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UWS Staff Helping Students Develop their Career | London Campus | University of the West of Scotland


Our MSc Career Guidance & Development is professionally recognised by the Career Development Institute (CDI) and qualifies you to work as a career guidance practitioner. You will develop the knowledge and practical skills through placement opportunities to become a career development practitioner.

The MSc will support you develop professional practice competence in working with individuals and groups, to undertake critical analysis of professional practice, while deepening your knowledge of the career development sector and developing your research skills. As a practitioner you will provide accurate and relevant advice on employment, education and training opportunities to an ever-widening client group.

The MSc is a vocational programme aimed at providing the knowledge, skills and attributes required for employment as a career guidance and development professional. The programme has been identified by the Scottish Government and the national skills body, Skills Development Scotland (SDS), as the 'core' qualification for career guidance and development professionals in Scotland. However, the MSc is recognised throughout the UK and is considered to be a 'flagship course' by the UK-wide professional body, the CDI. It is currently the largest programme of its kind in the UK.

Flexible Delivery

The course is available on either a full-time or fully online basis:

  • If you will be studying the course on a full-time basis, you will be provided with placement and practice opportunities to meet the requirements of the CDI for the QCD
  • If you currently work in guidance-related role, you may complete the course fully online (incorporating work-based learning). You must normally be employed for the duration of your studies in a guidance related role where they have access to clients and to a qualified professional willing to act as your workplace supervisor

Professional recognition

The Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) in Career Guidance & Development incorporates the Qualification in Career Development (QCD) accredited by the Career Development Institute (CDI).

Entry Requirements

What qualifications do you need?

We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Don’t worry if your qualifications are not listed here, we take a range of factors into account when assessing your application and are happy to consider other alternative combinations of qualifications and experience

If you are applying with an EU or non-EU qualification, please check our Postgraduate Entry Requirements page which gives more information about country-specific entry requirements.

Academic Requirements

You are normally expected to hold an undergraduate degree, or equivalent qualification, in any subject.

If you do not possess the qualifications above then you may still be considered. For example, you may have completed a workplace qualification such as an S/NVQ in Advice and Guidance. In all cases you should be able to demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skills, experience and maturity, and satisfy the University that you have the potential to reach the academic standards required of a course at postgraduate level by holding at least an HNC in Social Sciences, Career Guidance or an equivalent qualification.

The programme team is committed to improving diversity in the career development sector. We encourage applications regardless of age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, belief or race.

Applicants who wish to complete the course online must normally be employed for the duration of their programme in a guidance related role where they have access to clients and to a qualified professional willing to act as their workplace supervisor. Applicants who wish to complete the PgCert online must normally be employed in a guidance-related role.

Applicants will have to provide an appropriate reference confirming their suitability for work with individuals and groups in helping and teaching contexts.

If you are an overseas student then you must also meet UWS's English language requirements (see below).

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for most courses

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.

General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.0
  • no sub-test less than 5.5

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests
  • PTE Pearson Academic English: An overall score of 54 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5). An overall score 61 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.0)


IELTS Score Exceptions (DBA, Certificate of Higher Education, PhD, etc.)

For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0

For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • no sub-test less than 7.0

For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 5.0
  • no sub-test less than 4.5



TOEFL IBT*: 78; no sub-test less than:

  • Reading: 17;
  • Listening: 17;
  • Speaking: 17;
  • Writing: 17

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.


West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE)

West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE) including acceptance of WAEC Scratchcard*

  • C6 or above in English

*UWS will accept a WAEC scratchcard confirming that an applicant has achieved C6 or above as evidence of meeting English language requirement from Nigeria if the student graduated within the last 5 years. After 5 years applicants would be required to provide the WAEC Certificate.


Pre-sessional courses

Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:

  • 10 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.0 with no element below 4.5.
  • 5 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.5 with no element below 5.5.
  • English Language for University Study - entry criteria UKVI IELTS with score of 4.0 in all elements (10 month course), or 4.5 with no score below 4.0 (7 month course).

Course details

The Certificate consists of three modules and the Diploma six. The core module is Reflective Guidance Practice. Additional modules include:

The PgCert comprises the following core modules:

  • Ethical & Inclusive Practice (core, 20 credits)

To complete the PgCert, you will select a further two, 20 credit modules from the following options list:

  • Professional Practice (CGD) (optional, 20 credits)
  • Advanced Practice (CGD) (optional, 20 credits)
  • The Contemporary Labour Market (CGD) (optional, 20 credits)
  • Career Related Policy (optional, 20 credits)
  • Career Development Theory (optional, 20 credits)

Successful completion of the PgCert allows you to proceed to the PgDip, which consists of the undertaking all of the modules listed above (al of the above modules are core to the PgDip).

Successful completion of the PgDip allows you to proceed to the master's module:

  • Master's Dissertation (60 credits)

Postgraduate Diploma students learning on-campus undertake placements and practical experience, with opportunities to experience how career guidance practitioners operate in organisations and as training providers. If you are already working in the sector and studying online, then you will be undertaking work-based learning for the practice elements.

For both full-time and online students, you can take up to two years of further online study towards completing your master's dissertation.

Teaching and Assessment

Students undertake six core 20-credit modules to achieve the PgDip. All modules combine theory and practice and equip students to take the next step in their careers.

After completing the PgDip, you are encouraged to undertake the MSc component of the degree by completing a research dissertation.

The details below describe the PgDip (taught) module arrangements:


  • Scheduled learning: 15%
  • Independent study: 70%
  • Practice: 15%

Teaching and learning methods on our Career Guidance and Development course include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • One-to-one tutorials
  • Interview 
  • Group work practice
  • Work-based learning


  • Exam: 0%
  • Practical: 17%
  • Coursework: 83%

The combination of theory, policy and practice means that you are able to put learning into practice as you study and reflect this in each of the summative assessment in each of your modules.

Practice-based learning opportunities means our course has a professional focus and enables you to engage in real world inquiry which is again reflected in the summative assessment in each module. In fact, a recognised innovative feature of our course is the range of professionally-relevant assessment methods and partnership working with leading employers/organisations.

Course Structure

Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.

MSc Career Guidance & Development Course Structure

Tuition Fees

Class-based (Scottish campuses) 2019/20

Scottish & EU

£5,500 per year of study

English, Northern Irish & Welsh

£5,500 per year of study

Channel Islands & Isle of Man

£5,500 per year of study

International (Non-EU)

£12,600 per year of study

More on current & future tuition fees

Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) postgraduate tuition fee and living cost loans may be available for eligible (Scottish/EU) students. Check SAAS website for more information. Many of our students who apply for the online course secure funding support from their employers.

Additional Costs & Sources of Funding

The cost of attending university is an investment in your future career.

In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, some courses involve extra costs like study materials, field trips, equipment and uniforms.

Fortunately, there is a great deal of financial support available to help students meet the cost of their study. This ranges from:

  • statutory government loans to pay for tuition fees
  • scholarships for Scottish, EU and International (non-EU) students
  • bursaries to help towards living expenses

The sections below provide details of additional costs that your course may involve along with any financial support that may be available.

You can also find additional information in our Postgraduate Money, Fees & Funding section.

Additional Costs

Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.

For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.

Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.

Career Guidance & Development - Additional Costs

Professional Registration Fees

Students must pay a one-off fee to register for the professional qualification with the CDI (cost for 2018/19 is £365).

Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme

Successful applicants for the full-time course who gain a place on this course may need to register on the PVG Scheme, managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland. The fee for joining the scheme is £59.

Visit the MyGov website for more information

Tuition Fees & Living Cost Support

Tuition Fees & Additional Costs

Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.

Find out how much it will cost you to study at UWS as a postgraduate student.

Funding for Scottish Students

Scottish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for English, Welsh & Norther Irish Students

English, Welsh and Northern Irish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for EU Students

EU students studying at postgraduate level of UWS may be eligible for SAAS funding, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find our more.

Funding for International Students

There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at postgraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find out more.

Other Financial Support

Discretionary & Childcare Funds

UWS administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds. These are designed to support students who are experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet the costs of childcare.

Find out more.

Benefits & Tax Credits

Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.

Find out more.

Additional Financial Support

If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.

Find out more.

Money & Debt Advice

Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.

Find out more.

How to apply

Postgraduate courses (MA, MSc, MEd, MBA, DBA, PG Cert, PG Dip, etc.) & some Post-experience courses (CertHE, BA, Grad Cert, Grad Dip, etc.)

All students should apply directly to the University through our online application system. Before you apply, you should check that you meet our entry requirements and you should have all your supporting documents ready.

The first stage of the process is to create a profile; you don't have to complete the application in one session - you can complete it in stages by saving each section and return to complete it at a later date.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but they will close when they are full; apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.

Before you begin your application, it is important to read the Postgraduate & Post-Experience application step-by-step guide for a smooth process.


An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

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Research at UWS

With cutting edge facilities, specialist knowledge and world-leading and internationally excellent expertise, we aim to develop research outputs that have a tangible, early and positive impact on society across the globe.


We will always try to make sure that we publish accurate course information but we do not accept responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We will also try to make sure that we deliver our courses in line with our published information. However, we may not always be able to do so and you can find further information about this in our enrolment terms and conditions.