Counselling Major - Bachelor of Health Science

If you become a counsellor you help people deal with their feelings, better understand themselves, make decisions and create change in their lives. The Counselling major prepares you to work with a diverse client base as a counsellor.

You become familiar with the history and theory of counselling, and the relational counselling model. AUT's counselling degree includes 200 hours of counselling practice, bicultural learning, marae visits and knowledge of Te Tiriti o Waitangi issues. This degree is suitable for mature students and those with appropriate life experience.

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

New Zealand Association of Counsellors website


This is part of the Bachelor of Health Science.

Start date: 2018

Start date: 2019

Year 1

Semester 1 papers

You develop an in-depth understanding of general healthcare, learning alongside other health science students.

Semester 2 papers

Year 2

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

Plus one optional paper

Year 3

Plus three optional papers

Workplace experience

As part of this major you complete a minimum of 200 hours of counselling practice and 10 hours of external supervision. There will be an additional cost for the external supervision, which is required by the New Zealand Association of Counsellors.

Te ara hauora Māori health papers

There’s a growing need for health professionals to work with Māori. That’s why you can include Māori health papers as part of your study and develop the skills to work more effectively with Māori, an essential skill in the diverse health sector in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Through these papers you gain access to Māori networks and become comfortable working with whānau and Māori communities. We encourage all students to include at least one Māori health paper. You don’t need to know te reo to enrol in the Māori health papers.

  • Community counselling agencies
  • Counsellors in schools
  • Mental health providers
  • Māori health providers
  • Pacific health providers
  • Refugee and migrant services
Key features
  • The only undergraduate counselling degree by a New Zealand university
  • Workplace experience: Includes 200 hours of counselling practice and 10 hours of external supervision
  • Prepares you for application as a provisional member of the New Zealand Association of Counsellors
  • Offered at the South Campus
  • Part-time study options available
See yourself as
  • Interested in the counselling and mental health sector
  • A good listener
  • Self-aware
  • Having relevant life experience

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