Want to refine your pre-existing counselling skills for further career success? The Master of Counselling is designed for people currently employed in the human services sector who have an interest in the specialist fields of couple or forensic counselling. Get ready to advance your counselling and research skills, particularly if you’re interested or currently employed in education, mental health, justice and welfare sectors.

Your specialisation

Human Services Counselling

The Human Services Counselling Specialisation focuses on the skills and knowledge necessary for working as a counsellor with people and groups facing various social, emotional, behavioural, or mental health challenges. Learn best-practice methods for undertaking risk assessments and mental examinations and apply these skills to client-facing issues. 

Upgrade your skills

  • Plan and implement counselling interventions
  • Competence in assessment
  • Written or oral communication skills
  • Critically apply research principles
  • Advanced skills to work therapeutically with a range of clients

Stretch your career further

  • Private practice counsellor
  • Mental health counsellor
  • Social worker
  • Pastoral care
  • Grief counsellor

Strong industry connections and co-creation

The forensic stream is delivered in collaboration with the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University of Technology, which is the current preferred provider of evidence-based specialist forensic training to a wide variety of professionals working with forensic clients both in Victoria and across Australia. Partnerships with forensic organisations are in place to support forensic placements.

Key codes

International student visa

International students in Australia who hold student visas are required to study full-time and on campus. Courses that are taught entirely online are only available to international students studying outside Australia or those in Australia who are not on a student visa. Online courses are not available to international students in Australia who hold a student visa.

Professional accreditation

Why Swinburne?

Ranked top 250 in the world for the subject of psychology

Times Higher Education World University Ranking by Subject 2023

83.5% of students found employment within 4 months of graduating

Ranked top 20% in Australia for 5-star PG Overall experience


  • A minimum three-year Bachelor degree from an Australian university or approved equivalent or
  • Graduate Certificate of Counselling or equivalent
  • Graduate Diploma of Counselling or equivalent

While no specific area of study in the Bachelor degree is required as a prerequisite, it would be advantageous for students to have experience in human services, couple counselling or a forensic settings.

Selection is based on an individual and group interview and the applicant’s suitability for the program as determined by academic and work experience*, referee reports, and the stated reasons for wishing to undertake the program. Preference may be given to applicants with an equivalent of a credit average or above.

The university may determine selection criteria and restrictions in respect of courses to apply in addition to these entry requirements.

All students will be required to submit a current Working with Children Check and Police Check. 

* Work experience
Documents substantiating work experience need to be provided on company letterhead and clearly detail roles as well as duties and duration of posts held.

Other requirements

NDIS Worker Screening Check

Students enrolled in this course may be required to apply for and receive an acceptable NDIS Worker Screening Check prior to commencing placement with an NDIS provider. The relevant fee is the responsibility of the student.

Admission requirements

Meeting the minimum entry requirements for the course does not guarantee an offer of a place. See admission requirements for general information about the admission process.

Credit transfer

Credit is granted in recognition of previous study and/or experience and allows students to gain advanced standing towards their course. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) allows students to gain credit (advanced standing) towards their course in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/or formal training. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Finding your fit

At Swinburne, we recognise that not one size fits all. If this course doesn’t meet all your study criteria, check out these alternatives.

How credit points work

To qualify for the Master of Counselling, students must complete 150 credit points comprising:

  • 8 core units (100 credit points)
  • 4 units from one of the counselling specialisations (50 credit points).

Your units

Graduate Certificate

Completing 4 core units entitles you to the graduate certificate.

Core units
Graduate certificate
Units of study Unit code
Core units
Foundations of Counselling
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
Ethics and Cultural Diversity for Counsellors
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
Lifespan Development and Systemic Thinking
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
Advanced Counselling
Core unit, 12.5 credit points

Graduate Diploma

Completing an additional specialisation (4 units) entitles you to the graduate diploma.

Foundation units
Specialisation units
Graduate diploma
Units of study Unit code
Specialisation Units
View specialisation units
View units

Masters degree

Completing an additional 4 core units entitles you to the masters.

Core units
Specialisation units
Core units
Masters degree
Units of study Unit code
Core units
Trauma Loss and Grief Counselling
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
Advanced Counselling Placement 1
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
Systemic Approaches to Attachment and Development
Core unit, 12.5 credit points
Advanced Research Based Practice
Core unit, 12.5 credit points

Your specialisation

Units of study Unit code
Addiction Counselling
Specialisation unit, 12.5 credit points
Assessment and Evidence-Based Therapies
Specialisation unit, 12.5 credit points
Working with Groups
Specialisation unit, 12.5 credit points
Clinical Supervision and Work Place Experience
Specialisation unit, 12.5 credit points

2024 fees

Yearly fee* ($AUD)


Total fee* ($AUD)


2024 fees

Yearly fee* ($AUD)


Fees are estimates only

The student tuition fees as published are subject to change given individual circumstances at enrolment. These fees apply for units studied in 2024 only and may change for units studied in future years. If part-time study is permitted, annual fees will be proportionally lower based on the number of units taken per semester.

Fees are estimates only

The indicative course fees shown apply to international students for the relevant year only. They are based on a standard study load per year. However, please note that fees are assessed according to a student's study load in each semester, and variation to study load will result in an adjustment to tuition fees. International tuition fees are generally inclusive of Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). All fees are subject to annual review and may be adjusted.

How do I pay my fees?

FEE-HELP is a loan given to eligible full-fee paying higher education students to help pay part or all of their tuition fees. The Commonwealth Government pays the amount of the loan directly to Swinburne.

International students need to pay tuition fees up-front by the relevant due date. You can find the due dates on your Statement of Account.

To pay your fees:

  • log in to My Finances
  • check your Australian bank account details are correct 
  • check your Statement of Account to see how much you owe 
  • pay using your preferred payment method.

Eligibility for FEE-HELP

You’re eligible for a FEE-HELP loan if you are studying an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, or UniLink or OUA course at Swinburne, and you:

  • are an Australian citizen doing at least one unit of your course in Australia; or
  • hold a permanent humanitarian visa and will be living in Australia for the duration of your course; or
  • hold a New Zealand Special Category visa and meet the special eligibility requirements for New Zealand citizens
  • are undertaking bridging study for overseas trained professionals and will be living in Australia for the duration of this study
  • have not exceeded the new combined Help Loan limit.

The HELP limit is the maximum amount you can borrow from the government in your lifetime towards your education costs. It is fixed and cannot be topped up.

Student services and amenities fee

This funding serves to improve the student experience at Swinburne. You may use many or just some of the services and amenities that the fee provides.

The fee shown in the capped amount for 2024.

This funding serves to improve the student experience at Swinburne. You may use many or just some of the services and amenities that the fee provides.

This amenities fee is included within your annual tuition fee listed above. The fee shown in the capped amount for 2024.

Please refer to the Student Services Amenities Fee page for more information.

SSAF fee* ($AUD)


SSAF fee* ($AUD)



Scholarship applications for 2023 are open. Scholarships at Swinburne are about providing opportunity, promoting equity and recognising excellence and achievement. We want you to reach your potential and achieve your life and career goals. 

Our handy guide will assist you to gather documents for your application.

When you apply for a Swinburne course, we automatically consider you for an international scholarship of up to 20 per cent off your course fees – no separate application required! Just apply for your Swinburne course of choice and when we review your course application, we will also assess you for an international scholarship.

Apply through an agent

Most international students use an education agent to help them through the application process. Swinburne has agents all over the world that can help you with your application to study. Search for a Swinburne representative in your country. If your country is not listed, please contact us.

Representatives and agents
Search for agents

Apply directly

Ready to take on a new challenge and reach your academic goals? If you already know which course you want to study and understand the entry requirements, what are you waiting for? Apply online! 

Closing dates for applications for 2024 Intakes

Semester 1:

  • Round 1: 5pm, Thursday, 26 October 2023 (timely applications)
  • Round 2: 5pm, Friday 18 January 2024 (late applications)
Start dates
Last date to apply
Start dates
Start dates
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Upcoming events
5th Australasian Youth Justice Conference 2024. Strengthening Connections: The Power of Relationships and Strong Service Partnerships