Your pathway to becoming a registered counsellor.
Do you like to listen? Do you enjoy being with people? Do you want a meaningful and fulfilling career? Learn to provide professional counselling support through the Master of Counselling Program.
Our fully accredited Master of Counselling Program provides a holistic integrated and evidence-based pathway to becoming a "registered counsellor". This Program will lead you to the acquisition of advanced skills, theoretical knowledge and clinical experience through classroom activities, blended learning and internship placements.
The program specialises in advanced counselling skills and theories, counselling and mental health, counselling and addictions, counselling children and young people, mindfulness based interventions, expressive therapies and solution focussed brief therapy. You will learn the art of assessment and case conceptualization and build a strong ethical framework for practice.
Supervised internships of 200 hours each semester of your final year, take place in a variety of counselling settings. This practical training prepares you for a rewarding professional career as a counsellor and eligibility to join the Australian Counselling Association (ACA), Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA), and listing as a "Registered counsellor" on the Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (ARCAP).
The Master of Counselling opens new possibilities for you to work as a counsellor, including private practice, health and human service settings. It will interest you if you want a career change or to fine-tune your existing qualifications by adding a vocational emphasis. If you are already an experienced counsellor, this gives you an academic qualification to formalise years of work and opens pathways to further research, such as through undertaking PhD research.
A student entering the Master of Counselling will normally be required to hold an approved 3-year degree in Counselling (AQF Level 7) or a Bachelor Degree (AQF Level 7) in other cognate areas as approved by the University.
Entry by non-graduates who have extensive relevant industry experience may be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Head of School, Social Sciences.
Applicants are required to complete an additional personal statement and attend an interview (refer to application form). Interviews for International students on a Student visa will be conducted by Skype.
Applicants must hold a valid Suitability Card (Blue Card), which is issued by the Public Safety Business Agency, prior to commencement. Please see the Blue Card link for further details.
The Master of Counselling offers a limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) as well as domestic fee paying places. Offers for both CSP and fee paying places will be made after the application due date for the program.
CSP will be allocated on the basis of your Grade Point Average in the degree used to meet admission requirements. Applicants falling below the demand-driven cut-off for a CSP may be offered a domestic fee paying place (with the option to access FEE-HELP) subject to capacity limitations. USC reserves the right to offer a small number of CSP to students from ATSIC or disadvantaged backgrounds.
Australian citizens, New Zealand citizens and permanent visa holders enrolled in a fee paying place will have the option of applying for a CSP in subsequent semesters if one becomes available. In these cases, the student’s current GPA in the Master of Counselling will be used to assess eligibility for a CSP place using the same entry cut-off applied for new CPS entrants during that admission period.
Requirements for placements
You must hold a current Blue Card before starting your first supervised counselling experience. Many agencies also require a Police check in addition to the Blue Card.
Graduates will be eligible to apply for membership with the Australian Counselling Association (ACA), Associations accredited by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) and the Queensland Counsellors Association.
This program is fully accredited with the Australian Counselling Association and the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.
Application and admission advice
Contact Student Central
+61 7 5430 2890
Ground floor, Building C, Sippy Downs
Counselling graduate gains research role
Clinical research might not seem like the most people-centred discipline, but University of the Sunshine Coast graduate Laura Adams credits the skills she learned studying a Master of Counselling with helping her to secure a position in the field.
What will I study
Select your location, starting year and starting semester below to display your program structure and a recommended study sequence.
Required courses (16) 192 units
COU700 Expressive Therapies: Counselling with the Creative Arts
COU701 Advanced Counselling Skills 1: Interpersonal Processes
COU702 Professional Development 1: Clinical Practice
COU703 Internship 1
COU704 Internship 2
COU705 Professional Development 2: Grief, Loss and Trauma
COU706 Counselling Children and Young People
COU707 Counselling and Mental Health
COU708 Counselling and Addictions
COU709 Solution Focused Therapeutic Approaches
COU750 Ethics and Reflective Practice
COU751 Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Counselling
COU754 Research Project A
COU755 Research Project B
COU781 Advanced Counselling Skills 2: Couple and Family Processes
SCS725 Advanced Social Research
Note: Program structures are subject to change. Not all USC courses are available on every USC campus.
Total units: 192
Recommended study sequence
This recommended study sequence ONLY represents the CURRENT program structure. Students in previous structures should use this sequence to inform order of courses and current course details. For courses in your commencing structure not included in the current sequence, search the course code for current course offerings and requisites.
- Successfully complete 192 units as outlined in the Program Structure
Requirements for field education
To complete this program you must complete 50 hours of supervision relating to a minimum of 200 hours of client contact for which you are required to obtain a Blue Card (issued by the Public Safety Business Agency).
In the event that you become ineligible for a Blue Card, at any time between the date of first enrolment and the date of completion of the program, you will not be able to complete the program.
Please note, while all endeavours will be made to place students in a given semester, this is not guaranteed and students may need to enrol at a later time should a position in an agency be unavailable in the preferred semester.
Field education includes professional or clinical placements. Students may be required to undertake these placements away from the campus at their own expense.
- Prior to entry into the program applicants will be required to submit their current Suitability Card (Blue Card)
- Completing this program within the specified (full-time) duration is based on studying 48 unit points per semester (normally 4 courses) and following the recommended study sequence
- The unit value of all courses is 12 units unless otherwise specified
- It is each students responsibility to enrol correctly according to your course requisites, program rules and requirements and be aware of the academic calendar dates
- Courses within this program are assessed using a variety of assessment methods which may include essays, seminar presentations, reports, in-class tests and examinations
- Only a full-time study option is available to international students on a Student Visa
- Refer to the Managing your progression page for help in understanding your program structure, reviewing your progress and planning remaining courses.
How to apply
Am I eligible to apply?
- Confirm that you meet the program specific admission requirements, prerequisites and recommended prior study outlined on Why study this program?
- Confirm that you meet the general postgraduate admission requirements and English Language Proficiency requirements
- Refer to the application dates for cut-off dates and deadlines
- Download the Application for postgraduate coursework form and relevant additional forms listed.
- Lodge the completed application forms directly to USC, with supporting documentation to the addressee stated on each form by the due date.
Apply direct to USC International
How to enrol
New to USC?
Once you have applied and received your offer of a place from USC, follow the steps to Get Started at USC to respond to your offer, plan your study and enrol in the correct courses (subjects).
Before you enrol it's important to check your commencing program structure and the published recommended study sequence to make sure you study the right courses at the right time and will be ready to graduate from your degree when you plan to.
To better understand your program structure and for instructions on how to review your progress and plan your remaining courses, visit the Managing your progression page.
Visit How do I enrol? for enrolment instructions and key dates.
View step-by-step instructions to enrol at How do I enrol?
Refer to the Academic Calendar for key dates, including the last day to add, drop or swap a course or class and Census dates.
Search for answers and ask questions about enrolling or contact Student Central.