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Global leaders in health education

  • No. 1 in Australia

    The University is ranked first in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020.

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  • Top ranked in rehabiliation

    The University is ranked fourth in the world for sport, physical therapy and rehabilitation in the QS Subject Rankings 2020.

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Overview

Provide life-changing support. The Master of Rehabilitation Counselling prepares you for professional practice as a rehabilitation counsellor. Offered both on campus and by distance/online, you will learn how to assist people with disabilities or disadvantage to achieve maximum participation in employment and community life through assessment, counselling, service provision and support.

During this two-year degree, you will be taught by leading academics as you learn how to provide specialist counselling, rehabilitation, and case management services to people who have experienced injury, disability or social disadvantage. You will have the opportunity to advance your knowledge in specialist areas of mental health, alcohol and drug misuse, developmental disability, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), public offenders, or other interest areas as approved by the course director.

As part of your studies, you will also complete a number of clinical and professional fieldwork opportunities across both the public and private sectors which will enable you to practically apply your knowledge and gain firsthand experience. As a graduate entry program, this course is designed to accommodate all suitably qualified candidates regardless of their previous discipline. However, a formal background in psychology, rehabilitation, or related subjects is desirable.

The Master of Rehabilitation Counselling course an accredited program. As a qualified rehabilitation counsellor, you will have the opportunity to assist diverse clientele across a range of settings including business and industry, tertiary health, social service, advocacy, and private practice.

Why study with us?

  • You'll gain real-world, hands-on training through clinical placements within our extensive network of clinical partners.
  • You'll learn from highly respected practitioners, clinicians and researchers.
  • With a multidisciplinary focus, we prepare graduates with generalist and specialist healthcare knowledge and skills.
  • Our research ranks "well above world class" (Excellence in Research for Australia level 5).
  • We offer a range of leadership and student support programs to give you the best possible opportunity for success.
  • We have world-class facilities, with purpose-built laboratories and on-site health clinics. 
  • In 2021, we will move to the purpose-built Health Precinct at Camperdown campus, which will for the first time bring multiple health disciplines together in a facility that translates research into education and clinical services.

How will you learn?

The course is offered on campus and by distance/ online. 

Who should study this course?

Health and non-health graduates who are looking to gain the skills required for professional practice as a rehabilitation counsellor.

Learn more about studying health sciences at Sydney. 

Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) are available for this course for eligible domestic students. This means that your course fees are subsidised by the Australian Government and you pay a student contribution amount (SCA). CSP places are limited in number and are allocated based on academic merit.

Subject areas

There are no specialisations for this course.

Shared pool

Entry, fees, funding & how to apply

Depends on your qualification, citizenship status
The details on this page based on your selections are a guide only, and are subject to change.

Your admission criteria

English language proficiency

Find out if you need to prove English language proficiency (depends on your country of origin and educational background).

For academic requirements check the ‘Admission requirements’ section on this page.

Your fee

How to apply

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Application dates

Applications open - 1 July of the preceding year

Applications close - 31 January of the commencing year

Offers released: Offers are made throughout the year based on academic merit and subject to availability in the program

We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Separate scholarship deadlines apply - check the scholarships website for details.

If you would like to be considered for a Commonwealth Supported Place, please submit your application for this course by 30 November 2019

Starting date

Semester 1 (March)

You can apply online via the application portal. When you are ready to apply, select the ‘Apply’ button on this course page. Visit the How to apply page for other important information. 

Application dates 

Applications open - 15 March of the preceding year

Applications close - 31 January of the commencing year

Offers released: Offers are made throughout the year based on academic merit and subject to availability in the program

We strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible to allow time for visa and travel arrangements. Separate scholarship deadlines may apply - check the scholarships website for details.

Starting date

Semester 1 (March)

What you'll study

You will follow a prescribed course of study with a total 96 credit points, including fourteen core units (84cp) and two elective units (12cp).

Sample study plan:

Year

Sem

 

 

Year 1

S1

Rehabilitation Counselling I

Rehabilitation Resource Management

Assessment, Evaluation & Planning

Applied Vocational Rehabilitation

S2

Rehabilitation Counselling II

BioPsychoSocial Aspects of Disability

Disability Management

Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation

Year 2

S1

Disability, Public Policy and Change

Professional Practice 1

Disability Research and Evidence in Practice

Elective

S2

Inclusive Community Development

Professional Practice 2

Elective

Rehabilitation Counselling Capstone

 

For more information on the course structure and content, view the Health Sciences Handbook.

Units of study

Work component

Mandatory work component = 400 hours.

This translates to 40 hours per week.

This mandatory work component must be completed as part of the award requirements for the course.

Admission criteria

To be eligible to apply you will need to fulfill the following criteria:

  • A bachelor’s degree, master's or research degree from an Australian institution or equivalent.
  • A minimum GPA of 4.5 out of 7.0 which is an approximate Weighted Average Mark (WAM) of 60 percent.

(This does not guarantee an offer of a place as places are limited and offers are made based on academic merit)

Admission process

For more information on the graduate entry masters admission process for domestic and international applicants, read this document.

Inherent Requirements

Inherent requirements are the essential tasks and activities necessary to be able to achieve the core learning outcomes of a course. They are specific to a particular course or discipline. To assist students to make informed choices about their study, we have identified and set out the inherent requirements for this course.

The academic criteria that are displayed are applicable to currently available courses only, and are updated annually in October and may be changed without notice. The Handbooks Online and the University of Sydney Calendar are the official legal source of information relating to study at the University of Sydney, and you are referred to those documents.

Professional accreditation

The Master of Rehabilitation Counselling and the Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation Counselling are accredited by the Rehabilitation Counselling Association of Australasia. (RCAA)

Following course completion, graduates are eligible to apply for membership of RCAA.

RCAA is a member of Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA). RCAA members are recognised by the Heads of Workers' Compensation Authority (HWCA); Australian state-based Workers' Compensation Authorities, the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) in New Zealand; and provision of services under Life Insurance, Comcare and Compulsory Third Party Insurance (CTP) schemes.

More information can be obtained from the Rehabilitation Counselling Association of Australasia.

Future study options

Eligible graduates may consider an additional three years of study with us as a research candidate for the higher research degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The PhD is designed to provide you with the opportunity to undertake in-depth study in a specialised area under the supervision of an academic staff member with expertise in your field of research. The award of a higher research degree in the health sciences will enhance your profile as a genuine researcher and expert in your chosen field, afford opportunities as a published researcher, and may lead to an academic appointment, or to a research appointment with a government or industrial research and development organisation.

Career pathways

Graduates attain professional status as a rehabilitation counsellor and are qualified to provide specialist counselling, rehabilitation, and case management services to people who have experienced injury, disability or social disadvantage.

Rehabilitation counsellors work:

  • in government/public
  • in community or private rehabilitation settings
  • as industry, vocational/social trainers 
  • as counsellors in drug and alcohol, psychiatric and correctional settings
  • as human resource managers 
  • as private rehabilitation consultants 
Samridhi on field trip in Nepal

Samridhi on a field trip in Nepal

Graduate profiles

Samridhi Rana Thapa

Disability Inclusion Advisor, International Committee of the Red Cross

"I'm currently based in Nepal and work for people with all types of disability (not just physical) and other vulnerable populations to promote their inclusion, through identification of support services, capacity building activities, proposal development, establishing partners and collaborators and creating evidence to enable formulation of stronger legislation and policies, among others." Read more.

Career timeline

  • 2009-13    Physiotherapist, Health at Home, Kathmandu and Norvic International Hospital, Kathmandu
  • 2014-15    Master of Rehabilitation Counselling, the University of Sydney. 
  • 2016-17    Health & Rehab Advisor, Bihani Social Venture
  • 2017-18    Senior Program Officer - Community Based Rehabilitation, Karuna Foundation Nepal, Nepal
  • 2018-20    Disability & Ageing Inclusion Specialist, Bihani Social Venture
  • 2020         Disability Inclusion Advisor, International Committee of the Red Cross

 

Louise Bilbato

Louise Bilato

Managing Director, IMconcepts, Injury Management Practice

“I have always seen the field of Rehabilitation Counselling as the most well rounded, and grounded, of the Allied Health disciplines. It encompassed elements of positive psychology and biopsychosocial models well before these terms became ‘on trend’ and having a combined focus on vocation, ability, mental health, community engagement and case management skills development blends most effectively with holistic health and well-being management."     

Career timeline:

  • 1987 Bachelor of arts (Honours)
  • 1999 Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation Counselling
  • 2005 Master in Rehabilitation Counselling
  • 2008 Co-developed Abilita return to work index
  • 2017 Managing Director of Injury Management Practice

Start your journey at the University of Sydney

Domestic students

International students

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.