Faculty of Education and Social Work

Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Theory

Gain comprehensive knowledge of the theory and research that underpin counselling practice. Equivalent to the first year of the Master of Counselling, this programme can provide the foundation to progress into research at masters level.

Quick facts
Length One year full-time study. Up to two years' part-time study.
Delivery  Includes lectures, discussion, student presentations, skills laboratories, seminars, workshops, group work, individual investigation and self-directed study. You will also undertake practical work in community settings. This is supervised on-site by counselling practitioners in the field and overseen by University staff.
Points per degree
Applications are still open for this programme. Apply now.


If you complete the PGDipCounsTh with an average grade of B or higher (in at least 90 points in the most advanced courses) you can apply to enter into the second year of the MCouns to complete the masters qualification. To do this, you must include a research methods course in your PGDipCounsTh study.



Updated tuition fee information will be available at www.auckland.ac.nz/fees.


Entry criteria

1  In order to be admitted to this programme, a student needs to have:

  • completed the requirements for a Bachelors degree in education, counselling, nursing, social work or another profession from this University or an equivalent qualification approved by Senate or its representative


  • at least three years practical experience in teaching, counselling, nursing, social work or an equivalent profession as approved by Senate or its representative


  • an interview supported by referees' statements and evidence of practical experience is required.

Note: Agencies where counsellors in training are placed wish to ensure that client safety is not compromised. For this reason, the application form for the Counselling programme asks applicants to indicate whether they have any criminal convictions. Furthermore, before any candidate can be accepted into the degree, an official police statement concerning absence or otherwise of criminal convictions will be required.

2  No student on whom the Postgraduate Diploma in Education – Counselling specialisation has already been conferred by The University of Auckland may enrol for this postgraduate diploma unless specific approval is given by Senate or its representative.

3  Admission to the programme requires the approval of Senate or its representative.


Programme structure

  • 90 points: PROFCOUN 701, 705, 706, 708, 709
  • 30 points from EDPROFST 700-757, 760-788, EDUC 702-764, 767, PROFCOUN 702-704, 707, PROFSUPV 704, 713, SOCHLTH 732 or a 700 level course in another subject as approved by the Associate Dean (Postgraduate)

*Note: PROFSUPV 710 can be taken as a concession.

Note: A student wishing to enrol in the Research Portfolio of the MCouns following the award of this postgraduate qualification should EDPROFST 750 or PROFCOUN 709 is a prerequisite for enrolment.

Note 2: Enrolment is expected to be continuous, but where enrolments include 15 point courses a period of up to 4 years is permitted for completion.


Search for postgraduate courses

Use our postgraduate course finder to learn more about the taught courses available at the Faculty of Education and Social Work for your programme.

Further study

Study at postgraduate diploma level can lead to study at masters and then doctoral level. Students who have completed the requirements for the Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Theory with an average grade of B or higher may apply for admission to the Master of Counselling.


Compliance with the Vulnerable Children Act 2014

A safety check will be completed to ensure applicants meet all the requirements stipulated in the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.


Fees and scholarships

Find out the cost of tuition at the University, how to pay your fees and important dates. 

You may be eligible to apply for scholarships and University awards available to help you pay for your study. Learn more about postgraduate scholarships and how to apply.


Application for admission

Apply now or learn more about the application process (How to apply).