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Career Development MA / PGCert

  • Level(s) of Study: Postgraduate taught / Professional
  • Start Date(s): September 2022 / September 2022/January 2023
  • Duration: 18 months / 6 months
  • Study Mode(s): Distance learning / Full-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

The MA / Postgraduate Certificate in Career Development course is designed to equip you with the skills, qualities and knowledge required of a professional practitioner working in the career development and employability sector, enabling you to meet the needs of clients in a variety of settings.

NTU has successfully been teaching career guidance courses since 1973, and has established a strong national reputation in this field. You’ll benefit from a broad spectrum of contemporary thinking and debate on careers education, information, advice, guidance and coaching, and you’ll develop the skills to make a positive impact on the sector and the profession.

The curriculum offers flexibility – you have the choice of studying a MA Career Development full-time or a Postgraduate Certificate by blended learning, and there are module options to help you develop specialisms. This course is ideal if you’re looking to find employment in the sector, or are already employed in a career development or related role and seek Continuing Professional Development opportunities (CPD).

Rather than commit to the full MA, you can choose to study a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) in Career Development. Those studying on the full-time MA will have the option of completing the Qualification in Career Development (QCD) award accredited by the Career Development Institute (CDI) professional body.

Duration

MA: 18 months full-time
PG Certificate: six months distance learning plus attendance at six workshop days on campus

Starting

MA: September 2022
PG Certificate: September 2022 and January 2023

What you’ll study

The course aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of careers education, information, advice, guidance and coaching. You’ll develop a critical awareness of current developments, debates and insights in the discipline. You’ll apply theory to practice in a range of professional contexts, and will learn about the theoretical perspectives and concepts relating to career development, occupational choice, career planning and transition, and their applications for practice.

Personalisation of learning is a significant element of the course, and you’ll have choice around the content area for your assessment tasks.

On completion, you should be able to reflect upon your practice and performance, and identify CPD and personal development needs – ensuring that you’re able to adapt and respond to the contextual needs of clients, employers and the sector.

As a student on the PG Cert, you’ll complete the two modules below to achieve 60 credits of the Masters. Masters students will also study these modules before continuing their studies to complete the full MA qualification.

Ethical Stances and Professional Practices

The aim of this module is to develop essential skills with students who are either currently in practice, or who would like to work with individuals in a one-to-one situation – such as in education, youth work, social care, and in health contexts where the focus is on enabling individuals’ development. You’ll appraise a range of national and international theoretical perspectives and approaches on contemporary guidance practice, and you’ll reflect upon ethical perspectives and principles.

By the end of this module, you’ll have developed the skills to plan, execute, critique and reflect upon one-to-one guidance interactions, based on an informed ethical stance and tailored to specific individual contexts. The knowledge, skills and approaches explored are also appropriate to coaching, mentoring, and advisory work.

Frameworks for Professional Practice

The focus of this module is on professional networks and collaborative working arrangements. You’ll develop the critical thinking and analytical skills needed to facilitate career-related group activities with clients across a range of settings. Contemporary career education, information, advice and guidance development (CEIAGD) policy and curriculum initiatives will be explored. You’ll evaluate their impact, as well as examining how organisations and individuals work in partnership in the context of CEIAGD.

On successful completion of both of these modules, you’ll have completed the Postgraduate Certificate. You can either graduate, or transfer onto the MA to complete the remaining 120 credits and be awarded a full Masters qualification.

In addition to the core modules above for the MA and PG Cert, Masters students will also complete the following modules:

Career Development Theory and Guidance Practice

This module aims to enable you to develop analytical and critical skills to assist you in becoming a reflective practitioner. Career development theories are explored from sociological and psychological perspectives, along with the implications for career guidance practice. You’ll gain an understanding of the outcomes to be achieved in a career guidance interview, and will have the opportunity to practice these outcomes. You’ll also gain experience of giving and receiving critical feedback.

Optional modules (select one of the following two)*:

Qualification in Career Development Professional Standards (QCD) - Career Development Institute (CDI) accredited

This module provides a framework to enable you to reflect on your learning and professional development, with relevance to the professional standards outlined by the Career Development Institute (CDI). You’ll produce a portfolio of evidence, in which you’ll demonstrate that you’ve met each of the learning outcomes required for the QCD professional award, and the stipulations set out by CDI with regard to assessment and work-based learning. This module will focus on the following CDI requirements.

  • Reflection on, and evaluation of, the practice of both yourself and others.
  • Evidence-informed practice.
  • Framework for evidencing the CDI learning outcomes.
  • A visit to a relevant organisation to gather labour market information (LMI).
  • Critiquing and presenting career-related information.

The CDI also stipulates that a minimum of twenty days of work-based learning must be completed in a structured, supervised environment employing fully qualified career development professionals, along with a further ten days in more flexible work-based learning situations such as career fairs, conferences or visits. Students opting for this module who are employed within the sector may choose to undertake work-based learning in their own place of work. Students not employed in the sector will need to secure an appropriate workplace setting, for which support will be provided by the University.

All students intending to study the QCD Professional Standards module, having completed 90 credits, must register with the CDI and become a Student Member upon enrolling for this module.

You can opt to become a Student Member of the CDI at the start of the course, whether you are studying the MA or PG Cert.. Please note that registration and student membership fees incur a separate cost and must be paid direct to the CDI. Further details can be found on the CDI website.

Successful completion of the QCD Professional Standards will result in students achieving the Qualification in Career Development awarded by the CDI.

Labour Market Information (LMI)

This module will enable you to identify, analyse and evaluate the key characteristics of contemporary labour markets at regional, national, international, and global levels. The structure of labour markets and key themes will be examined, including the labour market policies of successive UK governments and inequalities in labour markets. You’ll produce LMI on occupations, education and training that is valid, reliable, and relevant to the identified needs of clients. In doing so, you’ll have developed the skills needed to apply LMI in career development and employability settings – something that’s regarded as a core principle of professional practice in the career development environment.

The MA will culminate in a final core module:

Research Methods and Dissertation / Service Evaluation

This module places an emphasis on knowledge and skills for practitioner-based research, with a key feature being researcher reflexivity in relation to values and ethical issues. You’ll be able to choose to complete a dissertation, in which you’ll have the opportunity to make an original contribution to knowledge and understanding in career development professional practice; or a service evaluation, where you’ll reflect on real-world concerns of professional organisations.

* The number of places available on some optional modules may be limited. These will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Students who are unable to select their first choice will be offered an alternative from the remaining optional modules.

Further information on what you'll study

You can opt to become a Student Member of the CDI at the start of the course, whether you are studying the MA or PG Cert. Students who choose to complete the QCD Professional Standards module, having completed 90 credits, must register with the CDI and become a Student Member upon enrolling for this module.

Please note that registration and student membership fees incur a separate cost and must be paid direct to the CDI. Further details can be found on the CDI website.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Joanna Orgill

The practical work-based learning elements of the course were very appealing to me as it allowed me to build on theoretical perspectives gained in the classroom.

Stacey Mottershaw

Completing the PG Cert actually enabled me to go on and secure a new role, which is 100% relevant to the course content. My new role is as Teaching Fellow and involves lots of 1:1s, as well as curriculum design and assessment.

Kathryn Doerr

There aren’t many institutions that offer this course, and even fewer which take as flexible an approach. The course team really recognise the challenges of learning alongside other life commitments, and do what they can to help.

Joanne Workman

I liked the option at NTU as it included a professional qualification which incorporated a work placement. I thought that would be useful to help me gain some hands-on experience. The course was also really flexible, as it was offered as blended learning.

How you’re taught

Study and support

Our dedicated staff are professionally trained practitioners in the career guidance sector, and they provide a wealth of experience and support for our students. The team are actively engaged in research and other professional activities, including delivering papers at conferences and training events. Not only do they enrich the curriculum content with their findings, but they also feed directly in to our approaches to teaching and the assessment of skills development.

A blended learning approach is taken towards the delivery of both the PG Cert and the MA, comprising of online teaching and learning activities and face-to-face workshop days at the University. A key feature of the blended learning experience is that – although you’ll be at a distance from the University’s campus – you’re able to learn from each other, as well as from the tutors, in a supportive environment.

For the PG Cert, face-to-face input will take place at six compulsory workshop days, which  will be timetabled at appropriate stages of learning.

For the MA, the learning model differs from the PG Cert.

  • There is a greater proportion of face-to-face input supported by online teaching and learning activities for the first 90 credits of the course.
  • You’ll need to attend the University for one day a week, and commit a minimum of one more day per week to online or practice activities.
  • Face-to-face input will be one day a week for Terms One and Two, and there will also be a minimum of one more day per week input for online activities up until this point.
  • At the point of 90 credits being accumulated, the proportion of time allocated to online activities will increase while the number of taught input days will decrease. This occurs at the point where you have the choice to opt for one of two modules: Qualification in Career Development Professional Standards, or Labour Market Information. From here on, you’ll be engaging in more guided and independent study and work-based learning should you choose the QCD route.

A range of teaching and learning methods are used for both qualifications. These may include:

  • lectures
  • online activities
  • individual tutorials
  • case study investigations
  • simulation exercises or role plays – experiential learning related to specific aspects of career guidance practitioners’ work, practice and skills, enabling students to practice in a controlled environment
  • observations
  • interactive or group learning, for both face-to-face and online delivery
  • real-life practice and application of skills through University links and school partners, such as  one-to-one guidance interactions with school or university students, or delivering CV workshops.

You’ll need to be able to make audio recordings of your one-to-one guidance interactions. Most students use their phone for this, but if yours isn’t suitable, you’ll need to purchase a Dictaphone. More details will be provided at the course induction to ensure you get the right specification.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods are varied and accommodate a variety of learning styles and preferences. Written assignments may include case studies, enquiry-based reports, and a reflective journal, while skills-based assessments will include one-to-one guidance interactions and group work.

In-sessional English language support

In-sessional English language support classes are available to all international (non-EU) students studying on degree courses at NTU. There is no extra charge for these classes.

Staff Profiles

Jo McFadden

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Jo McFadden

Anne Owen

Principal Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Anne Owen

Angela Vesey

School Employability Manager

Employability

Angela Vesey

Careers and employability

The course will equip you with attributes that are highly sought after by employers in the careers and employability sector. As such, employability is a core theme throughout the course – not only will you have acquired the skills necessary for professional practice within the career development sector, but you’ll be able to apply these perspectives to yourself in order to assist you in managing your own employability.

Through our close links with the sector, you may have the opportunity to network with employers and practitioners at national career development events such as the CDI Student Conference and the National Career Guidance Show.

Upon graduating from the course, there are a range of jobs you can pursue in the career development and employability sector that align to the roles outlined in the CDI’s Career Professionals in the 21st Century – A Blueprint of Learning Outcomes for Professional Roles in the UK Career Development Sector. These include:

  • career information and assessment experts
  • career educators
  • career counsellors
  • programme and service managers
  • social systems intervenors and developers.

Students from our previous Career Guidance course have entered a range of roles in career guidance and employability, including:

  • Careers advisor
  • Secondary enrichment coordinator
  • Learning advisor
  • Career consultant
  • Student advisor
  • Progress coach
  • Learning technology consultant
  • Freelance career counsellor
  • Recruitment leader
  • Community mentor
  • European partnerships assistant

*Data extracted from the Nottingham Trent University Graduate Destinations Database 2009-10 to 2013-14.

Employability team

Our expert Employability team will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice. You can benefit from this service at any time during your studies, and for up to three years after completing your course. Find out more about the service.

Campus and facilities

NTU offers a wide range of learning resources and facilities to all students. As a Social Sciences student, you’ll also have easy access to the fantastic facilities in the Chaucer and Taylor buildings. These include:

  • Lecture theatres and teaching classrooms;
  • Open access PCs and secure wireless points;
  • Study areas and social spaces;
  • Chaucer café, serving drinks and light snacks;
  • Our School of Social Sciences reception, providing you with easy access to our helpful and friendly support staff;
  • The School’s media room, which provides opportunities for you to visually record your one-to-one guidance practice in order to aid your learning. Recording equipment is also available for group work practice and assessment undertaken at the University.

If you choose to study the Qualification in Career Development Professional Standards (QCD) as part of the MA, as a Student Member of the CDI you will also have access to CDI events, webinars, conferences and courses.

IT resources

Our IT resource rooms and PC clusters are distributed across our City Campus, with PCs providing access to Microsoft Office, email, web browsing, networked file storage and high-speed online printing services, with a free printing allowance for each student.

Resource rooms are available 24 hours a day.

Books and library resources

Our state-of-the-art Boots library will give you access to an extensive and diverse range of books and periodicals that focus on specialist areas within the built environment. The library's OneSearch system provides access to all our electronic resources, journals and books.

Within the library there is a liaison librarian who has specialist subject knowledge and can offer detailed help in finding and using print and electronic resources, and also with areas such as Harvard referencing and research skills.

Entry requirements

  • You will need an undergraduate degree equivalent to a UK undergraduate honours degree or other equivalent higher education qualification e.g. HND / DipHE.
  • Applicants without such qualifications will be considered but will be required to evidence relevant work experience in a related field, and demonstrate their motivation and ability to study at postgraduate level.

Other requirements

Interview

All suitable applicants will be interviewed as part of the admissions process – either face-to-face, or by phone or Skype for those applicants living overseas. The interview process will explore the applicant’s understanding and interest in the following areas:

  • career development and guidance, often evidenced by visiting a guidance provider or by relevant work experience
  • commitment to a “career in career”, evidenced as above
  • an insight into the demands of the sector for practitioners working in the profession
  • intellectual ability, and the ability to manage the demands of postgraduate study.

DBS checks

DBS checks are mandatory for this course. If a DBS check indicates that a student is unsuitable to work with young people or vulnerable adults, their case will be reported to the Dean of the School of Social Sciences and the student will be required to withdraw from the course.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here: Entry requirements by country

  • You will need an undergraduate degree equivalent to a UK undergraduate honours degree or other equivalent higher education qualification e.g. HND / DipHE.
  • Applicants without such qualifications will be considered but will be required to evidence relevant work experience in a related field, and demonstrate their motivation and ability to study at postgraduate level.

Please note: This Postgraduate Certificatein Career Development course does not meet the UK Visas and Immigration requirements for Student Route sponsorship and therefore we cannot progress applications from candidates who require a Student Route visa under the Points Based Immigration System. Applicants to this course must be eligible to work in the UK for the duration of the course.

Other requirements

Interview

All suitable applicants will be interviewed as part of the admissions process – either face-to-face, or by phone or Skype for those applicants living overseas. The interview process will explore the applicant’s understanding and interest in the following areas:

  • career development and guidance, often evidenced by visiting a guidance provider or by relevant work experience
  • commitment to a “career in career”, evidenced as above
  • an insight into the demands of the sector for practitioners working in the profession
  • intellectual ability, and the ability to manage the demands of postgraduate study.

DBS checks

DBS checks are mandatory for this course. If a DBS check indicates that a student is unsuitable to work with young people or vulnerable adults, their case will be reported to the Dean of the School of Social Sciences and the student will be required to withdraw from the course.

Postgraduate preparation courses (Pre-Masters)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Pre-Masters courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

Study route Home (UK/EU students)
MA Full-time £6,800 (excluding membership and registration for the QCD award)
PG Certificate Blended Learning (cost per year of study) £2,267 (for Year One*) (excluding membership and registration for the QCD award)

Fees are for 2022 entry.

* Please note that if you are considering a part-time route that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for Year One of study. The course fee for Year Two is subject to annual review.

Funding your studies

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

There are numerous sources of funding available for postgraduate students, both from external sources such as the Government and funding bodies, and from the University.

There are two main costs involved with postgraduate study: the cost of your tuition fees which is paid directly to the University, and living expenses such as accommodation, travel and food.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies, We award scholarships to those students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our postgraduate fees and funding page for information about sourcing grants, bursaries and scholarships, and much more.

Career Development Institute (CDI) fees

You can opt to become a Student Member of the CDI at the start of the course, whether you are studying the MA or PG Cert. Students who choose to complete the QCD Professional Standards module, having completed 90 credits, must register with the CDI and become a Student Member upon enrolling for this module.

Please note that registration and student membership fees incur a separate cost and must be paid direct to the CDI. Further details can be found on the CDI website.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Study routeInternational
MA Full-time £14,400 (excluding membership and registration for the QCD award)
PG Certificate Blended Learning (cost per year of study) £4,800 (for Year One*) (excluding membership and registration for the QCD award)

Fees are for 2022 entry.

* Please note that if you are considering a part-time route that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for Year One of study. The course fee for Year Two is subject to annual review.

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your postgraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Career Development Institute (CDI) fees

You can opt to become a Student Member of the CDI at the start of the course, whether you are studying the MA or PG Cert. Students who choose to complete the QCD Professional Standards module, having completed 90 credits, must register with the CDI and become a Student Member upon enrolling for this module.

Please note that registration and student membership fees incur a separate cost and must be paid direct to the CDI. Further details can be found on the CDI website.

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

How to apply

All applications to this course can be made through our NTU Applicant Portal.

You can apply for this course throughout the year. Most of our postgraduate courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates’ guide.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Open days

The School of Social Sciences holds open events throughout the year. Come along and learn more about our courses, speak to programme leaders and find out about studying with the School.

Getting in touch

For all course enquiries, please contact our Senior Lecturer, Dean Penford.

If you need more help or support, you can call our Admissions Team on +44 (0)115 848 4200, or contact us at Ask NTU.

Good luck with your application!

All applications to this course can be made through our NTU Applicant Portal.

You can apply for this course throughout the year. Most of our postgraduate courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

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Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.