Counselling major: Bachelor of Health Science

Counselling professionals in New Zealand support a diverse range of clients. AUT's counselling major will prepare you to work with such a variety by teaching the critical skills of listening, understanding and supporting that are the foundation of counselling, as well as the theoretical underpinning of the relational counselling approach. There are no other universities in New Zealand that offer an undergraduate degree in counselling.
With 200 hours of counselling practice, at least 20 hours of external supervision*, bicultural learning, marae experience and knowledge of Te Tiriti o Waitangi issues, you will be prepared for employment.

AUT counselling graduates are eligible to apply for provisional membership of New Zealand Association of Counsellors (NZAC) to begin practising as a counsellor.

This degree is suitable for mature students and those with appropriate life experience.

*NZAC requires 20 hours of external supervision while on placement, this will be an additional cost to the student.

Bachelor of Health Science: degree outline

Contact Us

Course enrolment and general enquiries
AUT Student Hub
Free Phone: 0800 AUT UNI or 0800 288 864

Undergraduate programme information
Debra Spinetto
Phone: +64 9 921 9735

Want to enrol in a programme: Apply online


Below is a summary only. For a comprehensive overview of this qualification, please refer to the Academic Calendar

Year 1

In your first semester, you will study core or compulsory papers from across the health science degrees. In Semester 2 you begin the specific Counselling major papers. 

Core papers
HEAL504 Lifespan Development and Communication
HEAL505 Human Anatomy and Physiology I
HEAL506 Knowledge, Enquiry and Communication
HEAL507 Health and Environment OR MAOH501 Māori Health, Development and Environment
HEAL610 Methods of Research and Enquiry

Counselling papers

COUN501 Group Theory and Practice I
COUN502 Relational Counselling: History and Theories 
COUN503 Counselling Knowledge and Skills I

Year 2

You take papers from your major area(s) of study and begin your first counselling placement.

COUN603 Counselling Practicum I  (full-year paper)
COUN607 Counselling Knowledge, Skills and Issues (full-year paper)
COUN606 Group Theory and Practice II
MENH602 Mental Health and Psychopathology
PSYT702 Social and Cultural Analysis
Plus one optional paper

Year 3

COUN704 Counselling Practicum II (full-year paper)
COUN705  Counselling Skills and Knowledge III (full-year paper)
HLAW701 Health Law and Policy
Plus three optional papers  

Te Ara Hauora Māori papers 

Students who wish to seek careers with a Māori development perspective should select the following four papers as electives or as an alternative course study.

MAOH501 Māori Health, Development and Environment (instead of HEAL507 Health and Environment)
MAOH701 Māori Health Promotion
MAOH702 Applied Primary Māori Mental Health
HEAL710 Utilising Supervision in Practice 

We will support Te Ara Hauora Māori students to form a relationship with Māori health providers, industry stakeholders and communities, and AUT Māori staff and students.

Career opportunities

  • Counselling agencies in the community
  • Māori health providers
  • Mental health providers
  • Pasifika health providers
  • Refugee and migrant services
  • Schools

BHSc in Counselling: Programme Leader

Brian Rodgers
Phone: +64 9 921 9999 Ext: 7012

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Last updated: 22-Jan-2018 1.31pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.