Guidance Counselling & Lifespan Development

The MA offers a professional qualification in guidance counselling for graduates to work in a range of sectors including the secondary, further and higher education sectors. It provides training in the required knowledge, skills and competencies in the areas of personal, social, educational and career guidance across the lifespan.

Entry requirements

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 or

•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 (group and individual on the same day).

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

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of either prior successful completion of a degree qualification taught through the medium of English or meet one of the criteria below (no longer than two years prior to application):

Acceptable English Language qualifications include the following:

•Matriculation examinations from European countries where English is presented as a subject and an acceptable level is achieved

•Irish Leaving Certificate English –Ordinary Level Grade D or above

•TOEFL – 580 (paper based) or 90 (internet based)

•IELTS – Minimum score of 6.5* with no less than 6 in any one component.

•English Test for English and Academic Purposes (ETAPP) – Grade C1

•GCE 'O' level English Language/GCSE English Language – Grade C or above

•Cambridge Assessment English –Certificate of Proficiency in English - Grade C / Certificate in Advanced English Grade B

•GCE Examination Boards – Oxford Delegacy of Local Examinations – Grade C / Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate – School Certificate Pass 1-6 / University of London Entrance and School Examinations Council – School Certificate Pass 1-6

Results in examinations other than those listed above may also be accepted as meeting our English language requirements. Contact the International Education Division for advice.


2 years part time

Careers or further progression

Graduate Profile
Graduate of this programme have availed of opportunities to work as qualified guidance counsellors in the post-primary, further, higher and adult education sector, public employment sector and private practice. They have also progressed into further professional studies and research.

Further enquiries

Course Director
Dr Lucy Hearne
Tel: +353 (0) 61 202931

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 Testing

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


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 and Skills (DES) for the purpose of appointment as a Guidance Counsellor in post-primary, further and adult education.

Application date

Applicants are requested to supply, in addition to the specified documents, two seperately 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.)

What to Include with your Application

•Full degree transcript and certificates/awards (including English translation if applicable)

•English language qualifications (if English is not your first language)

•A copy of your birth certificate/passport

•Please state your centre preference on the application form

•An up-to-date CV in word format

•A 500 word Personal Statement describing your interest and reason for applying for the programme.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: 09/Sep/2019

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!