COUN5171 Ethical Decision Making

Graduate Diploma Level Unit

Duration: One Trimester

Level: 500 (1st year)

Credit Points: 8 (out of a total 96)

Prerequisites: COUN5131 and COUN5141

Mode(s) of Delivery: On-campus and Blended

Core/Elective: Core

Unit Description

This unit develops students’ awareness and understanding of ethical dilemmas and ethical violations. Students are introduced to the importance of self-reflexivity when working with the ethical principles of practice and research. The ethical and legal obligations in ethical decision making and social justice practices are addressed for all stakeholders in a situation. Students learn to work within Codes of Ethics, Codes of Conduct and relevant professional and legal requirements and apply ethical sensitivity when working with individuals, couples, families, groups and members of minority population groups. There is a focus on understanding the ethical implications and requirements when working with family violence, self-harm and harm to others, and the need to conduct timely and sensitive risk assessments.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the unit students will be able to:

a) Review, interpret, integrate, synthesise and apply an advanced theoretical knowledge of a range of ethical principles of practice and research.

b) Critically analyse, evaluate and apply information to ethical decision making and social justice practices.

c) Competently apply and transmit advanced knowledge to effectively demonstrate sophisticated levels of self-reflexivity foundational to the development of ethical sensitivity.

d) Demonstrate an advanced capacity to critically analyse, synthesise and communicate ideas at an advanced academic level, using contemporary communication approaches.

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 12 hours per week.


The required text book for this unit  can be found by viewing the Discipline of Counselling textbook list by selecting the course and trimester at the following link:

Academic Misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. This includes plagiarism of any nature. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what constitutes plagiarism in order to ensure that you do not engage in it. Please refer to the Academic Misconduct Policy for full details.


Unit information may be subject to change prior to the teaching trimester commencing.  Once term has commenced please review the Unit Outline in your class space to ensure your trimester study plan is correct.