Guidance Counselling & Lifespan Development

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. 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.

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. Please note that guidance counsellors in secondary schools must hold a recognised post-primary teaching qualification.

Subjects taught

Year 1
Semester 1
• Counselling Theory and Practice 1
• Professional Practice in Guidance Counselling

Semester 2
• Contemporary Perspectives on Vocational Development and Progression across the Lifespan
• Theory and Skills of Experiential Group Learning

Semester 3 Summer
• Theory and Practice of Psychological Assessment

Year 2

Semester 1
• Counselling Theory and Practice 2
• Advanced Research Methods in Guidance Counselling
• Practicum 1: Practice Placement

Semester 2
• Practicum 2: Practice Placement
• Dissertation 1

Semester 3 Summer
• 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.

Application dates

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


2 years part time

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider