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
Starts Semester one


If you complete the PGDipCounsTh with a GPA of 5 or higher in the most advanced courses taken, 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 related profession, or an equivalent qualification


  • at least three years practical experience in teaching, counselling, nursing, social work or an similar profession

2  You must also successfully complete an interview and a safety check, as well as provide satisfactory references and evidence of practical experence, in compliance with the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

3  If you already hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Education - Counselling specialisation (or substantially similar field of study), you may not be eligible for the programme.

4  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.


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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).