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EDSS609 Counselling for Career Development

Unit rationale, description and aim

At a time of rapid ongoing change as a result of globalisation, internationalisation and the continuing development of information communication technologies, the role of a career development practitioner is ever more important. Career development counsellors enable people across the lifespan to develop the skills they need to adapt to change, make career decisions and transitions, and prepare for their futures. In this unit, which lies within the Career Development specialisation, students will develop specialised knowledge and advanced understanding of the major theories of career development. Students will also develop familiarity with a range of career counselling techniques including micro skills to facilitate the career counselling process. Students will then have an opportunity to apply their developing knowledge, integrated understanding and expert skills by inviting an individual (child, adolescent or adult) to engage with them in developing a career plan.

The aim of this unit is to build the required knowledge, understanding and skills that students require to function as effective career development counsellors across a range of settings including schools, colleges of technical and further education, universities, corporations and government agencies and private practice.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Outline the place of various theories in career counselling practice (GA5; APST (HA) 1.2, 1.3, 1.6, 3.5, 3.6, 6.2, 6.4, 7.1, (LEAD) 1.5, 2.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.7, 4.1)

LO2 - Explain the relevance of selected assessment procedures used in career counselling (GA8; APST (HA) 1.2, 1.3, 1.6, 3.5, 3.6, 6.2, 6.4, 7.1, (LEAD) 1.5, 2.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.7, 4.1)

LO3 - Analyse information of a personal and professional nature in the formation of the counselling process (GA5; APST (HA) 1.2, 1.3, 1.6, 3.5, 3.6, 6.2, 6.4, 7.1, (LEAD) 1.5,

2.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.7, 4.1)

LO4 - Synthesise elements of the counselling process demonstrating reflective, creative and critical thinking (GA4, GA9; APST (HA) 1.2, 1.3, 1.6, 3.5, 3.6, 4.2, 6.2, 6.4, 7.1, (LEAD) 1.5, 2.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.7, 4.1)

LO5 - Evaluate the helping process and apply a variety of counselling skills, techniques and methods leading to recommendations to inform and improve practice (GA3, GA8; APST (HA) 1.2, 1.3, 1.6, 3.5, 3.6, 4.2, 6.2, 6.4, 7.1, (LEAD) 1.5, 2.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.7, 4.1)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - Apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - Demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


On successful completion of this unit, students should have gained evidence towards the following standards

1.2 Understand how students learn (Highly Accomplished)

1.3 Students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds (Highly Accomplished)

1.5 Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities (Lead)

1.6 Strategies to support full participation of students with disability (Highly Accomplished)

2.2 Content selection and organisation (Lead)

3.3 Use teaching strategies (Lead)

3.4 Select and use resources (Lead)

3.5 Use effective classroom communication (Highly Accomplished)

3.6 Evaluate and improve teaching programs (Highly Accomplished)

3.7 Engage parents/carers in the educative process (Lead)

4.1 Support student participation (Lead)

4.2 Manage classroom activities (Highly Accomplished)

6.2 Engage in professional learning and improve practice (Highly Accomplished)

6.4 Apply professional learning and improve student learning (Highly Accomplished)

7.1 Meet professional ethics and responsibilities (Highly Accomplished)


Topics addressed in this unit focused on career counselling include: 

  • Introduction to counselling micro-skills and opportunities to practise skills 
  • Individual and group counselling techniques 
  • Theories, explanatory models and ethical issues in relation to career counselling 
  • Design and evaluation of career development programs that attend to ethical and multicultural issues in the context of lifelong learning 
  • Commitment to ongoing professional development.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is offered in multi-mode and uses an active learning approach to support students in the exploration of essential knowledge and procedural knowledge associated with counselling for career development. Students also have the opportunity to attend synchronous online webinars to participate in the construction and synthesis of this knowledge. This approach allows flexibility for students who are largely engaged in full-time work. Where required by cohorts, part or all of the unit could be delivered face-to-face with students engaging in lectures and workshops as well as students accessing digital resources and activities available through the LEO site. 

This learning and teaching strategy will facilitate active participation in pedagogical approaches that demonstrate alignment of teaching, learning, and assessment. The strategy is responsive to the diverse contexts of individual students and cohorts. This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support your learning, such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video, workshops, assignments, etc.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to successfully complete this unit, postgraduate students need to complete and submit two graded assessment tasks. The assessment strategy used allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and skill related to counselling for career development. The first task (50%) requires students complete a micro skills counselling review. The second task (50%) is an extended writing task focusing on their personal theory of counselling.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1 

Micro Skills Counselling Review


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 2: 

Extended Written task 

Personal Reaction Paper:  

Students will write a personal reaction paper that describes their personal theory of counselling.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Geldard, D., Geldard, K., & Yin Foo, R. (2016). Basic personal counselling: A training manual for counsellors (8th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning. (Highly Recommended) 

Hill, C. (2014). Helping skills: Facilitating exploration, insight, and action (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. (Highly Recommended) 

Johnson, D., & Johnson, F. (2017). Joining together: Group theory and group skills (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. 

Nelson-Jones, R. (2014). Practical counselling and helping skills: Text and activities for the lifeskills counselling model (6th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage. 

Zunker, V. (2007). Career counselling: Applied concepts of life planning (6th ed.). Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.

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