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Guidance & Counselling

The M.Sc. in Guidance Counselling is a two year part-time programme recognised by the DES and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors (IGC) for professional practice as a guidance counsellor. The programme offers initial education and training in the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for practice in the interrelated areas of personal, education and career guidance counselling. A key element of the programme is the strong emphasis on reflective practice and personal growth facilitated by personal counselling, placement practice experience and professional supervision to support and enable personal and professional development.

Students come from a diverse range of backgrounds, including the primary, secondary, further education and tertiary sectors, youth and community work, adult education, employee welfare, state agencies, business, industry, health and Human Resources.

This programme is also recognised by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) as a qualification to work as a guidance counsellor in a second level school.

Please note the DES also require employees to hold:
1.A primary degree with subjects recognised for teaching in second level schools (please check and

2.A recognised teaching qualification.

Students are selected on the basis of:

Academic achievement or accredited prior learning.

Professional experience (three years' full or part time experience in a field broadly related to guidance is desirable).

Capacity to demonstrate at interview a vision and understanding of the role of the guidance counsellor, potential as a guidance counsellor to work with clients in response to their personal, educational and career needs and a willingness to commit to the demands of the programme.

The overall aim of this programme is to provide students with a standard of excellence in the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary for practice in the field of personal, education and career guidance and counselling;

You will be educated and trained to develop a systematic and coherent framework for practice within your organisation;

Through strong reflective practice, you are encouraged and supported to develop responsibility for personal and professional development, and learn how to identify and mobilise resources across a network of external agencies and the wider community.

Students come from a broad range of professional backgrounds which enhances the shared practice and experience of learners.

Our innovative and learner-centred approaches enable the guidance community to respond to the many challenges and opportunities now facing the profession.

It encourages personal development and professional practice competence through group supervision.

It develops transferable skills in the application of new technology to the field of guidance and counselling.

You can engage in supervised research in an area of guidance and counselling which is of personal and professional interest.

Entry requirements

General Entry Requirements
Applicants will normally be required to hold, as a minimum, a primary honours degree OR equivalent professional qualification with relevant experience.

Applicants who do not hold a primary honours degree as outlined above, may be considered for admission if they are able to present, at interview, evidence of professional experience and responsibility in a relevant area of work.

All applicants who are deemed to meet the minimum academic qualifications will be required to attend for interview.

Applicants will not be considered for interview unless all aspects of the application process are fully completed.

International Applications
International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language, they must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language.


2 years part-time.

Careers or further progression

The programme is designed to support participants wishing to engage in initial education and training as guidance counsellors and to enhance the in-career development of existing practitioners. Graduates are currently employed in various settings such as second level schools, adult guidance (including employment by ETBs), youth and community work, third level career services, employee welfare, industry, health sector, rehabilitation services, and private practice.

Further enquiries

Paul King
t: +353 (01) 8842022

Application date

How to Apply and Closing Dates
Make an Application
There are two parts to the application process. Both parts must be completed for your application to be valid and to be eligible for interview.

Application for entry in September 2017 will open in January 2017 and applications close Friday 12th May 2017.

Applications MUST be submitted online at with course code DC906. It is strongly recommended that you send required documentation to the PAC application Centre by registered post to be received by no later than Friday 12th May 2017 as DCU cannot accept responsibility for incomplete applications.

A supplementary form must be fully completed and returned directly to Postgraduate Administrator, MSc. Guidance Counselling Programme, School of Education Studies, DCU, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.

Please go to DCU website to download the supplementary form.

(Applicants do not need to complete the personal statement on PAC as this requirement is fulfilled on the supplementary form).

Please note that canvassing of any kind will disqualify an applicant. Furthermore, we do not discuss any aspect of an application with third parties.

All correspondence regarding your application for this programme will be made through the email address provided with your online application. It is your responsibility to monitor your PAC account for a change in status.

Those who are placed on waiting lists should be particularly mindful of this and all applicants who are offered a place on the programme should ensure they confirm acceptance by the due date otherwise the place will be offered to the next applicant on the waiting list.

Interviews will take place in late May/early June 2017. Applicants for interview will be notified via PAC in advance.

Please note all correspondence regarding the entire process of application, including interview outcome, is mediated through the PAC system. Please ensure to regularly check your PAC account.

Queries on completed PAC applications can be made by email to

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