Programme overview

Do you want a career in counselling? The Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling provides you with the skills to work in a diverse range of counselling environments in Aotearoa New Zealand. Explore collaborative counselling approaches, in particular narrative therapy, solution-focused therapy and collaborative practice. Find out about power relations, and the significance of cultural, historical and social context in the shaping of people's lives.


  • As a graduate you can apply for provisional membership of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors.
  • Ethical approach: our lecturers work to the guidelines of the Code of Ethics of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors.
  • Includes a practicum.
  • Bi-cultural practice and the study of Maori practice models are key parts of most courses.
  • Staff who have extensive counselling experience and are members of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors.

What next?

Interested in studying towards the Master of Social Practice? You'll need to gain an additional 150 credits consisting of the compulsory research course, Transdisciplinary Research (CSTU8002), and Research Thesis (CSTU9003).

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission, applicants must meet the general, or the discretionary, or the special admission requirements and they must also meet any programme-specific admission requirements. Applicants must also meet the English language requirements and may be interviewed.

Generic Admission Requirements

General Admission

Applicants must have one of the following or equivalent:

  1. a recognised bachelor degree in the same or similar discipline, with merit achievement, deemed to be an average grade of B- or higher in all level 7 courses. OR
  2. a professional qualification in a relevant discipline, recognised as being equivalent to merit achievement in a bachelor degree.

Special Admission

Applicants may be eligible for admission if they meet the special admission requirements outlined in the programme schedule for the postgraduate diploma.

English Language Admission Requirements

General English Language Requirements

Applicants must have achieved a minimum standard of English as demonstrated by a minimum of 8 credits at NCEA Level 2 in English (4 in Reading, 4 in Writing).

English language entry requirements for international students for whom English is not their first language:

Applicants must have at least ONE of the following:

a) Gained NCEA level 3 and met New Zealand university entrance requirements;

b) Clear evidence that they satisfy one of the following criteria for existing English proficiency:

  1. Previous primary and secondary study in English as evidenced by completion of one of the following at schools with English as the language of instruction in countries with a student visa approval rate of at least 80 per cent:
    • Completion of all primary education and at least three years of secondary education (that is, the equivalent of New Zealand Forms 3 to 7 or years 9 to 13), or
    • Completion of at least five years of secondary education (that is, the equivalent of New Zealand Forms 3 to 7 or years 9 to 13)
  2. Previous tertiary study in English: clear evidence of completion of a tertiary qualification of at least three years’ duration with English as the language of instruction in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States.
  3. Achievement of the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA)

c) Achieved, within the preceding two years, at least one of the English proficiency outcomes listed below:

  1. NZ Certificate in English Language (NZCEL) (Academic) (Level 5)
  2. An overall IELTS band score (Academic Format) of 6.5 with no band score lower than 6. The IELTS scores used must be taken from a single IELTS Test Report Form.
  3. An overall TOEFL Paper-based test (pBT) score of 590 (essay 5.5 TWE) OR an overall TOEFL Internet-based test (iBT) Score of 79 (writing 21)
  4. University of Cambridge English Examinations: CAE or CPE with a score of 176. No less than 169 in each skill
  5. Pearson Test of English PToE (Academic) with a score of 58.

Programme Specific Admission Requirements

To be admitted to this programme, applicants must also meet the requirements set out in this schedule.

There are no special provisions in this programme.

Courses and timetables

Please check back in November for timetable information for 2017.

Courses Credits Aim
Introduction to Counselling Practices (CSTU7351) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS) This course will enable students to develop an experiential and theoretical understanding of the philosophy and skills of collaborative practices. Students will develop practical skills and responses to a range of client issues. Bi-cultural and ethical issues are an essential component of this course. Students will experience a marae noho on the Unitec marae. The course will enable students to set up and negotiate an appropriate placement to meet the requirements of the Counselling Practicum course.
Courses Credits Aim
Advanced Collaborative Practices (CSTU8019) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS) This course will enable students to research and extend their understanding of the broad field of collaborative practice. The focus will be on clinical practice development and the ability to articulate the links between theory and practice building on their understanding of kaupapa Maori and Tikanga.
Counselling Practicum (Sem A) (CSTU8020-SA) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) This course will enable students to manage a client case load with appropriate managerial and professional supervision and be able to account for the safety and effectiveness of their practice. Students will reflect on and critique their own practice, articulating the links between theory and practice. A minimum of 200 face to face counselling hours with 20 hours of professional supervision is required.