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Master of Counselling (Child, Youth & Family Therapy)

Master of Counselling (Child, Youth & Family Therapy) (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.


  • Become a specialist in the nuances of working with children, young people and families, and have a positive impact on your community.
  • This is a qualifying specialisation – students from a non-counselling background can study this postgraduate counselling degree. Graduates of this specialisation meet the educational requirements for entry into the counselling profession.
  • Gain the required knowledge to work in relationship, family, child and youth counselling, as well as child abuse prevention and intervention.
  • This degree provides you with the opportunity to undertake a substantial research project or choose to do a smaller capstone project to further your research skills.
  • Most of the Master of Counselling courses are undertaken online to allow greater flexibility to fit study into your life.
  • To enhance your practice, you’ll attend mandatory residential schools at UniSQ Ipswich campus to meet the required number of hours of face-to-face instruction.
  • 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.

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

  • Career opportunities exist in a range of counselling and human services roles within government, non-government, and private organisations, or alternatively, graduates may become self-employed in private practice. Additionally, graduates may have opportunities to progress into doctoral studies.

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

If you have previously studied in your home country, you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning to reduce the number of courses that you need to study to finish your program.


If you don’t meet the entry requirements, don’t worry, there are 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 international students' first year of study (8 units) in this degree:

Study Mode Cost

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

AUD 30920

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.


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.

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