Faculty of Education and Social Work


Counsellor education that respects the unique needs of each client.

Our programmes

These postgraduate study options are available for graduates in related fields who want to develop their knowledge and practice of counselling, drawing on a wide range of counselling theories.

Who should take these qualifications

Our programmes are primarily designed for mature students with existing tertiary qualifications and professional experience in a field related to counselling, who wish to transition into counselling from their current profession; and for counselling practitioners who are wishing to extend their professional learning through undertaking advanced qualifications and are already working in professional counselling practice, counsellor education and/or research.

Entry criteria for both the Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Theory and the Master of Counselling include a completed bachelor’s degree in a related field, at least three years practical experience in a related profession, a police check and an individual interview. Additionally, an average grade of B or higher is required for direct entry to the Master of Counselling.


Programme goals

A primary goal of the Counselling programmes is to provide an environment conducive to professional learning and development, in which theory, research and practice are inter-related. We support students to develop:

  • A critical understanding of theoretical concepts and research evidence underlying counselling practice.
  • Excellent counselling and facilitation skills appropriate to a variety of professional activitiesthe attributes that enable them to relate effectively with clients and to facilitate counselling processes that meet clients’ needs.
  • Personal growth relevant to students’ professional development as counsellors.
  • The capacity to reflect productively on their work and become reflexive practitioners.
  • Professional identity and leadership skills relevant to counsellors’ organisational contexts.
  • Knowledge and skills to enable counsellors to utilise research to inform their practice.
  • An ability and interest in undertaking counselling related research at doctoral level.
  • The possibility for each student to tailor learning to his/her particular background, practice setting and professional goals.


About the Counselling team

Counselling at the Faculty of Education and Social Work has a proud history. The University of Auckland was one of the first New Zealand universities to offer Counsellor Education as a postgraduate option in the early 1970s.

Our team of highly skilled counsellor educators is dedicated to providing counsellor education that will support our professionals to work collaboratively and creatively to meet the diverse needs of clients in the modern world.

Our well-established reputation is based on:

  • Excellent teaching from highly respected academic staff.
  • Community of connectedness and collegial support throughout study and beyond.
  • Close links with practitioners and supervisors in a range of practice contexts.
  • Commitment to bridging research and practice.
  • Contributions within both the professional and the wider communities.