PUB HLTH 7023 - Counselling Placement I

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

This course provides Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy students with supervised practical experience in counselling and psychotherapy. Students will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge of and practice in applying counselling and psychotherapeutic skills with clients, as well as gain experience in writing case notes and reports in this setting. They will also develop experience in collaboration with other health professionals and families of clients, and referral to appropriate other health professionals. Successful completion of this course is required for graduation in the clinical pathway of the Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy, and this in turn will enable graduates to meet entry-level registration requirements of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PUB HLTH 7023
    Course Counselling Placement I
    Coordinating Unit Public Health
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Minimum of 16 hours per week over 14 weeks
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange
    Restrictions Available to M.Counselling & Psychotherapy students only
    Course Description This course provides Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy students with supervised practical experience in counselling and psychotherapy. Students will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge of and practice in applying counselling and psychotherapeutic skills with clients, as well as gain experience in writing case notes and reports in this setting. They will also develop experience in collaboration with other health professionals and families of clients, and referral to appropriate other health professionals. Successful completion of this course is required for graduation in the clinical pathway of the Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy, and this in turn will enable graduates to meet entry-level registration requirements of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ms Paula Gillespie-Fotheringham

    Course Coordinator: Paula Gillespie-Fotheringham
    Phone: +61 8313 6276
    Location: Level 11, 178 North Terrace

    Student & Program Support Services Hub
    Phone: +61 8313 0273
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Define the roles of counsellors and psychotherapists within the healthcare setting  
    2 Demonstrate appropriate skills to support positive change for clients in the counselling setting
    3 Identify relevant resources for client support within the healthcare setting relevant to counselling practice
    4 Employ and justify appropriate counselling techniques for responding to client issues in the counselling setting
    5 Communicate effectively and professionally with clients and other health professionals in the counselling setting
    6 Demonstrate evidence based practice within the counselling setting
    7 Explain the role of peer, group, and clinical supervision in a counselling setting
    8 Review and critique their own professional practice within a counselling setting
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    2, 4, 7, 8
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1, 6, 8
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Relevant texts or articles will be made available via MyUni in response to issues arising during group supervision.
    Recommended Resources
    Baird, B.N. (2011). The internship, practicum, and field placement handbook: A guide for the helping professions (6th Ed.). Boston, MA:
    Pearson Education.
    Online Learning

    As an enrolled student, you will have access to the University’s online teaching facilities.  This is an implementation of the  Blackboard system called MyUni.  MyUni is accessible from the University of Adelaide’s home-page:

    You will need your student login name and a password.

    If you do not have access, then either you are not enrolled or the administrators of MyUni do not know of your enrolment.  Please  call Ask Adelaide on 8313 5208 (University extension 35208) or the IT Help Desk on 8313 3000 (University extension 33000) for  assistance with MyUni difficulties.

    Course material will be placed on MyUni.  Note also that announcements about a course are often made on the relevant page of the MyUni site for the course.  For example, notifications of a change in lecture venue, updates on availability of course material etc.  will be made on the MyUni site.

    Access Adelaide
    Access Adelaide is the name of the online service that allows you to access and, in some cases, amend your records. It can be found at:
    You can log into Access Adelaide to view:
    your enrolment details for any term
    your academic results
    your unofficial academic transcript
    your personal details
    the fees, charges and payments on your University account
    your exam schedule
    your graduation eligibility details.
    As a student you can:
    change your address and telephone details (please inform the Discipline as
    well) change your password
    set a password clue to help you remember your password.  

    Student email
    We assume that students access email and that their address is the University of Adelaide student address that was assigned on  enrolment.  This is of the form:

    A notice to a student by email is considered to have been received and read by the student unless there is a transmission error  and the postmaster bounces the message back to us.  As discussed above, the Announcements page of the MyUni site for this  course will also display relevant notices from time to time, so it is essential that students check their student email and log on to  MyUni regularly.

    Where can I use a computer in the University?
    Computing facilities are provided to students by the University, and there are several suites of computers available, including at the  Barr Smith Library and in Hub Central. The University web site has a list of computer labs at:

    Internet access
    The University provides a free dial-up service to students without the need for a commercial ISP account. This service is available at  the cost of a local call to students residing within Adelaide (please refer to your telecommunications provider for confirmation of  call costs). Students residing outside these numbers can dial into the University at STD call rates ( /desktop/dialup/ ).  Postgraduate Coursework students will receive a University Funded Quota of 500Mb.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    During this course, students will undertake a placement of 40 hours of client contact plus the time needed for associated tasks (approximately one hour for every hour of client contact) in a relevant clinical setting in which they will have their own client load (which may comprise individual clients, couples, families and group work). Precise arrangements will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis dependent on placement requirements, and documented in a Learning Agreement, but this is roughly equivalent to two full days each week for 13 - 15 weeks. Placement activities will normally continue during the mid-semester break, unless negotiated otherwise with the placement site. Throughout their placement, students will receive a minimum of 10 hours of supervision with their clinical supervisor, who will provide feedback and guidance with regard to the student’s placement activities. The associated tasks undertaken as part of the placement include induction, research needed for client work, documentation of counselling activities
    required, liaison with relevant other staff onsite and off-site as needed, and other workplace activities negotiated within their  Learning Agreement. Students will also complete a daily log of activities to be submitted at the end of the placement, and must keep   and submit accurate records of their activities whilst on Placement.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Students will be expected to attend the equivalent of  6-hours of orientation, and then to be on-site at their designated Placement a  
    minimum of two days per week and achieve a total of 40 hours of client contact; specific days and times must be negotiated and agreed to by the Agency and Course Coordinator. Students must also adequately prepare for and document their Placement  activities, both within a University Log Book, and as per the Agency requirements. In addition, they must attend on-campus 2-hour  group supervision sessions fortnightly and site-specific clinical supervision. (Each placement will vary according to site-specific requirements). Finally, students must prepare for and submit 3 assignments, plus all Placement associated documents.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Refer to Course Coordinator
    Specific Course Requirements
    All students must provide current DCSI Clearance, National Police Check and Child Safe Environment Training Certificate to Course  Co-ordinators before enrolment.  (For information on Department for Communities and Social Inclusion Screening and Background Check. See ).  Some specific placement agencies may further  require and/or provide additional training specific to working with their clientele. Some placement agencies may provide services outside of normal business hours. Students will be advised of any such requirements when provided with placement information.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Completion of placement  Summative 50% 1-8
    Case Study  Summative 30% 1-4, 6-8
    Clinical skill report  Summative 20% 1-8
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Assessment Detail
    In order to pass this course, students must satisfactorily complete each of the following:

    Completion of placement, document 40 hours of supervised client contact in an approved counselling or psychotherapy agency/site,  with associated attendance/activities required to achieve this (approximately 40 additional hours plus 10 hours minimum on-site  supervision). Each student will negotiate an individual learning agreement with their site supervisor, in consultation with the Course Coordinator. Collaborative reviews of the learning agreement and on-site clinical supervision will be used, together with the log-book of activities, to assess the placement completion. Prepare for, attend and contribute appropriately to scheduled group supervision meetings.

    Case study: Write up a detailed de-identified case study report (1500 words).

    Clinical skill report (1500 words)

    All extensions for assignments must be requested, at the latest, by the last working day before the due date of submission.   Extensions will generally be granted only on medical or genuine compassionate grounds.  Supporting documentation must be  provided at the time a student requests an extension.  Without documentation, extensions will not be granted.  Late requests for  extension will neither be accepted nor acknowledged.
    Only the Course Co-ordinator(s) may grant extensions.

    Supporting documentation will be required when requesting an extension. Examples of documents that are acceptable include: a  medical certificate that specifies dates of incapacity, a police report (in the case of lost computers, car & household theft etc.), a  letter from a Student Counsellor, Education and Welfare Officer (EWO) or Disability Liaison Officer that provides an assessment of  compassionate circumstances, or a letter from an independent external counsellor or appropriate professional able to verify the student’s situation.  The length of any extension granted will take into account the period and severity of any incapacity or impact  on the student.  Extensions of more than 10 days will not be granted except in exceptional circumstances.

    Late submission
    Marks will be deducted when assignments for which no extension has been granted are handed in late.

    All assignments, including those handed in late, will be assessed on their merits.  In the case of late assignments where no  extension has been granted, 5 percentage points of the total marks possible per day will be deducted.  If an assignment that is 2  days late is awarded 65% on its merits, the mark will then be reduced by 10% (5% per day for 2 days) to 55%.  If that same  assignment is 4 days late, the mark will be reduced by 20% (5% per day for 4 days) to 45%, and so on.

    The School of Public Health reserves the right to refuse to accept an assignment that is more than 7 days late.

    Assignments submitted after the due date may not be graded in time to be returned on the listed return dates.

    Students submitting examinable written work who request (and receive) an extension that takes them beyond the examination  period are advised that there is no guarantee that their grades will be processed in time to meet usual University deadlines.

    If a student is dissatisfied with an assessment grade they should follow the Student Grievance Resolution Process  <>.  Students who are not satisfied with a particular assessment result should raise their concerns with Course Co-ordinator(s) in the first instance.  This must be done within 10 business days of the  date of notification of the result.  Resubmission of any assignment is subject to the agreement of the Course Co-ordinator(s) and  will only be permitted for the most compelling of reasons.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    GS8 (Coursework Grade Scheme)
    Grade Description
    CN Continuing
    FNS Fail No Submission
    NFE No Formal Examination
    F Fail
    NGP Non Graded Pass
    P Pass
    C Credit
    D Distinction
    HD High Distinction
    RP Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.