Master of Community Counselling

The Master of Community Counselling is a course for the counselling practitioner to both deepen and broaden perspectives on counselling interventions and community issues with a commitment to liberation and wellbeing. The Master of Community Counselling graduate is a mindful practitioner who can effectively analyse the concerns people have in terms of personal, relational and collective wellbeing and develop interventions at different levels. More specifically the Master of Community Counselling is looking to produce reflective practitioners who are able to work in solidarity with oppressed and disadvantaged people. Peoples’ concerns are collaboratively assessed in the context of challenging commonly held assumptions and raising consciousness about the sources of problems. They would bring their diagnostic ability to bear on these problems with the aim of liberation from oppression and the accomplishment of personal, relational and collective wellbeing.

The course is well suited to professional counselors wishing to extend their training and range of interventions. For candidates who do not hold a professionally recognised qualification, this course will not lead to a qualification as a trained counsellor with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) but is recognised by the Australian Community Counselling Association (ACCA) as suitable for registration as a community counsellor.

Description

The Master of Community Counselling is a professional qualification that builds on a relevant undergraduate award with the intention to both broaden and deepen the student’s perspectives on community issues and counselling interventions. The content integrates the tradition of individual counselling with the wisdom of community perspectives inspired by the desire for justice and deep level emancipation. It seeks to expand the distinctively western traditional focus on the individual level of analysis of problems and the tendency to provide individual strategies of change commonly associated with personal counselling.

The Master of Community Counselling builds on a foundational understanding of people in context and gives explicit value to cultural diversity and holistic, ecological analyses of persons in different social systems ranging from small community networks of families and friends to large socio-political structures.

Readings, course content and intensives will reflect a range of themes which may include:

  • Health problems, public health and aging
  • School-based and children’s services
  • Relationship orientation: couples, families, parenting
  • Consultation, collaboration and advocacy
  • Prevention and health promotion
  • Children, adolescent, and youth services
  • Substance abuse, substance abuse prevention and effective addictions treatment
  • Offender issues
  • Positive psychology, wellness and spirituality
  • Diversity and multiculturalism
  • Disaster, trauma and grief services
  • Sex and gender issues
  • Social justice and advocacy
  • Conflict resolution and peace making
  • Innovative delivery of services, access and utility.

Coursework units are delivered as a week long intensive units and the reflective practice units are completed online.

Course Outcomes

  • Analyse a variety of community issues and ways in which they have been addressed.
  • Integrate within their professional practice their own values and sense of vocation with diverse theoretical frameworks acquired during the course.
  • Assess community counselling contexts and interventions in terms of the theory and practice of personal, relational and social wellbeing.
  • Conceptualise counselling issues within their wider ecosystem in order to devise and enact contextually relevant, ethical, collaborative and empowering ways of addressing problems of wellbeing in diverse communities.
  • Produce research relevant to solving problems needing liberation.

Delivery locations

  • Mulgrave (Full)

Admission Criteria

Eligible candidates would be …

  • Those persons who have completed a related undergraduate degree such as one with a major sequence in counselling, psychology, ministry studies with a major in pastoral care and counselling, or a social work award.

OR

  • Those with an unrelated degree but able to demonstrate an aptitude for working with people associated with that of a community counsellor and successful completion of a Graduate Certificate in Arts from Eastern College Australia with a Counselling or Community Development or Psychology specialisation.

OR

  • Special entry: For those candidates without relevant degree but with relevant VET qualifications and experience and ability to demonstrate a level of professional skill associated with that of a counsellor or community development practitioner, and the capacity to gain a credit grade point average in their first two coursework units.

Personal aptitude for the award would be demonstrated by the candidate presenting a brief portfolio which includes the following:

  • Character and aptitude references from a qualified counsellor, accredited pastor, CPE facilitator, or clinical psychologist;
  • Evidence of internships, church or para-church voluntary involvement;
  • A 1000 word paper outlining a theologically reasoned understanding of the nature and purpose of community counselling in their own current or preferred practicing context;
  • Any other evidence that the candidate believes would demonstrate the capacity to benefit from the course.
This course is only available to domestic students (those not requiring a student visa).

English Language Requirement

An applicant for studies in the above courses will be deemed to have sufficient English proficiency if:

  • They were born in one of the following countries and have completed at least one qualification (secondary or tertiary) in one of those countries and the language in which the qualification was undertaken was English
    • American Samoa; Australia; Botswana; Canada; Fiji; Ghana; Guyana; Ireland; Jamaica; Kenya; Lesotho; Liberia; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Singapore; Solomon Islands; South Africa; Tonga; Trinidad and Tobago; United Kingdom; USA; Zambia; Zimbabwe.
  • They were not born in one of the following countries but have completed senior secondary study or at least one year of full-time university study in one of these countries and the language in which the qualification was undertaken was English:
    • American Samoa; Australia; Botswana; Canada; Fiji; Ghana; Guyana; Ireland; Jamaica; Kenya; Lesotho; Liberia; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Singapore; Solomon Islands; South Africa; Tonga; Trinidad and Tobago; United Kingdom; USA; Zambia; Zimbabwe.
  • They have successfully completed a senior secondary qualification, a post secondary Diploma qualification of at least two years, an undergraduate program of three years or more, or a postgraduate program of two years or more FT or more, undertaken in a non-English speaking country provided the study:
    • was completed in an institution which is listed in the International Handbook of Universities, World Higher Education Database, UK Naric Database or AEI NOOSR guides or an institution accredited through one of ICETE’s registered accrediting bodies and is confirmed by the institution as having been conducted and examined solely in the English language.
  • They have attained results as listed in one of the following qualifications:

    Test Minimum Results
    IELTS Academic 6.5 (no band less than 6.0)
    TOEFL (Paper based) 575+ Test of Writing English 4
    TOEFL (Internet) 85+ Writing 21, Speaking 20, Reading 20, Listening 20
    Pearson Test of English (Academic) 64 No communicative score below 58
    Cambridge English Advanced 62 No less than Borderline in writing

Course Structure

The Master of Community Counselling is an eight unit professionally based coursework and research award based on one mode alone, that involves effectively full-time study spread over four semesters or two years, taking four units a year while immersed at the site of a current community based practice.

Course progression would require completion of 18 credit points per semester consisting of a 12 credit point unit and a 6 credit point reflective counselling practice unit. This ensures deep integration of theory and practice.

The course consists of:

  • 2 coursework units of 12 credit points each that provide specialised knowledge and skills at an advanced level in the first year;
  • 1 “innovative theorist/practitioner” student-designed unit of 12 credit points in the second year;
  • 1 research project of 12 credit points in the final semester.
  • 4 units of 6 credit points of reflective counselling practice corresponding with the 12 credit point unit being studied concurrently.

One-sixth of the course is research based using qualitative research grounded in the field of practice.

Pathways

In accordance with normal processes for recognition of prior learning, applicants who have completed an AQF level 8 or 9 award in counselling and are accredited to work in professional practice may receive up to 24 credit points of advanced standing provided it can be shown that they have equivalent knowledge and skills.

It is expected that all graduates would normally be eligible for entry into local professional doctoral programs.

Other Protocols

Students must complete the units in order.

Each reflective counselling practice unit must be taken concurrently to the associated coursework unit.

Units attached to this course

Unit Code Unit Name
CN901.512 Oppression, Liberation and Wellbeing
CN902.506 Reflective Counselling Practice on Oppression, Liberation and Wellbeing
CN903.512 Community Counselling Interventions
CN904.506 Reflective Counselling Practice on Community Counselling Interventions
CN905.512 Innovative Theorist/Practitioner
CN906.506 Reflective Counselling Practice on an Innovative Theorist/Practitioner
CN907.512 Counselling Research Project
CN908.506 Reflective Counselling Practice on Research