Part-time (4 years)
The Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy provides high-level training in the skills required to work effectively with a wide variety of clients. The program provides a deep immersion into the theory and practice of an integrative, humanistic, process-oriented, relational psychotherapy that incorporates contributions from the psychodynamic, cognitive and existential approaches.
Students in the program are provided with a philosophically aligned and cohesive program which supports their ability to relate to themselves, their clients and their work with genuine caring presence and respectful engagement.
There is a strong experiential focus to provide a hands-on, practice-oriented training and learning experience. The course adheres to solid evidence-informed principles of the common factors that characterise effective counselling and psychotherapeutic work, also providing a firm grounding in the professional, ethical, and legal issues associated with practice. Students in the program are trained in research methods and participate in a process-oriented research case study, to give them a unique opportunity to contribute to learning in the field.
It is the only course of its kind to provide students with a fully supported placement experience, including sourcing placement opportunities through established industry partnerships and providing intensive in-house individual and group supervision, to fully prepare students for the workplace. Cairnmillar’s Counselling and Psychotherapy programs are taught exclusively by respected therapist-academics practicing in the field, who work as a team to support each student’s learning.
What more does this course offer you?
- Robust placement program – with excellent links to quality industry partner organisations. We’ll find a placement for you!
- Professional and experiential learning from a cohesive team of respected therapists and academics in the fields of counselling and psychotherapy.
- Group and individual practicum supervision by experienced practitioner-supervisors.
- Risk assessment and crisis intervention skills training.
2023 Course Information Session
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.
Applications for February 2024 are now open!
The Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy consists of 200 credit points. Integrating the Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma within the first year, students undertake a total of 16 units of study.
This consists of twelve coursework units (150 credit points), two placement units (25 credit points) and two research relevant units (25 credit points).
Full-time (2 year) course structure:
|Year||Semester||Unit Code||Unit Name||Credit Points|
|1||1||CAP401||Psychotherapeutic Theories and Models||12.5|
|1||1||CAP412||Ethics and Professional Development||12.5|
|1||1||CAP417||Assessment Process in Counselling and Psychotherapy||12.5|
|1||2||CAP404||Facilitating Therapeutic Change||12.5|
|1||2||CAP405||Cognitive Behavioural Therapies||12.5|
|1||2||CAP461||Counselling Placement 1||12.5|
|2||1||CAP561||Counselling Placement 2||12.5|
|2||1||CAP509||Child and Family Therapy||12.5|
|2||1||CAP551||Research Methods and Project||12.5|
|2||1||CAP511||Interpersonal Processes in Psychotherapy||12.5|
|2||2||CAP507||Key Competencies in Brief Dynamic Psychotherapy||12.5|
|2||2||CAP505||Exploring Process Experiential Emotion Focused Therapy||12.5|
|2||2||CAP506||Existential Psychotherapy and the Group Process||12.5|
|2||2||CAP510||Trauma, Loss and Grief Therapy||12.5|
Admission directly into the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy requires:
- A Bachelors degree (AQF level 7) in a related discipline (e.g., teaching, social work, psychology or counselling) with a minimum weighted average mark of 70.
- Prospective students who have a Bachelors degree in a non-relevant discipline must apply to the Graduate Diploma of Counselling & Psychotherapy first, to assess their suitability (with a pathway to progress into the Masters course).
- Applicants with a non-related qualification are encouraged to undertake Cairnmillar’s Counselling Skills Foundational and Intermediate short courses, to establish a baseline competency of counselling skills.
- Please note, the need to undertake one or both short courses will be discussed in an Admissions Interview, should your application be progressed.
Documentation required in the application:
- Most recent academic transcript(s).
- A current Curriculum Vitae (resume).
- Proof of residency/citizenship in the form of a passport, birth certificate, or citizenship certificate.
- Two references, preferably at least one academic, using the HODSPA reference system.
See our How to Apply page for detailed instructions on applying through our online Application Portal.
International students should also visit the International Students page, for further instructions and resources regarding applying for Cairnmillar’s programs.
Short-listed applicants will be invited to attend an admissions interview with members of Cairnmillar’s academic faculty. This provides applicants an opportunity to discuss any questions they may have about the course. Further information on interviews can be found on our FAQ page here.
Inherent requirements are those skills, values and behaviours which must be demonstrated by students in order that they successfully complete the program of study. As a guide for prospective and current students, a series of inherent requirement statements have been developed that relate to student admission and progression through the course. These requirements are mandatory; however, there may be some flexibility in how they can be demonstrated. Click here to view the Inherent Requirements.
Graduate Learning Outcomes
Students who satisfactorily complete the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy should have the professional capabilities to:
- Critically review and effectively utilise the knowledge of the major schools of counselling and psychotherapy in counselling assessment, case conceptualisation and treatment planning while working with a range of presenting problems across the life span.
- Develop therapeutic alliance, select, and apply effective counselling and psychotherapy processes to facilitate change and achieve clients’ goals.
- Demonstrate self-awareness, reflectiveness, ability to evaluate the effectiveness of therapeutic processes and engage in continuous personal and professional development.
- Identify, analyse and resolve complex ethical and professional dilemmas while applying knowledge of different ethical paradigms, PACFA Code of Ethics, professional conduct guidelines and the relevant legal State and Commonwealth Acts.
- Consistently relate to others with respect of all aspects of human diversity and lived experience.
- Critically engage with research literature, understand the main research methodologies, and complete a research project relevant to counselling and psychotherapy practice.
Fees & Scholarships
|2024 tuition fees schedule*||Domestic||International|
|Masters full course (2 years)||$50,568||$60,984|
|Masters (Year 2 only)||$25,284||$30,492|
*Total fees are estimates only based on the current fee schedule. Annual tuition fee review and possible increases applies, see: Fees & Scholarships.
For information on tuition fees and what scholarships are available to Cairnmillar students, please visit the Fees & Scholarships page.
Career Opportunities & Study Pathways
Graduates may find employment in a variety of settings, including:
- Private practice
- Pastoral care
- Allied health
- Community mental health
- Social work
- Careers counselling
- Health policy
- Case manager
- Rehab support services
- Mental health support services
- DV support
- Child protection
- Family services
The Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy is fully accredited by both the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) and the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).
The program sits within level 9 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Students applying for this program may enter a process in which they may be granted credit or partial credit towards the qualification in recognition of previous experience where an equivalence of earlier learning can be established.
Students may only be given credit for any coursework if it is from a successfully completed approved course at the appropriate Australian AQF postgraduate level.
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