The Bachelor of Counselling provides students with an accredited pathway towards a career as a professional counsellor. Taking a comprehensive and balanced approach to counselling training incorporating theology, psychology, and spirituality, students learn the highest standards of ethics, professionalism and accountability with qualifications that are recognised by the Australian Counselling Association and the Christian Counsellors Association of Australia.
Number of Units: 24 units/ 216 credit points (CP)
Study Mode: Online (with facilitated learning opportunities)
Course Duration: 3 years full-time or up to 9 years part-time
The Bachelor of Counselling has a flexible course plan that is tailored for each student depending on their interests, and the area of counselling they intend on practicing in their career. Goals are discussed during the admission interview, which are translated into a personalised course plan.
These units will generally fit into a structure of:
/ A major of 6 units (54 credit points) in the sub-discipline of Counselling consisting of three units of counselling practicum and three units of counselling theory
/ An additional sub-major of 4 units (36 credit points) in the sub-discipline of Counselling
/ A sub-major of 4 units (36 credit points) in Pastoral Theology
/ A sub-major of 4 units (36 credit points) in either Biblical Studies or Theology or Christian Life and Ministry
/ 6 elective units (54 credit points) from any available units
- An Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 65, or its equivalent (e.g. OP≤16); or
- Satisfactorily completed an AQF 5 Diploma of Counselling (or equivalent) from an institution recognised by the Academic Board; or
- Mature Age and Special Entry Admission for those who have reached the age of 20.
- Satisfactorily completes a pre-enrolment interview with a relevant course advisor.
Applicants whose entry qualifications were obtained in an institution where English is not the language of instruction normally require a minimum IELTS (or equivalent) score of 6.5 in all bands of the test. A student can be admitted provisionally into the BCouns when they have an IELTS result of 6.0 with no score less than 6.0 in all bands of the test.
Graduates will have:
- a deep and effective vision of themselves as counsellors.
- thorough theoretical knowledge in the discipline of counselling and its ethical practice.
- an ability to evaluate theoretical perspectives of counselling and associated peer-reviewed literature to select case-appropriate counselling practices.
Graduates will have:
- specialised counselling skills to work with clients including those with high and complex needs.
- the ability to assess presenting issues and their causes and select from a range of therapeutic practices the appropriate interventions for specific client contexts.
- the ability to communicate effectively in a professional counselling context with both clients and peers.
Applications of Knowledge and Skills
Graduates will have the ability to:
- apply client spirituality into the counselling experience from an ethical perspective with a critical understanding of Christian worldviews.
- apply theological and professional reflection to organisational practice.
- apply innovative professional practice in counselling with diverse people in an unpredictable range of contexts.
- apply specialised skills for clients with relationship issues.
Find expanded academic outcomes and regulations in the SCD Handbook.
Credit will be granted for units that are from an equivalent award or institution and have outcomes, content, demand hours, and assessment equivalent to that of units in the Bachelor of Counselling. A candidate may seek credit for up to a maximum of 16 units (144 credit points).
|For more information and applications see Credit Transfer.|
|All counselling courses will require students to undertake several practicum units that will allow them to outwork their practical skills through reflection and placements. These units will require students to organise a placement, take part in individual or group professional supervision, reflect and interact with fellow students, and work towards a minimum number of supervised counselling hours required for industry development and ongoing accreditation. See schedules or unit descriptions for requirements.|
|Spiritual Formation is foundational to who we are. For ACOM, the learning process is not simply intellectual - it is about spiritual transformation. We care about the individual you are becoming and here’s why: we know that healthy, sustainable and effective graduates will be well grounded spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically and socially.|
Each ACOM course gives students the opportunity to study our Spiritual Formation units either as core or electives. Refer to your course plan to discover how our formation units can be incorporated into your study, or read more about the Spiritual Formation process.
Students can pay their fees upfront or access the Australian Government’s Fee-HELP system.
2024 Bachelor Level Fees
Applicable to courses studied at the Australian Quality Framework level 7 (AQF7 Bachelor Level).
|2024||Audit for |
|Single Unit |
|Spiritual Formation Unit||$800||$3050||N/A|
|Counselling Standard Unit||N/A||$2650||N/A|
|Counselling Spinal Unit||N/A||$3050||N/A|
|Students holding a pension card and paying their fees upfront may be eligible for a $200 pension discount per standard 9CP unit at the relevant level of study.|
To apply for a pension discount simply contact ACOM and provide a current copy of your pension card. Once your eligibility has been confirmed by staff, register for units making a note of your pension discount.
Note the following definitions:
Census Date: Last date to withdraw from a unit without financial penalty.
Academic Penalty Date: Last date to withdraw from a unit without academic penalty. If a student withdraws from a unit between the Census Date and the Academic Penalty Date, the unit will appear on their transcript with a withdrawn grade.
Check below for the key dates associated with your trimester of study. Note that registering or withdrawing outside of the key dates could incur incidental fees.
|2024||Year Long||Trimester 1||Trimester 2||Trimester 3||Summer|
|Unit Registration Deadline||28/01/2024||28/01/2024||28/04/2024||4/08/2024||3/11/2024|
|Academic Penalty Date||7/07/2024||31/03/2024||7/07/2024||13/10/2024||5/01/2025|
Studying with ACOM
|Students can choose to study part-time or full-time. ACOM operates on a trimester basis, with formation and other select units, being taken over the course of the full year. A full-time load is considered six to nine units, which is usually two to three units per trimester, with one year-long unit. A part-time load is usually three to four units per year.|
Each 9 credit point unit requires 143 demand hours of study. The demand hours represents the number of hours needed to meet all the requirements of the unit, including reading, researching and writing assignments and essays, and supervised fieldwork (see Student Handbook for hour breakdown).
For each unit we recommend that you allocate approximately 10-12 hours for study per week (with more required during peak assessment periods).
|To study with ACOM, you will need access to a computer with internet connection. You will also require an email address that we can use to contact you. For assessment writing, we require the use of a word-processing programme such as Microsoft Word. For a full list of hardware and software requirements please see the Student Handbook.|
|Students apply and are admitted to their course, which are made up of both core and elective units. All new students are required to complete Student Orientation, which involves both signing up for a Student Orientation Session, and taking part in a Student Orientation module through the online learning platform.|
All students have access to personalised support through a dedicated Student Engagement Manager (or SEM). Our awesome team of SEMs bring a personal connection and listening ear to students who are spread the length and breadth of the country. SEMs work closely with each student to provide tailored academic and pastoral support, cheering them on every step of their learning journey. Read more about our Personalised Support.
A variety of units will be on offer each trimester for students to view on the unit schedules, and register in for study. All of our courses are flexible for students to choose their units and load according to their time commitments, interests and courseplans.
All students study 'online' through our online Learning Platform: Moodle. This is where all study materials, unit information, assessments and learning activities can be found.
At the point of selecting to study a unit, you will have the opportunity to register in different types of scheduled facilitated events, or ‘facilitations.’ These facilitations are real-time student events run by staff or faculty, designed to assist you with your learning and the requirements of the unit. Read more about facilitations.
For more student information see:
|ACOM assessments are essay based and do not usually involve exams. Units may include online quizzes and practical assessments that are completed in your ministry setting. Assessment dates are clearly published on our Learning Platform (Moodle) and all tasks must be submitted to pass the unit.|
Required readings are provided for students with online library access for further research. ACOM is continuously improving its digital library of learning resources. We have thousands of specialist books, articles and journals available to our students through our copyright licensing arrangements. Useful for both research and personal study, our students have access to over 100,000 e-books and journals on the Bible, leadership, pastoral care, theology and more. To read more go to our Digital Learning Systems.
Some units may require the student to purchase textbook(s), so please check the textbook lists on the schedules or at the point of registration.