Why study with ECU Online?
  • Accessible, flexible and accelerated

    Study anywhere, anytime with our flexible online format. Our course is delivered in accelerated mode, allowing you to earn your degree and put your skills into practice sooner.
  • Fully supported

    Be supported throughout your study journey by a personal Student Success Advisor and online learning community of like-minded students and friendly, accessible staff.
  • Job ready skills, relevant to industry

    Gain a wide range of skills – identified and designed by industry experts – to meet the complex and evolving needs of individuals and communities.
  • Professional Recognition

    Our Master of Counselling has been accredited by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).
Who should study this course?

ECU’s online Master of Counselling provides advanced, evidence-based counselling knowledge and skills for professionals who want to make a difference to the lives of individuals, families and communities. Students may study this course to prepare to become a counsellor. Alternatively, they may wish to add to their existing skill set in roles including:

  • Social work
  • Career coaching
  • Psychology
  • Other allied health
  • Human resources
  • Youth work
  • Human welfare roles
  • Local government support/community development roles
  • Case work
  • Disability support work
  • Cognate undergraduate social science or behavioural science

See admission requirements in ECU’s Master of Counselling brochure for more information.


What you will learn

Understand counselling in a digital world

Gain skills to effectively adapt to the field as it expands across the digital realm. Understand how theories and techniques of counselling can be translated and adapted for delivery across a range of modalities to connect with and support people in unique and far-reaching ways.

Develop a person-centred approach

Learn how to walk alongside individuals in a process that values difference, supports self-discovery, builds on unique strengths and recognises the interrelationships between individuals, communities and social structures as important platforms for healing.

Examine the roles of counsellors working at the cultural interface

Learn the skills and abilities needed to work in the community and actively promote a positive sense of identity, culture and heritage, with particular emphasis on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and practice.

Explore self-awareness and reflective practice

Engage in self-evaluation, critical thinking and reflective practice to gain a deeper understanding of the self, and how this interplays with the therapeutic process, personal growth and ongoing professional development.


I chose ECU’s online Master of Counselling because it was progressive. The course facilitators are friendly, encouraging practitioners with extensive professional experience. My fellow students are a diverse range of professionals of all ages and make the degree even richer through their contributions.

Michael Kay
Master of Counselling student

What you will study

The course has 12 units of study made up as follows:

  • Ten core units
  • Professional field placement (equivalent to two units)

Work placements

Students will undergo 220 hours of professional placement with an approved organisation, including a minimum of 60 hours client contact, in which there is 16 hours of supervision. Professional placement can involve individual, group or couple counselling face-to-face or from a distance (online/remote). This provides you with the opportunity to apply theory to practice in a supervised setting.

The Placement Team works on behalf of students to source placements; however, please note students in rural or remote locations may need to assist with securing a placement (or be flexible on travel and location of placement). Students undergoing a placement will also require satisfactory completion of a Working With Children Check and National Police Check, and many agencies will require an interview with students prior to starting.

NOTE: It is anticipated that students will need to travel for the three-day intensive and placement component of the course. Both components will be held in Australia. The three-day intensive location is yet to be decided, but there will likely be an option of both Perth and an East Coast location. Students may also be required to travel to their nearest capital city to complete the placement component of this degree. Contact one of our Student Enrolment Advisors to discuss your circumstances.

You also have the option of studying the Graduate Certificate of Counselling.

Core units
  • Foundations of Counselling Practice (Graduate Certificate)
  • Theories and Techniques in Counselling (Graduate Certificate)
  • The Role of the Counsellor (Graduate Certificate)
  • Ethics in Counselling
  • Counselling in a Digital World
  • Trauma Informed Counselling
  • Child and Adolescent Counselling
  • Counselling at the Cultural Interface: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Practice
  • Mental Health Counselling
  • Advanced Theories and Techniques in Counselling

Entry criteria

Work Placements
  • Professional Field Placement

Admission requirements you’ll need to meet for this course:

  • Bachelor degree from a country specified in the Admissions Policy (with preference given to degrees relating to 'helping professions') OR Equivalent prior learning including at least five years relevant professional experience.
  • A personal statement about motivations to complete the course.
  • Submission of academic transcript, two referee reports and an online interview.
  • English Language requirements (Band 4).

Students looking to enter the Graduate Certificate of Counselling are required to submit documentation covering points one and four. Points two and three are covered during the Graduate Certificate component of the course.

Entry via nested qualification

Usually, if you successfully complete a Graduate Certificate, you can progress to the Masters by coursework degree.

Counselling student receiving support over the phone

Student support

Not only will you be supported by our academic staff with feedback and answers to your academic questions, but you will also receive dedicated one-on-one support for all non-academic queries from your Student Success Advisor. They are available via phone or email to provide motivation and guidance, supporting you while you achieve your study goals.


Assessments vary from unit to unit. Please check with your Course Coordinator or Student Success Advisor about each unit's assessment requirements. Assessments may include case studies, reviews, reports, portfolios, applied projects and presentations. We do not hold exams for online programs.

How to apply

Ready to apply? Our support staff are available to guide you through our three-step process.

Find out more.


The government loan scheme that applies to most postgraduate courses is known as FEE-HELP. Australian citizens and holders of a Permanent Humanitarian visa who are residing within Australia are eligible to access FEE-HELP. Using this program, you can borrow enough money from the Commonwealth Government to cover your course fees. Once your income reaches a certain level, you will pay the loan back via the tax system.

For more information on fees and the FEE-HELP loan, call us on 1300 707 760.

Frequently asked questions
Will the Master of Counselling allow me to work as a counsellor?

Yes, completing ECU's Online Master of Counselling will empower you with the skills and knowledge you need to begin a career as a counsellor.

You can find more information about the career opportunities for counsellors on our blog.

What accreditation does the Master of Counselling have?

Our Master of Counselling has been accredited by the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).

Where is the Master of Counselling intensive workshop located?

The three-day intensive location is yet to be decided, but there will likely be an option of both Perth and an East Coast location. Please reach out to one of our Student Enrolment Advisors if you would like to discuss your circumstances.

Does the Master of Counselling include specialisations?

No, our Master of Counselling does not include specialisations. We provide you with skills across a broad range of relevant disciplines to enable you to begin your career as a counsellor.

Are there placements in the Master of Counselling?

Yes, there are placements in our Master of Counselling.

You can find the most frequently asked questions about the counselling placement on our blog.

How often are the virtual classrooms included in the Master of Counselling units? Are they compulsory?

Virtual classrooms are held fortnightly. They are highly recommended for all students but are mandatory for those students taking the Graduate Certificate of Counselling units (COU6501, COU6502, COU6503). They are usually recorded for students who cannot attend.