Skip to main content

Graduate Certificate of Counselling (GCCO) - GradCertCouns

 ExternalOnline*
Semester intake:Semester 1 (February)
Semester 2 (July)
Semester 1 (February)
Semester 2 (July)
Fees:Domestic full fee paying place
International full fee paying place
Domestic full fee paying place
International full fee paying place
Residential school:Ipswich or Toowoomba campus — mandatory 
Standard duration:1 year part-time 
Program articulation:

To: Graduate Diploma of Counselling

Footnotes
*The Alcohol and Drug, Child, Youth and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counselling specialisations can be fully studied online.

Back to top

Contact us

Future Australian and New Zealand students  Future International students  Current students 
Ask a question
Freecall (within Australia): 1800 269 500
Phone (from outside Australia): +61 7 4631 5315
Email: study@usq.edu.au  
Ask a question
Phone: +61 7 4631 5543
Email: international@usq.edu.au 
Ask a question
Freecall (within Australia): 1800 007 252
Phone (from outside Australia): +61 7 4631 2285
Email usq.support@usq.edu.au 

Back to top

Program aims

The aim of the Graduate Certificate of Counselling is to allow students and professionals to develop knowledge, skills and expertise in one of four specialist counselling areas. The GCCO provides specialist knowledge and is designed to advance the knowledge base of individuals already working in the field. The four specialisations are:

  • Alcohol and Drug Studies

  • Child, Youth and Family Therapy

  • Mental Health Counselling

  • Foundations of Practice


Students can also choose to complete a general specialisation. The Graduate Certificate of Counselling is available to graduates of human services, counselling, health, nursing, psychology and other allied disciplines. Students completing the Graduate Certificate of Counselling are not eligible for registration as counsellors. Students wishing to seek registration as a counsellor are advised to complete the GDCN Graduate Diploma of Counselling

Back to top

Program objectives

On completion of the award, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of theories and models fundamental to fields associated with counselling

  2. Demonstrate advanced interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills

  3. Demonstrate ability to apply critical reasoning, judgment and problem solving to a range of professional, legal, and ethical practice issues

  4. Please note that because there are 4 specialisations, each specialisation has a different final objective:

    • Foundations of Practice: Consolidate theory and practice within an integrative framework to effectively provide counselling within diverse contexts and client groups, including Indigenous Australians.

    • Child, Youth and Family Therapy: Integrate theory and practice to develop counselling interventions for working with children, youth, couples, and families, within diverse contexts and groups.

    • Mental Health Counselling: Consolidate theory and practice within an integrate framework to effectively provide counselling to individuals with mental health difficulties.

    • Alcohol and Drug Studies: Integrate theory and practice to develop counselling interventions and administer holistic assessment for clients impacted by alcohol and drugs.



Back to top

Australian Qualifications Framework

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) is a single national, comprehensive system of qualifications offered by higher education institutions (including universities), vocational education and training institutions and secondary schools. Each AQF qualification has a set of descriptors which define the type and complexity of knowledge, skills and application of knowledge and skills that a graduate who has been awarded that qualification has attained, and the typical volume of learning associated with that qualification type.

This program is at AQF Qualification Level 08. Graduates at this level will have advanced knowledge and skills for professional or highly skilled work and/or further learning.

The full set of levels criteria and qualification type descriptors can be found by visiting www.aqf.edu.au.

Back to top

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission, applicants must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Completion of an Australian university three-year bachelor degree, or equivalent, in any area.

  • English Language Proficiency requirements for Category 3.


All students are required to satisfy the applicable English language requirements.

If students do not meet the English language requirements they may apply to study a University-approved English language program. On successful completion of the English language program, students may be admitted to an award program.

Back to top

Program fees

Domestic full fee paying place

Domestic full fee paying places are funded entirely through the full fees paid by the student. Full fees vary depending on the courses that are taken. Students are able to calculate the fees for a particular course via the Course Fee Finder.

Domestic full fee paying students may be eligible to defer their fees through a Government loan called FEE-HELP provided they meet the residency and citizenship requirements.

Australian citizens, Permanent Humanitarian Visa holders, Permanent Resident visa holders and New Zealand citizens who will be resident outside Australia for the duration of their program pay full tuition fees and are not eligible for FEE-Help.

International full fee paying place

International students pay full fees. Full fees vary depending on the courses that are taken and whether they are studied on-campus, via distance education/online. Students are able to calculate the fees for a particular course via the Course Fee Finder.

Back to top

Program structure

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling has four specialisations. Students may also complete a Graduate Certificate of Counselling with a general specialisation, which allows them to choose any four courses. The requirements for each of these options are listed below:

Foundations of Practice specialisation

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling (Foundations of Practice) consists of four level 8 compulsory courses.

Core Courses  Semester(s) Offered  Mode 
COU8101 Counselling Skills and Applications#  EXT 
COU8102 Professional Counselling Practice, Identity and Ethics#  EXT 
COU8104 Counselling Frameworks#  EXT 
COU8103 Counselling Issues and Contexts#  EXT 

Footnotes
#This course has a mandatory 4–day residential school and 10 hours of mandatory online tutorials.

Alcohol and Drug Studies specialisation

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling (Alcohol and Drug Studies) consists of four level 8 courses.

Core Courses  Semester(s) Offered  Mode 
COU8011 Assessment for Substance Misuse  ONL 
COU8013 Introduction to Psychoactive Drugs  ONL 
COU8014 Relapse Prevention  ONL 
COU8012 Motivational Interviewing  ONL 

Child, Youth and Family Therapy specialisation

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling (Child, Youth and Family Therapy) consists of two level 8 core courses, one level 5 compulsory courses and a choice between two approved courses.

Core Courses  Semester(s) Offered  Mode 
EDU5325 Child Abuse and Neglect: Intervention, Protection and Prevention  ONL 
COU8021 Couple and Family Counselling  ONL 
COU8022 Child and Youth Counselling  ONL 
Choose one of the courses below:     
EDU5335 Emotional and Behavioural Problems of Children and Adolescents   ONL 
COU8006 Group Counselling Process and Practice#^  EXT 
COU8013 Introduction to Psychoactive Drugs  ONL 
COU8014 Relapse Prevention  ONL 

Footnotes
#This course has a mandatory 4–day residential school and 10 hours of mandatory online tutorials.
^Please note that in 2021, COU8006 Group Counselling Process and Practice will run in S2 (not S1 as indicated in the enrolment pattern). For 2021, students can choose between taking COU8006 in S2 OR taking COU5003 Introduction to Clinical Supervision, in S1. COU5003 Introduction to Clinical Supervision is in teach-out mode, and will be offered for the last time in 2021.

Mental Health Counselling specialisation

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling (Mental Health Counselling) consists of three level 8 core courses and one choice of an approved course.

Compulsory Courses  Semester(s) Offered  Mode 
COU8031 Contexts of Mental Health Counselling  ONL 
COU8032 Mental Health Practice 1  ONL 
COU8033 Mental Health Practice 2  ONL 
Choose one of the courses below:     
COU8022 Child and Youth Counselling   ONL 
COU8006 Group Counselling Process and Practice#^  EXT 
COU8013 Introduction to Psychoactive Drugs  ONL 
COU8014 Relapse Prevention  ONL 

Footnotes
#This course has a mandatory 4– day residential school and 10 hours of mandatory online tutorials.
^Please note that in 2021, COU8006 Group Counselling Process and Practice will run in S2 (not S1 as indicated in the enrolment pattern). For 2021, students can choose between taking COU8006 in S2 OR taking COU5003 Introduction to Clinical Supervision, in S1. COU5003 Introduction to Clinical Supervision is in teach-out mode, and will be offered for the last time in 2021.

General specialisation

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling (General) can be attained after completing four courses from within any of the Graduate Certificate of Counselling specialisations and may include other graduate courses related to counselling as approved by the Program Coordinator.

Back to top

Program completion requirements

Students must have successfully completed the core and approved courses (as applicable) to successfully complete the program.

Back to top

Required time limits

Students have a maximum of 2 years to complete this program.

Specific specialisations

In this section:

Back to top

Foundations of Practice specialisation

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling (Foundations of Practice) consists of four level 8 compulsory courses.

Core Courses  Semester(s) Offered  Mode 
COU8101 Counselling Skills and Applications#  EXT 
COU8102 Professional Counselling Practice, Identity and Ethics#  EXT 
COU8104 Counselling Frameworks#  EXT 
COU8103 Counselling Issues and Contexts#  EXT 

Footnotes
#This course has a mandatory 4–day residential school and 10 hours of mandatory online tutorials.

Back to top

Alcohol and Drug Studies specialisation

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling (Alcohol and Drug Studies) consists of four level 8 courses.

Core Courses  Semester(s) Offered  Mode 
COU8011 Assessment for Substance Misuse  ONL 
COU8013 Introduction to Psychoactive Drugs  ONL 
COU8014 Relapse Prevention  ONL 
COU8012 Motivational Interviewing  ONL 

Back to top

Child, Youth and Family Therapy specialisation

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling (Child, Youth and Family Therapy) consists of two level 8 core courses, one level 5 compulsory courses and a choice between two approved courses.

Core Courses  Semester(s) Offered  Mode 
EDU5325 Child Abuse and Neglect: Intervention, Protection and Prevention  ONL 
COU8021 Couple and Family Counselling  ONL 
COU8022 Child and Youth Counselling  ONL 
Choose one of the courses below:     
EDU5335 Emotional and Behavioural Problems of Children and Adolescents   ONL 
COU8006 Group Counselling Process and Practice#^  EXT 
COU8013 Introduction to Psychoactive Drugs  ONL 
COU8014 Relapse Prevention  ONL 

Footnotes
#This course has a mandatory 4–day residential school and 10 hours of mandatory online tutorials.
^Please note that in 2021, COU8006 Group Counselling Process and Practice will run in S2 (not S1 as indicated in the enrolment pattern). For 2021, students can choose between taking COU8006 in S2 OR taking COU5003 Introduction to Clinical Supervision, in S1. COU5003 Introduction to Clinical Supervision is in teach-out mode, and will be offered for the last time in 2021.

Back to top

Mental Health Counselling specialisation

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling (Mental Health Counselling) consists of three level 8 core courses and one choice of an approved course.

Compulsory Courses  Semester(s) Offered  Mode 
COU8031 Contexts of Mental Health Counselling  ONL 
COU8032 Mental Health Practice 1  ONL 
COU8033 Mental Health Practice 2  ONL 
Choose one of the courses below:     
COU8022 Child and Youth Counselling   ONL 
COU8006 Group Counselling Process and Practice#^  EXT 
COU8013 Introduction to Psychoactive Drugs  ONL 
COU8014 Relapse Prevention  ONL 

Footnotes
#This course has a mandatory 4– day residential school and 10 hours of mandatory online tutorials.
^Please note that in 2021, COU8006 Group Counselling Process and Practice will run in S2 (not S1 as indicated in the enrolment pattern). For 2021, students can choose between taking COU8006 in S2 OR taking COU5003 Introduction to Clinical Supervision, in S1. COU5003 Introduction to Clinical Supervision is in teach-out mode, and will be offered for the last time in 2021.

Back to top

General specialisation

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling (General) can be attained after completing four courses from within any of the Graduate Certificate of Counselling specialisations and may include other graduate courses related to counselling as approved by the Program Coordinator.

Back to top

IT requirements

Students should visit the USQ minimum computing standards to check that their computers are capable of running the appropriate software and versions of Internet web browsers and to check the minimum and recommended standards for software.

Back to top

Residential schools

The attendance requirement of residential schools within this degree is indicated by the following letters: V = Voluntary; O = Optional; C = Compulsory; R = Recommended; HR = Highly Recommended; M = Mandatory. To find out more about residential schools, visit the Residential School Schedule to view specific dates for your degree, or visit the Policy and Procedure Library.

There are mandatory residential schools held at Ipswich, Springfield or Toowoomba campuses, and mandatory synchronous online tutorials for:


^Please note that in 2021, COU8006 Group Counselling Process and Practice will run in S2 (not S1 as indicated in the enrolment pattern). For 2021, students can choose between taking COU8006 in S2 OR taking COU5003 Introduction to Clinical Supervision, in S1. COU5003 Introduction to Clinical Supervision is in teach-out mode, and will be offered for the last time in 2021.

Back to top

Articulation

A student successfully completing all courses in the Graduate Certificate of Counselling will receive full credit towards the Graduate Diploma of Counselling in the same major area. Students who exited with a general specialisation can enter the Graduate Diploma (Foundations of Practice). Students intending to continue with the Graduate Diploma must apply for separate admission and may EITHER Graduate with a Graduate Certificate and receive full credit as exemptions into the Graduate Diploma, OR choose not to graduate with the Graduate Certificate, in order to transfer their grades, maintain their GPA and articulate into the Graduate Diploma and ultimately qualify for this higher award only. Students who wish to transfer their grades and maintain their GPA into the Graduate Diploma, must advise the Faculty in writing (usq.support@usq.edu.au) of their intention to articulate and this must occur prior to completion of the Graduate Certificate of Counselling. Entry into the Master of Counselling requires completion of at least 50% of the Graduate Diploma of Counselling with a GPA of at least 5.0, and an application that is supported by two referees as well as a structured interview.

Back to top

Related programs

The Graduate Certificate of Counselling is nested in the Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Master of Counselling.

Back to top

Credit

Exemptions/credit will be assessed based on the USQ Credit and Exemption Procedure.

Recommended enrolment patterns

In this section:

Back to top

Foundations of Practice specialisation recommended enrolment pattern

Students are able to enrol in any offered mode of a course (on-campus, external or online), regardless of the program mode of study they enrolled in.


CourseYear of program and semester
in which course is normally studied
Residential schoolEnrolment requirements
On-campus
(ONC)
External
(EXT)
Online
(ONL)
YearSemYearSemYearSem

Year 1 / Semester 1 entry

COU8101 Counselling Skills and Applications*11MPre-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
COU8102 Professional Counselling Practice, Identity and Ethics*11MPre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCCO or GDCN or MCCO or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH
COU8104 Counselling Frameworks*12MPre-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
COU8103 Counselling Issues and Contexts*12MPre-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

Footnotes
*Mandatory Residential Schools

Back to top

Alcohol and Drug Studies specialisation recommended enrolment pattern

Students are able to enrol in any offered mode of a course (on-campus, external or online), regardless of the program mode of study they enrolled in.


CourseYear of program and semester
in which course is normally studied
Enrolment requirements
On-campus
(ONC)
External
(EXT)
Online
(ONL)
YearSemYearSemYearSem

Year 1 / Semester 1 entry

COU8011 Assessment for Substance Misuse11Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCAD or GDCN or MPPS or GCCO or MCCO
COU8013 Introduction to Psychoactive Drugs12Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCAD or GDCN or MPPS or GCCO or MCCO
COU8014 Relapse Prevention12Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCAD or GDCN or MPPS or GCCO or MCCO
COU8012 Motivational Interviewing11Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCAD or GDCN or MPPS or GCCO or MCCO

Back to top

Child, Youth and Family Therapy specialisation recommended enrolment pattern

Students are able to enrol in any offered mode of a course (on-campus, external or online), regardless of the program mode of study they enrolled in.


CourseYear of program and semester
in which course is normally studied
Residential schoolEnrolment requirements
On-campus
(ONC)
External
(EXT)
Online
(ONL)
YearSemYearSemYearSem

Year 1 / Semester 1 entry

EDU5325 Child Abuse and Neglect: Intervention, Protection and Prevention11Enrolment is not permitted in EDU5325 if EDU3325 has been previously completed.
COU8021 Couple and Family Counselling11Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCCO or GDCN or MCCO or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH
COU8022 Child and Youth Counselling12Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCCO or GDCN or MCCO or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH

Choose one of the following courses:

     COU8006 Group Counselling Process and Practice*^1MPre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCCO or GDCN or MCCO or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH
     EDU5335 Emotional and Behavioural Problems of Children and Adolescents11Enrolment is not permitted in EDU5335 if EDU3335 has been previously completed.
     COU8014 Relapse Prevention11Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCAD or GDCN or MPPS or GCCO or MCCO
     COU8012 Motivational Interviewing11Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCAD or GDCN or MPPS or GCCO or MCCO

Footnotes
*Mandatory Residential Schools.
^Please note that in 2021, COU8006 Group Counselling Process and Practice will run in S2 (not S1 as indicated in the enrolment pattern). For 2021, students can choose between taking COU8006 in S2 OR taking COU5003 Introduction to Clinical Supervision, in S1. COU5003 Introduction to Clinical Supervision is in teach-out mode, and will be offered for the last time in 2021.

Back to top

Mental Health Counselling specialisation recommended enrolment pattern

Students are able to enrol in any offered mode of a course (on-campus, external or online), regardless of the program mode of study they enrolled in.


CourseYear of program and semester
in which course is normally studied
Residential schoolEnrolment requirements
On-campus
(ONC)
External
(EXT)
Online
(ONL)
YearSemYearSemYearSem

Year 1 / Semester 1 entry

COU8031 Contexts of Mental Health Counselling11Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCCO or GDCN or MCCO or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH
COU8032 Mental Health Practice 111Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCCO or GDCN or MCCO or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH
COU8033 Mental Health Practice 212Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCCO or GDCN or MCCO or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH

Choose one of the following courses:

     COU8022 Child and Youth Counselling2Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCCO or GDCN or MCCO or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH
     COU8006 Group Counselling Process and Practice*^11MPre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCCO or GDCN or MCCO or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH
     COU8014 Relapse Prevention2Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCAD or GDCN or MPPS or GCCO or MCCO
     COU8012 Motivational Interviewing1Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCAD or GDCN or MPPS or GCCO or MCCO

Footnotes
*Mandatory Residential Schools.
^Please note that in 2021, COU8006 Group Counselling Process and Practice will run in S2 (not S1 as indicated in the enrolment pattern). For 2021, students can choose between taking COU8006 in S2 OR taking COU5003 Introduction to Clinical Supervision, in S1. COU5003 Introduction to Clinical Supervision is in teach-out mode, and will be offered for the last time in 2021.