Counselling | Psychotherapy

When you study counselling and psychotherapy, you develop the skills to help people find solutions to problems and challenges in their lives—and to improve their health and wellbeing.

The Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy is amazing. It has provided me with an incredible amount of insight into therapies and theories relevant today and has allowed me to identify the areas in which I wish to specialise. For me, the placement component has been the most enjoyable and valuable experience by far. It has allowed me to learn and grow so much by incorporating ideas and theories into the therapeutic setting.Amrita Dhugga, Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy

Study Counselling and Psychotherapy

Our counselling and psychotherapy degrees offer you a very hands-on approach, providing an up-to-date theoretical foundation and the opportunity to develop sound practical skills through experiential learning. These degrees are ideal if you wish to become an ethically aware, research-informed and clinically effective counsellor.

The Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy allows you to choose between two options: the clinical placement pathway or the counselling research pathway. 

Female student portrait standing in front of Bonython Hall

Our clinical pathway is fully accredited with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) (external link). Our program is recognised as meeting high standards of professional training and ethical conduct, and our graduates are eligible for future registration with PACFA. In your second year of training, you’ll undertake two separate fully-supervised placements, working within a counselling setting to further hone your skills. Upon graduating, you’ll be ready to help individuals, couples, families and communities to find solutions for emotional, mental and lifestyle issues in a broad range of areas. These may include youth work, relationship counselling, drug and alcohol therapy, group therapy, school counselling, return-to-work counselling and private practice.

Our research pathway offers the opportunity to undertake research in the field of counselling. If you choose this pathway in your second year, you’ll undertake a research thesis supervised by, and working with, experts in the field. The research pathway is designed to prepare students for further higher degree study, such as the PhD. 

If you’d prefer to exit with a graduate diploma, our Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy provides a foundation in counselling skills and professional practice. Studying this diploma will prepare you to work in a wide variety of fields, including careers counselling, education, child and family services, child protection services, youth work, family counselling, facilitating groups, and rehabilitation counselling. Graduates are eligible for registration with the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) (external link).

Learn with accredited practitioners

Our counselling and psychotherapy lecturers are accredited practitioners with extensive experience in their fields. They will give you frequent opportunities to participate in small group workshops, in which you’ll practise and improve key skills through case-based learning. Counselling is a relational-based discipline, so you’ll also have multiple opportunities to learn more about yourself, increasing your self-awareness and thus further developing your interpersonal skills. Your tuition will be innovative and applied, and it will make use of the latest technologies and teaching methods.

Counselling | Psychotherapy degrees

Postgraduate coursework degrees

Postgraduate research degrees

How to apply

Postgraduate coursework degrees

Applications to most University of Adelaide postgraduate coursework degrees are made online through the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (external link (SATAC). The specific requirements for each degree are available on Degree Finder - make sure you read these thoroughly before applying.

There’s some important information you’ll need to read before applying for the Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy, Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy or Graduate Certificate in Counselling and Psychotherapy. This includes:

Admission guides contain detailed information about the degrees’ current admissions criteria, requirements and eligibility. Failure to read the admission guide for your program will not be grounds for special consideration.

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences reserves the right to change these admission criteria and processes without notice. If you’re thinking of applying at some stage in the future, be sure to check back.

Are you an international student? See our step-by-step international students application guide for more information about how to apply

Higher degrees by research

A key component of a successful postgraduate research experience is finding the best supervisor to help you achieve your investigative goals. Depending on your area of interest, there are several avenues for you to explore potential postgraduate research topics and locate a supervisor. For an overview of all research within the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, visit our Research website and explore our areas of research.

If you are interested in applying for a Higher Degree by Research in our faculty please visit the Admission and/or Scholarship Application Process webpage on the Adelaide Graduate Centre website.

Once you're ready to apply, visit the Adelaide Graduate Centre, which administers both domestic and international postgraduate research applications. If you have any queries, contact the Adelaide Graduate Centre.

Study overseas

How does a few weeks’ study in Vietnam sound? Or Austria, China or Japan? How about a semester in Denmark, the US or the Netherlands? At the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, we can offer you a wide range of exciting opportunities to study overseas within your degree. Depending on your program, opportunities available to you could include short study tours, semester exchanges, clinical placements and volunteering.

Are you a current student with coursework queries?

We’re here to help. Come and see us at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Student Support Centre on the ground floor of Helen Mayo North on Frome Road, or make an appointment online. Alternatively, you can contact us by email or phone +61 8 8313 0273.