PROFCOUN 706 : Cultural Issues in Counselling

Education and Social Work

2023 Semester One (1233) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A critical examination of cultural dimensions present in counselling activities.

Course Overview

Major themes in the course will include:

A. Contextual perspectives, such as: social, historical and political contexts, implications of the Treaty of Waitangi for counselling practice, identity development and social change.

B. Counsellors: their personal and professional identities and the influence of counsellor identities on counselling relationships; differences in counsellor/client cultural backgrounds, world views and values; appropriate skills development; examination of notions such as ‘assessment’, ‘empowerment’, and other concepts; validating culturally preferred practices; working with colleagues and within institutions; examining institutional practices.

C. Clients and their issues, such as: specific topics and client cultures relevant to the needs of counsellors in their counselling practices.

Course Requirements

Restriction: EDPROFST 748

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Counselling

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Identify the cultural influences that have contributed to the development of their own personal identities and world views, and analyse the implications for their work as practitioners. (Capability 2.2, 4.2, 5.1 and 6.2)
  2. Discuss the implications of the Treaty of Waitangi and the structural relationships of cultural groups within society in Aotearoa/New Zealand for counselling practitioners. (Capability 1.1, 2.3, 4.2 and 6.1)
  3. Demonstrate critical awareness of the broad cultural issues relevant to counselling theory and practice in Aotearoa/ New Zealand. (Capability 1.2, 2.1, 3.1 and 5.3)
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of cultural identities and the interaction of various cultural influences in the lives of individuals and their relationships. (Capability 1.2, 2.1, 4.2, 5.3 and 6.2)
  5. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for effective counselling practice with culturally diverse clients. (Capability 1.2, 2.2, 4.1, 5.1 and 6.1)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignment 1: Autobiographical Essay 50% Individual Coursework
Assignment 2: Analysis of Cultural Topic in counselling 50% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Assignment 1: Autobiographical Essay
Assignment 2: Analysis of Cultural Topic in counselling

To pass this course you need to submit all assessments and achieve at least 50% for the course overall’ to the satisfaction of the examiner.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect to commit 27 hours to direct contact via on-campus lectures/workshops/tutorials.

You can also reasonably expect to commit approximately 100-120 hours to independent learning. This may include reading (and more reading), note-taking, face-to-face and/or online discussion, writing, engaging in collaborative group work, problem solving, undertaking practical tasks, reflecting on learning, accessing learning and study resources, and assignment preparation and completion.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience & Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled lectures to complete components of the course.

Lectures will be made available as supplementary material, but should not be considered the primary delivery mode. 

The course will not include live online events.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

The Autobiographical assignment has been positioned as the first assignment, aligning with the focus of the course section and student feedback.
Further understanding on counselling, counselling membership, and Te Tiriti o Waitangi –The Treaty of Waitangi– will be provided.
Expertise on working with Māori and Pasifika cultures will continue to be integrated into the course.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.