Master of Counselling


The Master of Counselling is the only postgraduate counselling degree in Te Waipounamu, the South Island. This master's is designed to give students the opportunity to extend their theoretical grounding and professional skills to work as counsellors in a variety of settings. Students are trained to identify systematic, effective ways to help clients find simple, acceptable solutions to their current concerns and problems.

The MCouns consists of 240 points of study, taken as a combination of practical and theory courses.

Entry requirements

Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from a New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent.

If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard. You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Qualification specific requirements

Entry to the Counselling programme is limited – applications close 1 October.

Candidates wishing to enrol in the MCouns must have qualified for one of the following:

  • a degree in New Zealand with either acquired experience in counselling, teaching, nursing, social work or an equivalent profession, or been deemed suitable for training as a counsellor, or
  • been admitted ad eundem statum to enrol for the Master of Counselling, or
  • been approved as a candidate by the Dean of Education.

Selection will be based on academic attainment and other criteria, which will include an interview for admission to the professional counselling practice course (COUN675 Professional Counselling Practice I). The relevance and standard of previous studies and any subsequent professional work experience are the main criteria of approval. Students will normally be expected to have at least a B average in their 300-level courses. Students must also be vetted by police.

To apply, students should will need to complete an application form – see the 'How to Apply' section below to download the required application forms or visit the College of Education, Health and Human Development website for more information.

For full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Counselling or use the admission requirements checker

Qualification structure and duration

The MCouns consists of two parts: Part I includes five compulsory courses, one optional course and one research course and Part II a practical course and a research course.

The minimum period of enrolment for a full-time candidate is two consecutive years; the maximum period is four years. The minimum period of enrolment for a part-time candidate is four consecutive years; the maximum period is six years.

Students can begin their studies in February or July. 

Subjects and courses

For the up-to-date schedule of courses, visit our University Regulations website.

How to apply

A special application is required. See the Counselling application process for details of entry requirements, application forms and start dates.

Find out how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, entry into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline. 

Useful resources:

More information

For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Counselling.

For study planning help contact the School of Health Sciences:

School of Health Sciences
College of Education, Health and Human Development
University of Canterbury
Waimairi Building, Level 2
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 343 7737
Email educationadvice@canterbury.ac.nz