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COU8001 Masters Counselling Practicum

Semester 2, 2019 External
Short Description: Masters Counselling Practicum
Units : 2
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Counselling
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 090513 - Counselling
Grading basis : Pass/Not Pass


Examiner: Carol du Plessis


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in the following Program: MCCO (all specialisations with the exception of Advanced Practice)
Pre-requisite or Co-requisite: COU5003

Other requisites

IMPORTANT NOTE: Working with Children: State law in Queensland requires that all adults (including university students in industry placement) working with children under the age of 18, in the State of Queensland*, obtain approval before commencing such work. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that they possess a current suitability card (Blue Card) before commencement of the placement. DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN ANY PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE WITH CHILDREN UNDER 18 UNLESS YOU POSSESS A CURRENT 'BLUE CARD'. For further information: *If you are undertaking practical experience outside the State of Queensland, Australia you should check local requirements.

IMPORTANT NOTE 2: Students are not to commence work in the host organisation without authorisation from the assigned USQ staff member. The USQ staff member will need to approve the suitability of the host organisation, the work plan, and the clinical supervisor prior to starting. Failure to receive prior approval before starting will be working outside the parameters of the course and will not be recognised or supported by USQ or its insurance coverage. Additional information about the practicum can be found on the program Moodle study desk site.


This course offers students the opportunity to undertake a supervised placement, and will help students consolidate and apply the theory, knowledge and skills relevant to the sector.


This counselling practicum provides opportunities for students to develop professional and clinical skills within a supervised agency setting. The field experience, professional development, and assessments are designed to integrate theory with practice, and prepare students for real world practice and towards membership in professional counselling associations. Students will develop a range of counselling, professional, and organisational skills.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. skilfully assess, develop, and apply theoretically-informed case formulation and treatment delivery using counselling skills within an agency setting;
  2. display effective self-management by performing agency and course requirements to consistently high standards;
  3. critically reflect on one’s own performance and responsibilities within a supervisory context;
  4. effectively utilise high level interpersonal and teamwork skills appropriate to the profession through their interaction with clients, colleagues, supervisors, and other stakeholders;
  5. employ advanced written communication skills by preparing and submitting a range of professional documents in a timely and appropriate format (see assessment details below);
  6. apply critical reasoning, problem solving, and professional and ethical judgement with initiative to identify and resolve a range of therapeutic professional, legal, and ethical practice issues.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Completion of counselling hours, supervision and professional development 33.00
2. Performance of agency duties 33.00
3. Expertise Development (Reading, Practice) 34.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Faiver, C. M., Eisengart, S. P., & Colonna, R. (2003). The counsellor intern’s handbook, 3rd edn, Boston: Cengage.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Clinical Experience 55.00
Private Study or Research 80.00
Professional Experience 195.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Completed Log of Hours and Dev 25 25 16 Jul 2019 3 (see note 1)
Contract 25 25 16 Jul 2019 6 (see note 2)
Final Supervisor Report 25 25 16 Jul 2019 1,2,3,4,5,6 (see note 3)
Interim Supervisor Report 25 25 16 Jul 2019 1,2,3,4,5,6 (see note 4)

  1. Students must complete 40 hours of counselling, 10 hours of clinical supervision, and 5 hours of professional development.
  2. This assessment must be passed before commencing placement.
  3. This report is completed by the designated supervisor in consultation with the student and is due after the student has completed 40 hours of counselling linked with 10 hours of clinical supervision.
  4. This report is completed by the designated supervisor in consultation with the student and is due after the student has completed 20 hours of counselling linked with 5 hours of clinical supervision.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no weekly attendance requirements for this course however students would be expected to attend the placement agency for a minimum of 200 hours. It is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete each of the assessment items a student must receive 75% of the weighted marks available for the Interim and Final Supervisor Reports, 90% of the weighted marks available for Completed Log of Hours and Dev, and 100% of the marks available for the Contract.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 100% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), by satisfying the Secondary Hurdles (Proficiency), i.e., achieving 75%, 90% or 100% of the weighted marks available for each assessment item (see assessment table above).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    As P is the only passing grade available for this course, all students who are qualified for a passing grade will be given a grade of P. Other students will be given either a failing grade or an incomplete grade.

  6. Examination information:
    NO EXAM: There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    NO EXAM: There is no examination in this course, so there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. All assessments will be submitted electronically. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment irrespective of holidays. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  3. USQ will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile or email unless expressly requested by the course examiner.

  4. American Psychological Association (APA) referencing system is required in this course. Students must use 6th edition APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide at

  5. Reliable access to the internet is a requirement of this course as the course contains electronic submission elements. Students who knowingly do not have reliable access to the internet should actively seek alternative internet access (e.g., Internet cafes, local libraries, or work places) for assessment. All students are able to use the on-campus student computer laboratories once access has been enabled. To be granted access, external students need to contact ICT and ask to have a student account enabled so that they can work on-campus.

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
2. forms part of the Graduate Certificate of Counselling, the Graduate Diploma of Counselling, and the Masters of Counselling, and is benchmarked against the:
o internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review;
o professional accreditation standards of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia Training Standards, 2014.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.