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Master of Counselling (Addiction)

Master of Counselling (Addiction) (MCCO)

Entry requirements
Study mode
  • External
  • -
  • 2 year(s) (or part-time equivalent)
  • Feb, May, Sep
Note: There are mandatory on-campus residential schools and online tutorials for five courses in this degree.


  • Are you interested in furthering your counselling qualifications and carrying out your own research, preparing you for registration as a counsellor?  
  • In the Addiction specialisation within the Master of Counselling, you will critically explore a range of theories and concepts of addiction, including public health, colonisation and developmental perspectives, as well as the relationship between co-existing mental health challenges and addiction.
  • Learning from industry-experts and academics you will develop the skills to work with clients, exploring relapse prevention, risk assessment and treatment planning, all with trauma-informed and culturally sensitive approaches to addiction counselling. 
  • Examine trauma-informed practice as a framework for understanding addiction and investigate the various models and approaches to recognising and treating addiction, enabling you to better facilitate positive outcomes.
  • Benefit from flexible course delivery online to fit study in with you life, while the practical foundational courses with residential schools and clinical placements ensure you’re ready for your career in counselling. 
  • Develop your applied skills further utilising our telehealth system simulations and working with the community and alongside clinical supervisors in UniSQ's Psychology and Counselling clinics in Toowoomba and Ipswich.
  • Choose to embark on a substantial Research Project or choose to do a smaller Capstone Project to further your research skills.

Further study

Graduates who have completed a research project within this degree may be eligible to apply for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Professional accreditation

The Master of Counselling (Qualifying) is accredited by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) and the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) which enables registration as a Counsellor with the Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (ARCAP).

Career outcomes

  • Graduates will be able to register as a counsellor with ARCAP, and with a specialisation in addiction you will be prepared for a role within areas such as addiction counselling, case worker, family counselling, substance use counsellor etc. 
  • Gain two qualifications - After two years of full-time study with UniSQ, you’ll be workplace-ready and gain an additional Graduate Diploma of Counselling qualification as an embedded award in the Master of Counselling.

Entry requirements 

There are two different admission requirement processes depending on whether you are applying for the qualifying Master of Counselling, or the Master of Counselling (Advanced Entry).

Pathway 1: Qualifying Master of Counselling

  • Completion of an Australian university 3-year bachelor degree, or equivalent, in any area. 
  • Completion of at least 50% of the Graduate Diploma of Counselling at UniSQ, or equivalent qualification from another institution, and have a grade point average (GPA) of 4 or higher for the Capstone Project research option, and a GPA of 5 or higher for the Research Project option.
  • Participate in group reflection with members of School staff and other applicants.
  • Provide a report addressing the following selection criteria (informed by the PACFA Training Standards and UniSQ’s inherent requirements). Write a statement of no more than 2 pages that addresses: 
    1. Studying for (or holding) a Graduate Diploma of Counselling (UniSQ) with evidence of GPA.
    2. Applicants not currently enrolled in a UniSQ Graduate Diploma of Counselling must supply names and contact details of two referees (preferably including a professional report from an academic, a counsellor, a psychologist, a social worker, or similar professional).
    3. Effective relationship skills, attitudes, and behaviours.
    4. Demonstrated life maturity.
    5. Openness to receiving, considering, and integrating feedback.
    6. Commitment to ethical, professional and trustworthy behaviour.
    7. Commitment to engage fully in the process of counselling training.
    8. Willingness to attend a group reflection with members of school staff and other applicants.

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.

Additional requirements for placements

All students must provide the following documents prior to commencing clinical placements:

  • Blue Card or Working with Children Check
  • Australian Police Certificate
  • Resume
  • UniSQ Placement Request form
  • a signed UniSQ Student Declaration.

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 16 units.

Courses to be studied Units
Core courses 9
Specialisation courses 3
Research Project Pathway courses (4 units)
Research Capstone Project Pathway courses (2 units) plus electives (2 units)
Total 16

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

Clinical experience

In addition to the courses to be studied, you will also need to complete clinical experience, where interactive hands-on activities, such as experiments and use of specialist equipment, are undertaken.

All students must be able to meet the physical and other professional requirements of clinical/professional practice within this degree.

Residential school

In the Master of Counselling (Qualifying), you'll need to come on-campus for 5 mandatory residential schools attached to 5 core courses, 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 25760

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.

Professional experience costs

This degree includes a professional experience component that may involve travel, accommodation and meal expenses.

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
Trimester 2, 2024 Monday 18 March Monday 6 May Monday 13 May 
Trimester 3, 2024 Monday 8 July  Monday 26 August Monday 2 September
Trimester 1, 2025 Monday 4 November 2024 January 2025 January 2025

Please note that in some circumstances the university may accept applications up until the start of Orientation week for each study period.

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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