Faculty of Education

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedClayton First semester 2015 (Evening)
Clayton First semester 2015 (Online)
Clayton Second semester 2015 (Evening)
Clayton Second semester 2015 (Online)
Hong Kong Term 2 2015 (Online)
Hong Kong Term 4 2015 (Online)
Singapore Term 4 2015 (Online)
Coordinator(s)Ms Zoe Morris (Clayton evening, online); Dr Nicky Jacobs (Hong Kong, online)


This unit develops advanced understanding of the ethical, legal and regulatory dimensions of professional counselling practice. Students examine the ethical foundations of the profession and gain an awareness of the critical issues and dilemmas faced by counsellors. Students learn how to resolve ethical dilemmas which are not addressed by professional codes of conduct. Themes addressed include implementing ethical principles and codes of practice; moral and legal responsibilities; personal, social and professional values; diversity, sensitive issues and practice; duty of care; confidentiality and privacy; referrals; dual relationships and managing boundaries; and professional relationships.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. understand and be prepared to adhere to the professional, ethical, social, legal and moral obligations of counsellors
  2. comprehend the ethical requirements of the societies and professional organisations in the locations in which they plan to practise
  3. explore the functions and processes of professional and legal bodies in dealing with ethical matters
  4. develop and demonstrate well informed decision-making processes regarding dilemmas arising in counselling
  5. determine professional competencies and limits of proficiency in a range of situations
  6. make appropriate referrals
  7. monitor and develop their own abilities and wellbeing as counsellors.


Essay on ethical issues (4000 words, 50%)
Research and ethical application (4000 words, 50%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 288 hours per semester comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • equivalent to 36 hours of engagement in online, face-to-face or blended platforms

(b.) Contact hours for off-campus students:

  • equivalent to 36 hours of engagement in online platforms

(c.) Contact hours for offshore students:

  • intensive teaching sessions requiring student engagement prior to, during and after sessions

(d.) Additional requirements (all students)

  • independent study to make up the minimum required hours per semester

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study