Higher Education

Recognised Counselling Programmes | Singapore Association for Counselling

Mental health and wellness has been coming in the spotlight fairly often ever since Singapore entered a circuit breaker in March 2020.

From people dealing with isolation as they’re stuck at home without the ability to socialize or meet family members in person, to workers dealing with Zoom fatigue and students being placed under increasing pressure to perform in a highly competitive environment.

If you’re looking to make a career switch to a fulfilling job helping people take care of their mental wellness, you might want to look at a career in counselling.

SAC Recognised Counselling Programmes

Here’s a list of programmes recognized by the Singapore Association for Counselling for registration as a counsellor in Singapore to get you started.

As you can see from this list, there are only 10 recognized programmes and they are all at the postgraduate level.

Course Provider Course Title
National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Singapore University of Social Sciences
James Cook University Singapore

Monash University through Kaplan Singapore

The Swinburne University of Technology through Executive Counselling and Training Academy Pte Ltd
TCA College
Singapore Bible College
College of Allied Educators Pte Ltd
Counselling and Care Centre

Interesting programme features

Autonomous universities

Only 2 autonomous universities are on the list.

NTU NIE offers the  Master of Arts (Counselling and Guidance) while the Singapore University of Social Sciences offers a Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Master in Counselling.

As for the other programmes, here are some interesting things to get your research started.

Nested suite

The Swinburne University of Technology’s Master of Counselling (Advanced) which is taught via the Executive Counselling and Training Academy has what it calls a nested suite. It breaks down the programme into 3 levels that take a total of 24months to complete. There’s a Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma stage which take 6 months each and is followed by the Masters stage which is 12 months.

Christians only

As for the Masters of Arts in Counselling at the Singapore Bible College, their entry requirements state that you’ll need to be a Christian for at least 2 years, have evidence of involvement in ministry and be endorsed by church leadership.

Advanced standing

The Master of Counselling by Monash University taught out of Kaplan Singapore is quite interesting in that if you have a related degree in say psychology and related work experience, you may be eligible for advanced standing allowing you to complete the programme in either 12 or 18 months instead of 24 months.

But before you think this is some mickey mouse university degree, Monash is in the Group of 8, which is a coalition of, you guessed it, 8 leading Australian universities.

Strict entry requirement

James Cook University Singapore’s programme is unique in that it has a longer duration at 28 months and they have tighter entry requirements. To gain entry into JCU Singapore’s Master of Guidance and Counselling programme, prospective students will need to have completed a cognate degree which they define as having significant emphasis on the development of people and interpersonal skills.


I’ve only mentioned the SAC recognized counselling programmes but as you do your research, you might come across another association called the Association of Psychotherapists and Counsellors Singapore, or APACS for short.

Check out my other article where I compare the two associations if you’re considering between SAC recognized programmes and APACS accredited programmes.

Disclaimer: I’m employed at the Singapore campus of James Cook University. Please only use this video as a starting point for your own research process, exercise critical thinking and make your own decisions on which programme you’d like to enroll into. Because in the end, if you’re not willing to put in the time to do the research and make the decision yourself, there’s probably a salesperson out there happy to make the decision for you.