For more information about Career Development at Nottingham Trent University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
MA, PG Cert

How long you will study
6 months

Domestic course fees
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How you will study

Course starts
September, January

International course fees
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All study options

About Career Development at Nottingham Trent University

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.

How you're taught

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 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.

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.


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 brand new 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

Study options for this course

Entry requirements

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

Other requirements

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:

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.

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