Career Development and Management MA/PGDip

Study level: Postgraduate
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Career guidance remains at the heart of UK government policies regarding education, employment and training, which are more important than ever in our rapidly-changing economy and labour market.

Year of entry



Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode



1 year full-time
2 years part-time

Course code


Start date

September 2023

The information on this page is for 2022-23 entry and should be used as guidance for 2023-24 entry. Please keep checking back on this course page to see our latest updates.

Course overview

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

The aim of the MA/PGDip in Career Development Management is for you to develop the practical skills, theoretical knowledge and professional values that would allow you to meet the needs of clients in a wide range of work settings.

  • Aims to equip you with relevant, high quality career guidance practitioner skills such as interviewing and developing career learning programmes
  • Aims to provide you with the skills to design and use labour market information to provide effective insight and advice.
  • Gain an understanding of how to deliver careers support to diverse individuals and groups and manage career development activities, as well as how to manage your own career development.
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Joint Top Modern University for Career Prospects

Guardian University Guide 2021 and 2022

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5 QS Stars for Teaching and Facilities

QS Stars University Ratings

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Top 5 UK Student City (Coventry)

QS Best Student Cities Index 2023

Why you should study this course

  • The course teaching team includes professionally qualified, experienced practitioners, who are academically rooted and research-informed (staff may be subject to change).
  • Draws on UK and international perspectives alongside offering placement opportunities that are longer than the minimum stipulated by the CDI2.
  • Placements are offered in a variety of settings taking account of your individual needs and aspirations (any additional costs incurred in attending placements, such as travel costs, are the responsibility of the student2).
  • Alongside the CDI qualification, students completing the MA can achieve a Level 7 Chartered Management Institute (CMI) award. Please see the Accreditation and Professional Recognition section.
  • Fully accredited by the Career Development Institute (CDI) – upon successful completion you will additionally be awarded the Qualification in Career Development (QCD), providing eligibility to join the professional practitioners’ register (please see the Accreditation and Professional Recognition section).

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is accredited1 and recognised by the following bodies:

Career Development Institute (CDI)

Career Development Institute (CDI)

Successful completion of the PgD or MA course and successful completion of the CDI Professional Report will enable you to join the UK Register of Career Development Professionals. Joining the Register demonstrates you are a qualified Career Development professional. Additional costs to become a member of the CDI and join the register will apply.

This course is accredited by CDI for the 2022/23 intake.

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

The MA course currently includes the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) accredited module, Leading Strategic Change through Creativity and Innovation. Upon successful completion of the module, you will gain the CMI Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice at no additional cost. Further details can be found on the Professional Development module homepage.

Coventry University’s accreditation with CMI is currently ongoing for the relevant modules and is regularly reviewed and monitored by the CMI through their quality systems.

What you'll study

Study themes include:

  • Career Development theory and practice from a client, service, national and international perspective
  • Practitioner skills development
  • E-learning, social media and digital platforms for professional development and client-based practice
  • Ethics and diversity
  • Organisational development.

Working effectively as a career advisor requires a number of core interpersonal and professional skills: active listening and communication skills, building good working relationships, flexibility, adaptability and patience. 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.


    • The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge, professional skills and capabilities so that you can plan, conduct and evaluate guidance interventions that are based on a comprehensive and critical understanding of career choice theories. The module will seek to develop your ability to conduct effective client interviews using a variety of appropriate models; and to refer clients, advocate on their behalf and broker arrangements where needed. In addition, it will look to enable you to develop, deliver and evaluate career and employability learning programmes and sessions, including presentations, group work skills, and curriculum planning.


  • The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and critical understanding of the theories that seek to account for career choice, learning and development, as well as those relating to motivation. Social justice will run as a theme throughout the module. You will be encouraged to explore the psychological and sociological basis of the theories, and your links to models of career learning. In addition, the module will critically examine the ways in which career patterns develop in contemporary national and international contexts.


  • This module provides you with the opportunity to develop your practitioner skills in career guidance settings. It will seek to develop your’ insight into the ways in which career guidance providers organise and offer their services, and the roles that various team members play in supporting career choice. It will also provide you with the opportunity to practise career interviewing skills. You will also aim to develop the skills of critical self-reflection in order to appraise and improve your skills and knowledge.


  • The aim of this module is to develop and enhance your critical appreciation of the development of careers provision in the UK; to develop an understanding of the crucial role of leadership and management in enabling organisations to adapt to and meet the challenges posed by contemporary agendas in education, training and employment. The module will explore the ways in which a critical analysis of organisational and stakeholder theories can account for sectoral change.


  • This module aims to equip you with critical insights into research design and methodology aimed at enabling you to conduct a small scale systematic and focused investigation into a specific professional practice related problem/issue. As well as learning about a range of qualitative and quantitative approaches to research, you will seek to gain practical and theoretical insights into evaluating and appraising research studies. Further, the module will offer critical insights into the relationship between evidence and the development of practice interventions, methods and approaches. The role and use of research to promote the Career Development profession will be explored within the framework of ethically based research practice.


  • The aim of this module is to develop and enhance your critical appreciation of the development of careers education and guidance provision in the UK and globally. The ways in which contemporary agendas in education, training and employment are reshaping both the structure and operation of guidance provision will be explored, with particular reference to the increasing use of electronic media to shape and deliver career guidance and development interventions.


  • This module has been designed to enable you to research, design and use labour market information (LMI) with clients to support career choice, with a strong emphasis on digital sources of information, reflecting the increased use of e-resources to provide information and to support reflection and choice You will seek to identify and research the main sources of LMI; critically evaluate their usefulness for clients; and design information resources to support guidance interventions. To help clients to turn labour market information into labour market intelligence so that it can be used to help them to develop career plans and make well-informed realistic decisions. In addition, the module will critically explore the barriers that may deter clients from making effective use of LMI, and encourage you to formulate strategies that enable diverse groups of clients to make informed and effective decisions.


  • The aim of this module is to develop and enhance your core professional skills in practice settings. These will include: conducting client-centred group activities with a range of clients and others; identifying appropriate resources and information; developing the ability to enable clients to access and interpret career-related information. You will aim to develop your in-depth interviewing skills further with clients, using a variety of interview models as appropriate. You will also critically assess the role of significant others such as parents, carers, peers and wider community influences, in clients’ career decision-making. In addition you will seek to develop your own career planning by engaging with continuous professional development (CPD) activities.


  • You will undertake a 12,500-word research project on an issue of personal interest with the support of an allocated supervisor. 


  • This module aims to provide you with a framework of knowledge and understanding of how to effectively lead and develop people in a strategic and entrepreneurial way whatever the master’s degree of specialisation you elect to follow. You will explore for example, the influence and impact of leadership theories, culture, wellbeing, the principles of entrepreneurial practice and understand the different contexts in which entrepreneurship can flourish as well as the characteristics of entrepreneurial leadership within different types of organisational scenarios.

    Ultimately, you will be given the opportunity to develop strategic priorities for entrepreneurial leadership. 

    Finally, the module requires you to reflect critically on your personal learning and development needs and how you work with others, from an ethical and professional development.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

This course can be studied over one year full-time or over two years part time. Full-time students are normally taught through a mixture of weekday classes and Saturday schools; part-time students are normally taught via Saturday schools alone. All students follow a comprehensive blended learning programme including the following methods:

  • Recorded lectures
  • Extensive topic guides
  • Blogs
  • Digitised guided reading
  • Flexible tutorials via email, phone, Microsoft Teams, or face-to-face discussions
  • Minimum 30 days on professional placement (Placements may be subject to competitive application and may incur additional costs, such as travel.)
  • 5 days of Continuing Professional Development- CPD can include training events, career fairs, employer visits to career companies/providers, networking events and others2.

This course can be offered on a part-time basis. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Request further information about part-time study.

Teaching contact hours

Full-time students should spend approximately 10 hours per week on the blended learning programme, plus two days’ placement per week usually starting in early November (10 days in semester 1 and 20 days in semester 2). There is access to tutors for 1:1 and group tutorial support.

Part-time students are expected to spend at least six hours per week on the blended learning programme, plus (at predetermined times) one day per week on placement activities. They will need to attend 8-10 Saturday Schools (normally 10am-4pm) at the university in year one and 4-5 in year two. MA students will need to attend an additional 5  Saturday Schools in year two. All Saturday Schools include workshops and group activities. In addition, there is access for 1:1 tutorial support.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2022/2023 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment methods include:

  • Individual written assignments
  • Vlogs
  • Group presentations

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

International experience opportunities

Students have, in the past, been able to attend the Asia-Pacific Careers Conference, had a placement organised in Australia and conducted field research in Vietnam as part of their dissertation studies2.

Please note that all international experience opportunities may be subject to additional costs, competitive application, availability and meeting applicable visa and travel requirements are therefore not guaranteed2.

Entry requirements

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

Applicants who have a PGDip in Careers Guidance or similar accredited by the Career Development Institute (CDI) or an equivalent body may enter the course with advanced standing and top up their qualification to an MA.

Applicants must show a strong interest in career guidance and be motivated to pursue a career in the field. Applicants who can demonstrate considerable experience at an appropriate professional level but who do not have the formal academic entry qualifications may also be admitted, subject to an application and assessment. Each application will be considered on its merits and the final decision will be made by the course director. For information regarding what might amount to ‘considerable experience at an appropriate professional level’, please contact the course director. 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 following enrolment.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

Applicants must show a strong interest in career guidance and be motivated to pursue a career in the field. Applicants who can demonstrate considerable experience at an appropriate professional level but who do not have the formal academic entry qualifications may also be admitted, subject to an application and assessment. Each application will be considered on its merits and the final decision will be made by the course director. For information regarding what might amount to ‘considerable experience at an appropriate professional level,’ please contact the course director. 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 following enrolment.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2023/24 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK £11,200 (MA) | £7,466 (PGDip) per year Request fee information
International £18,600 (MA) per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).
  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


This course uses a blend of online and on-campus learning. Based in the Coventry University main campus, this course is part of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences.

Careers and opportunities

On successful completion, you will 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
  • 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
  • Operate effectively in a range of complex organisational contexts.

Career development professionals provide activities and services which assist individuals or organisations seeking support to facilitate a wide range of career transitions. These may be associated with life and career stages, including the development of young people’s career ideas.

Successful completion of the course should provide you with skills to seek 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 opportunities in the voluntary and private sectors.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and aims to give 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 such as Coventry, Warwick, Bristol, Nottingham Trent, UCB and Birmingham; FE colleges, public and private schools in England; the Prison Service, NHS and Careers Wales. Others have moved in to self-employment as careers consultants and coaches.

How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the “University”) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University. 


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Due to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. The 2023/24 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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