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COU8101 Counselling Skills and Applications

Semester 1, 2021 External
Short Description: Counselling Skills & Applictns
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Counselling
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 090513 - Counselling
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Elisa Agostinelli


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCCO or GDCN or MCCO or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH or MNSG or GDNG or GCNG


The knowledge and skills acquired in this course are designed to address areas of competence required for registration as a counsellor, and will be relevant to similar standards in most allied health disciplines. Effective practice in the helping professions relies on a strong foundation in the core skills of counselling methods and processes as well as on both personal and professional self-exploration, reflective practice, and ongoing professional development. The course is one of the core courses in the counselling stream and informs and links with others in the counselling stream. It also underpins the learning outcomes for the various specialisations and advanced degrees in this stream.


This course provides students with a thorough understanding of counselling processes and practices. It includes a specific focus on practical skills, based on counselling theory. Students will also develop their ability to plan, structure, and manage a counselling session, including attention to ethical and contextual issues affecting the client and therapeutic process. Because there is a concomitant focus on the nexus between the therapist as a person and a professional, the course also emphasises introspection, reflective practice, and professional learning and growth.

This course contains a mandatory four-day residential school and 10 hours of mandatory online synchronous workshops.


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

  1. competently apply core counselling microskills;
  2. effectively use influencing skills to effect behaviour change;
  3. plan, structure, manage, and evaluate a counselling session, paying attention to ethical and contextual issues affecting the client and therapeutic process;
  4. incorporate a feedback-informed approach and critically reflect on their practice to facilitate ongoing professional learning and development.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Ethical, contextual, and relational issues affecting the client and therapeutic process 10.00
2. Core counselling microskills 30.00
3. Influencing skills to effect behaviour change 20.00
4. Structuring, managing, and evaluating a counselling session 20.00
5. Feedback-informed practice 10.00
6. Reflective practice and ongoing professional learning and development 10.00

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. (

Ivey, A. E., Bradford Ivey, M., & Zalaquett, C. P 2018, Intentional Interviewing and Counselling:, Facilitating Client Development in a Multicultural Society, 9th edn, Cengage Learning.

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
Assessments 50.00
Directed Study 35.00
Online Tutorials 10.00
Private Study 40.00
Residential Schools 30.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Video 1 20 20 23 Mar 2021 1
Online Test 1 20 20 06 Apr 2021 1
Video 2 & Critical Reflection 100 40 25 May 2021 1,2,3,4
Attendance Requirements 1 04 Jun 2021 1,2,3,4 (see note 1)
Online Test 2 20 20 08 Jun 2021 2,3

  1. The dates and location of the mandatory residential school are available from the Residential School Timetable ( The online synchronous tutorial schedule is available on the Postgraduate of Counselling Programs Studydesk site.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Students must attend at least 80% of the mandatory residential school and online synchronous tutorials. Students who are unable to complete the mandatory residential school because of Compassionate and Compelling Circumstances may be eligible to defer that Assessment Item in accordance with the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4).

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete the attendance requirements, students must attend at least 80% of the mandatory residential school and online synchronous tutorials to achieve a mark of 1 out of 1 for this assessment item. Additionally students must achieve at least 50% for assessment item Video 2 and critical reflection. To complete the remaining assessment items satisfactorily students must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  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 attend at least 80% and achieve a mark of 1 out of 1 for the mandatory residential school and the online synchronous tutorials, achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the Video 2 and Critical Reflection assessment, and achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    NO EXAM: There is no exam 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. APA style is the referencing system 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.

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: conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement. The course forms part of the GCCO, GDCN, MCCO, Masters of Nursing, Graduate Diploma of Nursing and Graduate Certificate of Nursing and is benchmarked against the 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.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, webcam, headset, 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.

  3. Mandatory attendance at the residential school and online synchronous tutorials supports requirements of professional counsellor training and membership standards and assists students to meet course learning objectives.

Date printed 18 June 2021