EDF5532 - Ethics for counsellors - 2017

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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




Dr Zoe Morris (Semester 1)

Dr Madeleine Valibhoy (Semester 2)

Associate Professor Nicky Jacobs (Term 2, Term 4)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Flexible)
  • Second semester 2017 (Flexible)

Hong Kong



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 and compendium (4000 words, 50%)

Research and ethical application (4000 words, 50%)

Workload requirements

Flexible mode offers a stand-alone online offering that allows students to learn and engage in content and assessment in a supported way. It also provides a face-to-face component over the semester to engage students with the online learning content, which students can attend if they are able and interested.

Minimum total expected workload equals 288 hours per semester comprising:

  1. Contact hours for on-campus* flexible students:
    • 36 contact hours of face-to-face and/or online activities
  2. Contact hours for off-campus* flexible students:
    • 36 contact hours of online activities
  3. Requirements for offshore Kaplan-based students:
    • one intensive block (usually from Thursday to Sunday)
    • at least 14 hours of online study per term
  4. Additional requirements (all students):
    • independent study to make up the minimum required hours per semester

    *This refers to the student's course enrolment mode.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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