Guidance Counselling & Lifespan Development

Key programme benefits to future students
This programme is approved by the Department of Education for the purpose of appointment as a Guidance Counsellor in post-primary, further and adult education

The MA provides a professional qualification in guidance counselling. It provides training in the required knowledge, skills and competencies in the areas of personal, social, educational and career guidance across the lifespan.

The programme also provides opportunities for personal development and facilitates a reflective approach to practice. The emphasis on personal development stems from the idea that connecting to one’s own career story and understanding one’s own history, values and beliefs; we become better positioned to support others in their career journeys.

Key Fact: The focus of the MA is to qualify practicing teachers and other professionals to become qualified guidance counsellors.

Subjects taught

Year 1
Autumn Modules
• Counselling Theory and Practice 1
• Professional Practice in Guidance Counselling (Blended)

Spring Modules
• Contemporary Perspectives on Vocational Development and Progression across the Lifespan (Blended)
• Theory and Skills of Experiential Group Learning

Summer Modules
• Theory and Practice of Psychological Assessment

Year 2
Autumn Modules
• Counselling Theory and Practice 2
• Advanced Research Methods in Guidance Counselling (Blended)
• Practicum 1: Practice Placement

Spring Modules
• Practicum 2: Practice Placement
• Dissertation 1

Summer Modules
• Dissertation 2

Entry requirements

Applicants are requested to supply, in addition to the specified documents, two separately attached documents on MS word: (1) An up-to-date CV and (2) a 500 word Personal Statement describing their interest and reason for applying for the programme.

Candidates for this initial qualification in guidance counselling shall be required to possess either of the following:

A Degree in Education at 2.2 or above from a concurrent undergraduate programme, or a Higher Diploma/Masters in Education, or an approved equivalent professional teaching qualification

An Honours Degree at 2.2 or above in a cognate discipline such as psychology, social and community work, human resources and health sciences.
Consideration will also be given to candidates in line with UL's Policy for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Where candidates are non-native English language speakers, they must also satisfy the English Language Requirements of UL.

As the number of places on the programme is limited the selection process is competitive and will include short listing prior to an interview.

It is a UL requirement that students taking this post-graduate programme will need to undergo a Garda clearance process.

What to Include with your Application
Full degree transcript and certificates/awards (including English translation if applicable)
A copy of your birth certificate/passport
An up-to-date CV in word format
A 500 word Personal Statement describing your interest and reason for applying for the programme
If your qualifications have been obtained in a country where English is an official language this will suffice
If this is not available, the following additional documents must be provided:
• English translation of your qualification(s)/transcripts
• English language competency certificate

Application dates

Preparing your Application:
1. Research your programme: Each postgraduate programme at University of Limerick is unique. Explore your course content, duration, fees, and entry requirements on

2. Check Eligibility: Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the course you are interested in. This usually includes your undergraduate degree award, subject specialities, English language proficiency (for non-native speakers), and any specific requirements for the course.

3. Prepare Documents: Gather all the necessary documents. This typically includes your academic transcripts, CV, personal statement, and references. If English is not your first language, you’ll also need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency.

4. Online Application: Once you are ready to apply, visit your postgraduate programme page on and use the Apply Now button to access UL’s online application system. You will need to create an account if you are a new user.

5. Complete the Application: Fill in the application form with all the required details. This will include personal information and academic history.

6. Upload Documents: Upload all the necessary documents that you prepared earlier. Make sure they are clear and legible.

7. Submit Application: Review your application thoroughly to ensure all information is correct and then submit your application. The application fee for your postgraduate application is €50. This includes an option to choose a second choice.

8. Track Your Application: After submission, you can track the status of your application through the online application system.

9. Interview: Depending on the programme, you may be invited for an interview. This could be in person or online.

10. Acceptance: If your application is successful, you will receive an offer email from the university. You will need to accept this offer to secure your place.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and places offered to successful candidates. This means that it’s a good idea to apply as early as possible to increase your chances of securing a place.

Please note that these steps are a general guide and the exact process may vary depending on the specific programme and your individual circumstances. Always check the University of Limerick website or contact the postgraduate admissions department for the most accurate and up-to-date information.


2 years part time, blended.

Post Course Info

Graduate careers
Students come from a diverse range of backgrounds and go on to work in many different sectors, such as second level schools, adult guidance, youth and community work, third level career services, employment services, industry and private practice.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Blended,Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider