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Institute of Education

MSc in Guidance Counselling

Master of Science in Guidance Counselling

  • PAC CodeDC906
  • Course Type Postgraduate
  • NFQ Level 9
  • Delivery Modes Part-time
  • Duration 2 Years

The M.Sc. in Guidance Counselling is a two year part-time programme recognised by the DES and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors (IGC) for professional practice as a guidance counsellor. The programme offers initial education and training in the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for practice in the interrelated areas of personal, education and career guidance counselling. A key element of the programme is the strong emphasis on reflective practice and personal growth facilitated by personal counselling, placement practice experience and professional supervision to support and enable personal and professional development.

Students come from a diverse range of backgrounds, including the primary, secondary, further education and tertiary sectors, youth and community work, adult education, employee welfare, state agencies, business, industry, health and Human Resources.

This programme is also recognised by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) as a qualification to work as a guidance counsellor in a second level school.

Please note the DES also require employees to hold:

A primary degree with subjects recognised for teaching in second level schools (please check and

A recognised teaching qualification.

Students are selected on the basis of:

Academic achievement or accredited prior learning.

Professional experience (three years' full or part time experience in a field broadly related to guidance is desirable).

Capacity to demonstrate at interview a vision and understanding of the role of the guidance counsellor, potential as a guidance counsellor to work with clients in response to their personal, educational and career needs and a willingness to commit to the demands of the programme.


To view subjects taught on the MSc in Guidance Counselling please click here

Student Voice

I was working in an Adult Guidance Service when I decided to change career direction a number of years ago and hence I embarked upon DCU's M.Sc. in Guidance and Counselling programme. It had been a number of years since I had studied at this level and I found that the blend of the practical and academic was perfect for my learning experience. The emphasis on reflective practice and the lifelong perspective of the programme has been of great benefit to me professionally. Since completing this qualification my career has gone from strength to strength and this is due in no small part to the quality and breadth of teaching and learning offered by this programme.

Grainne Berrill (Co-ordinator of an early intervention programme for young people with disabilities, Co. Louth)

Graduate View


The overall aim of this programme is to provide students with a standard of excellence in the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary for practice in the field of personal, education and career guidance and counselling;

You will be educated and trained to develop a systematic and coherent framework for practice within your organisation;

Through strong reflective practice, you are encouraged and supported to develop responsibility for personal and professional development, and learn how to identify and mobilise resources across a network of external agencies and the wider community.

View the current course structure →


Students come from a broad range of professional backgrounds which enhances the shared practice and experience of learners.

Our innovative and learner-centred approaches enable the guidance community to respond to the many challenges and opportunities now facing the profession.

It encourages personal development and professional practice competence through group supervision.

It develops transferable skills in the application of new technology to the field of guidance and counselling.

You can engage in supervised research in an area of guidance and counselling which is of personal and professional interest.


The programme is designed to support participants wishing to engage in initial education and training as guidance counsellors and to enhance the in-career development of existing practitioners. Graduates are currently employed in various settings such as second level schools, adult guidance (including employment by ETBs), youth and community work, third level career services, employee welfare, industry, health sector, rehabilitation services, and private practice.


General Entry Requirements

Applicants are required to hold a Primary Honours (Level 8) degree, plus three years relevant work experience.


Equivalent professional qualification with three years relevant experience.

All applicants who are deemed to meet the minimum academic qualifications will be required to attend for interview.

Applicants will not be considered for interview unless all aspects of the application process are fully completed.

International Applications

International candidates are expected to have educational qualifications of a standard equivalent to those outlined above. In addition, where such candidates are non-native speakers of the English language, they must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language. For further information on international applications click here

How to Apply and Closing Dates

Make an Application

There are two parts to the application process. Both parts must be completed for your application to be valid and to be eligible for interview.

Application for entry in September 2018 will open in November 2017.  The application process closes on Friday 16th March 2018.

Applications MUST be submitted online at with course code DC906. It is strongly recommended that you upload the required documentation e.g. academic transcripts, parchments, certificate etc to your PAC application no later than Friday 16th March 2018.  Failure to do so sill render ineligibility to be called for interview.   DCU cannot accept responsibility for incomplete applications.

The following supplementary form must be fully completed and returned directly to Janice Horgan, Postgraduate Administrator, MSc. Guidance Counselling Programme, School of Education Studies, DCU, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.

Click HERE to download the supplementary form. To complete form, please type and print completed form. Please DO NOT submit a handwritten form.

(Applicants do not need to complete the personal statement on PAC as this requirement is fulfilled on the supplementary form.)

Please note that canvassing of any kind will disqualify an applicant. Furthermore, we do not discuss any aspect of an application with third parties.

All correspondence regarding your application for this programme will be made through the email address provided with your online application. It is your responsibility to monitor your PAC account for a change in status.

Those who are placed on waiting lists should be particularly mindful of this and all applicants who are offered a place on the programme should ensure they confirm acceptance by the due date otherwise the place will be offered to the next applicant on the waiting list.

Interviews will take place in late Mid-March 2018. Applicants for interview will be notified via PAC in advance.

Please note all correspondence regarding the entire process of application, including interview outcome, is mediated through the PAC system. Please ensure to regularly check your PAC account.

Queries on completed PAC applications can be made by email to