Diploma of Counselling

Applications are now open!

Embark on your journey of personal and professional growth and start any time.

Key Facts

Course Code: CHC51015
Location: Online
Hawthorn East, VIC
Study Load: Full-time (12 months)
Delivery Mode: In-Person
Intake: February, April, July, September
Fees: $6,990

Course Overview

This Diploma will equip you with the tools and qualifications to help you fulfil your desire to assist people with the daily challenges of living. We have a global and multicultural lens to our program preparing our course graduates with contemporary understanding of working globally and in diverse communities. The Diploma of Counselling course reflects the role of counsellors, who work with clients on personal and psychological issues using established counselling modalities. They use communication, micro-counselling and interviewing skills and draw on varied counselling therapies to assist clients. 

Please note: Cairnmillar’s courses are subject to minimum and maximum group numbers. Courses may be cancelled or postponed if minimum numbers are not achieved by the start date of the course. Courses may close prior to the start date if the maximum numbers are reached. In that situation, eligible applicants will be offered a place in the next available intake.

Application Period

Term 1 2024: Priority applications will close on Sunday 7th January. Late applications will close on Sunday 21st January and will only be accepted if places are available.

What does this course offer?

Course Schedule

Students can enter the course at the beginning of each term – February, April, July and September. The course takes 12 months to complete in total and meets the requirements of a full-time program.

Students undertake the course through self-paced online learning across 10-week block periods. Each week includes one 90-minute live interactive session. This session is scheduled every Wednesday from 4.30pm until 6pm and can be attended online or face-to-face at our Hawthorn East Campus, 391-393 Tooronga Road.


2024 Academic Calendar

Term  Weeks  Dates 


5th February – 14h April 2024



15th April – 21th April 2024


22th April – 30th June 2024



1st July – 14th July 2024


15th July – 22nd September 2024



23rd September – 29th September 2024


30th September – 8th December 2024


Units of Competency

Term 1  Term 2  Term 3  Term 4 
CHCCSL001 Establish and confirm the counselling relationship CHCCSL004 Research and apply personality and development theories CHCCCS019 Recognise and respond to crisis situations CHCDIV001 Work with diverse people
CHCCSL002 Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills CHCPRP003 Reflect on and improve own professional practice CHCCSL005 Apply learning theories in counselling CHCDIV002 Promote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander cultural safety
CHCCSL003 Facilitate the counselling relationship and process CHCLEG001 Work legally and ethically CHCCSL007 Support counselling clients in decision-making processes CHCCCS038 Facilitate the empowerment of people receiving support
CHCCSM013 Facilitate and review case management CHCPRT025 Identify and report children and young people at risk CHCCCS017 Provide loss and grief support
CHCCSL006 Select and use counselling therapies
CHCFAM003 Support people to improve relationships

For all unit descriptions, please view the Course Guide available for download at the top of this page.

Only want to enrol in one or more units? We now offer microcredential enrolment! Click here to read more.

Entry Requirements

Entrants will normally be 18 years of age or older, with a minimum education level of 10 or Certificate III, have work experience and have access to a workplace. Applicants must be proficient in English and be technologically literate, with sound ability using computers and online tools, as well as access to a laptop or home computer for research tasks.

Those applying who do not have a degree, may enter into a process in which they may be granted entry in recognition of previous experience where an equivalence of earlier learning or knowledge and skills gained through work or life experience, which can be assessed. Entrants will however be required to complete a language and numeracy test prior to commencement of the course.

When you apply to enrol, you must complete the online enrolment form through the VET applications portal, and supply the following documentation:

  • Evidence of highest qualification (e.g. academic transcript or ATAR documentation)
  • A short written statement (500 words) about why you want to study this course
  • Evidence of identity and citizenship status (e.g. passport).

Suitable applications may be invited to attend a 10 minute Study Readiness phone interview with members of the Teaching Faculty. This interview also provides students the opportunity to discuss any questions they have about the proposed course of study, ensuring their goals for the subject are met.

The course or program leader can vary these entry standards where they have evidence that the student has equivalent learning and comprehension skills sufficient for the course. If you are unsure about your suitability or eligibility for this program, please contact [email protected] to discuss your specific situation in more detail.

Fees & Scholarships

2024 Total Course Cost: $6,990*

Please refer to the Course Handbook for more information on tuition fee due dates.

*Total fees are estimates only based on the current fee schedule. Annual tuition fee review and possible increases apply. For more information on tuition fees, please visit the Fees & Scholarships page.

Career Opportunities & Study Pathways

Potential careers outcomes include working in welfare and counselling.

Graduates who have successfully completed this qualification, will be prepared for further studies in counselling; such as the Bachelor of Psychology and CounsellingGraduate Certificate of Counselling and Psychotherapy or the Graduate Certificate in Child, Youth and Family Mental Health. Please speak with the teaching team to know which pathways best suits you.  

Recognition Of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of prior learning will be assessed as per the VET Student Handbook and the TLP005 Recognition of Prior Learning Policy, available here.


  • What is self-paced learning?
    Self-paced learning means you can learn in your own time and schedule. You will receive access to our online learning management system to work through the topic’s narrated PowerPoint presentations, resources and assessments.
    But don’t worry, studying online doesn’t mean studying alone at CMI! Our experienced trainers and dedicated Lecturer Support Tutor, are available to assist you at any stage along your student journey.
    The weekly interactive sessions also provide you with the opportunity to attend either online or face-to-face, to work directly with the course trainer and fellow students. This provides you with the opportunity to benefit from group activities to fulfil your assessment needs.


  • What if I can’t commit to the full course?
    Cairnmillar now offers microcredential enrolment! This is a flexible option that allows you to attend classes and study the same material as those enrolled in the full course, with the ability to interact with lecturers and fellow students. This option is suitable for those taking the first steps towards a new degree, those who are considering a career change, and/or those who want to learn about a particular topic.
    Units from all of our VET courses are available as microcredential enrolment. Cairnmillar’s microcredentials are also stackable, allowing you to qualify for a recognised qualification over a period of time, such as a Certificate or Diploma.


  • What should I write in the ‘short written statement’ as part of my application? How long should it be?
    Your personal statement should address why you wish to study your course of choice at Cairnmillar and should be 500 words long. Up to 10% either side is normally acceptable should your statement be a sentence or two under or over the limit.

From workshops, guest speakers, conferences and seminars, there's always something to do and experience at CMI.

We offer tailored education programs and sessional lectures for the general public, professionals working in the field of mental health, corporate clients, provisional psychologists and their supervisors.

Upgrade your career skills and deepen your knowledge of mental health, leadership and business subject areas, with flexible microcredential and single subject enrolment.

We have several pathways for people to become psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists and mental health workers. Find your pathway and unlock your future.