What will I learn?

USQ’s Graduate Diploma of Counseling (Foundations of Practice) is designed to provide you with foundational knowledge and skills required for counseling practice. During this degree you will study counseling frameworks, professional practice and ethics, and counseling assessment and interventions. The knowledge you acquire will be transferable between nursing, psychology, teaching, welfare, human services or allied health practices.

While study is mainly external, you will be required to attend mandatory residential schools at USQ Ipswich campus associated with four designated courses to meet the required number of hours of face-to-face instruction and ensure you have the best possible skills preparation.

Further study

Use the credit you’ll gain from the Graduate Diploma of Counseling and go on to complete the Master of Counseling.

Professional accreditation

The Foundations of Practice specialisation is designed to address most of the training standards in the PACFA Training Standards 2018, the training standards for entry into the counselling profession in Australia.

Graduates of the Graduate Diploma of Counselling will be able to apply for membership of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) and registration as a Counsellor with the Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (ARCAP). Registration as a Counsellor on the national counsellor register (ARCAP) can be via membership with ACA or PACFA (Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia).

Other majors

Other majors for the Graduate Diploma of Counselling include: Alcohol and Drug Studies, Child, Youth and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counselling.

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences

Study options

Online/Distance (1 year)

Tuition fees
A$30,320.00 (16,42,470) per year
Start date

Expected July 2022

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Students must have an Australian university three or four-year Bachelor degree in an approved discipline area, or equivalent or a minimum of five years’ relevant professional work experience. English language requirements: IELTS (Academic only) score of 6.5 (or better)(no component lower than 6.0); TOEFL (paper based) score of 570 (with a minimum Test of Written English score TWE 5); TOEFL (electronic or computer based) score of 230 (with an essay rating of at least 5); TOEFL (internet based) score of 90 (or better) (with 20 minimum in all bands); Pearson (PTE Academic) score of 58 (or better) (with no communicative score less than 58); Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)/ C1 Advanced or Proficiency (CPE)/C2 Proficiency with a score of 176 or above. No less than 169 in each skill.

For international students

Pre-requisite: 3-year bachelor degree, or equivalent, from a recognized university

IELTS (Academic only) - 6.5 (or better) (no component lower than 6.0); TOEFL (paper based) - 570 (or better) (with a minimum Test of Written English Score of TWE 5); TOEFL (electronic or computer based) - 230 (or better) (with essay rating of at least 5); TOEFL (internet based) - 90 (or better) (with 20 minimum in all bands); Pearson (PTE Academic) - 58 (or better) (with no communicative score less than 58); Cambridge English Scale Scores for FCE, CAE and CPE3 - Cambridge English: First (FCE) with a score of 176 or above. No less than 169 in each skill.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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