Faculty of Education

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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





  • Second semester 2016 (Day)


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 always addressed by professional codes of conduct. Themes in this unit 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 professional societies and organisations in the locations in which they plan to practise
  3. explore the functions 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 and on actions in a range of situations.


Essay on ethical issues (2000 words, 50%)
Examination (2 hours, 2000 words, 50%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 144 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
  • Additional requirements (all students):
    • Independent study to make up the required minimum hours during the semester.

    See also Unit timetable information

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