Career Guidance (Postgraduate Diploma CG) / Qualification in Careers Guidance

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  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate taught
  • Location: City site
  • Starting: September 2016
  • Course duration: One year full-time

The Postgraduate Diploma in Career Guidance / Qualification in Career Guidance provides professional training and a qualification for work as a career guidance practitioner. The complete Diploma is accredited by and meets the learning outcomes laid down by the professional body, the Career Development Institute (CDI), who have also commended the Careers Guidance course for its professional links and excellent teaching team.

The course combines academic study with skill-based experience. You'll undertake work-based learning to help prepare and support you for practice. These practical learning opportunities, along with our strong links within the profession, contribute to our outstanding employment record in guidance and advice-related careers.

The Postgraduate Diploma Career Guidance / Qualification in Career Guidance is offered as a full-time (two days per week) and is dual-award course that provides professional training and a qualification for work as a career guidance practitioner.

What you'll study

The course has been designed to give you the opportunity to gain the skills and theoretical knowledge required of a guidance practitioner, including career guidance interviewing and group work skills.

The learning is underpinned by a comprehensive understanding of associated pedagogy of career learning and development theory and allied theoretical perspectives. You'll learn about policy, practice and theories underpinning career guidance, equality and diversity, curriculum design and career learning, partnership work including advocacy, labour market information and research-based practice.

The course combine academic study with skills-based work. Alongside the six modules taught at the University, the course incorporates eight to nine weeks of work related activities, which can include placements with an employer(s). These take place throughout the year in two and three-week blocks. A week constitutes the number of days attendance required at University and therefore you'll usually attend your placement for two days per week. Work-based learning can occur within:

  • Higher Education Careers and Employability Services
  • Further Education Institutions
  • Youth Support Services (Local Authorities)
  • Schools
  • Adult Services
  • Voluntary and community organisations.

On completion of the Diploma you will gain a qualification accredited by the Career Development Institute (CDI). The course is an approved centre accredited by the CDI to award the Qualification in Careers Guidance (QCG). Details of the registration and membership fees for the CDI are advertised on their website. Currently the registration and membership fee is £310 and £45 respectively. You will need to pay the CDI registration and membership fees following enrolment onto the full-time route. The membership fee for courses longer than 12 months in duration may need to be paid annually.

  • Course modules

    One-to-One Guidance Interactions and Allied Theoretical Concepts (Part One)

    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. Roles may be located in education, youth work, social care, and health contexts, where the focus is on enabling individuals’ development. In addition to the provision of guidance, the knowledge, skills and approaches explored in the learning are appropriate to coaching, mentoring, and advisory work. The module will provide the opportunity to critically appraise a range of national and international theoretical perspectives and approaches that underpin contemporary guidance practice and is designed to develop critical analytical and reflective skills. These skills will enable you to plan, execute and critique one-to-one guidance interactions, based on an informed ethical stance and tailored to specific individual contexts.

    Ethics, Values and Reflective Practice in a Guidance Context

    The aim of this module is to provide you with the opportunity to critically appraise and reflect upon the fundamental theoretical and ethical principles underpinning professional practice in a guidance context. The module aims to enable you to acquire comprehensive understanding and knowledge of theoretical concepts and develop analytical and critical skills to assist you in becoming a reflective guidance practitioner. You will also gain an understanding of the complex issues and implications for your own professional practice in relation to equality and diversity theory and legislation as these apply to yourself, clients and guidance providers.

    Labour Market Information

    The 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 will be examined via neoclassical economic and sociological theories. Key themes to be addressed are the ideological basis of the labour market policies of successive UK governments and the recurrent inequalities to be found in labour markets.

    The module will also enable you to develop LMI as follows (please note that the term ‘LMI’ denotes information on occupations, education, and training):

    • Analyse and identify the LMI needs of clients. In so doing, you will develop the requisite consultancy skills for collaborative needs analysis.
    • Undertake labour market research via the formulation of research questions that provide a focus for the analysis of secondary data (both quantitative and qualitative data).
    • Use the results of your secondary data analysis to produce LMI that is valid, reliable, and relevant to the identified needs of clients.

    In fulfilling the above, the module will enable you to apply LMI in careers education, information, advice, guidance, and development (CEIAGD) settings. Please note that the promotion of LMI literacy* 3 amongst clients is regarded as a core principle of professional practice in CEIAGD settings – this principle underpins the curriculum, teaching, and assessment of this module.

    * The term ‘LMI Literacy’ denotes the ability of individuals to access and evaluate LMI that is relevant to their ongoing career development.

    One-to-one Career Guidance Interactions and Allied Theoretical Concepts (Part Two)

    The aim of this module is to develop critical, analytical and reflective skills that will enable you to plan, execute and critique one-to-one career guidance interactions, based on an informed ethical stance. The module will provide you with the opportunity to critically appraise a range of national and international theoretical perspectives and approaches that underpin and inform our understandings of both career and of contemporary career guidance practice. You will develop the knowledge and skills to evaluate the implications of applying different approaches in practice to take account of individuals’ contexts.


    Working in Partnership and Evidence Based Practice

    The aims of this module are twofold. Firstly, the module provides a framework to enable you to reflect on your learning and professional development within the course as a whole. This is facilitated via the portfolio which will enable you to demonstrate that you have met each of the learning outcomes required for the Qualification in Careers Guidance (QCG) professional award. Portfolio building will be supported principally by personal tutorials. Secondly, the module will critically examine how organisations and individuals work in partnership in the context of careers education, information, advice, guidance and development (CEIAGD). The focus here is on professional networks and collaborative working arrangements. You will be asked to investigate how a particular organisation works in partnership to achieve its CEIAGD objectives. This, in turn, will provide you with an opportunity to initiate your own CEIAGD networks as part of your on-going professional development.

    Career Related Learning

    This module is designed to develop your critical thinking and analytical skills to enable you to facilitate career-related group activities with clients across a range of guidance settings. You will learn to plan, design and deliver learning appropriate to small and large group settings, as well as broader curriculum design. You will develop a critical understanding of contemporary CEIAGD policy and curriculum initiatives, and evaluate their impact upon service delivery and peoples’ career enactment.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

Alongside the six modules taught at the University, the course incorporates work-based learning via work-related activities and / or placements undertaken with employers and within the University.

A variety of assessment methods are used including the skills-based assessments of interviewing and group work, investigative reports and case studies, and a professional discussion that evidences learning achieved during the PG Dip CG / QCG.

Careers and employability

This professional course has a strong national reputation and an outstanding record of employment in advice and guidance-related areas.

The job titles below give an indication of the careers our recent Career Guidance graduates are following:

  • Guidance Counsellor and Teacher
  • International Liaison Officer
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Freelance Career Counsellor
  • College Careers Coordinator
  • Learning Support Worker
  • Targeted Support Worker -Transition
  • IAG Employment Officers in the Probation Service
  • Candidate Manager
  • Careers and Employability Advisor in Colleges
  • YMCA Family Advisor
  • Careers and Higher Education Advisor.

Data extracted from the Nottingham Trent University Graduate Destinations Database 2007 - 2013/14

On completion of the Diploma you will gain a qualification accredited by the Career Development Institute (CDI).

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.
  • Interviews form part of the selection process.
  • All applicants will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check (formerly known as Criminal Records Bureau disclosure).
  • 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.
  • Interviews form part of the selection process.
  • All applicants will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check (formerly known as Criminal Records Bureau disclosure).

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Pre-masters and foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation or pre-masters course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation and pre-masters courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.

If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our international team for advice.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page to complete your application. 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.

Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. 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.

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. You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates’ guide. Here you’ll find advice about how to write a good personal statement and much more.

Good luck with your application!

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. To find out more about these events visit the School of Social Sciences website.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Apply directly to the University online using the NTU online application portal.

Apply for your course as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

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.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important so we hope that our fees and funding page will answer your questions.

On completion of the Diploma you will gain a qualification accredited by the Career Development Institute (CDI). The course is an approved centre accredited by the CDI to award the Qualification in Careers Guidance (QCG). Details of the registration and membership fees for the CDI are advertised on their website. Currently the registration and membership fee is £310 and £45 respectively. You will need to pay the CDI registration and membership fees following enrolment on to the full-time route. The membership fee for courses longer than 12 months in duration may need to be paid annually.

Getting in touch

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

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Please visit our postgraduate fees page for further information on course fees.

On completion of the Diploma you will gain a qualification accredited by the Career Development Institute (CDI). The course is an approved centre accredited by the CDI to award the Qualification in Careers Guidance (QCG). Details of the registration and membership fees for the CDI are advertised on their website. Currently the registration and membership fee is £310 and £45 respectively. You will need to pay the CDI registration and membership fees following enrolment on to the full-time route.  The membership fee for courses longer than 12 months in duration may need to be paid annually.

For information on how to pay your fees to the University please visit our international fee payment page.

Still need help?

School of Social Sciences Enquiries
+44 (0)115 848 4460