Career Guidance and Development PgDip

You will explore the latest career counselling techniques, and undertake work placements or work-based learning


This two-year part-time programme is accredited by the Career Development Institute and is recognised by the profession throughout the UK.  

You will study the latest developments in career development theory and career counselling and coaching practice as well as undertake work placements or work-based learning to prepare you for work in the career development sector. 

The programme will equip you with the knowledge and skills to support your clients navigate the complex web of pathways in employment and education and develop their career potential. You will work with young people, adults, parents, teachers, employers and training providers.

Typical entry point to this course is in September. Please enquire for more information.

Atrium at Sighthill campus

Mode of Study:

Distance learning (Available as full-time)


2 years

Start date:


Course details

With an excellent employment rate for graduates, our postgraduate diploma combines academic study with practical professional training, including an optional four weeks of work placement. Academic teaching staff on the programme are also qualified and experienced career professionals and bring additional specialist expertise to the course.

You will acquire effective interpersonal communication skills for one-to-one career guidance, working with groups and via online media. You will learn and put into practice the latest career counselling techniques, while developing the necessary research and teamwork skills to carry you into your own successful career as a career practitioner.

The skills taught are also transferable to many other roles in employment, education and training and former students have also gone on to work in education-industry liaison, and projects promoting mentoring or equality and diversity.

Additional mandatory costs

  • Professional body fees, payable to the Career Development Institute, £345 (the total amount consists of two elements: student membership, £35 and registration for the Qualification in Career Development, £310)
  • Optional placement. Travel expenses are issued in some situations and are at the discretion of the Dean.
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    How you’ll be taught

    The programme is delivered over a two-year part-time basis. It has six modules taught over the two years (three per year). 

    Lectures will be delivered face to face/ virtually and recorded.

    It is necessary for you to attend campus one day a week or on a block basis for the assessment of practical skills unless you are employed in a career guidance role and are assigned a workplace supervisor.

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    • No exams
    • Essays
    • Professional reports
    • Case studies
    • Group project
    • Observation
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    Work placement

    Twenty days of work experience - optional:
    To obtain the professional qualification from the Career Development Institute you must undertake twenty days of work experience. This may be completed in your current place of work, if you are employed in a career guidance related role.
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    Based at our Sighthill Campus, students on the programme have access to a suite of interview training rooms equipped with CCTV facilities.



Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements


What are the entry requirements for Career Guidance and Development?

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at 2:2 or above. We look for applicants to have a background in any discipline in order to be eligible for the programme.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the industry.

All successful applicants must complete a Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme or police check.

Can I get admission into Career Guidance and Development based on my working experience in this sector?

This course has academic entry requirements which are assessed alongside relevant work experience. Full details of any relevant work experience, including references should be submitted with your application and may be considered for entry where the minimum academic entry requirements are below those required.

Usually, unrelated work experience is not considered sufficient for entry without meeting the minimum academic entry requirements. Please contact us with your specific circumstances by submitting an enquiry form above and we will be happy to discuss your options.

Can I make an appointment with an advisor to discuss further about the admission process?

If you want to get more information on the admission process, please get in touch with the postgraduate admissions team by submitting an enquiry form above.

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) (Adult, Mental Health, Child, Learning Disabilities)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
  • All Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

See who can apply for more information on Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2023/24 2024/25
Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £3,155 tba
Overseas and EU £7,680 tba
Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next. For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships
Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.

Please note:

The discount for Edinburgh Napier alumni can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount.

For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.

Please read our full T&C here


• Career Adviser
• Guidance Practitioner

Main Employers:

Skills Development Scotland
• University Careers Services
• Community agencies promoting employability for disadvantaged groups

Student in a one-to-one  session with a Learning Adviser