social_work_courses

Bachelor of Applied Social Science

The Bachelor of Applied Social Science allows you to combine electives from both the counselling and management fields of study, and is ideal if you're seeking a variety of subjects to support your career aspirations.

There are no exams for this course. As ACAP values experiential learning, the College uses assessments to determine if learning outcomes have been achieved.

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At a glance

Study mode

laptop
OnlineBlendedIn-class

Provider

Australian College of Applied Psychology (RTO 0500)
Career Opportunities
Recognition

Nationally recognised - meets Australian Qualifications Framework standards.

Prerequisites
  • Be aged 21 year or over, or
  • Minimum ATAR 65 (or equivalent), or
  • Completion of a Certificate IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Associate Degree, or
  • Partial completion of a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent)
Location

NSW - Sydney

QLD - Brisbane

VIC - Melbourne

Online

Work placement

250 hours in total

Course length
Full-time: 3 years | Part-time: 6 years
Study mode

Online

Blended

In-class


Online

Study from anywhere, when it suits you best and graduate with the identical qualification as an on-campus student.

Blended

Study part of the course online. Combine your online learning with classes or practical sessions on-campus at a college or university.

In-class

Attend classes on-campus at a university, TAFE or college and interact face-to-face with teachers and fellow students.

Assessment
Practical assessments & projects
Start date

3 start dates per year.

Provider
Australian College of Applied Psychology (RTO 0500)

The Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP) specialises in applied psychology and counselling courses.

The College has over 20 years' experience in the industry, and is a member of key associations including the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA).

Navitas Professional Institute Pty Ltd (RTO 0500) trading as Australian College of Applied Psychology

Price

The course price can vary depending on a few factors, including whether you are an Australian resident or your chosen payment option. To find out more, contact the course provider.

Prerequisites

  • Be aged 21 year or over, or
  • Minimum ATAR 65 (or equivalent), or
  • Completion of a Certificate IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Associate Degree, or
  • Partial completion of a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent)

What you'll learn

Upon completion, you'll be a well-rounded graduate who can:

  • work in an extensive range of private and public sector industries
  • work effectively with people
  • think critically and analytically
  • apply practical and theoretical social science

Work placement

This course includes a total of 250 hours of professional work placement. You will complete the placements in two blocks of 125 hours.

This industry experience gives you invaluable real-life skills, so you graduate ready to step into a job.

Course structure

24 units

Level 100 units

  1. Preparation for Academic Study


    This foundational unit is placed in the first term of study to provide students with a solid base for continuing their academic study at the higher education level. Students are introduced to the research and study skills necessary for academic success. Skills such as effective reading, note taking, paraphrasing, critical thinking and academic referencing are introduced and developed. In this unit, students are given an opportunity to plan and structure an essay or report, relevant to their degree. The use of Turn It In as a self-assessment tool in academic writing will be introduced, with an emphasis on the value for academic integrity in higher education. Students will also be introduced to the information and technology communication (ICT) skills required for online learning.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the requirements of academic writing
    • Summarise and synthesise information
    • Think critically, analyse, interpret, process and communicate information effectively
    • Develop and apply effective research skills
    • Plan, compose and review assignments
    • Develop ICT skills required for online learning
    • Identify the structure and organisation of an essay
    • Develop and apply strategies to manage time and organise resources effectively
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the requirements of academic writing.
  2. Introduction to Contemporary Society


    The unit provides an introduction to the social sciences, its historical foundations and its role in understanding and working in contemporary society. Concepts studied in this unit to understand social inequality are structural theories about gender, class, diversity, politico-economic systems, social institutions, culture, colonisation, globalisation, neoliberalism and (post)modernity. Students will also explore postmodern concepts of agency, lived experience, identity, knowledge, self and subjectivity. This analysis aims to provide students with an appreciation of the role of the social sciences in understanding contemporary society, but even more importantly it establishes a foundational framework through which the analysis of contemporary social issues takes place.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Define and apply key sociological concepts to contemporary social issues
    • Analyse the influence of socialisation on social roles, beliefs and values
    • Discuss and apply sociological concepts such as gender, class, status and power, structure and agency, and analyse how these contribute to social inequality
    • Explore diversity within social environments and analyse historical patterns of social inequality
    • Describe and discuss the role of the social sciences in contemporary society
  3. Positive Psychology


    This unit introduces students to the principles of positive psychology. Students will learn how positive psychology emerged as a study of what makes people happy and well. It will cover the concept and measurement of signature strengths; and explores determinants of well-being such as optimism, resilience, and self-efficacy. It will assist students to develop an in-depth understanding of the range of positive psychology interventions to strengthen optimism, resilience and self-esteem. Students will gain an understanding of how positive psychology is implicated beyond the individual to communities and institutions.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Critically evaluate the theories, techniques and evidence-base of positive psychology
    • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the range of positive psychology interventions to strengthen optimism, resilience and self-esteem
    • Actively apply positive psychology techniques to enhance the wellbeing of individuals, groups, workplaces, communities and institutions
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the application of key theories and techniques in positive psychology in the human services context.
  4. Social Systems


    This unit is a core unit and introduces the role and contribution of social systems in understanding the interrelationships and interdependence between the individual, the community and social structures. The unit provides an introduction to social systems, the various components which comprise the sociological concept of social systems and how these components shape and sometimes constrain opportunities and the wellbeing of individuals in contemporary society. Topics addressed in the study of this unit include the role of the family, media, education and the economy as social systems. 

    These and other topics are explored through the lens of globalisation. The implications of social systems for the wellbeing of young people in society are analysed. This analysis will enable students to identify the key trends and changes in social systems that are shaping contemporary society. It aims to provide the student with an appreciation of the role that social systems play in reshaping personal identities and relationships. Students, by applying the sociological concept of social systems to contemporary society, will able to understand and locate their own place in society.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Describe and define what is meant by social systems and explain the interrelationships and interdependence between individuals, communities and social structures
    • Explain social systems of governance, globalisation, media, information communication technology, education, health, and how these shape and constrain opportunities and wellbeing of individuals in societies
    • Identify the key trends of globalisation and individualisation that are shaping contemporary societies and analyse how these reshape personal identities and relationships
    • Apply sociological concepts and thinking to contemporary social issues and everyday examples
    • Reflect upon key changes in contemporary society, including their own place in society.
  5. Psychology of Health & Wellness


    This unit provides an overview of the psychological and behavioural factors associated with health and wellbeing coaching. Students will examine the connection between lifestyle, psychological and social factors and wellness; as well as the study of health behaviour change models designed to promote optimal health and wellbeing. The unit will address the psycho-social-behavioural components of health issues of greatest concern (i.e., National Health Priority Areas); and strategies to promote health and wellness across the lifespan. This elective unit would be critical for those seeking to engage in health and wellness coaching.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of concepts and cultural understandings of health and wellness
    • Demonstrate an holistic understanding of the biopsychosocial processes related to health and wellness
    • Understand and apply strategies to alleviate stress and chronic pain responses
    • Understand and apply models of health promotion to facilitate behavioural change
    • Explore psychosocial interventions for enhanced health and wellbeing, including exercise.
  6. Developmental Psychology


    This unit provides a comprehensive framework for the consideration of developmental psychology across the lifespan. Throughout this unit students will acquire an in-depth knowledge of developmental psychology for understanding and appreciating their own development, as well as for those people students interact with in their counselling or work-related role. Emphasis throughout this unit is on applying the theory to practical situations and case studies.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Discuss supports and challenges to health and wellbeing at various stages of the life span
    • Discuss the psychological implications of physical and cognitive changes that occur with maturation and ageing
    • Identify and critically evaluate attachment and socio-emotional theories of development and apply to case presentations
    • Identify the major goals and assumptions underpinning the field of developmental psychology
    • Apply developmental theories to a range of situations and contexts.

Level 200 units

  1. Social, Legal & Ethical Frameworks


    This unit is a central and integrative part of the Bachelor of Counselling, Bachelor of Counselling (Coaching) and Bachelor of Applied Social Science degrees. It analyses the roles of codes of ethics, legislation, moral discourses and ethical principles as they apply to counselling, coaching or related fields of practise, assists students to identify areas of risk, and appropriate actions to address them. Students will identify and critique their own values and beliefs in relation to the social, legal and ethical needs of people with cultural differences, disabilities, and those affected by physical and emotional abuse. Power at social and interpersonal levels will be analysed in relation to the impacts on clients, including when they see counsellors and coaches, to help students develop selfawareness.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Analyse codes of ethics, legislation, moral discourse, values and ethical principles in relation to ethical decision-making in their field of practice
    • Describe, identify and critique ethical and legal responsibilities inherent in providing professional services in their field of practice
    • Analyse the influence of professional and social power upon professional and social relationships, and the limitations of ethical principles in creating fair and just societies
    • Identify appropriate actions in circumstances of risk to self and others.
  2. Social Theory


    This unit introduces students to key concepts that underpin social theory and social analysis and major theoretical frameworks in social theory, including classical structuralist, interpretive and conflict theories. Students will equipped and supported to engage in contemporary social and human science debates concerning the application of structure and agency and the relevance of modernism and postmodernism and feminist, queer, postcolonial and globalisation theory to complex issues in contemporary societies. Students will be guided in the development of critical thinking and analysis to better understand themselves, others, groups and organisations within society and society itself.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Define and describe the key concepts that underpin social theory and social analysis
    • Apply contemporary sociological debates concerning structure and agency, modernity, feminism, queer, postcolonial, and globalisation theories to current social issues
    • Analyse, evaluate and assess complex social issues
    • Relate social theory to contemporary society.
  3. Cultural Diversity


    In this unit, students will explore their own cultural origins and worldviews and examine how their own cultural identity shapes their perspective towards people from other cultures and linguistic backgrounds. Students will analyse the imbedded nature of beliefs, values and attitudes in cultural history. Key experiences of people living in multicultural Australia in relation to oppression, racism, cultural trauma, discrimination, stereotyping and privilege will be explored. Students will develop cultural competence in providing culturally safe services and accepting difference. Diverse cultural and spiritual beliefs about wellness and illness will be explored to facilitate respectful, culturally safe worker-client relationships.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Define culture and identify key issues for people living in a multi-cultural society such as Australia
    • Analyse how oppression, racism, discrimination and stereotyping operate to create social inequality
    • Examine their own cultural background, experiences, attitudes and values and how these have impacted on their assumptions about non-dominant cultural groups
    • Research the life experiences, cultural heritage and historical background of diverse groups in Australia
    • Recognise the limits of their own cultural worldview and develop strategies options for widening their perspectives
    • Develop cultural sensitivity and competence in providing culturally safe services to diverse cultural groups.
  4. Organisational Theory


    In this unit students will learn to apply the concepts and related terminology of organisational theory to real world situations and to consider the positions of diverse stakeholder groups within organisations. Students will critically examine what are widely positioned within organisational theory as effective organisational practices, including those that are designed to motivate and increase the performance of employees, and the ways assertions of their effectiveness are substantiated. Implications for accountability and reciprocal relations between, on the one hand, the application of organisation theory and consequent organisational change and, on the other hand, well-being, health, safety and social justice for diverse stakeholder groups at individual, family, organisational, community and wider social levels will be considered.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Apply the concepts and terminology of organisational theory to real world situations
    • Identify effective organisational practices, and analysis the basis for their effectiveness
    • Identify and apply key issues and processes in motivating employees and facilitating accountability and performance improvement
    • Apply a range of effective management strategies for enhancing the performance of an organisations and its employees
    • Analyse the impact of work stress, work health and safety and other health and wellbeing issues on organisational efficiency
    • Analyse the effect of change on an organisation and its employees.
  5. Social Policy


    This unit introduces students to social policy and its role in social development and social change. Major theoretical frameworks for understanding social policy formation are studied and the impact of policy implementation is explored. The historical, social and economic contexts of policies are examined to better understand policy development, implementation and evaluation. A range of social policy areas is explored in this unit, including employment, health, education, the family, and law and order, to enable students to analyse their social contexts and the influence of policy implementation on society and groups. Students will analyse the social implications of social policies to develop their analytical and research skills, and consider ways in which knowledge of policy development can enhance professional practice.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Define and discuss the theoretical underpinnings of social policy
    • Explain how social policy is developed by governments and organisations
    • Describe and discuss the historical, economic, social and political forces which shape social policy
    • Define and discuss the concept of social justice
    • Describe and analyse the function of the welfare state in employment, health, education, and family spheres
    • Analyse the social implications of contemporary trends in education, employment, health, family, and law and order policy.

    Pre-requisite: SOSC2001 - Social Theory

  6. Mental Health Policy & Practice


    This unit provides students with the knowledge and skills to identify mental health problems and understand and apply the diagnostic criteria for major mental disorders to case studies. Throughout this unit, the incidence and lived experience of mental health problems are considered. The current challenges in mental health policy and service provision are outlined. The emphasis of this unit is to equip students with the knowledge and skills to support mental health consumers in their recovery journey, and to make appropriate referrals. This course will provide foundational skills and knowledge for mental health workers to support consumers and carers.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Apply the concepts and terminology used in the mental health field appropriately
    • Demonstrate respect for the diverse needs of people living with a mental health condition, their families and carers
    • Describe and apply the recovery-orientated approach to working with people with a mental health condition
    • Examine the legal and ethical considerations of mental health care within Australia
    • Demonstrate an understanding of different mental health conditions, their symptoms and evidence-based treatment approaches
    • Critically reflect on their own response to mental health conditions.

    Pre-requisite: SOSC2001 - Social Theory

Level 300 units

  1. Applied Social Research


    This unit introduces students to the theory and practice of social research. Students will develop an understanding of the major qualitative and quantitative paradigms in the field of social research, their history, epistemology and methods, and their strengths and limitations. Students will develop skills in practical data analysis of qualitative and qualitative data using NVivo and SPSS software packages. The ethical principles for conducting social research will be explored using research case studies. Guidelines for conducting research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and with mental health consumers and carers, will be presented.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Develop an understanding of the major qualitative and quantitative paradigms in the field of social research, their history and epistemology
    • Critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative paradigms of social research
    • Identify and evaluate the ethical implications of conducting social research
    • Develop an understanding of the values and ethical principles in conducting research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and with mental health consumers and carers
    • Develop an understanding of quantitative and qualitative methods of sampling, data collection and analysis within the field of social research
    • Apply quantitative and qualitative methods of data analysis using SPSS and NVivo software packages.
  2. Group Work


    This unit introduces students to the theory and practice of group work. Group dynamics and processes are a common phenomenon of the social world. Group programs are widely used in the human services because of their capacity to normalise individual experience and generate change quickly. Students will analyse key elements of group dynamics and group processes, and apply concepts of group leadership, facilitation and membership to evaluate group functioning. Students will work in small groups to develop knowledge of a topic of their choice that is relevant to the practice of group work. The ethical and legal dimensions of group work practice will be analysed through application to case studies.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Describe the rationale for group work
    • Identify and analyse key elements of group dynamics and group process
    • Demonstrate group observation and analysis skills
    • Compare a diverse range of groups according to the roles and functions of the leader and group participants within these groups
    • Evaluate the ethical and legal dimensions of group work
    • Develop a systematic approach to group work planning, program development and associated administrative functions
    • Implement appropriate adult learning principles, communication skills and group techniques for participating in and/or facilitating groups and group process.
  3. Project 1


    This unit is linked to the first placement unit in the third year of the Bachelor of Applied Social Science, Bachelor of Counselling and Bachelor of Counselling (Coaching). Students will develop skills in project planning, working with stakeholders, and critically analysing the body of literature relevant to the topic. Students will undertake a needs assessment in their placement organisation to identify an applied project that aligns with the mission and work of the organisation, such as a literature-based project, policy development, or development of a group or team program. They will develop a project proposal for the project that includes the rationale, aim, methods, outcome and a realistic timeline. The placement organisation must provide a letter of support for the project proposal. Students will critically analyse the body of literature relevant to the topic, and write a literature review to inform the implementation of the project in the Project 2 unit.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Undertake a needs assessment in their placement organisation
    • Develop a quality project proposal that clearly outlines the rationale, brief literature overview, organisational context, aims and outcomes
    • Undertake an extensive literature search on the project topic, using the library electronic data bases and the resources of the placement organisation
    • Critically analyse the relevant body of literature with regards to areas of agreement and controversies, themes arising from research, gaps in the research, and major researchers in this area
    • Write a literature review that clearly demonstrates the findings and analysis for the body of literature.

    Pre-requisite: BESC3061 - Applied Social Research

  4. Work-integrated Placement 1


    Placement and supervision are formative components of the Bachelor of Applied Social Science. This unit provides students with opportunities to develop and apply skills and theoretical knowledge in relation to social science concepts in workplace settings. Students will analyse the influence of policy, funding and social contexts on the organisation. They will attend fortnightly small group supervision to discuss their developing knowledge of these themes, their understanding of the concept of cultural sensitivity in the workplace and the needs for safe service provision to diverse groups. Students will keep a reflective journal of their placement experiences using Mahara to construct an e-Portfolio. Reflective journaling enhances students' self-awareness and their capacity to be ethical and reflective. Work-integrated Placement 1 and Work-integrated Placement 2 must be taken consecutively.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Demonstrate the practical application of knowledge and skills in workplace settings
    • Apply social science concepts to analyse key practices in their placement organisations
    • Analyse the influence of policy, funding, and social and cultural contexts on the organisational mission, values, roles, structure, functions and culture
    • Demonstrate ethical decision-making skills in their placement, with respect for the rights and autonomy of clients
    • Demonstrate cultural sensitivity and provide culturally safe services to diverse groups.
  5. Social Science Integration


    The purpose of this unit is to provide students with the opportunity to review and integrate key learnings in social science that have developed over the Bachelor of Applied Social Science course. Students will formulate and articulate an overarching understanding of their learning in the course and of social science as a discipline. Students will integrate selected samples from their assessments over the course, using a reflexive writing approach into a report, to document their development of knowledge in social science and skills in applying this knowledge in practice. Students will critically reflect on their learning journey by identifying the major conceptual themes for each year of the course, and will examine how the course has facilitated their attainment of ACAP's Graduate Attributes. The major findings of this report will be presented in class for oncampus students, and in the discussion forum for online students.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Integrate key learnings in social science developed over the course
    • Critically evaluate their course experience
    • Demonstrate skills in reflexivity and reflective practice
    • Critically evaluate the documented learning against the ACAP Graduate Attributes
    • Identify the operation of key concepts from social theory in real world settings.
  6. Project 2


    In this second unit linked to their second placement unit, students will implement the research proposal developed in Project 1 in their placement organisation. This unit is in the final term of the Bachelors degrees, and assists students to transition into work environments through the integration of placement and project implementation. Students will strengthen their critical thinking and writing skills and capacity to organise data by undertaking the project. Students will develop a method for evaluating the outcomes of their project as appropriate to the project aims and methods. At the end of the term, students will present their project outcomes at a research colloquium (oncampus or line) to which placement organisations are invited, using a format appropriate to their project.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Implement their project plan in their placement organisation
    • Develop evaluation criteria for assessing the quality of the project outcomes
    • Systematically organise information on project implementation and outcomes into a project report
    • Critically evaluate the project outcomes against objective criteria
    • Demonstrate a high level of communication skills in oral presentations to communicate applied research findings effectively.

    Pre-requisite: BESC3081 - Proje4ct 1

  7. Work-integrated Placement 2


    This unit follows on from BESC3001 Work-integrated Placement 1 and continues the students' knowledge and skill development, and their ethical decision making in the workplace. While they continue their approved placement, student will continue to discuss their experiences and awareness of impacts on the workplace in face-to-face small group supervision. This unit in the Bachelor of Applied Social Science provides students with a collaborative framework for further opportunities to develop their professional understanding of cultural and social influences on organisations and on their missions and values. Students will discuss the application of social science concepts and critically reflect on their own role and performance during placement.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Demonstrate the practical application of knowledge and skills in workplace settings
    • Apply social science concepts to analyse key practices in their placement organisations
    • Analyse the influence of policy, funding, and social and cultural contexts on the organisational mission, values, roles, structure, functions and culture
    • Demonstrate ethical decision-making skills in their placement, with respect for the rights and autonomy of clients
    • Demonstrate cultural sensitivity and provide culturally safe services to diverse groups
    • Critically reflect on their role and performance in their placement organisations.

    Pre-requisite: BESC3001 Work - Integrated placement 1

Coaching minor strand units

  1. Coaching Theory & Practice (Level 100)


    This unit forms part of the Coaching Specialisation. It introduces theories, models, and practices of coaching to the student. It explores the context of coaching within the broader professions of psychology, and in contrast to counselling, psychotherapy, mentoring, and consulting. The theory of coaching is critiqued in light of Positive Psychology principles and practice and how they contribute to effective coaching. Students are instructed in how to set effective goals with clients, on interviewing techniques characteristic of coaching practice, and engage in role play practice sessions. Students are further instructed in the application of CBT and Solution Focused approaches and how to structure a coaching session.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Describe and discuss the distinction between coaching, counselling and consulting
    • Describe and critically review the major theories and models of behaviour change relevant to coaching (goal theory, positive psychology, adult learning models, and theories of change)
    • Describe and discuss the key techniques utilised in the practice of coaching (goal setting, solution oriented practices, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, applied positive psychology)
    • Discuss and apply the key techniques utilised in the practice of coaching
    • Identify and apply the core competencies utilised in coaching
    • Identify and plan an effective structure for a coaching session
    • Understand and discuss major issues in the ethics of coaching (boundaries, referrals and the client-coach relationship).
  2. Coaching Applications (Level 200)


    This unit forms part of the coaching specialisation and focuses on the application of coaching in a variety of settings and human endeavours across the lifespan. Students will learn how to tailor and adapt the coaching process to various client bases, such as towards achieving health and wellness goals, professional/career goals, personal/life goals, education goals and relationship goals. The unit also covers current issues in the practice of coaching across the various niche markets. The capacity to assess the ethics and effectiveness of coaching is also explored in depth.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Demonstrate the application of coaching models with diverse individuals, groups and teams across the lifespan
    • Apply coaching interventions to facilitate clients' goals; including professional and personal objectives
    • Discuss current issues and applications in coaching
    • Demonstrate the ability to devise and implement a coherent intervention plan that links development targets and development actions
    • Demonstrate the ability to reflect on and evaluate coaching practice.
  3. Life Coaching (Level 300)


    In this unit, students will be introduced to the concept of life coaching (also called life-skills coaching or personal coaching) which is defined as a process in which coaches helps clients enhance their life experiences over a range of domains, which may or may not include the workplace. Students will also be introduced to the six contexts in which life coaching takes place: confidence and self-esteem, career transitions, relationships, dreams and aspirations, getting one's life in order, and health and physical well-being. Students will also be introduced to principles, tools and models of effective life coaching.

    Learning Outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Describe and discuss the distinction between life coaching, executive coaching, workplace coaching and counselling
    • Describe and critically evaluate the major theories and models of behaviour change underpinning the practice of life coaching
    • Describe and discuss the main assumptions associated with life coaching and the links to theoretical traditions
    • Describe and apply the key theories and techniques utilised in the practice of life coaching
    • Identify and apply an evidence-based structure for a life coaching session
    • Critically analyse major ethical principles in the practice of life coaching.

Counselling Minor Strand units

  1. Counselling Skills (Level 100)


    This unit is foundational to the development of counselling knowledge and skills. Counselling Skills promotes self awareness and recognises the role of the person of the counsellor in the counselling process. Students will gain knowledge and insight into the counselling relationship and the counselling process. Students will also identify and explore specific foundational counselling skills. Practical counselling experience will be gained through participation in activities and counselling practice.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Define counselling and identify the qualities of effective counselling relationships
    • Discuss the importance for counsellors of self-awareness about beliefs, values and biases and identify how these may influence counselling relationships
    • Define the stages of counselling and the tasks of each stage
    • Develop, apply and analyse the counselling skills of reflective listening, holding, use of silence, empathy, summarising and challenging in counselling sessions
    • Identify and apply the use of open-ended and closed questions in practice sessions and role plays
    • Establish a triad counselling practice group and conduct an initial counselling session, assessment of the client, and collaboratively establish goals for the session
    • Develop, apply and analyse the counselling skills of reflective listening, holding, use of silence, empathy, summarising and challenging in counselling sessions
    • Develop and demonstrate skills of attuning to the language and metaphors used by clients
    • Identify and apply the use of open-ended and closed questions in practice sessions and role plays.
  2. Advanced Counselling Skills (Level 200)


    Advanced Counselling Skills builds on the foundation of Counselling Skills (COUN1001) to develop more advanced assessment and counselling skills for working with diverse client groups. Skills in case conceptualisation and suicide risk assessment, crisis counselling skills and advanced skills in working with themes, narratives and blind spots, are introduced. Skills for working with the therapeutic relationship are outlined, including the careful use of self-disclosure, immediacy, reframing and normalising. Students will also develop solution-focused counselling skills, relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety, and telephone and web-counselling skills. The learning activities provide opportunities for self-reflection and ongoing practice with peers in triad groups.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Apply advanced counselling skills to a range of interactions with clients, including working with themes, narratives and blind spots; solution-focused counselling skills; and relaxation techniques
    • Develop genograms to map family structures, and apply genograms to assessment of clients' family histories
    • Develop and apply skills in case conceptualisation to understand underlying factors contributing to clients' presenting problems
    • Use principles of suicide risk assessment to identify risk factors and warning signs
    • Understand and apply crisis counselling interventions in practice sessions and compare with other models of counselling
    • Apply skills of counsellor self disclosure, immediacy, normalising and reframing appropriately to build the counselling relationship and shift client perspectives

    Pre-requisites: COUN1001 - Counselling skills

  3. Counselling Children & Young People (Level 300)


    This unit introduces students to key theories of development in children and young people. Because of the dependence of children and young people on adults and their early stages of development, counselling practice with children and young people poses unique ethical and legal challenges. A systems perspective for assessment of children and young people in their family, social and cultural contexts will be presented. Students will develop skills in a range of therapeutic interventions and critically compare approaches in terms of their effectiveness, the role of the client, and outcomes. Students will also critically reflect on their personal history and its influence on their countertransference responses to children and young people, and develop skills in maintaining professional boundaries.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Apply key theories of child and adolescent development to client presentations
    • Apply a systemic perspective to the assessment of children, young people and their families
    • Apply legal and ethical knowledge to counselling practice with children, young people and their families
    • Apply therapeutic approaches and interventions in working with children, young people and their families to case presentations
    • Identify cultural considerations and apply skills for working with diversity
    • Analyse and reflect on personal responses to counselling children and young people, including potential triggers, countertransference and boundaries.

    Pre-requisites: COUN1001 - Counselling skills

  4. Family & Relationship Counselling (Level 300)


    This unit provides a conceptual framework imbedded in systems theory and family therapy models for counselling couples and families. Students will learn to use genograms in counselling sessions with couples and families to assess the system and to develop hypotheses about relationship and family dynamics and patterns. The unique skills and interventions of systems therapy, including the neutrality of the counsellor, joining with each family member, analysing patterns of interaction and family life stages and strengthening relationships will be developed in role plays and practice sessions. The influences of grief and loss, trauma, violence, separation, migration and refugee status on couples and families will be explored to develop students' sensitivity to diversity and their capacity to practice ethically.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Construct a genogram in the context of a relationship counselling session
    • Utilise information collected in the assessment stage to hypothesise about relationship dynamics, drawing on systems theory, and identify potential interventions
    • Assess clients' suitability for family counselling
    • Identify and discuss family issues, and apply models of family therapy to assessment and intervention
    • Develop and apply counselling skills for working with families and couples.
  5. Crisis & Trauma Counselling (Level 300)


    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Identify a range of traumatic triggers, and individual, group and community responses to trauma
    • Demonstrate understanding of indicators of crisis and trauma responses, and assessment tools for crisis and trauma responses
    • Identify and apply a range of evidence-based approaches to crisis and trauma counselling
    • Compile appropriate resources and referral list for clients in crisis, or experiencing traumatic reactions
    • Identify and respond to the limits of expertise
    • Demonstrate understanding of positive and negative impacts of working with crisis and trauma on the self of the counsellor, such as post-traumatic growth, vicarious traumatisation, vicarious countertransference, compassion fatigue, and develop strategies for self-care.

    Pre-requisites: COUN1001 - Counselling skills

Elective units

  1. Human Resource Management


    In the unit Human Resource Management, students will be introduced to its theoretical origins and the roles of human resource consultants. The unit will overview workplace legislation, industrial relations processes and the roles of employers, unions, courts, tribunals and government in the employment relations system. Human resource management processes such as individual contracting, collective and enterprise bargaining and workplace reform will be analysed. The contribution of Human Resource Management to organisations' strategy, planning and policy will be critically evaluated. Key techniques in managing, training and resourcing employees and improving performance and engagement will be developed through organisational case studies.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Explain the theoretical origins of Human Resource Management (HRM) and the roles of the HRM professional
    • Evaluate the contribution of HRM in developing and implementing organisational strategies, including the strategic alignment of HR policies and HR planning
    • Identify and discuss workplace legislation, industrial relations processes and the relative roles of employers, unions, courts, tribunals and government in the employment relations system;
    • Demonstrate an understanding of individual contracting, collective and enterprise bargaining and of current issues in workplace reform
    • Describe and discuss the key theories and techniques involved in the management and improvement of the performance of people in organisations, including training and development, performance management, motivation and engagement.
  2. Managing in Ambiguity & Change


    Conditions of ambiguity and change create tensions at a personal level and group level. For the manager who must lead under such conditions there is the need to develop awareness of the psychological impacts of uncertain conditions and then develop the thinking skills needed to counter those impacts.

    The overall focus of this unit is the development and application of critical thinking skills to examining complex issues and decision making. A key aspect of this is the self management required of the manager/leader: being aware of and managing psychological responses to uncertainty; examining biases in mental models that affect decision making; and developing principles that guide ethical and sustainable management practice. This unit develops ways of examining how the manager's thinking affects decision making and, therefore, the consequences of those decisions. Skills for being appropriately adaptive to uncertain conditions are developed throughout the unit.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Critically evaluate the proposition that management can be regarded as a scientific discipline
    • Describe and discuss how an evidence-based approach can assist in managing conditions of complexity, ambiguity and change by utilising organisational models of change and learning
    • Describe and demonstrate how the knowledge and application of psychological models such as emotional intelligence, mental models, cognitive biases, motivational theory and adult learning principles can be utilised by managers to help them in conditions of ambiguity and change
    • Describe and discuss the roles of leadership and influence in managing in ambiguity and change
    • Examine the roles of ethics, values and principles in developing sustainable solutions amongst uncertainty and complexity
  3. Career Counselling & Assessment


    The purpose of this unit is to provide students with an in depth understanding of the theories underpinning career counselling and assessment, and the social and organisational contexts for the practice of contemporary career counselling. The range of influences on career choice and decision making, including individual, family, social, cultural and spiritual, will be critically analysed in this unit. Students will apply career assessment and planning tools in practice to facilitate goal setting and planning, and evaluate their effectiveness. The of technology in the twenty-first century to facilitate the practice of career counselling and assessment and improve client access to career planning will also be explored.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Analyse the social and organisational context of contemporary career counselling
    • Describe and apply the major theoretical perspectives and interventions in career counselling
    • Critically analyse individual, social, cultural and spiritual influences on career choice and decision making
    • Evaluate career counselling assessment instruments
    • Describe and apply the use of technology in career counselling and assessment
    • Demonstrate an in depth understanding of theories underpinning career counselling and assessment and how they apply in the coaching context.

    Pre-requisites: COUN1011 - Counselling skills

  4. Psychology of Peak Performance


    This unit is an elective within the course and provides a comprehensive understanding of the psychological factors associated with peak performance. It covers the coaching of psychological skills and practice necessary to enhance performance that can be applied across a range of industry sectors. Students will gain an understanding of the different forms of motivation, stress and pressures that impact on behaviour and performance. Students will then learn how to assess, develop and implement a coaching skills training program designed to enhance performance. The unit includes an experiential component that involves the application of coaching skills to personal performance goals. The unit will also examine the impact of related issues such as group dynamics and managing career transitions.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Describe and analyse the key psychological factors associated with peak performance
    • Critically review the literature on high performance and performance coaching
    • Demonstrate the application of performance enhancement techniques and strategies
    • Develop and implement a coaching plan for improving and sustaining peak performance, drawing on performance psychology principles
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of a coaching plan to create and sustain peak performance.
  5. Advanced Positive Psychology


    This unit forms part of the coaching specialisation and provides an overview of positive psychology in practice. It will be a highly experiential unit, in that students will be required to engage in a number of strategies, and reflect on their experience by drawing from a range of positive psychology approaches and interventions designed to enhance well-being, which span from biological, lifestyle, emotional, cognitive, and interpersonal approaches. The unit will further explore how the interventions may be extended to a variety of ethical applications ranging from personal well-being to well-being in the workplace and beyond. The unit will also draw from theory and therapeutic approaches that are consistent with the principles of positive psychology. Applications to special populations will also be considered, culminating in an overview of current developments in this rapidly growing area of study.

    Learning outcomes

    On completion of this unit students should be able to:

    • Demonstrate in depth understanding of the key theories and techniques of positive psychology
    • Critically evaluate the effectiveness and scope of positive psychology interventions and their evidence base
    • Critically evaluate the effectiveness and scope of positive psychology interventions and their evidence base
    • Apply a variety of techniques and tools from positive psychological perspectives in their practice.
* 3 units must be taken from the same minor strand (Counselling or Coaching)

Support and delivery

Studying online explained

To help fit your study around your lifestyle, work and family commitments, we provide a choice of learning methods as specified below. No matter which method you choose, your learning will be supported by a set of comprehensive materials which can be downloaded free or purchased in hard copy.

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