develop professional relationships with colleagues, clients and the community. Students will transfer campus based learning into a supportive workplace environment, enabling them to develop new skills as they put their theories into practice.
Students undertaking a placement are covered by the University’s insurance policies for worker’s compensation and third party insurance.
Students are required to submit reports on their placement experience which will be assessed by their allocated academic supervisor from the School of Law and Society. These reports are in addition to any work allocated by the workplace supervisor. The assessment requirements for each course will be covered in depth in your course orientation sessions and throughout the semester.
The planning and coordination of placements by the Counselling Field Education team can take up to six months. To commence this planning process, students will receive an email mid-way through the semester prior to commencing placement, which will provide instructions on this process. Students are asked to submit an Expression of Interest through Sonia Online, as well as book an interview on Sonia Online with a Field Education team member. Sonia Online also outlines the mandatory requirements required by students undertaking Counselling Placements or Internships.
Registering for placement and enrolling in the courses are two separate functions of student placement. Students will need to enrol in their placement course when enrolments open for all courses. Registering for a placement does not include enrolment.
For general enquiries about work integrated learning opportunities please contact the Counselling Field Education Team at:
or alternatively for Sonia Online support or advice on how to apply, contact the Work Integrated Learning Placement Officer at:
Tel: +61 7 5455 3738