Career Guidance (QDC) MA | 2017/2018
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Career Guidance (QCG) MA 2018/19 entry

Course code:

HLST022

Study options:

1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2018

 

Fees:

MA - £11,846 | PgDip - £7,897

Find out more

Faculty:

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For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:


+44 (0) 24 7765 2152


Overview

Help and guide others who may be less sure of themselves get on track, with a postgraduate course in Career Guidance at Coventry University.

Career guidance remains at the heart of UK governments’ policies regarding education, employment and training, more important than ever in our rapidly-changing economy and labour market.

Underpinned by an ethos promoting ethical and client-centred professional practice, this course aims to equip you with relevant and high quality career guidance practitioner skills, such as interviewing and developing career learning programmes, as well as designing and using labour market information to provide effective insight and advice.

Fully accredited by the Career Development Institute (CDI), on successful completion you will additionally be awarded the Qualification in Career Guidance (QCG), still recognised as the sector standard, which will allow you to work in a variety of career guidance provider contexts and 100% of our graduates are within work or continuing their studies within six months (DHLE 2014/15).

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

Employability

Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Student experience

All the support you need, in a top student city

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:

Career Development Institute (CDI)

The course is accredited by the Career Development Institute (CDI), the single UK-wide professional body for everyone working in the fields of career education; career information, advice and guidance; career coaching, career consultancy and career management.

It is directly underpinned by the National Occupational Standards for Career Guidance at level 7 and successful completion of the PgDip enables you to join the UK Register of Career Development Professionals, demonstrating that you are professionally qualified.

What our students say...

This course enabled me to go on and pursue my aspiration of becoming a careers advisor, teaching me how to interview clients and present group sessions to groups of clients. In addition, this course taught me 'labour market intelligence' which is an important aspect in career guidance work and is something that I will continue to develop throughout my career. I had a wonderful lecturer and tutor and am very thankful for this course, which has helped me land my dream job.

Zohaib Ahmed, MA Career Guidance, graduated 2016, now Careers Advisor at Cambridge Regional College

Course information

Working in public, private, voluntary and community settings, career guidance practitioners assist a range of adults and young people to make decisions about their education, training, future jobs and careers.

The theory and practice of career guidance in a contemporary context is central to our curriculum: its purpose, aims, benefits to society and people, and its varied delivery methods. We will consider the importance of equality, diversity and social justice to the delivery of career guidance, using case studies drawn from a wide variety of organisational contexts to reflect ‘real life’ challenges. For example, the challenges faced by university careers services in developing employability provision, which relies heavily on input from industry amid a rapidly changing external environment.

You’ll gain insights into and training in a variety of interview models, covering the specialist skills and techniques needed for working with clients, including networking, group work, presentation theories and techniques. We will help you learn to evaluate career-related and labour market information, such as producing actual employer and job studies that can be used as ‘live’ products.

Modules

Overview

Our two placement modules will introduce you to a professional and academic network of guidance providers and practitioners, which feeds directly into course design and delivery. We also host the CDI’s annual student conference.

Working effectively as a career advisor requires a number of core interpersonal and professional skills: high level listening, excellent communication, good relationship building, flexibility, adaptability, patience and a genuine interest in people and human behaviour. You’ll have the opportunity to develop these skills and more by taking a placement. We aim for placements to be within students’ locality but additional travel costs may apply. Previously students have undertaken their placements in a diverse range of organisations, including schools, colleges, HEIs and adult guidance settings, as well as community organisations that offer career and employment coaching.

If you choose to pursue the Master’s qualification, you will be required to undertake a supervised research project, on which you will write a dissertation. Past students have covered a range of topics, such as the impact of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) on working with disadvantaged young people; and the effectiveness of career learning programmes in schools.

Modules

  • Semester 1

    • Contemporary Contexts for Career Guidance: Considers professional practice through moral discourse, philosophy and the ethical basis and application of professional codes of practice. You will look at anti-discriminatory practice and equal opportunities legislation, and their significance for professional practice.
    • Theories of Career Choice and Development: Explores the psychological and sociological basis of the theories related to career choice, learning and development, change management and motivation. You will examine the ways in which career patterns develop in contemporary political, economic, social and technological contexts; and the relevance of change management and motivation theories to career choice and development.
    • Models of Career Guidance Interventions: How to plan, conduct and evaluate guidance interventions, developing your ability to conduct effective client interviews, to refer clients, advocate on their behalf and broker arrangements where needed.
    • Professional Practice 1
  • Semester 2

    • Effective Use of Career related and Labour Market Intelligence: How to research, design and use labour market information with clients to support career choice. You should learn to identify and research the main sources of LMI, critically evaluate their usefulness for clients and design information resources to support guidance interventions. 
    • Contemporary Policies and Professional Practice: A look at the development of careers education and guidance provision in the UK, and the ways in which contemporary agendas in education, training and employment are reshaping both the structure and operation of guidance provision. You will examine the causes and nature of social exclusion and how it impacts on social policy and the ways in which services manage and monitor their performance against targets set by governmental and related agencies.  
    • Professional Practice 2 
  • Semester 3

    Required for the MA

    • Research Methods
    • Dissertation

In more detail...

  • Exceptional levels of student satisfaction – 100% overall in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2016.
  • Outstanding track record in graduate employability with 100% of graduates in work or further study after six months (DLHE 2014/15).
  • Access to our well-resourced online learning environment, which has been praised by students, external examiners and the professional body.
  • Fully accredited by the Career Development Institute (CDI), you will additionally be awarded the Qualification in Career Guidance (QCG), providing eligibility to join the professional practitioners’ register.
  • Insight into current practice, including developments in employment, education and training gained from our extensive contacts with employers, placement providers and the team’s involvement with the professional body.

Placement opportunities within a school, college, further education or higher education institute or adult guidance agency. 

This course can be studied full-time over one year or part-time over two years, starting in September. Full-time students are taught two days per week (usually Mondays and Tuesdays).

Part-time students follow a comprehensive programme of learning online, including recorded lecturers; extensive topic guides; digitised guided reading; and Saturday Schools (six in Year One, four in Year Two).

All students complete a minimum of 35 days’ placement, although those who are working in a career guidance role or related can use this as the basis of their placements. We aim for placements to be within students’ locality but additional travel costs may apply. All students are supported by flexible tutorials by e-mail, phone, Skype or face-to-face.

Ensuring the programme incorporates up-to-date developments and the latest challenges facing both guidance providers and service users, we regularly invite expert guest speakers. Past students have heard from researchers who have discussed the use of narrative techniques in interviews, as well as speakers from the professional body. We also conduct field trips to a number of guidance providers, including the University of Birmingham.

Where possible, coursework uses applied tasks that mimic skills needed in jobs, to help ensure you are attractive to future employers, such as producing information and labour market products.

Teaching methods include: lectures; seminars; group discussions; interview practice; group work simulations; and problem-based learning, especially when linking theory to practice.

The learning outcomes of modules, assignments and projects will be clearly stated. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve these learning outcomes and your final feedback will refer to each outcome, as well as providing an overall percentage grade.

A range of assessments include: reflection exercise to gauge the impact of beliefs and values on practice; reports to discuss the impact of policies, such as equality and diversity, on practice; essays where students reflect on their practice, and the links between theory and practice; placement portfolios; interview and group work assessments; and the production of career-related and labour market information research and products

MA students will be required to produce a research proposal and then a dissertation.  

An estimated percentage breakdown of your final grade assessment is as follows: 

  • Formal examinations: 25% 
  • Coursework, tests, essays: 45% 
  • Practical or project work: 20% 
  • Group work 5% 
  • Presentations and posters 5%

On the successful completion of 180 level Masters credits, awards may be made with a ‘Distinction’ or ‘Merit’, based on the achievement of an average mark of at least 70% or 60% respectively. Students may be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) if they achieve 120 credits and a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) if they achieve 60 credits. Students may only progress to the final stage of Masters programmes after meeting the requirements for award of a Postgraduate Diploma.

25% assessed by formal exams

On successful completion, you should be able to: 

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: the theories that may account for career choice and development; models of career guidance interventions, such as interview models, career learning approaches and the research, design and use of labour market information; the political, social, economic and technological contexts that shape and inform career guidance provision, including relevant policies and legislation; and relevant codes of ethical practice that inform and underpin career guidance practice. 
  • Critically evaluate the links between career guidance theories and models and professional practice. 
  • Critically explore the ways in career guidance providers respond to relevant policies, legislation and other stakeholder influences. 
  • Critically review current sources labour market information and their implications for career guidance provision. 
  • Conduct career guidance interviews based on a comprehensive understanding of relevant interview models. 
  • Plan, design and deliver career learning programmes and sessions, also based on an in-depth insight into relevant theories of learning and models of delivery. 
  • Use labour market effectively with clients in ways that reflect detailed knowledge of and critical insights into the complex variety of information sources. 
  • Operate effectively in a range of complex organisational contexts.

Full-time students have 10 hours of lecture and seminar time per week, plus two days’ placement per week, which starts in late October.

Part-time time students are expected to spend at least six hours per week on the distance/blended programme of learning plus one day per week on placement activities.  They will need to attend six Saturday Schools in Year One, and four in Year Two. These last from 10am to 4pm.


All students will be expected to undertake further self-directed study of around 20 hours each week for full-time students and 10 hours for part-time student to explore the wide range of resources and reading that we recommend.

Our course content offers international perspectives, not least when examining the applicability of career guidance models to international settings, such as in emerging markets for career guidance like China.

We are also developing exciting opportunities for online collaboration with overseas institutions, mainly through the virtual classroom, where students link up with others in partner universities in Europe, particularly Holland to jointly work on problem-based learning assignments. 

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2014/15, we were able to provide a total of 2,264 student experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 73% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 27% from postgraduate travel. Plus, we've been able to help more than 5,000 students spend time in other countries, from America to China, India and beyond.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA)


2,264

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2014/15



12,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far

21

global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses


What our students say...

This course enabled me to go on and pursue my aspiration of becoming a careers advisor, teaching me how to interview clients and present group sessions to groups of clients. In addition, this course taught me 'labour market intelligence' which is an important aspect in career guidance work and is something that I will continue to develop throughout my career. I had a wonderful lecturer and tutor and am very thankful for this course, which has helped me land my dream job.

Zohaib Ahmed, MA Career Guidance, graduated 2016, now Careers Advisor at Cambridge Regional College

Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in any subject.

Applicants must show a strong interest in career guidance and be motivated to pursue a career in it. We welcome applications from individuals who have good interpersonal and communication skills, able to engage in continuous professional development and have experience of informing, advising or guiding people more generally e.g. through voluntary work.

All offers are subject to satisfactory disclosure and barring service/criminal conviction check.

Please note: students must also meet the placement requirements, normally assessed by an interview during the first term of the course.

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in any subject.

Applicants must show a strong interest in career guidance and be motivated to pursue a career in it. We welcome applications from individuals who have good interpersonal and communication skills, able to engage in continuous professional development and have experience of informing, advising or guiding people more generally e.g. through voluntary work.

All offers are subject to satisfactory disclosure and barring service/criminal conviction check.

Please note: students must also meet the placement requirements, normally assessed by an interview during the first term of the course.

English as a Foreign Language An IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in any subject.

Applicants must show a strong interest in career guidance and be motivated to pursue a career in it. We welcome applications from individuals who have good interpersonal and communication skills, able to engage in continuous professional development and have experience of informing, advising or guiding people more generally e.g. through voluntary work.

All offers are subject to satisfactory disclosure and barring service/criminal conviction check.

Please note: students must also meet the placement requirements, normally assessed by an interview during the first term of the course.

English as a Foreign Language An IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

What our students say...

This course enabled me to go on and pursue my aspiration of becoming a careers advisor, teaching me how to interview clients and present group sessions to groups of clients. In addition, this course taught me 'labour market intelligence' which is an important aspect in career guidance work and is something that I will continue to develop throughout my career. I had a wonderful lecturer and tutor and am very thankful for this course, which has helped me land my dream job.

Zohaib Ahmed, MA Career Guidance, graduated 2016, now Careers Advisor at Cambridge Regional College

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

MA - £6,212 | PgDip - £4,142 (per year)


Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship. Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

MA - £6,212 | PgDip - £4,142 (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Starts

Fee


September 2018

MA - £11,846 | PgDip - £7,897 (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

What our students say...

This course enabled me to go on and pursue my aspiration of becoming a careers advisor, teaching me how to interview clients and present group sessions to groups of clients. In addition, this course taught me 'labour market intelligence' which is an important aspect in career guidance work and is something that I will continue to develop throughout my career. I had a wonderful lecturer and tutor and am very thankful for this course, which has helped me land my dream job.

Zohaib Ahmed, MA Career Guidance, graduated 2016, now Careers Advisor at Cambridge Regional College

Career prospects

Career development professionals provide activities and services which assist individuals or organisations seeking support to affect a wide range of career transitions.

These may be associated with life and career stages, including the development of the career ideas of young people. Contexts include educational choices, work experience and internships, labour market entry, skills and vocational training, job search, sector/management level change, promotion or transfer, redundancy, entrepreneurial business development, working identity change, disability and stress related career development issues, adjustments to life-work balance, returners to the labour market, portfolio working and pre-retirement choices.

Successful completion of the course should provide you with skills to find employment as a guidance practitioner in the statutory services, careers guidance within further education and higher education institutions, adult guidance partnerships, charitable organisations, community-based agencies and the various opportunities becoming more available in the voluntary and private sector.

The types of jobs cover all of the career guidance settings, but our graduates have an excellent track record of securing employment in universities, either in career guidance roles, or employment and employability skills development; 100% of graduates in work or further study after six months (DLHE 2014/15).

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University’s Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

Where our graduates work

Recent graduates have gone on to work for universities in the region, such as Coventry, Warwick, and Birmingham, as well as FE colleges and schools in the Midlands.


What our students say...

Completing professional placements as part of the course provided me with the opportunity to apply my learning in real careers settings and gave me the work experience which led to getting my first job in employability before I finished the course. The knowledge and skills I have developed through studying topics such as career theory, values and ethics, labour market information and the impact of policy on careers provision have all been very useful to me. There is a definite match between what I learned on the course and what I have needed in my current role.

Ruth Barnfield, PgDip Career Guidance, graduated 2012, now Employability and Placement Advisor at Coventry University
Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place with us, a Student Contract (“the Contract”) will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail all of your rights and also the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will also contain all of the obligations that the University owes to you.  We would encourage you to read the Student Contract before you accept any offer of a place at the University. A copy of the Contract can be found here.