PgDip Career Guidance and Development

Postgraduate, Full-Time

Put into practice the latest counselling techniques with work placement opportunities on this practical professionally accredited course with excellent employment rates.

  • Napier code:

    76703MD

  • Course type:

    Full-Time

  • Duration:

    1 year

  • Award:

    PgDip

  • Location:

    Sighthill campus

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Course introduction

As a careers guidance professional, you’ll be working with young people, adults, parents, teachers, employers and training providers.

This course equips you with the knowledge to successfully support clients on navigating the confusing maze of pathways in employment and education.

This one year full-time course is recognised by the profession throughout the UK and is accredited by the Career Development Institute.



Atrium at Sighthill campus

With an excellent employment rate for graduates, our postgraduate diploma combines academic study with practical professional training, including seven weeks of work placement. Teaching staff on the programme are qualified and experienced career advisers and bring additional specialist expertise to the course.

You’ll acquire effective interpersonal communication skills for one-to-one career guidance, working with groups and via online media. You’ll learn and put into practice the latest counselling techniques, while developing the necessary research and teamwork skills to carry you into your own successful career.

The skills taught are transferable to many other roles in employment, education and training. Former students have gone on to work in education-industry liaison, and projects promoting mentoring or equality and diversity.

Subjects include

  • Career counselling and coaching
  • Theories of career choice and development
  • Career and educational information
  • Labour market studies
  • Public policy and the professional context for practice
  • Equality, diversity and social inclusion

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

If not already employed in a career guidance related role before starting the course, most graduates find work as a career adviser or guidance practitioner.

Key employers include Skills Development Scotland, university careers services and community agencies promoting employability for disadvantaged groups.

Some students go on to work in the private sector or become self-employed.


The entry requirement for this course is a UK Honours degree at 2:2 or above. We look for applicants to have a background in any discipline in order to be eligible for the programme.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the industry.

All applicants are interviewed for this programme and all successful applicants must complete a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme or police check.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We are committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.


Tuition fees
Students from 2017/18 2018/19
Home/EU £3,400 £5,320
Overseas £11,358 tba

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

In addition to University fees there are two other mandatory charges for this programme.  Student membership and registration for the professional body qualification amounts to £365.00, which is payable to the Career Development Institute (CDI).  All applicants must undergo a criminal record check via the Disclosure Scotland ‘Protecting Vulnerable Groups’ (PVG):  The fee for this is £59.00 (reduced to £18.00 if you are already in the PVG scheme).  


Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Career Counselling and Coaching ( CRG11121 )

This module is intended to develop the skills, techniques and understanding necessary to deliver effective career guidance to individuals. You will be introduced to concepts from counselling and coaching psychology which underpin this module and their application in a career guidance context. The commonalities and differences between counselling and coaching will be explored. A key element is learning how to develop and sustain constructive working relationships with individual clients and becoming skilled at supporting clients to identify and address their career development needs. Your practical skills will be developed by background reading, observing experienced practitioners, using role-play, feedback on performance, discussion and reflecting on practice.

Further information

Career Development Theory ( CRG11106 )

This module will assume no prior knowledge of psychology or sociology. Career theories will be compared and contrasted. The relationship between theory and practice will be explored, while placing guidance in its political context. Every opportunity will be taken to relate the value of theory to the practical day to day work of professional careers advisers. Psychometric testing and other assessment practices will be explored in relation to their underpinning theory.

Further information

Career Learning ( CRG11122 )

This module is focused on designing and developing career-related learning experiences for pupils, students, and other service users. There are two main topics to the module. Firstly, there is a focus on the skills to design and deliver interactive group work. Secondly, a focus on learning programmes to deliver career education. For the first topic you will be supported to develop the skills to design, lead and facilitate an active, participative career-related learning experience for a group. You will also develop skills for learning in groups. You will build on this in the second topic by extending your learning beyond stand-alone events, and develop skills to design longer programmes of career learning. This will involve exploring the career education curriculum in educational institutions. This learning will be underpinned by analysing theories and concepts of career learning.

Further information

Contemporary Guidance Practice ( CRG11123 )

This module will examine contemporary approaches to career guidance practice and the influence of underpinning theoretical concepts. You will explore new approaches to delivery of services, including use of new counselling techniques, assessment tools and guidance delivered at a distance (including e-mail, social media, interactive web services and telephone). You will develop skills to begin to operate as an autonomous reflective practitioner, integrating information from diverse sources to refine your professional practice and incorporate the values and ethics of the profession into your work.

Further information

Education and Labour Markets ( CRG11126 )

The module will give you a broad understanding of structures in education and employment, as well as government training and schemes to combat unemployment. You will be supported to undertake field research experience on visits to opportunity providers, which will give specific examples to balance the overview provided by formal teaching input. This culminates in an industry specific project which integrates the collection of LMI, making sense of the information and then presenting knowledge in accessible ways. This provides a holistic and experiential view of labour markets as they relate to the work of career practitioners.

Further information

Policy and contexts for practice ( CRG11103 )

History, development, structure and function of career guidance services The relationship between policy and practice and social justice The impact of government policy, notably devolution, equality legislation and social inclusion Service level responses to equality of opportunity and social justice Partnership working and locating guidance providers within networks Key service functions including marketing, quality assurance, client management systems Screening and the identification of client needs

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.