Course Outline

COU750 Ethics and Reflective Practice

Course Coordinator:Trudi Flynn ( School:School of Law and Society

2024Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course aims to sensitise you to a wide range of ethical and legal issues in the practice of counselling and psychotherapy and to provide you with resources upon which you can rely to help you deal responsibly with these crucial issues. You will learn about culturally relevant ethical decision making and understand the historical and philosophical underpinnings of current ethical standards. Professional Codes of Ethics will be analysed; practical and concrete examples will be examined and you will reflect on your values and beliefs which may impact on your ethical decision-making process. The reflective practice stream of the course aims to increase your awareness of the value of critical reflection in counselling practice; and how this process may be used by counsellors as a tool for personal and professional growth.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus workshop - 3 hours 3hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

Professional Codes of Ethics; Ethical decision-making models

Applied ethical decision making; Introduction to reflective practice

Ethical considerations: The person and the professional;

Stress, burn-out and self-care in counselling

Informed Consent and Confidentiality;

Reflective practice: benefits and barriers;

Ethical practice in a multicultural society; Cultural values and assumptions in multicultural counselling;

Reflexivity in reflective practice;

Ethics of online counselling; Counselling in the community;

Boundaries and Multiple Relationships;

Structured models of reflective practice I;

Structured models of reflective practice II;

Arts-based reflective practice;

Ethical and legal issues in Couples and Family Therapy work;

Reflective practice: Family of Origin work I and II

Ethics of supervision; Reflective Journal Overview

Positive Ethics; Self as Ethical Practitioner

What level is this course?

700 Level (Specialised)

Demonstrating a specialised body of knowledge and set of skills for professional practice or further learning. Advanced application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Analyse critically and reflect on the complex theories, principles and practices of ethics in relation to counselling practice. Knowledgeable
2 Critically analyse counselling case scenarios and apply sound ethical decision making to those cases and articulate and defend your ethical decision. Knowledgeable
3 Understand and discuss ethical dilemmas that may arise in counselling and synthesise appropriate responses for diverse contexts and multicultural cases. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
4 Identify personal values and beliefs and biases that may have an impact on your ethical decision in counselling practice. Ethical
5 Evidenced understanding of reflective practice as it pertains to counselling; Creative and critical thinker
6 Analyse outcomes from reflective practice and deduce implications for practice based on personal learning, and develop an intended course of action; Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
7 Demonstrate a developing scholarly capacity in written submissions, incorporating clarity of written expression, integration of academic literature, and adherence to APA style. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Enrolled in Program AR708


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

In Week 4, students will be invited to complete a formative four item short answer quiz, that will inquire into content covered within the first four weeks of the course. Informal formative feedback will also be offered in relation to activities completed within workshops during this period.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Quiz/zes Individual 20%
60 Minutes
Week 4 Online Test (Quiz)
All 2 Case Study Individual 40%
2000 Words
Week 9 Online Submission
All 3 Report Individual 40%
2500 Words
Week 13 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Ethics and Reflective Practice Quiz
You will demonstrate knowledge of key concepts of ethical and reflective practice as taught to Week 4.
Product: Quiz/zes
An online short answer test that examines ethics and reflective practice knowledge explored during the first five weeks of the course.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Accuracy in understanding the concepts of counselling ethics and reflective practice as explored in the first four weeks of the course.
1 5
All - Assessment Task 2:Case Studies
Critically analyse two case scenarios and apply sound ethical decision making to those cases and articulate and defend your ethical decision.
Product: Case Study
Two case scenarios will be posted on Canvas. You are to analyse each case and discuss the ethical dilemma posed and then use your Ethic Decision Making Model to argue how you will approach the case. Literature relevant to your decisions must be cited.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Understanding of the ethical principles involved.
1 2
Knowledge and application of the ethical decision making process.
1 2 3 4
Understanding of the (broader) implications of the decisions made
1 2 3
Identification of the potential influence of related personal values and beliefs.
Integration of appropriate literature related to your argument.
Clarity of logic and argument, accurate use of APA7 referencing and formatting style.
All - Assessment Task 3:Reflective Practice Report
To develop understanding and capacity in relation to professional reflective practice.
Product: Report
Throughout the course of the semester, you will be invited to engage in a series of reflective practice activities. The Task 3 assignment consists of a reflective report that will draw from your experiences to consider the value of reflective practice for counsellors. The report will incorporate: an introduction to professional reflective practice, reflections on three reflective journal exercises completed during the course, and a discussion section describing i) what was learnt via the reflective process, ii) perceived value of the process, iii) implications for future practice, and iv) a comment on the utility of reflective practice in counselling. The approximate word limit for the assignment is around 2500 words.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Evidenced understanding of reflective practice as it pertains to counselling.
Demonstrated capacity to effectively utilise reflective practice models.
5 6
Demonstrated ability to productively reflect on emergent outcomes, and to deduce implications for practice based on personal learning;
5 6
Demonstrated ability to identify and describe an intended course of action, which is aligned with insights emerging from the reflective exercises;
5 6
Evidenced capacity to reflect on the relative personal utility of different reflective approaches;
Clarity of logic and expression; Accurate use of APA7 referencing and formatting style.

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Gerald Corey,Marianne Schneider Corey,Cindy Corey 2019 Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions 10 Cengage Learning

Specific requirements


How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

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General Enquiries

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