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Graduate Diploma of Counselling (Trauma Focused Practice)

Graduate Diploma of Counselling (Trauma Focused Practice) (GDCN)

Entry requirements
Study mode
  • External
  • -
  • 1 year or part-time equivalent
  • Feb, May, Sep


  • The Graduate Diploma of Counselling will introduce you to counselling practice, through a blend of residential schools, online tutorials and foundational courses. Once graduated, you will be eligible for level 1 registration with the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).  
  • With three core courses focused specifically on your chosen specialisation of Trauma Focused Practice, you will learn about trauma-informed practice as a framework for understanding the impact of trauma, and investigate the various models and approaches to recognising and treating trauma.  
  • Develop skills and learn about a range of approaches to working with trauma in contemporary society, within diverse populations and across the lifespan. Explore theories and models of trauma, the skills and interventions required and the ethical and legal aspects underpinning your practice.  
  • Guided by experienced academics and industry-professionals, prepare for a career that you're able to sustain by learning about vicarious trauma and the ability to recognise signs of burnout to ensure you’re skilled in sustainable self-care practice. 

Further study and Professional accreditation

A UniSQ Graduate Diploma of Counselling enables you to apply for membership with the Australian Counselling Association. However, if you wish to gain professional accreditation and practice as a counsellor we recommend you go on to study the Master of Counselling. You may be eligible to transfer to the Master of Counselling once you have completed 50 percent of the Graduate Diploma of Counselling (which must include two Foundation of Practice courses).

Career outcomes

  • Graduates of the Graduate Diploma of Counselling will be eligible for level 1 registration with the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). Your skills will prepare you for positions requiring trauma counselling competencies, within counselling, social work, human services, policing and criminal justice, education and health.  

Entry requirements 

  • Completion of an Australian three-year bachelor degree in an area (or equivalent)

English language requirements

You are required to satisfy the applicable English language requirements and this degree requires a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If you do not meet the English language requirements you may apply to study a University-approved English language program.

Recognition of prior learning or work experience

You may be eligible for recognition of prior learning if you have previously studied or have relevant work experience. This will help to reduce the number of courses that you need to study to finish your program.


If you don't meet the entry requirements, we have pathway options available to you.

Degree structure

To complete this degree students must complete 8 units.

Courses to be studied Units
Core courses* 5
3 x specialisation courses 3
Total 8


*Four of the core courses have a mandatory 4-day residential school at UniSQ Ipswich and mandatory online tutorials.

Refer to the UniSQ Handbook for an example of courses to be studied and recommended enrolment patterns.

Residential schools

This degree has a mandatory attendance requirement for some of the residential school courses. All students will have the opportunity to come on-campus for residential schools, where you will attend face-to-face lectures and tutorials to gain practical experience, use facilities and specialist equipment, and meet staff and other students.

Fees and scholarships

Your actual fees may vary depending on the courses you select. We review our fees annually so these may be subject to change.

Approximate annual costs1 for your first year of study (8 units) in this degree are:

Study Mode Cost
Domestic full fee paying

You are responsible for the full cost of your course and are charged a tuition fee.

AUD 26640

1 These are indicative annual fees for 2024. 

Student services and amenities fees

You may need to pay student services and amenities (SA) fees as part of your course costs.

Residential school costs

This degree includes an on-campus residential school component that involves travel, accommodation and meal expenses.

Loan to help you pay your fees

You may not have to pay your course (subject) fees upfront. FEE-HELP allows you to defer your fees until your income reaches a certain level. Find out if you are eligible for FEE-HELP

You may also be eligible to receive financial support from Centrelink.


At UniSQ, we offer a range of scholarships to support your success at university. Find a scholarship that works for you.

How to apply

Complete your online application directly to UniSQ.


You can select to start your study in Trimester 1, 2 or 3.

Study period  Application closing date Orientation  Study period start date Finish date
Trimester 1, 2024  Monday 22 January Monday 15 January Monday 22 January Friday 26 April 
Trimester 2, 2024 Monday 20 May Monday 6 May Monday 13 May  Friday 16 August
Trimester 3, 2024 Monday 2 September Monday 26 August Monday 2 September Friday 6 December 

Study period  Application closing date Orientation  Study period start date Finish date
Trimester 1, 2025  Monday 10 February Monday 3 February  Monday 10 February  Friday 9 May
Trimester 2, 2025 Monday 26 May Monday 19 May Monday 26 May  Friday 22 August
Trimester 3, 2025 Monday 8 September Monday 1 September Monday 8 September Friday 5 December 

More information on applying key dates is available.

Further information

Discover further information on applying to study at UniSQ that is relevant to you.

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Begin your study journey today with the university rated 5/5 stars for graduates starting salaries* and start the degree that’s right for you.

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