Bachelor of Counselling | Australian Institute of Family Counselling

Bachelor of Counselling

Bachelor of Counselling


Together, aifc and Stirling Theological College have undertaken a review of the counselling industry and future needs and explored how we can best serve and prepare students vocationally for ministry and the workplace.

In response, Stirling Theological College is proud to be launching a new Bachelor of Counselling Course. This follows on in the pathway from aifc’s Diploma of Counselling and Stirling’s Advanced Diploma in Counselling.

The Bachelor of Counselling Course is expected to be delivered primarily as an online course, with the option for in-person seminar intensives for students who wish to attend them.

A new training pathway in Professional Counselling

The launch of a new Bachelor of Counselling and Advanced Diploma in Counselling program marks an exciting new training pathway in professional counselling in Australia.

The new counselling pathway program incorporates the Bachelor degree into a sequence of courses, offering students study options from Diploma through to Masters level:

  • Phase 1 (AQF level 5) CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling (aifc)
  • Phase 2 (AQF level 6) Advanced Diploma in Counselling (Stirling/UD)
  • Phase 3 (AQF level 7) Bachelor of Counselling (Stirling/UD)
  • Phase 4 (AQF level 8) 10134NAT Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Integrated Psychotherapy (Spiritual) (aifc)
  • Phase 5 (AQF level 9) Master of Counselling (Stirling/UD)

Read the official release to find out more about this exciting new pathways program.

Frequently Asked Questions:

I have completed a Diploma level course with aifc. Can I enrol into the Advanced Diploma in Counselling through Stirling/UD?

Yes, aifc students who have successfully completed a Diploma of Counselling with aifc will be able to enter the Advanced Diploma in Counselling with Stirling. Students will need to meet the recommendation to continue requirements.

I am currently enrolled in, or have completed 10487NAT Advanced Diploma of Counselling and Family Therapy (Christian) with aifc. What is the next step for me?

Students who are currently enrolled in or have successfully completed the 10487NAT Advanced Diploma of Counselling and Family Therapy (Christian) in 2019 or before can, upon recommendation, enter the 10134NAT Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Integrated Psychotherapy (Spiritual) with aifc in 2020 and then follow the pathway through to higher qualifications.

  • Master of Counselling (Stirling/UD)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Stirling/UD) – subject to meeting UD requirements for higher degrees by research)

2020 will be the last year to enrol into the current 10134NAT Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Integrated Psychotherapy (Spiritual).

Students who have completed aifc’s 10487NAT Advanced Diploma who wait until 2021, will not be able to enter into the 10134NAT course, but will be able to enter into the Stirling Bachelor of Counselling. The entry requirements for a new Graduate Diploma course are yet to be determined.


I have just started the CH51015 Diploma of Counselling in 2019, what could my study path look like?

Yes. From 2020 the new pathway will apply and students will be able to exit at the completion of the individual courses:

  • Year 1 (AQF level 5) CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling (aifc)
  • Year 2 (AQF level 6) Advanced Diploma in Counselling (Stirling/UD)
  • Year 3 (AQF level 7) Bachelor of Counselling (Stirling/UD)
  • Year 4 (AQF level 8) Graduate Diploma of Counselling and Integrated Psychotherapy (Spiritual) (aifc)
  • Year 5 (AQF level 9) Master of Counselling (Stirling/UD)
  • HDR (AQF level 10) Doctor of Philosophy (Stirling/UD)  – subject to meeting UD requirements for higher degrees by research)
How will the student experience differ between aifc’s CHC51015 Diploma of Counselling and the Stirling/UD Advanced Diploma of Counselling?

Subjects in the Advanced Diploma will reflect important elements of the aifc Christian ethos and content whilst introducing higher education standards.  The course is being designed so that the delivery reflects the aifc-Stirling partnership, including the sense of community amongst students across year and course levels. 

What is the difference between Vocational Education Training (VET) and Higher Education (HE)?

aifc is a VET provider, whereas Stirling is a Higher Education provider.  Both VET and HE providers offer qualifications that are nationally recognised. VET qualifications aim to provide a practical, work-oriented skills base, whereas HE has an emphasis on knowledge, theory, and the development of critical thinking skills. There are also differences in the grading and assessment process, with VET qualifications using competency-based assessment, and HE qualifications generally using a grading approach to assessment.

I’m not sure that I want to pursue all these courses. For now I am just enrolled in the Diploma course. Do I need to decide now?

Students can choose to enrol in just one course and no more, and don’t need to decide on completing the full pathway in sequence.

aifc is pioneering a program of personal and professional development courses to equip students, alumni and the broader Christian community (both nationally and abroad) with shorter, non-accredited course options and workshops that are relevant, tailored and responsive to immediate needs.  The aifc equip program will provide online and short form face to face courses for people wishing to keep adding to their portfolio of transformational knowledge and skills, but who don’t necessarily want to go down the higher education path or commit to a long duration course (or at least not yet!).  Watch this space for more.

Can I apply for FEE-HELP?

FEE-HELP is a loan scheme that assists eligible full fee paying students pay their tuition fees at university and other approved higher education providers. If you are an Australian citizen in a full fee paying course, you may be eligible to defer your tuition fees using FEE-HELP. You need to fully understand your obligations in the before applying for FEE-HELP. Click here for more information.

Express your interest in the Bachelor of Counselling

If you are interested in hearing more about the new pathway and the Bachelor of Counselling, please complete the form below and we will ensure that you are kept up-to-date with the latest information.

Contact aifc

Phone aifc 9am-5pm (AEST) Monday-Friday with the exception of public holidays. 

Phone: 1300 721 397


For any expressions of interest or questions about our new Bachelor of Counselling program, please fill out an enquiry form below. 

What should I look for when choosing a provider?

When choosing the Provider for your christian counselling education, it is important to ask yourself


Are the courses
Bible Based?

Ensure the course you enrol in is theologically sound. Our courses integrate Theology, Psychology and Spirituality. We train and equip Christian counsellors, rather than Christians who do counselling.


Are they taught
by professionals?

You want to make sure your teachers are well qualified. As a leading, accredited, national education provider we are committed to the highest level of professional excellence – demonstrated through the quality of our educators; and the process, delivery and outcomes of our courses.


Does it offer
flexible learning?

Flexible study options is important when choosing a course that's right for you. AIFC offers seminar online blended, and online supported modes of our course. You choose which delivery mode is best suited for your lifestyle and work commitments.

Is the study

Finding a course that fits your budget is important. With funding options and Austudy & Abstudy available to eligible students, our courses continue to be affordable and within reach of those seeking to become a qualified counsellor.


Are the courses accredited?

When looking for a suitable course, accreditation is essential. All our courses are nationally recognised. In fact AIFC is the only Christian counselling vocational education institution to be accredited by ACA, PACFA and is a member of ACPET.


At aifc, our sole focus is to train and equip Christian Counsellors. More than just a counsellor, a Christian counsellor trusts in God and listens to His still small voice above all else.

It’s a big difference.

Nicholas Marks, CEO aifc

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