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.
  • Cross-credits towards the Master of Social Practice.

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 specific admission requirements.

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).

International Students for whom English is not their First Language
Applicants must have achieved one of the following:

    1. Completion of one of the following qualifications:
      1. NZ Certificate in English Language (NZCEL) Academic Level 5
      2. Graduate Certificate in English as an Additional Language (Unitec Qualification)
    2. An overall IELTS band score (Academic Format) of 6.5 with a no band score lower than 6;
    3. An overall TOEFL pBT (Paper-based Test) score of  590 (plus essay TWE of 5.5) OR  an overall TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) score of 79 (plus writing score of 21);
    4. Level C1 under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR);
    5. First Certificate in English (FCE) with a pass at Grade A OR Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) with a score of 58 or higher OR Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) with a score of 45 or higher under the Cambridge International standard tests of English as a foreign language;
    6. Pearson Test of English (PToE) (Academic) with a score of 58;
    7. City & Guilds Internal English for Speakers of Other Languages (IESOL) C1 Expert with a score of 42.

Existing English Language Proficiency
Applicants may also provide evidence of satisfying one of the criteria for existing English proficiency as specified by the NZQA. For more information please visit the NZQA website.

Programme Specific Admission Requirements

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

Courses and timetables

The following courses are valid for 2015. The courses may be offered as part of the programme. Click on the course links below to see the course details and timetables.

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.
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) 30 credits (0.25 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.
Collaborative Practice Applications (CSTU8021) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS)To enable students to develop and extend clinical expertise in a diverse range of whanau, family, couple and group situations. Students will research practice with a particular population of clients. Students will be involved in a counselling workplace while doing this course.