Postgraduate Course

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 2 years

UK fee

£9,450 for the full course* (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 for the full course (2024/25)

Course level




Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Our MA Career Guidance and Development provides an ideal stepping stone for anyone seeking to enter the career development profession or for established professionals looking to develop their practice. It should be especially valuable for recent graduates who have studied subjects such as Education, Sociology, Psychology and Social Work and for individuals who are already employed in a variety of relevant roles and settings either inside or outside the career guidance sector.

Combine your masters with a professional qualification

This course brings together a highly regarded masters qualification and initial professional training in career guidance. If you are studying on a full-time basis, it means you can achieve both in just one year.

Your studies will incorporate the Qualification in Career Development (QCD) which is awarded by the Career Development Institute (CDI) and is the premier route to achieving registered career professional status, giving you a professional qualification recognised in schools, colleges, universities, local authorities and by private practitioners as well.

Throughout the course, we will assist you to collate evidence into a portfolio which will be used by CDI moderators to review your achievements against the required standards for professional practice.

Our staff will support you through this process and coach you to develop your own practice. They are on the CDI register of practitioners, so fully qualified to help you work towards this award.

Broaden your knowledge and experience

This is a broad-based course rooted in practice and integrating various approaches to providing career support, including career guidance, career coaching and career education.

Your studies will be aligned with contemporary thinking about the skills base needed by today’s careers professionals. You will explore the way the language of career guidance and development is used and focus on how to harness technology to deliver career development interventions.

Gain practical skills on placement

We use the workplace as both a context and a resource for your learning. The CDI requires candidates to undertake twenty days of relevant work-based placements and a further ten days of related work-based learning, including activities such as attending career fairs and going on visits to employers.

If you are already in relevant employment, you can use activities within your own workplace to help you fulfil the CDI requirements. However, we encourage all our students to explore a range of delivery contexts in different settings. Our team will support you to locate and secure suitable opportunities for your work placements.

Thanks to our extensive networks of career development providers locally, nationally and internationally, we can give you access to workplaces as diverse as schools, colleges, universities, research centres, large employers and sector bodies. This will give you insights into the broad range of roles undertaken by career development practitioners, including human resource management and talent management.

Cutting-edge research

This course places you at the forefront of latest thinking in careers guidance and development. You will gain vital research skills and undertake your own work-based research project on a theme of your choice.

To support this project, you will benefit from exciting opportunities to be associated with our International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) and to work alongside high-profile researchers who are breaking new ground in the discipline of career development.

Established in 1998, iCeGS conducts research, provides consultancy to the career sector, and delivers accredited learning programmes up to and including doctoral level. It has built an international reputation, with expert staff recognised as thought leaders and influencers in the field of career development and employability. 

Along with access to these experts who will teach you throughout the programme, you can take full advantage of the iCeGS library and archive of career literature and research. You can also take part in extra-curricular activities such as the iCeGS annual lecture, research seminars and workshops to broaden your knowledge and your professional networks.

Flexibility and convenience

We have designed this course to help you balance your studies with your other commitments. This is especially important if you are in employment and working towards your masters on a part-time basis.

The course is delivered in ways which ensure maximum flexibility, including a blended learning approach and face-to-face teaching which avoids term times and includes weekend lectures and workshops.

Multi-Faith Centre, Kedleston Road

Postgraduate Open Event

Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.

Book your Postgraduate Open EventBook your Postgraduate Open Event

What you will study

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

This course is delivered through a blended learning approach including programmes of online learning and face to face elements delivered through lectures and workshops. You will have opportunities to hear from leaders in the field of career development through a programme of guest lectures and networking opportunities with key stakeholders in the field of career development through a range of extra-curricular activities including:

Our programme is taught on a Saturday between the hours of 10.00am until 4.00pm as well as providing opportunities to learn through webinars, telephone tutorials and online activities. Full-time students can expect to attend for 13 Saturdays during the first semester and for 14 Saturdays in the second trimester. Part-time students can expect to attend for seven in the first and second trimesters. This is subject to change. The course runs until August, with students completing their dissertation in the summer trimester (second year for part-time students).

Learning technology is embedded throughout the programme as both a teaching and learning activity as well as to develop the skills required for professional practice.

How you're assessed

You will be assessed through a variety of methods that have been designed to ensure you can demonstrate a wide range of professional understanding, knowledge and skills. Assessment methods include essays, research reports, group projects, presentations, posters and creating resources for practice. If you wish to gain accreditation through the QCD, you will need to produce a portfolio of evidence to record achievement of the QCD learning outcomes.

Who will teach you

Tom Staunton teaching a tutorial

Tom Staunton
Programme leader

Tom is a Lecturer in Career Development at the International Centre for Guidance Studies. Tom mainly teaches on the MA Careers Education and Coaching at the University and research interests focus on the way the internet, especially social media is changing the field of careers development.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

You will typically be expected to hold an undergraduate degree or an equivalent qualification. All applicants will be invited for interview who demonstrate an understanding of the career guidance profession. As the course includes mandatory placements you will be expected to have a DBS check or provide a satisfactory Certificate of Good Conduct. Those failing to meet the requirements of the DBS check or who are not able to provide a satisfactory Certificate of Good Conduct, will not be eligible for the programme. If you do not hold traditional entry qualifications, your suitability will be assessed by reviewing your academic achievement, professional or occupational experience, level of operation and personal qualities.

If English is not your first language, you will need to have passed the International English Language Teaching System (IELTS) at the overall level IELTS 6.5, including a minimum score of 5.5 in each test category. The test must be taken within the last two years leading up to the course start date and must still be valid when a visa is issued.

Interview information

Fees and funding

2024/25 (August 2024 - July 2025)


£9,450 for the full course*

£1,050 per 20 credits


£14,900 for the full course


Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.

* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable

Additional costs and optional extras

About postgraduate awards

Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out about funding your studiesFind out about funding your studies

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Find out about the Alumni discountFind out about the Alumni discount

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarships

We have a range of scholarships and discounts available to international students which can be used together to offer a reduction in your tuition fees.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.


Our MA Career Guidance and Development provides a solid preparation for anyone wishing to progress to a role such as careers adviser in schools, colleges, universities and local authorities or a careers leader in schools and colleges of further education. The skills you develop will also be invaluable for roles in private and sector based organisations offering career guidance and development activities in community and work-based settings. Our graduates have also been recruited to roles such as Enterprise adviser, widening participation practitioners and researchers.

Studying this subject as an academic discipline will naturally lead you to develop your own career management skills, including building professional and supportive networks. A distinctive feature of this masters is the breadth of opportunities we offer for you to achieve this.

You will gain practical experience within workplace settings through the variety of placement activities you undertake on the course. In addition, our International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) has an extensive network of Associates who meet regularly. You are encouraged to attend these meetings to enhance your professional networks and raise your profile within the sector.

Throughout the course, we also enable you to research jobs and opportunities within the career development sector as well as across other industrial sectors. You will become skilled in approaching employers and presenting information about yourself, using a variety of media to improve your employability.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

Included in your fees
Mandatory costs not included in your fees

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