Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Counselling)

Working as a Counsellor and empowering people to make changes in their lives is a truly rewarding career.

This JNI course gives you the right mix of theory and practical experience.

You’ll learn about important social theories, and how to encourage people to discuss their concerns. The course explores areas such as relationship counselling, human behaviour and mediation, and helping people with abuse and addiction issues.

This degree includes 400 hours of valuable work placements, so you can practice what you learn in a supportive environment. You’ll also need to attend one workshop in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

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At a glance

Study mode



Jansen Newman Institute (RTO 0269)
Career Opportunities

Nationally recognised - meets Australian Qualifications Framework standards.
Recognised by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.

  • Year 12 ATAR score of 60 or equivalent, OR
  • Demonstrated ability, including work experience, formal/informal study, or a statement of intent

NSW - Sydney


Work placement

400 hours in total

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




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


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


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

Exams, video presentations, assignments & report writing
Start date

Six start dates per year.

Jansen Newman Institute (RTO 0269)

Jansen Newman Institute (JNI) provides flexible, industry-based training in counselling and psychotherapy.

The college has a strong reputation in the industry for producing highly competent graduates.

Jansen Newman Institute courses feature:

  • Practical training – so you graduate with the skills to step into a job
  • Flexible study options – so you can fit study around your life
  • The option to study at an accelerated rate – so you can finish your course sooner and start your career

Think: Colleges Pty Ltd (RTO 0269) trading as Jansen Newman Institute


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.


  • Year 12 ATAR score of 60 or equivalent, OR
  • demonstrated ability, including work experience, formal/informal study, or a statement of intent

What you'll learn

Become trained in:

  • Applying specific counselling modalities and interventions to meet the needs of clients
  • Explaining mental health and the impact of mental ill health on individuals and families
  • Responding to human diversity and establish working relationships with clients
  • Applying effective counselling interventions with people presenting with alcohol, drug abuse and addiction
  • Applying constructive methods to the facilitation of change
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of counselling
  • Referring clients to other health professionals as appropriate

Work placement

This course includes a total of 400 hours of professional work placement.

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

Course structure

24 units

Unit 100

  1. Interpersonal communication

    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses.

    This unit explores aspects of counselling as a form of interpersonal communication and considers the role of self and culture, as well as important relational skills such as perception, listening and reflection. Students learn about different modes of interpersonal communication including verbal, nonverbal, written and oral, as well as the barriers to effective communication and approaches for overcoming them.

    The unit also examines how different types of relationships (family, work, personal, and social groups) can be enhanced through effective communication. An informed awareness of power and rank is discussed.

  2. Theories of counselling

    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses.

    In this unit students are introduced to influential counselling theories, including Psychoanalytic and Psychodynamic theories, Person-centred Therapy, Existential Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Family Therapy, Feminist Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy and Narrative Therapy.

    The unit utilises a range of experiential learning strategies including skills modelling and case studies, and introduces students to the counselling interventions used for each of these models. Such understanding is further developed in COU104 Applied Counselling 1, where students have the opportunity to observe and practise some of the therapeutic interventions used within these modalities.

  3. Human development across the lifespan

    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses.

    This unit introduces students to the field of developmental psychology and explores what drives or motivates human behaviour. It examines the key life stages of birth, early and later childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, mid-life, ageing and death, taking into account their social and cultural contexts. Students are introduced to the work of scholarly work on the subject of human development.

    Drawing on a diversity of disciplines, topics include theories of attachment, cognitive and social development and the role of families and communities in supporting healthy development.

  4. Applied counselling 1

    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses.

    In this unit, students are introduced to the core skills for counselling and change work, with specific reference to working with adults. The subject provides students with an opportunity to develop their counselling skills in an interactive and supportive learning environment with feedback from others, and to begin considering their preferred counselling style. The interrelationships between counselling theories and models and skills are explored. This unit also focuses on the research into counselling outcomes and effective change processes.

  5. Understanding societies: An introduction to social analysis

    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses.

    In this unit, students are introduced to the interdisciplinary practice of social analysis and its role in understanding the various human elements and social institutions that constitute our communities and societies. It covers a variety of important social theories through which to understand human practices, identities and social structures. In particular, students learn how cultural, historical, economic and political factors shape the human experience.

    Students develop social analysis skills to critically examine how human and social elements shape our views about equality, justice and fairness. The unit encourages students to assess the relevance of these elements to our social and professional relations.

  6. SOC103A - Developing social policy

    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses.

    In this unit students examine the nature and practice of social policy development through a study of key public policy areas such as education, health, welfare, the family, crime and law and order policy, drug and alcohol policy and employment policy. The focus of policy discussions is primarily within the context of Australian social, economic and political systems.

    Students examine the theoretical underpinnings of policy development, the role of politics and lobby groups in influencing social policy, the policy process, and how policy decisions are monitored and evaluated. The role of associations, such as NCOSS and ACOSS, and churches in monitoring the impact of government policy and advocating for vulnerable groups within society are also examined, with a view to students considering 'how else' policies can be informed and used effectively to bring about change and improvement to social conditions.

  7. Introduction to community services

    This is a core unit for the Counselling and Community Services majors.

    This unit introduces students to the structure, purpose and nature of the Australian health care system and community services. It explores the many contexts, settings and roles within this area of work, including the policies, theories and practices applicable to this field. Students learn about the important role and function of occupations in community services, and the practices involved such as advocacy, lobbying, networking, and support and service coordination. Students develop an understanding of the variety of community sector organizations that operate in Australia, sources of funding provided by local, state and federal governments, and the challenges, barriers and opportunities for accessing and providing the relevant but scarce resources to those in need. Attention will also be given to community development and programs through examples such as public housing, Indigenous community development, community consultation and public fora.

  8. Health & wellbeing

    This is a core unit for the Counselling and Community Services majors.

    This unit provides the context for understanding health and well-being in Australia. It begins by exploring the critical perspectives associated with defining health and well-being, and what impacts these definitions have on various sections of the community, especially those considered most marginal. Health policies, perceptions and promotional activities are analysed as to their impact on health equity and access to services and resources for various sections of the population. The health of individuals, community and society is also discussed in terms of the workplace, the environment and the proximity to service centres such as cities and towns. Students learn about current debates and the impact of service-users, consumer advocates and worker responses. International policies and research will inform many of the discussions.

Level 200

  1. Relationship counselling

    This is a core unit for the Counselling major.

    The this begins with an overview of relationship counselling theories and approaches such as Minuchin's structural family therapy, Schnarch's discussion of the importance of sexual connection and honesty in intimate relationship, and Gottman's work on both married and same sex counselling. Drawing on theoretical models students learn to apply counselling frameworks for addressing a range of issues that extend beyond those pertaining to traditional mono-hetero couples to include blended families and asexual affectionate relationships. Topics include rapport after, fertility issues and the impact of trauma. Students also consider the impact of counsellors' own belief systems and values on the counselling process.

  2. Mental health & the community

    This is a core unit for the Counselling and Community Services majors.

    This unit is designed for students to gain basic understanding of mental health. It includes definitions of mental health, mental health theories, risk factors and disorders. The impact of mental illness in the community, and particularly on individual people's lives is explored along with approaches to health care, and the role of advocacy by community care workers and services.

    Myths and stigma surrounding mental health are critically examined, with special focus on how social and cultural perceptions shape both the experience of mental illness and service provision. The unit includes definitions and classification systems in mental health.

  3. Applied counselling 2

    This is a core unit for the Counselling and Community Services majors.

    This unit builds on the knowledge and skills developed in Applied Counselling 1. It helps students develop a greater understanding of the various therapeutic approaches that draw on psychodynamic theories, person-centred therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, family therapy, feminist therapy, solutionfocused therapy and narrative therapy. The unit also examines the influence of the counsellor on the counselling process, and counselling practice with children, adolescents and families, drawing on the developmental knowledge acquired in the subject Human Development Across the Lifespan. Students develop a greater understanding of the skills needed for various modalities and reflect on their own development as a therapist.

  4. Applied counselling 3

    This is a core unit for the Counselling major.

    The focus of this unit is on advanced empathy and the facilitation of change, using skills modelling and practice sessions. Feedback is provided by facilitators and peers in a supportive environment. Some preparation is also provided for working with clients in need of crisis intervention, such as suicide ideation, anxiety and depression, and goal setting. The concepts of transference and counter-transference, and of how they influence the counselling process, are an essential component of this subject. Students also learn how to apply professional boundaries and self-care.

  5. Mediation & conflict management

    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses.

    As our number of relationships expands, so too does the potential for conflict. This unit looks at the nature of interpersonal conflict, and explores strategies for resolution such as mediation, conferencing and restorative justice. It begins by considering the nature of conflict, theories about its causes, and how conflict manifests in relationships, groups, communities and internationally. It then introduces students to key conflict management strategies and gives steps as to how we might reduce unhealthy forms of conflict and arrive at positive, healthy relationships based on empathy and understanding. The unit also considers anger management strategies in addressing entrenched, high conflict situations.

  6. Fieldwork 1

    This is a core unit for the Counselling and Community Services majors.

    Students undertake placements in the community sector with the aim of building skills with a variety of client groups and presentations. The organizations can include community counselling agencies, government counselling or welfare centres, child/youth service or aged care facilities, neighbourhood centres, correctional facilities, or hospital pastoral care settings. They gain further practical experience in working with individuals and groups and are supported with supervision in a variety of formats such as weekly debriefing and case conferences.

    This provides the opportunity for students to learn from contact with other community services workers, critical incidents, ethical dilemmas, tensions, questions and insights. This unit uses an experiential learning process that is based on theory, and group participation with peers and supervisors. Students are required to attend two 3-hour workshops in weeks 1 and 5 to prepare them for their fieldwork. Students also receive a total of 5 hours supervision by the placement supervisor.

  7. Introduction to social research methods

    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses.

    This unit gives students an overview of the methods used in social science research. It examines the models and techniques of social research across quantitative and qualitative methods, including surveys and sampling, questionnaires, focus groups, structured, semi-structured and unstructured interviews. It asks, what is the research basis of knowledge and how do we know what we know? It prepares students for understanding the nature of the research process, through direct application of basic interview technique, transcription and first level analysis. Students learn to reflect on their findings and the process involved for conducting social research through their experience of interviewing using techniques such as unstructured, semi-structured and structured interviews, and through a scholarly analysis of literature on research methods.

  8. Ethics & professional practice

    This is a core unit for the Counselling and Community Services majors.

    This unit introduces students to ethics from a variety of perspectives, including deontology and consequentialism, principlist and virtue ethics, narrative and communitarian ethics, and the ethics of self-care. Students learn how ethical and legal frameworks are applied to community services, and in the clinical, public health, and research contexts. They learn to reflect on what are legal or ethical dilemmas in health and community care provision, and practice the use of the conceptual and legal tools available to health and community services workers, as well as to the public, for making decisions in relation to health, community care and counselling.

    Topics include ethics theories, codes of ethics for professionalization, and ethics for research, public health, disability and vulnerable groups, internal reporting and whistleblowing, and the ethics of self-care. All practitioners must know how their work is regulated by legal frameworks; students thus learn about tort and negligence law, professional responsibility, duties, and misconduct, mandatory reporting, the protection of vulnerable groups, and privacy and confidentiality at work.

Level 300

  1. Working with addicted populations

    This is a core unit for the Counselling and Community Services majors.

    This unit provides an overview of the principles of substance-related addictions and the processes and mechanisms that underlie addiction. Students are introduced to the developmental course of addiction, risk and protective influences, and the effects of addiction on health and well-being. The unit covers different forms of addictive behaviours that present in the community, including substance dependency (alcohol, tobacco, prescription and illicit drugs), problem gambling, and compulsive sexual and eating behaviour. A critical examination of the concept of addiction will consider why the use of some substances or behaviours is socially problematic and culturally contingent. 

    The unit adopts a multi-disciplinary approach to examine the biological, psychological and social factors that are associated with addictive behaviours. Students learn to critically appraise and reflect on the shift from the disease model to approaches that draw on behavioural and social scientific theories.

  2. Counselling for grief and loss

    This is a core unit for the Counselling major.

    The effects of grief in terms of human suffering and the associated costs for providing support are critical issues that need to be addressed in community care and counsellor training. This unit teaches students the required skills for dealing with grief and loss associated with the experiences of ageing, trauma, bereavement and relationship breakdown.

    Many of these topics are relevant for a broad spectrum of the population but a substantial focus is on cumulative losses as people age. Students learn to work compassionately with people who suffer the psychological fall-outs and face existential questions following multiple losses such as declining physical and mental health, role function and social connectedness. Students learn to develop a holistic approach to grief counselling practice, whilst recognizing and respecting the uniqueness of each client's experience.

  3. Evaluating approaches to counselling

    This is a core unit for the Counselling major.

    This unit considers several methods of evaluating the effectiveness of counselling models in practice. Students examine to the research literature on counselling effectiveness and efficacy, and the debates and controversies around evidence based practice. They learn about program evaluation and the methods used by agencies to assess the effectiveness of their programs. 

    The unit covers some of the most commonly used standardized methods of counselling evaluation such as the Session Outcome Scale and the Session Rating Scale. These methods facilitate direct feedback to counsellors about clients' experience of the counselling process and their progress in terms of their social functioning, symptoms of distress and interpersonal relationships.

  4. Fieldwork 2 for counselling

    This is a core unit for the Community Services major.

    This placement is of 200 hours duration. Placements are in the community sector or in an organization where students will gain further practical experience in working with individuals and groups. The practical placement experiences will be supported with supervision in a variety of formats; this provides students with the opportunity to practice a range of activities such as case management, client services, program planning and development, individual and group assessment, advocacy and support work. Students are required to engage in community service work in these placements working alongside other professionals. Students are also required to attend two 3-hour workshops in weeks 1 and 5 to prepare them for the fieldwork.

    Formal supervision will occur at a rate of 1 hour per 40 hours of placement work.

  5. Qualitative research methods

    This is a core unit in all the Applied Social Science courses.

    This unit builds on Introduction to Social Research Methods, and helps students further extend their skills in qualitative methods that are particularly relevant and useful to social science research in the sectors of health, community services, counselling and human resources. It assists students to understand the process of research, including developing proposals before undertaking research, specifying research questions, selection of the most appropriate research methods for the question, sampling, data collection, data analysis and reporting. 

    Students learn through practice how to conduct semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and/or observation exercises, and reporting the results. The unit covers some techniques and methods for analysing data, including discourse, thematic and narrative analysis.

  6. Community development

    This is a core unit for the Counselling and Community Services majors.

    This unit introduces students to the theory, principles and skills of community development practice as a way of building capacity in community groups over the long term. The philosophical basis of community development as a method of social change and social action through building consensus, participation, advocacy and democracy are examined. Examples of innovative community development programs in public housing, Indigenous communities, disadvantaged areas and cultural communities are an important part of this subject, and guest lecturers from the field will provide practical examples of community development. In acknowledging the diversities and differences within communities, students consider the possibilities for collaboration, advocacy and strategic community planning in initiating action and change. Students develop community development skills in working with advisory groups and communities, community consultation, and running public forums in order to develop their skills as community development practitioners.

You will also need to complete 2 elective units throughout the course.

Support and delivery

Studying online explained

Jansen Newman Institute offers a comprehensive support for all students.

You will receive one-on-one support to help you establish goals, create study plans and develop sound study skills.


This course is accredited by the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA). After graduation, you are eligible to apply for membership of a PACFA member association - earning you professional recognition at a national level. 

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