Master of Psychotherapy and Counselling (1817)

  • Approved Abbreviation: MPsychother&Couns
  • Western Sydney University Program Code: 1817
  • AQF Level: 9

CRICOS Code: 088713F

This program applies to students who commenced in Spring 2018 or later. 

Students should follow the program structure for the session start date relevant to the year they commenced.

For Commencement Year 2016 to Autumn 2018 - please refer to 1817.1 Master of Psychotherapy and Counselling

The Master of Psychotherapy and Counselling is a cross-disciplinary pathway into a career in helping people in distress. In counselling and psychotherapy, clients gain self-understanding, expand interpersonal capacities and become more able to change through a dedicated helping relationship. This program focuses on the process of creating of a therapeutic environment for clients and on cultivating the high levels of skill, sensitivity, self-knowledge and ethical conduct required of the counselling and psychotherapy professional. Theories and approaches are taught and critically examined in the light of their contribution to a contemporary relational understanding and practice of counselling and psychotherapy. A research component introduces students to the systematic study of the counselling experience from a variety of methodological perspectives. This program is open to graduates in any discipline who can demonstrate the personal and reflective qualities required for this demanding profession.

Study Mode

Two years full-time or four years part-time.

Program Advice

Susan Field

Prospective students should visit the following websites for general enquiries about this program.

Enquire about this program| Local Admission | International Admission |


Campus Attendance Mode Advice
Parramatta Campus - Victoria Road Full Time Internal See above
Parramatta Campus - Victoria Road Part Time Internal See above


This program is accredited with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) and the Australian Counselling Association (ACA).

Inherent Requirements

There are inherent requirements for this program that you must meet in order to complete your program and graduate. Make sure you read and understand the requirements for this program online. 

Work Integrated Learning

Western Sydney University seeks to enhance student learning experiences by enabling students to engage in the culture, expectations and practices of their profession or discipline.  This program includes a placement or other community-based unpaid practical experience.

There is a mandatory work component required for completion of this program.  Please contact the Program Advisor listed above for information.

International students should also refer to the link below for more information and a link to the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) for international students


  1. An undergraduate degree or higher in any discipline and submission of a Statement of Intent and CV detailing voluntary and paid work, relevant life experiences, education and training, and interests, to the satisfaction of the School of Social Sciences, and achieving an interview score of 70% or above in a group applicant interview.
  2. Achievement of a GPA of 5.5 (high credit) or above in the University's Graduate Diploma in Counselling.

Applications and supporting documentation must be submitted by the relevant dates as stated at the following link:

Applications from Australian and New Zealand citizens and holders of permanent resident visas may be made via the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) or directly through the Western Portal. Use the links below to apply via UAC or Western Sydney University. Applications made directly to Western Sydney do not have an application fee.

Applicants who have undertaken studies overseas may have to provide proof of proficiency in English. Local applicants who are applying through the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) will find details of minimum English proficiency requirements and acceptable proof on the UAC website. Local applicants applying directly to the University should also use the information provided on the UAC website.

All other International applicants must apply directly to the University via the International Office.  

International students applying to the University through the International Office can find details of minimum English proficiency requirements and acceptable proof on their website.

International Office

Overseas qualifications must be deemed by the Australian Education International - National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (AEI-NOOSR) to be equivalent to Australian qualifications in order to be considered by UAC and Western Sydney University.

Special Requirements Prerequisites

NSW Health Compliance, National Police Check and Working with Children Check are required for subjects WELF 7002 Clinical Studies in Psychotherapy and Counselling and WELF 7012 Further Clinical Studies in Psychotherapy and Counselling and successful applicants need to complete these checks on or soon after enrolment in the program.

Special Requirements - NSW Health Legislative Pre-requisites

Student Compliance Information for all Health-Related Placements

To enrol in this program, students must meet Western Sydney University program requirements. To attend a health-related placement in this program, Special Legislative Requirements will be assessed from the first year of study.

Western Program Requirements

Visit the Special Requirements webpage for details about your program.

Special Requirements

Mandatory NSW Health student placement policy requirements

To be able to undertake placement in any NSW Health facility you must be assessed as compliant with NSW Health student placement policy in the first year of your program, regardless of when you expect to go on your first placement. Access and read the NSW Student Compliance Information Booklet

NSW Student Compliance Information Booklet

Please ensure that you

  1.  Find your existing National Police Check or apply for one
  2.  Gather documentary evidence of your vaccination history
  3.  Print and compete all relevant NSW Health forms relevant to the campus you are enrolled at or online enrolment requirements
  4.  Follow booklet instructions on how to have your compliance documents assessed by NSW health staff.

International students have additional requirements: the link to the booklet will inform you of these requirements.

School Requirements

Contact your School for further details regarding your School’s requirements, if any, such as

  • If you live outside of NSW or Australia and need to meet your state, territory or country’s compliance requirements
  • If you need to meet different state, territory or country compliance requirements.
  • NSW Working with Children Check (WWCC) or other state equivalent, valid for your entire program.
  • Current approved first aid certificate valid for your entire program - approved program providers can be found at the Government Training website
  • Other non-health related requirements

Student Compliance Resources are also available on the Placements Hub web page (NSW students only)

Recommended Sequence

Qualification for this award requires the successful completion of 160 credit points as per the recommended sequence below.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
Autumn sessionCredit Points
WELF 7009 Foundations of Psychotherapy and Counselling 1 20
WELF 6001 Ethics and Diversity in Counselling 10
WELF 7013 Integrated Practice 1: Self and Story 10
 Credit Points40
2H session
WELF 7020 Practising Research and Researching Practice 10
 Credit Points10
Spring session
WELF 7010 Foundations of Psychotherapy and Counselling 2 10
WELF 7006 Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice 10
WELF 7014 Integrated Practices 2: Affliction and Recovery 10
 Credit Points30
Year 2
1H session
WELF 7002 Clinical Studies in Psychotherapy and Counselling 20
 Credit Points20
Autumn session
BEHV 7018 Integrated Practices 3: Emotions, Embodiment and Connection 20
 Credit Points20
2H session
WELF 7012 Further Clinical Studies in Psychotherapy and Counselling 20
 Credit Points20
Spring session
WELF 7016 Integrated Practices 4: Self and Relationships 20
 Credit Points20
 Total Credit Points160

 Equivalent Core Subject

The subjects listed below count towards completion of this program for students who passed these subjects in 2021 or earlier.

WELF 7008 - Ethics and Diversity in Research and Therapy, replaced by WELF 6001 Ethics and Diversity in Counselling