University of the West of Scotland

Postgraduate Programme Specification

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 05/05/2022 12:09:52

Named Award Title:MSc Career Guidance & Development

Award Title for Each Award: MSc  Career Guidance & Development
PG Dip  Career Guidance & Development
PG Cert  Career Guidance & Development

Awarding Institution/Body: University of the West of Scotland
Language of Instruction & Examination: English
Award Accredited By:Career Development Institute
Maximum Period of Registration:
Mode of Study:Full Time
Part Time
Campus:Paisley
Distance/Online Learning

School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Programme Leader:Emma Bolger

Admission Criteria

Candidates must be able to satisfy the general admission requirements of the University of the West of Scotland as specified in Chapter 2 of the University Regulatory Framework together with the following programme requirements:

Appropriate Undergraduate Qualification
Applicants to the full-time PG Dip/QCD should normally hold an honours degree or equivalent level of qualification (SCQF Level 10) in any subject. Applicants to the distance learning PG Dip/QCD or PG Dip should normally hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent level of qualification (SCQF Level 9) in any subject area and be able to evidence significant, relevant work experience. Applicants to the distance learning PG Dip/QCD or PG Dip who do not meet the standard entry requirement may be admitted to the programme at the discretion of the programme Admissions Officer/Programme Leader. They must demonstrate that they have sufficient relevant professional experience and academic qualifications in a relevant subject area at a lower level than the standard entry requirement.
Other Required Qualifications/Experience

English language proficiency is a requirement, with candidates expected to achieve IELTs average standard of 6.0.

All applicants to the full-time PG Dip/QCD shall be expected to provide a written reference(s) confirming their suitability for postgraduate-level study and for work with individuals and groups in helping and teaching contexts.

All applicants to the distance learning PG Dip/QCD shall be expected to provide a written reference(s) confirming their suitability for postgraduate-level study, that they are employed in a guidance-related role, have access to clients for the purposes of conducting career guidance and development interviews and group work, and have the agreement of a suitably qualified individual (as defined by the professional body, the Career Development Institute) who is willing to act as their workplace supervisor for the duration of their programme of study. Further guidance can be sought by contacting the Programme Leader.

All applicants to the distance learning PG Dip will be expected to provide a written reference(s) confirming their suitability for postgraduate-level study and that they are employed in a guidance-related role.

Enrolment on the full-time PG Dip/QCD is subject to the student joining the Protection of Vulnerable Groups scheme.

Enrolment on the PG Dip/QCD for all students requires the student to register with the Career Development Institute (CDI) within one month of commencing study. The cost of CDI registration is borne by the student.Further details can be obtained from the Programme Leader.

Please note that applicants to the full-time PG Dip/QCD who receive a conditional or unconditional offer will be invited to attend a programme information session prior to commencement of the programme each session.

Entry to the MSc requires the applicant to hold the Postgraduate Diploma in Career Guidance and Development or an equivalent qualification awarded at the same level from a programme approved by the Career Development Institute.

Applicants who may be interested in completing a PG Cert in Career Guidance and Development by distance learning should contact the Programme Leader for further information. The PG Cert may be suitable for those in guidance or related roles seeking additional professional development/qualifications in the area of career development theory and practice.

Admission based on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will comply with the University’s Regulatory Framework (Section 6), as well as University regulations on postgraduate study and guidance on RPL. Credit transferred into the programme through Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) must have been subject to reliable and valid methods of assessment at a recognised HEI. Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) entry is also permitted. The amount of credit transferred though RPL (APL and APEL) will comply with the maxima set out in the Regulatory Framework. Candidates should note that transferred credit does not carry a grade, therefore, award with distinction cannot be granted for awards where credit is transferred in at level 11.


Further desirable skills pre-application


General Overview

Introduction to the programme

The Postgraduate Diploma in Career Guidance and Development, incorporating the QCD (Qualification in Career Development) has been identified by the Scottish Government and the national skills body, Skills Development Scotland (SDS), as the ‘core’ qualification for career guidance and development professionals in Scotland. The qualification is portable throughout the UK and internationally and the UWS programme is considered to be a ‘flagship programme’ by the UK-wide professional body, the Career Development Institute (CDI). It is currently the largest programme of its kind in the UK.

Qualifications in Career Guidance and Development offered at UWS (PG Cert, PG Dip and PGDip/QCD) allow graduates to join the CDI Register of Career Development Professionals, upon payment of the appropriate fee. Our innovative MSc top-up module allows any applicant holding a PG Dip in Career Guidance/Development from any university in the UK to top-up their qualification to a full Masters. Our Masters top-up module is delivered part-time by distance learning only and is designed primarily for professionals working in the career sector or in related roles. 

Most students join us to become professionally-qualified by undertaking the PG Diploma in Career Guidance and Development with the QCD. The QCD (Qualification in Career Development), accredited by the Career Development Institute (CDI), is completed alongside the  PG Dip by all students undertaking the full-time PG Dip which is delivered by blended learning (campus-based sessions take place on the UWS Paisley Campus). 

Applicants who are able to meet the work-based entry requirements for the QCD may also complete the combined PG Dip/QCD qualification on a part-time, distance learning (fully online) basis. Those who do not meet the work-based requirements for the part-time, distance learning combined PG Dip/QCD may opt to complete the PG Dip only. The PG Dip is a recognised qualification in its own right. The part-time, distance learning PG Dip/QCD and PGDip are designed for individuals employed in a guidance-related role or setting. Further details of the options for part-time study by distance learning can be obtained from the Programme Leader.  

The PG Dip/QCD combination is studied full-time over one academic session (two terms) by blended learning (with campus-based sessions delivered on the UWS Paisley Campus), or part-time by distance learning over two academic sessions, with entry in September only in both cases. 

Full-time PG Dip/QCD students are required to attend work-based learning placements and may be required to travel to attend placements. There may also be a requirement to travel to partner secondary schools in the Paisley area, rather than attending on the UWS Paisley Campus, for some timetabled sessions.Placements allow students to meet the requirements for the QCD, which all full-time student undertake alongside the PG Dip.Students should note that additional expenses may be incurred for travel to and from placements.  

All students will be required to have a recording device, which could be a smart phone with audio recording capability. Students will require to have access to a suitable device for online learning and teaching which supports commonly-used educational software and platforms inclusing as Webex, Microsoft Teams, Skype and Zoom. Further information about these additional requirements will be made available to students during their programme induction. 

Full-time students are required to join the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme and must have a PVG Certificate in place before they attend placement or any other external practice setting. 

PG Dip/QCD  and PG Dip graduates are successful in securing professional roles in Scotland, RUK and internationally, for example with Skills Development Scotland, (which may include working in local authority primary and secondary schools and FE institutions), as well as in HE institutions, local authorities, a wide range of organisations which provide career-related guidance and services, and in third sector organisations and the private sector.  Professional, graduate-level employment opportunities in the sector are currently excellent. 

Applicants who may wish to study for a qualification on a part-time, distance learning basis, but who do not wish to complete the PGDip/QCD or PGDip, may opt to study for a Postgraduate Certificate in Career Guidance and Development (PG Cert). Further details are available from the Programme Leader. 


Graduate Attributes, Employability & Personal Development Planning

This is a vocational programme which is explicitly designed to enable graduates to enter professional-level employment in the career development sector and beyond. Members of the programme team are professionally-qualified in career development and place strong emphasis on students' employability, as well as on the development of a broad range of transferable academic, professional and personal graduate attributes. 

In addition to undertaking work-based and work-related learning, PG Dip/QCD students develop a personal e-portfolio which forms the basis of the CDI-accredited award of the Qualification in Career Development (QCD). The e-portfolio (QCD Professional Report) constitutes a record of the student's engagement with the learning experiences provided during their programme of study and incorporates a personal development plan. PG Dip/QCD and PG Dip students also have access to career coaching and opportunity-awareness sessions and a range of networking opportunities throughout their programme of study.

Students have regular contact with their university personal tutor, and, in the case of part-time, distance learning PG Dip/QCD students, with their workplace supervisor. These sessions focus explicitly on students' progress and broader development needs. University personal tutors and workplace supervisors are qualified career development professionals.

The programme is fully aligned with institutional priorities around the development of graduate attributes and with the institutional policy on personal development planning. The mapping of programme and module learning outcomes and employability-integrated assessment ensures the visibility of graduate attributes, employability and citizenship competencies. Personal development is embedded and explicitly signposted in the curriculum, with students provided with regular opportunities to capture and evaluate progression and development, stimulating reflection, self-regulation and a more constructive engagement with employability. It is recognised that personal development planning is an essential component of lifelong learning and continuing and professional development. To support this activity, all students are provided with access to personal development planning tools and enabled to develop a personal e-portfolio across the programme. 

Work Based Learning/Placement Details

Work-based (and work-related) learning is a key feature of the PG Dip/QCD qualification.

Full-time PG Dip/QCD students undertake a prescribed number of weeks of full-time work-based learning (placement) as part of their programme of study. Placements enable full-time students to evidence the additional learning outcomes required for successful completion of the QCD.  Placements for full-time students are organised by the programme team. Students may be required to travel to attend placements and may incur additional costs. In addition all full-time and part-time PG Dip/QCD students must complete a prescribed number of days of work-related learning which may consist of attendance at events, completion of online training and development courses etc. Access to opportunities for work-related learning activity is facilitated by the programme team and, in the case of part-time, distance learners, by the workplace supervisor. 

All PG Dip/QCD students take part in a range of practice-based activities as part of their work-based learning/placement experience including observation of career guidance and development activities and design and delivery of career guidance and development interventions. Work-based learning/placement is overseen by the student's workplace supervisor and students are required to engage with additional observation of their practice in the workplace/placement setting, with feedback provided by the workplace supervisor in order to meet the requirements for the QCD.

In accordance with University regulations on work-based and placement learning (Regulation 5.4) and the University Policy for Placement of Students for Work Experience, the programme team will ensure the appropriateness of placements, that issues of Health and Safety and equal opportunities have been addressed, that students are appropriately prepared for the placement experience and that monitoring takes place during the placement and at its conclusion.

Engagement

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time.

Where a programme has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:

Full-time students will be expected to attend timetabled synchronous online sessions, timetabled campus-based sessions and work-based learning placements. Part-time, distance learners will be expected to engage with asynchronous online learning activities. Synchronous online sessions will also form part of the distance learning experience, but do not generally require compulsory attendance. All students will be expected to engage regularly with the university's VLE, and will be required to use a range of online platforms including Webex and Teams.
All assessment must be submitted on time and in accordance with the guidance provided by programme staff.

Equality and Diversity


The University's Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Procedure can be accessed at the following link: UWS Equality and Diversity Policy

The programme team actively encourages students to disclose any issues that may impact on their learning. The team is committed to ensuring that students are supported as fully as possible and will always endevour to give students the best advice they can based on the information shared by students.


Programme structures and requirements, SCQF level, term, module name and code, credits and awards ( Chapter 1, Regulatory Framework )

A. PG Cert
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of the legislative, regulatory and ethical underpinnings of professional career guidance and development practice.
A2Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of selected aspects of the career guidance and development landscape (which may include theoretical underpinnings and/or broader policy/practice contexts.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Apply a sophisticated appreciation of the principles of ethical and reflective practice to practical career guidance and development contexts.
B2Apply a range of conceptual and theoretical tools in selected areas of the career guidance and development landscape.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Convey persuasively the outcomes of academic inquiry.
C2Communicate in ways that demonstrate mastery of selected areas of the career guidance and development landscape (such as effective client interaction and/ or harnessing complex evidence.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Evaluate and synthesise new ideas and experiences.
D2Deploy skills of critical analysis and evaluative judgment in selected areas of the career guidance and development landscape.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Demonstrate commitment to reflective practice in selected areas of the career guidance and development landscape (such as academic planning and/or group working.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11CGAD11001Ethical & Inclusive Practice (CGD)20check mark  

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11CGAD11002Professional Practice (CGD)20check mark  
11CGAD11003Advanced Practice (CGD)20 check mark 
11CGAD11005The Contemporary Labour Market (CGD)20 check mark 
11CGAD11006Career Related Policy20check mark  
11CGAD11007Career Development Theory20 check mark 

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes
Students may choose any 2 of the above modules.

Criteria for Progression and Award

Students who successfully complete the core and two optional modules may exit with a Postgraduate Certificate in Career Guidance & Development.







B. PG Dip
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of the legislative, regulatory and ethical underpinnings of professional career guidance and development practice.
A2
Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of the principal theories and concepts underpinning contemporary guidance practice.
A3Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of the principal theories and models of career development.
A4Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of contemporary issues in career-related policy.
A5Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of labour market issues pertinent to career guidance and development.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Apply principles of ethical and reflective practice in practical career guidance and development settings.
B2Apply person-centred and contemporary approaches to practice in practical career guidance and development settings.
B3Apply understanding of career development theory to professional contexts.
B4Apply sophisticated conceptual tools to explain the relationship between career-related policy and career guidance and development practice.
B5Apply labour market intelligence to practical career guidance and development contexts.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Convey persuasively the outcomes of academic inquiry.
C2Demonstrate capacity to work with, and facilitate engagement with, career-related information drawn from a range of media.
C3Convey complex academic conclusions to an expert audience in appropriate written forms.
C4Utilise appropriate delivery formats to brief peers and experts persuasively and with clarity on complex labour market issues.
C5Communicate with peers and/ or clients in ways that demonstrate appropriate professional practice (including openness, honesty, impartiality and recognition of individual characteristics.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Evaluate and synthesise new ideas and experiences.
D2Critically evaluate competing theories, approaches and techniques relating to career guidance and development practice.
D3Critically evaluate competing theories and models of career decision-making.
D4Critically evaluate and analyse comparative approaches to career-related guidance and/or career-related learning.
D5Make discerning judgments about the provenance and value of career-related information (including labour-market information).

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Demonstrate reflective insight into aspects of inter-professional working.
E2Practice in supervised and peer contexts in ways that recognise appropriately delineated professional boundaries.
E3Demonstrate effective autonomous academic practice by engaging in independent inquiry.
E4Demonstrate the capacity to work professionally with external stakeholders in a research context.
E5Demonstrate capacity to autonomously plan and deliver context-appropriate career-related interventions

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11CGAD11001Ethical & Inclusive Practice (CGD)20check mark  
11CGAD11002Professional Practice (CGD)20check mark  
11CGAD11003Advanced Practice (CGD)20 check mark 
11CGAD11005The Contemporary Labour Market (CGD)20 check mark 
11CGAD11006Career Related Policy20check mark  
11CGAD11007Career Development Theory20 check mark 

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award

Successful completion of all core modules will result in the award of the Postgraduate Diploma in Career Guidance & Development.

Successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma will allow entry to the MSc.


C. Masters
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate extensive and detailed critical knowledge and understanding of an aspect of career guidance, career development or career-related learning.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Demonstrate the ability to apply a critical understanding of research methodology to research design.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Communicate research ideas and findings appropriately to a range of audiences (which may include peers and/or experts).

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, understanding and/or practice in an aspect of career guidance, career development or career-related learning.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Demonstrate the ability to work constructively in the context of an academic research supervision relationship.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11CGAD11008Masters Dissertation (CGD)60check markcheck markcheck mark

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Award

Students who successfully complete the core Masters Dissertation module may exit with an MSc in Career Guidance & Development.


Regulations of Assessment

Candidates will be bound by the general assessment regulations of the University as specified in the University Regulatory Framework.

An overview of the assessment details is provided in the Student Handbook and the assessment criteria for each module is provided in the module descriptor which forms part of the module pack issued to students. For further details on assessment please refer to Chapter 3 of the Regulatory Framework.

To qualify for an award of the University, students must complete all the programme requirements and must meet the credit minima detailed in Chapter 1 of the Regulatory Framework.

Combined Studies

There may be instances where a student has been unsuccessful in meeting the award criteria for the named award and for other more generic named awards existing within the School. Provided that they have met the credit requirements in line with the SCQF credit minima (please see Regulation 1.21), they will be eligible for an exit award of PgCert/ PgDip in Combined Studies.



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