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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 30/03/2022 13:47:41

Title of Module: Career Development Theory

Code: CGAD11007 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:R  Alexander

Summary of Module

This module introduces students to the critical analysis of theories of career development, career decision making and transition. Theories are analysed and their significance and relevance to professional practice is critically evaluated. The module explores psychological and sociological theories of career decision making and the extent to which theoretical positions are reflected in models of practice and service delivery.

  • Critically analyses a range of psychological and sociological postulations relating to career development, career decision making and transition

  • Critically analyses the influence of theories of career development on models of professional practice/service delivery

  • Critically analyses the application of theories to specific client groups

  • Engages students in career development-related inquiry through the construction and analysis of career development qualitative research

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of the principal theories and models of career development.

L2. Apply understanding of career development theory to professional contexts.

L3. Critically evaluate competing theories and models of career decision-making.

L4. Convey complex academic conclusions to an expert audience in appropriate written forms.

L5. Demonstrate effective autonomous academic practice by devising, planning and executing a small inquiry project.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

Demonstrate a critical understanding of the principal theories of career choice and decision-making, including those relating to empowerment, motivation and facilitating career planning and development, drawn from the disciplines of psychology and sociology.

Demonstrate a critical awareness of the current and emerging issues in career development in the areas of theory, policy and practice, including the significance of evidence-based practice.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Demonstrate the capacity to critically evaluate theory, engage with new and developing theoretical concepts and to explore the contribution that theory can make to practice.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Demonstrate a commitment to keep up to date with and critically evaluate emerging theory and social policy.

Demonstrate the capacity to conduct research into aspects of current legislation, policy and practice and make recommendations as a result.

Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate theory and the capacity to explore the contribution that theory can make to practice.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This is hybrid module. This module is part of a programme delivered by blended (hybrid) learning and distance (online) learning.
Students undertaking the programme will be required to engage with resources on the VLE, to attend timetabled campus-based sessions and synchronous online sessions.
Distance (online) learners will be required to engage with resources on the VLE, which may include presentations, readings, audio and video recordings and optional synchronous online sessions.
All students will contribute to discussion forums on the VLE.

The module requires students engage with a range of academic texts, many of which are made available on-line via the VLE and via the UWS library catalogue.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery14
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity16
Personal Development Plan5
Practice Based Learning30
Independent Study135
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Arthur, N., Neault, R. and McMahon, M. (eds.) (2019) Career theories and models at work: ideas for practice. Toronto: CERIC.

Athanasou, J.A. and Van Esbroeck, R. (eds.) (2008) International Handbook of Career Guidance. Sydney: Springer

Barnes, A., Bassot, B. and Chant, A (2011) An introduction to Career learning and development 11-19. Abingdon: Routledge [Chapter 1]

Brown, S. D. and Lent, R. W. (eds.) (2005) Career development and counseling: putting theory and research to work. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley

Brown, D. (ed.) (2002) Career Choice and Development (fourth edition) San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Gothard B. (2001) “Career Development Theory” Chapter 2 in Gothard et al Careers Guidance in Context London: Sage

Kidd, J (2006) Understanding Career Counselling: Theory, research and practice. London: Sage

Patton, W. and McMahon, M. (2006) Career Development and Systems Theory: Connecting Theory and Practice (2nd ed.). Rotterdam: Sense Publications.

Yates, J. (2014) The Career coaching handbook. Abingdon: Routledge

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

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. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Students are required to attend all scheduled sessions and participate in all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Distance learners should contact the programme leader if they require clarification regarding engagement. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardSocial Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelPG Social Sciences
ModeratorM McCrory
External ExaminerG Frigerio
Accreditation DetailsCareer Development Institute (CDI)
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Successful completion of the module requires students to pass the following assessment:
Written assessment (100% of final mark)

(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark1000
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content (part-time and distance learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries). All lecture slides are uploaded with an additional audio commentary. The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.