For more information about Career Development at Nottingham Trent University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
MA, PG Cert

How long you will study
6 months

Domestic course fees
find out

How you will study

Course starts
September, January

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Career Development at Nottingham Trent University

The MA / Postgraduate Certificate in Career Development course is designed to equip you with the skills, qualities and knowledge required of a professional practitioner working in the career development and employability sector, enabling you to meet the needs of clients in a variety of settings.

NTU has successfully been teaching career guidance courses since 1973, and has established a strong national reputation in this field. You'll benefit from a broad spectrum of contemporary thinking and debate on careers education, information, advice, guidance and coaching, and you'll develop the skills to make a positive impact on the sector and the profession.
The curriculum offers flexibility – you have the choice of studying a MA Career Development full-time or a Postgraduate Certificate by blended learning, and there are module options to help you develop specialisms. This course is ideal if you're looking to find employment in the sector, or are already employed in a career development or related role and seek Continuing Professional Development opportunities (CPD).
Rather than commit to the full MA, you can choose to study a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) in Career Development. Those studying on the full-time MA will have the option of completing the Qualification in Career Development (QCD) award accredited by the Career Development Institute (CDI) professional body.

How you're taught

Our dedicated staff are professionally trained practitioners in the career guidance sector, and they provide a wealth of experience and support for our students. The team are actively engaged in research and other professional activities, including delivering papers at conferences and training events. Not only do they enrich the curriculum content with their findings, but they also feed directly in to our approaches to teaching and the assessment of skills development.

A blended learning approach is taken towards the delivery of both the PG Cert and the MA, comprising of online teaching and learning activities and face-to-face workshop days at the University. A key feature of the blended learning experience is that – although you'll be at a distance from the University's campus – you're able to learn from each other, as well as from the tutors, in a supportive environment.

For the PG Cert, face-to-face input will take place at six compulsory workshop days, which  will be timetabled at appropriate stages of learning.

For the MA, the learning model differs from the PG Cert.

  • There is a greater proportion of face-to-face input supported by online teaching and learning activities for the first 90 credits of the course.
  • You'll need to attend the University for one day a week, and commit a minimum of one more day per week to online or practice activities.
  • Face-to-face input will be one day a week for Terms One and Two, and there will also be a minimum of one more day per week input for online activities up until this point.
  • At the point of 90 credits being accumulated, the proportion of time allocated to online activities will increase while the number of taught input days will decrease. This occurs at the point where you have the choice to opt for one of two modules: Qualification in Career Development Professional Standards, or Labour Market Information. From here on, you'll be engaging in more guided and independent study and work-based learning should you choose the QCD route.

A range of teaching and learning methods are used for both qualifications. These may include:

  • lectures
  • online activities
  • individual tutorials
  • case study investigations
  • simulation exercises or role plays – experiential learning related to specific aspects of career guidance practitioners' work, practice and skills, enabling students to practice in a controlled environment
  • observations
  • interactive or group learning, for both face-to-face and online delivery
  • real-life practice and application of skills through University links and school partners, such as  one-to-one guidance interactions with school or university students, or delivering CV workshops.

You'll need to be able to make audio recordings of your one-to-one guidance interactions. Most students use their phone for this, but if yours isn't suitable, you'll need to purchase a Dictaphone. More details will be provided at the course induction to ensure you get the right specification.

Assessment methods are varied and accommodate a variety of learning styles and preferences. Written assignments may include case studies, enquiry-based reports, and a reflective journal, while skills-based assessments will include one-to-one guidance interactions and group work.

Careers and employability

The course will equip you with attributes that are highly sought after by employers in the careers and employability sector. As such, employability is a core theme throughout the course – not only will you have acquired the skills necessary for professional practice within the career development sector, but you'll be able to apply these perspectives to yourself in order to assist you in managing your own employability.

Through our close links with the sector, you may have the opportunity to network with employers and practitioners at national career development events such as the CDI Student Conference and the National Career Guidance Show.

Upon graduating from the course, there are a range of jobs you can pursue in the career development and employability sector that align to the roles outlined in the CDI's Career Professionals in the 21st Century – A Blueprint of Learning Outcomes for Professional Roles in the UK Career Development Sector. These include:

  • career information and assessment experts
  • career educators
  • career counsellors
  • programme and service managers
  • social systems intervenors and developers.

Students from our previous Career Guidance course have entered a range of roles in career guidance and employability, including:

  • Careers advisor
  • Secondary enrichment coordinator
  • Learning advisor
  • Career consultant
  • Student advisor
  • Progress coach
  • Learning technology consultant
  • Freelance career counsellor
  • Recruitment leader
  • Community mentor
  • European partnerships assistant

*Data extracted from the Nottingham Trent University Graduate Destinations Database 2009-10 to 2013-14.


NTU offers a wide range of learning resources and facilities to all students. As a social sciences student, you'll also have easy access to the fantastic facilities in the Chaucer and Taylor buildings. These include:

  • lecture theatres and teaching classrooms
  • open-access PCs and secure wireless points
  • study areas and social spaces
  • Chaucer café, serving drinks and light snacks
  • our brand new School of Social Sciences reception, providing you with easy access to our helpful and friendly support staff
  • the School's media room, which provides opportunities for you to visually record your one-to-one guidance practice in order to aid your learning. Recording equipment is also available for group work practice and assessment undertaken at the University.

If you choose to study the Qualification in Career Development Professional Standards (QCD) as part of the MA, as a Student Member of the CDI you will also have access to CDI events, webinars, conferences and courses

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMA, PG CertHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study6 months
    Course startsSeptember, JanuaryDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out
  • The awardMA, PG CertHow you will studyDistanceHow long you will study18 months
    Course startsSeptember, JanuaryDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Entry requirements

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate degrees. If you're not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

    • You will need an undergraduate degree equivalent to a UK undergraduate honours degree or other equivalent higher education qualification e.g. HND / DipHE.
    • Applicants without such qualifications will be considered but will be required to evidence relevant work experience in a related field, and demonstrate their motivation and ability to study at postgraduate level.

Please note: This Postgraduate Certificate in Career Development course does not meet the UK Visas and Immigration requirements for Tier 4 sponsorship and therefore we cannot progress applications from candidates who require a Tier 4 visa under the Points Based Immigration System. Applicants to this course must be eligible to work in the UK for the duration of the course.

Pre-masters and foundation courses

If you need to do a foundation or pre-masters course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you're already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation and pre-masters courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.

If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our international team for advice.

Other requirements

All suitable applicants will be interviewed as part of the admissions process – either face-to-face, or by phone or Skype for those applicants living overseas. The interview process will explore the applicant's understanding and interest in the following areas:

  • career development and guidance, often evidenced by visiting a guidance provider or by relevant work experience
  • commitment to a “career in career”, evidenced as above
  • an insight into the demands of the sector for practitioners working in the profession
  • intellectual ability, and the ability to manage the demands of postgraduate study.

DBS checks
DBS checks are mandatory for this course. If a DBS check indicates that a student is unsuitable to work with young people or vulnerable adults, their case will be reported to the Dean of the School of Social Sciences and the student will be required to withdraw from the course.

What students think about Nottingham Trent University

    Claudia Agyemang-Yeboah, Human Rights and Justice – LLM, (Ghana)

    Testimonial from Claudia Agyemang-Yeboah, Human Rights and Justice – LLM, (Ghana), student at Nottingham Trent University

    “The city is ideal. I’ve been to London a couple of times and frankly it is too busy and too big for me. Nottingham has a city vibe but it’s smaller and as I am based on City Campus there are so many places that you can go without having to even use transportation which economically is very good as well!”

    “There are so many opportunities when you are at NTU. Take advantage of every opportunity that you have. Sign up and do something, it builds up your experience and confidence. NTU is such a relaxing, comfortable environment with so many friendly people.  I’ve met most of my friends from my classes and have met people from so many places. It was a goal of mine to make friends not only from Africa, but from all over the world. The Global Lounge is a great place to meet new people, have a cup of coffee and hang out.

    “It’s a good decision coming here. I’d do it over and over again. I’ve learnt a lot in so many ways. If you have the opportunity, you should really consider here. The experience has been wonderful and I’m enjoying every second of it.”

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    Makayla Martinez, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion, (United States of America)

    Testimonial from Makayla Martinez, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion, (United States of America), student at Nottingham Trent University

    "I am 21 and have changed my plans but I think it is the best decision I have made in my life. Fashion has always been my dream and since being here last year, I had never felt such a sense of belonging.

    "I chose NTU because of the social side and the sense of community. This seemed so prevalent here; I have made so many friends from all over the world. There is so much to do in the city. It is so friendly and unified!"

    “My main piece of advice would be to do research about the city before you arrive. Make sure you know where your accommodation is in relation to the rest of the city and where you will be studying, that is really important. I had no idea how big the city was so at the beginning it took time to find out what grocery stores there were and where was good to eat out. Research will help with this as well as not being afraid to explore and find new things. You can ask anyone for help too as it is a really friendly city."

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    Kamakshi Marwah, MSc Applied Child Psychology, (India)

    Testimonial from Kamakshi Marwah, MSc Applied Child Psychology, (India), student at Nottingham Trent University

    “While applying I considered other university courses but NTU had better facilities to offer and the course offered a proper melange of theories and real world applications. I was very particular about module structure, programme-based ranking and university rankings. NTU has a prestigious reputation and the quality of learning they provide is something I considered while applying to this University.”

    “Location was one of the key features of this University as you will find everything conveniently located. Another important aspect is that it is very student friendly. Nottingham has been like living a dream - it has given me a once in a life time opportunity to explore and live independently.”

    “Every day has become a new learning chapter. I believe that my learning as a postgraduate student has significantly enhanced my capabilities and skills set which will help me for my future career. Postgraduate study has given me a new dimension to my career plans as I have discovered new career opportunities where I can work and give back to society. I plan to work as a counsellor or child psychologist in a school or charitable organisation and, after gaining few years of professional experience, I would also consider pursuing a PhD.”

    Read Kamakshi's profile

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