Programme aims The major aim of this programme is to prepare and train you to a base level of capability in the provision of careers guidance that will enable you to start work as a career practitioner . In order to meet such an overall aim the programme will produce students: • who understand and take account of the implications for their own professional practice, of their own values and those of their employers, their clients, and society; • who have acquired theoretical insights and developed analytical and critical skills, which will assist them in becoming reflective practitioners of guidance; • who can effectively utilise networks and support clients through change; • who are capable of reflecting on their own practice and who can set and achieve targets for professional development; • who are effective and reflective practitioners of guidance and have the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to plan, conduct and evaluate guidance interventions; • who can contribute to the provision and development of Careers Education and Guidance within learning organisations; • who can record, research, interpret and evaluate information in a range of media, and who can enable clients and others to access and act upon appropriate information in the context of the local and national opportunity structure.
The programme provides education and training for graduates in the theoretical knowledge and understanding, and essential intervention skills and strategies of professional careers guidance personnel.
The programme comprises eight core modules and you are expected to successfully complete all modules for a Postgraduate Diploma. The MSc requires successful completion of one additional module in understanding research plus a 10-12,000-word research dissertation. The eight core modules are: human life-span psychology, theoretical perspectives on career, psychology of interpersonal interaction , information management, group work: skills & strategies, guidance: models & strategies, ifelong learning, and organisational & guidance networks.
The programme provides ongoing work-based learning where students are placed in DEL careers offices (for two days per week). Three days per week are University-based.
Programme rationale In the current circumstances where the concept of career is more flexible and less predictable, where social phenomena of exclusion and alienation are top of the political agenda, and where education has been viewed as a lifelong process, the role of careers guidance has assumed a pivotal role. People, young and old, are seeking increasing amounts of assistance at numerous points throughout the life span in order to navigate through a society in flux. The need for fully qualified and professional career practitioners has never been greater, hence the need for this professional postgraduate programme. The programme is offered as the result of a partnership between the Department for Employment and Learning and the University.
Duration and Mode of Attendance
Postgraduate Diploma – one year
MSc – one additional module followed by a dissertation (which usually takes one calendar year).
Teaching & learning methods
Learning will be facilitated through a combination of methods which include periods of work-based learning integrated with University-based teaching. Students will spend two days per week and one full week per semester engaged in work-based learning in Careers Offices and education/training establishments in Northern Ireland. Of the remaining three days two will require attendance at the University's Magee campus and one is designated as an independent study day. As well as lectures, seminars and tutorial methods, extensive use will be made of the Human Interaction Laboratory for the development of a range of guidance skills. Specialist inputs will be delivered by staff from the Department for Employment and Learning.
Assessment Methods The learning outcomes of the programme are assessed through a range of course work assignments. There are no formal written examinations. The types of assignments range from traditional academic essays, to the production of videotaped individual and group sessions, personal appraisals and assessments of 'real' guidance work in the field. Students are also required to compile a portfolio of evidence to support the achievement of specified learning outcomes.