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Applied Psychology - Guidance Counselling

The aim of this MA course is to give you the knowledge and skills necessary to become a qualified guidance counsellor. Guidance promotes personal, social, educational and vocational development in individuals. The course will appeal to:

Psychology graduates


Social workers

Probation officers

Juvenile liaison officers

Occupational therapists



Those who work in adult education pastoral care, residential care, youth and community work, sport, nursing, adult placement, development work, coaching, employee welfare, human resources.

Those whose work has a guidance component.

Entry requirements

◾to apply for this course you should have a 2.2 class honours degree. Graduates who do not meet this requirement and have a minimum of five years relevant experience in teaching, industry or community work will also be considered.

◾you will be asked to supply a personal statement outlining your professional experiences and personal qualities relevant to undertaking training in guidance counselling and your reasons for applying to the course.

◾All applicants offered a place will have been selected through short-listing and face to face interview with the School of Applied Psychology.

N.B. Please note, the MA in Applied Psychology (Guidance Counselling) offers educational and training opportunities which will require you to come in contact with the public and assume positions of trust. To ensure the protection of the public, and justify public trust and confidence, UCC is committed to ensuring that only suitable candidates are allowed to undertake these programmes of study/training. Consequently, all students on the MA in Applied Psychology (Guidance Counselling) undergo GARDA/POLICE VETTING. University College Cork has made arrangements with the Gardaí with regard to Garda Clearance procedures.


18 months part-time.

This programme will be taught during weekday working hours and evening hours over 18 months.

Number of credits

90 credits

Careers or further progression

Skills and Careers Information
By the end of the course you will:

understand the value of enabling the personal, social, educational and vocational development of the client

justify the importance of understanding the needs of clients from diverse social and cultural backgrounds

evaluate relevant theory and empirical findings in the area of guidance counselling

advocate the importance of using career information to help individuals make good career choices

Explain the rationale behind the use of psychometric tests

Placement and Study Abroad Information
In year 2 of the course, you will complete 24 half-day placements in a work environment where there is a guidance function.

Further enquiries

Ms. Nicola Barry
P: + 353 21 490 4600

Subjects taught

The role of the guidance counsellor is to help people to make the right career decision. Their strengths, talents and virtues are assessed using career information and objective psychometric data. Counselling skills are also important to foster awareness and self-knowledge in the person. The ideal professional alliance is goal-oriented, future-focused, and dynamic.

Students take 90 credits as follows:

Year I
AP6205 Psychological Principles of Human Development (5 credits)
AP6206 Psychological Perspectives on Counselling Theories (5 credits)
AP6211 Theories of Career Development (5 credits)
AP6220 Career Skills (5 credits)
AP6221 Career Information Management Skills (5 credits)
AP6222 Counselling Skills for Guidance Counsellors (5 credits)
AP6223 Psychological Intervention Skills for Guidance Counsellors (5 credits)
AP6224 Group Work Theory and Skills 1 (5 credits)
AP6225 Group Work Theory and Skills 2 (5 credits)
AP6215 Professional Issues in Guidance Counselling (5 credits)
AP6226 Theory of Psychological Testing (5 credits)
AP6227 Practice of Psychological Testing (5 credits)

Module Semester Information may be found here. Module Descriptions may be found (on course webpage - link below).
Year II
AP6228 Guidance Counselling Field Practice (10 Credits)
ED6212 Project Portfolio (10 credits)
ED6213 Educational Disadvantage and Multiculturalism: Learning and Identity (5 credits)
ED6214 Inclusion of Learners with Special Educational Needs: Identity and Disability(5 credits)

Details of the programme content and modules are in the Postgraduate College Calendar


Who Teaches This Course
The course it taught by staff from the School of Applied Psychology and the School of Education, as well as external teachers who include an educational psychologist, a counselling psychologist and guidance counsellors.

Unique Aspects of the Course
The course allows you to continue working while you gain an academic qualification in guidance counselling. You will also learn counselling skills, psychometrics and career service systems. These skills are consolidated in work placements in year two, in either secondary schools or adult guidance services.

We aim to educate you in the knowledge and skills necessary for practice as a guidance counsellor. Achieving these aims will require a lot of commitment and hard work, but fun is not excluded! The class is relatively small and there is a great deal of staff–student and student–student contact.

The course is recognised by the Department of Education and Skills as an initial training in guidance counselling and is also recognised by the Institute of Guidance Counsellors. Students enrolled on the MAAP(Guidance Counselling) are eligible to become student members of the IGC and graduates can apply to become fully accredited members.

In addition to shadowing and subsequently conducting vocational guidance interviews in a post-primary or adult placement, students gain invaluable experience of the use of counselling skills within a post-primary school, Students complete a counselling case study with a client, which is supported by 22 hours of dedicated group supervision.

Assessment method

Assessment consists of a combination of:
◾project reports
◾end of year examinations
◾placement supervision reports

Application date

Applications for 2017-18 intake are now open.

While UCC operates a rounds system for Postgraduate Taught courses (detailed below) we would advise you to apply as soon as possible.

Deadline for receipt of Applications: Offers will be made:

For all completed applications received by January 16th 2017 Offers will be made by January 30th 2017

For all completed applications received by March 1st 2017 Offers will be made by March 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by May 1st 2017 Offers will be made by May 15th 2017

For all completed applications received by July 3rd 2017 Offers will be made by July 17th 2017

Late applications may be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis for any courses that have remaining capacity for places.

Non-EU Applicants:

Please visit the following page for further information for Non EU applicants

Course fee

2017/2018 Irish/EU €6,000 (Year 1 60 Credits);
2017/2018 IRISH/EU FEE: €3,500 (Year 2 30 credits);

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 11 September 2017

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