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Graduate Diploma of Counselling (GDCN) - GradDipCouns

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

From: Graduate Certificate of Counselling

To: Master of Counselling

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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 

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Professional accreditation

Graduates of the Graduate Diploma of Counselling will be able to apply for membership of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). Membership with the ACA enables registration as a Counsellor with the Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (ARCAP).

Completion of at least 50% of this program (including two Foundation of Practice courses) is also a requirement for entry into the Master of Counselling.

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Program aims

The Graduate Diploma of Counselling aims to provide an introduction to counselling practice and enables registration with the ACA. The Graduate Diploma of Counselling provides an introduction to practice, allows for registration as a counsellor, and prepares students for further study. Depending on specialisation, the Graduate Diploma of Counselling further aims to equip students with in-depth knowledge of one of four specialist areas.

  • Alcohol and Drug Studies

  • Child, Youth and Family Therapy

  • Mental Health Counselling

  • Foundations of Practice


The Graduate Diploma of Counselling is available to graduates of human services, health, nursing, psychology and other allied disciplines. The Graduate Diploma of Counselling contains mandatory Residential Schools and online tutorials as well as mandatory foundational courses in order to ensure that the training standards required for registration are met

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Program objectives

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

  1. Apply a core body of knowledge, including contemporary theories and models central to counselling assessment, and treatment.

  2. Effectively utilise a range of advanced interpersonal, written, oral and digital literacy skills appropriate for communicating with diverse audiences including clients and professionals.

  3. 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.

  4. Consolidate theory and practice within an integrative framework to effectively provide counselling within diverse cultural and practice contexts and client groups.

  5. Utilise relevant research literature, methodologies and findings to inform practice development and decision-making processes..


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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.

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Admission requirements

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

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

  • 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.

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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.

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Program structure

Each Graduate Diploma of Counselling consists of 4 Core Courses (COU8101 Counselling Skills and Applications; COU8102 Professional Counselling Practice, Identity and Ethics; COU8103 Counselling Issues and Contexts; COU8104 Counselling Frameworks) and 3 or 4 courses related to a specialisation. Some specialisations also allow students to select a number of elective courses.

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Program completion requirements

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

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Required time limits

Students have a maximum of 3 years to complete this program.

Specific specialisations

In this section:

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Foundations of Practice specialisation

The Graduate Diploma of Counselling (Foundations of Practice) consists of five Level 8 core courses and three approved 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 
COU8006 Group Counselling Process and Practice#^  EXT 
Approved Courses 
Choose three of the following: 
COU8011 Assessment for Substance Misuse   ONL 
COU8012 Motivational Interviewing   ONL 
COU8013 Introduction to Psychoactive Drugs   ONL 
COU8014 Relapse Prevention   ONL 
COU8021 Couple and Family Counselling   ONL 
COU8022 Child and Youth Counselling   ONL 
COU8031 Contexts of Mental Health Counselling   ONL 
COU8032 Mental Health Practice 1   ONL 
COU8033 Mental Health Practice 2   ONL 
EDU5325 Child Abuse and Neglect: Intervention, Protection and Prevention   1,3  ONL 
EDU5335 Emotional and Behavioural Problems of Children and Adolescents   1,3  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.

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Alcohol and Drug Studies specialisation

The Graduate Diploma of Counselling (Alcohol and Drug Studies) consists of eight Level 8 core courses.

Compulsory 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 
COU8011 Assessment for Substance Misuse  ONL 
COU8013 Introduction to Psychoactive Drugs  ONL 
COU8014 Relapse Prevention  ONL 
COU8012 Motivational Interviewing  ONL 

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

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Child, Youth and Family Therapy specialisation

The Graduate Diploma of Counselling (Child, Youth and Family Therapy) consists of seven level 8 core courses and one approved course.

Compulsory 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 
EDU5325 Child Abuse and Neglect: Intervention, Protection and Prevention  1, 3  ONL 
COU8021 Couple and Family Counselling  ONL 
COU8022 Child and Youth Counselling  ONL 
Choose one of the following courses below:
COU8013 Introduction to Psychoactive Drugs
COU8006 Group Counselling Process and Practice#^
EDU5335 Emotional and Behavioural Problems of Children and Adolescents
COU8014 Relapse Prevention  
2
1
1,3
ONL
EXT
ONL
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.

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Mental Health Counselling specialisation

The Graduate Diploma of Counselling (Mental Health Counselling) consists of seven Level 8 core courses and one approved course.

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

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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.

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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 or Toowoomba campus, and mandatory synchronous online tutorials for:


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Articulation

A student who has successfully completed 50% of the courses in the GDCN Graduate Diploma of Counselling may apply to articulate into the MCCO . Entry into the MCCO is not automatic and students will need to meet additional requirements including having a GPA of at least 5.0, and an application that is supported by two referees as well as a structured interview (refer MCCO handbook entry).

A student articulating into a higher degree will only receive the award of the higher degree that they complete. Such students will be given full credit for all courses completed whilst studying the Graduate Diploma. Students must advise the Faculty in writing of their intention to articulate and this must occur prior to completion of the Graduate Diploma of Counselling.

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Related programs

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

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Exit points

Students may exit after four courses with a Graduate Certificate of Counselling provided they have met the requirements within the program structure of the Graduate Certificate of Counselling.

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Credit

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

Recommended enrolment patterns

In this section:

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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.

Choose one course from the list of approved courses


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

Year 1 / Semester 1 entry - Full Time Pattern

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
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

Semester 2

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

Choose three courses from the list of approved courses

Approved Courses

     COU8011 Assessment for Substance Misuse1Pre-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
     COU8013 Introduction to Psychoactive Drugs2Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCAD or GDCN or MPPS or GCCO or MCCO
     COU8014 Relapse Prevention2Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCAD or GDCN or MPPS or GCCO or MCCO
     COU8021 Couple and Family Counselling1Pre-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 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
     COU8031 Contexts of Mental Health Counselling1Pre-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 11Pre-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 22Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCCO or GDCN or MCCO or PDEV or GCHH or GDHH or MOHH
     EDU5325 Child Abuse and Neglect: Intervention, Protection and Prevention1,3Enrolment is not permitted in EDU5325 if EDU3325 has been previously completed.
     EDU5335 Emotional and Behavioural Problems of Children and Adolescents1,3Enrolment is not permitted in EDU5335 if EDU3335 has been previously completed.

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.

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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 studiedResidential schoolEnrolment requirements
On-campus
(ONC)
External
(EXT)
Online
(ONL)
YearSemYearSemYearSem

Year 1 / Semester 1 entry - Full Time Pattern

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
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
COU8012 Motivational Interviewing11Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCAD or GDCN or MPPS or GCCO or MCCO
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
COU8014 Relapse Prevention12Pre-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

Footnotes
*Mandatory Residential School

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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 studiedResidential schoolEnrolment requirements
On-campus
(ONC)
External
(EXT)
Online
(ONL)
YearSemYearSemYearSem

Year 1 / Semester 1 entry - Full Time Pattern

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
EDU5325 Child Abuse and Neglect: Intervention, Protection and Prevention11, 3Enrolment 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
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
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 Adolescents 1,3Enrolment is not permitted in EDU5335 if EDU3335 has been previously completed.
COU8014 Relapse Prevention2Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCAD or GDCN or MPPS or GCCO or MCCO
COU8013 Introduction to Psychoactive Drugs2Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCAD or GDCN or MPPS or GCCO or MCCO

Footnotes
*Mandatory Residential School
^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.

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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 studiedResidential schoolEnrolment requirements
On-campus
(ONC)
External
(EXT)
Online
(ONL)
YearSemYearSemYearSem

Year 1 / Semester 1 entry - Full Time Pattern

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
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
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
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*^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
     COU8014 Relapse Prevention2Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCAD or GDCN or MPPS or GCCO or MCCO
     COU8013 Introduction to Psychoactive Drugs2Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCAD or GDCN or MPPS or GCCO or MCCO

Footnotes
*Mandatory Residential School
^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.