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Studying a counselling course with ALG will give you a nationally recognised qualification that will equipped you to fulfil the role of counsellors, who work with clients on personal and psychological issues using established counselling modalities.

Diploma of Counselling

National Course Code | CHC51015
CRICOS Course Code | 095788F

Course Overview

If you are planning to embark on a career in counselling, are looking to improve your current career or want to further your own personal development our framework ensures you will be getting the most out your studies.

As part of our counselling course you will become familiar with evidence-based counselling models, strategies and therapies as well as techniques from strength-based therapy.

These are some of the concepts you will encounter:

  • Mindfulness
  • Feedback Informed Therapy
  • Framework
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Neuropsychology
  • Positive Psychology
  • Practice your skills in our Student
  • Clinic!

After receiving plenty of face-to-face training, role plays and simulations to make sure you feel ready and confident to take the next step, you will be able to apply what you have learned in our student clinic. Our student clinic is a supervised simulated counselling clinic that allows you to use your newly acquired skills with real or simulated clients.

Quick Facts


CHC51015 – Diploma of Counselling

CRICOS Course Code



Full Time 18 months
(6 Terms x 10 Weeks)




Generalist Counsellor
Domestic and Family Violence Counsellor
Youth worker
Community Services Worker
Community Services Manager
Careers Counsellor
Drug and Alcohol Counsellor
Problem Gambling Counsellor
Student Counsellor


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Job Outcomes

The outcomes for this course are the achievement of knowledge, skills and attributes to fulfil the role of counsellors, who work with clients on personal and psychological issues using established counselling modalities.

Potential job outcomes may include:

  • Generalist Counsellor
  • Domestic and Family Violence Counsellor
  • Youth worker
  • Community Services Worker
  • Community Services Manager
  • Careers Counsellor
  • Drug and Alcohol Counsellor
  • Problem Gambling Counsellor
  • Student Counsellor


Case Planning
Client Assessment
Diverse Clients
Counselling Professional Practice
Counselling Specialisation
Student Clinic

Entry Requirements - Skills, Knowledge and Experience

Mandatory entry requirements
There are no mandatory entry requirements listed in the training package.

International students must be 20 years of age or above and provide evidence of the following published entry requirements as stated below:

Recommended entry requirements
Entrants must:
• have sufficient level of language, literacy and numeracy levels in order to interpret documents, student guides and assessment tools, prepare written reports and plans;
• have good verbal communication and interpersonal skills in order to establish and manage professional networks and client relationships with clients of various ages and backgrounds;
• have empathy and a desire to provide person-centred services to individuals, groups and communities

Academic Entry Requirements:

  • Year 12 or equivalent and above, and

English Language Entry Requirements:
• IELTS score 6.0 minimum (no lower than 5.5 in each band); or
• Cambridge First Certificate of English – score 169; or
• TOEFL Internet based (iBT) score 60; or
• Occupational English Test (OET) level B; or
• PTE Academic score 50

A prospective student does not need to provide evidence of an English test score with his/her application if one of the following applies:
• Prospective student is a citizen and holds a passport from UK, USA, Canada, NZ or Republic of Ireland.
• Prospective student has completed at least 5 years’ study in English in one or more of the following countries: Australia, UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, or the Republic of Ireland.
• In the 2 years before applying for the student visa, the prospective student completed, in Australia and in the English language, either the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education or a substantial component of a course leading to a qualification from the Australian Qualifications Framework at the Certificate IV or higher level, while the prospective student held a student visa.

ALG conducts a pre-enrolment interview to identify existing skills and competencies, student support needs and confirm capacity to complete the qualification.

Amount of Training, Volume of learning, Mode of Study and Course Expectations

The course is delivered over 78 weeks (60 weeks delivery plus 18 weeks in term breaks).

This full-time training program of 1,800 hours is delivered as follows:

  • 60 weeks delivery (6 x 10-week terms) comprising:
    • 20 contact hours – 15 hours face to face classes and 5 hours distance learning per week during term time
    • 10 hours self-directed learning activities per week during term time
    • 18 weeks in term breaks.

A term is typically 10 weeks

The units of competency in the qualification have been organised into a program of study clustered into modules as specified above.

Each module is delivered over a term (10 weeks).

The program of study has both a theory/classroom component and a practical component.

Classroom Component

The first five modules listed above are delivered in a structured face to face classroom format.

Practical Component

Students will complete the Clinical Practices module in a simulated counselling clinic.
Satisfactory completion of this module including the logbook is an essential
part of the requirements for successful completion of this course. This component
aims to support students to be effective counsellors and is designed to
provide the student with the opportunity, and the means, to:

  • synthesise relevant theory and skills learnt in
    the classroom and apply them to the professional practice of counselling;
  • practice assessable skills in a simulated clinic
    to receive trainer’s feedback while still being supported in their skill
  • demonstrate performance evidence requirements in
    a simulated environment;
  • address all other evidence requirements (as
    detailed in the Clinical Practices Logbook);
  • access to a simulated environment to ensure that
    assessment conditions reflect those that are present in an actual workplace.

Assessment Methods

  • Written Knowledge Assessments
  • Case Studies
  • Presentations
  • Role Play – Simulated Workplace Situation
  • Projects
  • Practical Demonstrations

Student Clinic

The student clinic provides a simulated environment that reflects workplace conditions with suitable facilities, equipment and resources, including client information. Modelling of industry operating condition includes:

  • use of real clients who have booked for a counselling session (through ALG online portal http://4lifecollege.edu.au/clinic/);
  • use of scenarios that involve complex interactions and problem solving with simulated client in face-to-face situations when real clients are not available;

Structured Study

Students are required to undertake structured study for 5 hours per week during each term
and are provided with a plan (based on a 10- week period) that outlines the various
learning activities to be undertaken to prepare them to undertake their summative assessment requirements. The plan requires students to spend an average of 3 hours per week on these activities and 2 hours completing their assessments. The completion of the Structured Study Plan is monitored in class.

Self directed learning activities

Students are provided with a Self-Directed Learning Plan for each module that guides them through the self-study time with suggested reading and formative activities. Students are also encouraged to reflect on their learning by completing a reflective learning journal to document what they have learned, what activities were useful and what they would like to learn more about.

The completion of the Self-Directed Learning Plan is monitored in class and the activities completed may be utilised in classroom sessions as the basis for group discussion and to engage in critical discourse in comparing student activity responses.

Student Support

ALG provides a variety of support services to students:

LLN Support

Based on the results of the LLN Robot test, ALG will:

  • enrol the student in an appropriate course based
    on the student’s language literacy and numeracy levels;
  • offer appropriate support in their selected course
    including completing recommended strategies from LLN Robot and attending
    additional learning support classes during term;
  • provide customised learning activities to
    increase the relevant LLN areas through use of a range of strategies e.g. use
    tasks with embedded LLN skills, creating extension tasks and scaffolding
  • schedule professional development of trainers and assessors on implementing support strategies and the design of learning activities
    that will facilitate the ongoing development of students’ LLN levels;
  • ensure that students LLN capabilities are
    monitored during the program duration. Trainers and assessors and the learning support tutor will review each student’s LLN ability and their
    progress with the training and assessment tasks.

LLN Support Classes

ALG will offer LLN classes to assist students with their literacy and communication skills. These classes will run for 1.5 hours a week for 9 weeks each term.

Learning Support Classes

Learning Support classes will be scheduled on week 5 and week 9 of each term (prior to assessments due dates) to support students experiencing difficulties with their studies or assessment tasks. Additional classes may be offered subject to feedback/requests from trainers or students.

Counselling Support

ALG provides a free counselling service on campus. Students can drop in or make an
appointment to see a professional counsellor for support with their studies or personal issues. Students book online via alg.edu.au/counsellingservice;

Students can also book a counselling session via the Student Counselling clinic (through ALG online portal http://4lifecollege.edu.au/clinic/), which is provided by students within the Diploma of Counselling program.

Student Advisors/Head Trainers/Trainers

Other support comes from Student Advisors, Head Trainers and the allocated trainer/assessor.

  • Students facing any difficulties which may affect their learning can approach the relevant Student Advisor or trainer for advice. Such advice might include a referral to further student support services.
  • Student Advisors offer support throughout a student’s studies and can help with the
    following information:

o Support services

o LLN services

o Legal services;

o Emergency and health services;

o Facilities and resources;

o Complaints and appeals processes;

o Deferments

Student Requirements

All students are required to bring their own laptop or tablet device to participate in all theory classes. They are not provided for students. Refer to BYOD Policy in the student handbook.

Click here to download the Timetable for this course