Institute of Education

Graduate Diploma in Guidance Counselling

Course Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
Delivery Modes
1.5 Years
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Dublin City University's Institute of Education are delighted to offer our Graduate Diploma in Guidance Counselling as an outreach programme in Kilkenny.  

This 1.5 year part-time programme is recognised by the DE* 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.

This programme is an outreach offering based in Kilkenny for information on our DCU campus based programme please click here »

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.

Programme Fee: €6,000

*Please note the DE also require employees to hold:

A primary degree with subjects recognised for teaching in second level schools (please check Teaching Council) and a recognised teaching qualification.

 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

Diversity of Experience

Programme participants come from a range of backgrounds contributing to a breadth of experience and a dynamic learning environment.

Personal and Professional Development

The Programme facilitates personal and professional development through participation in peer learning, group supervision, innovative and learner-centred approaches facilitated by staff with experience in the guidance counselling field.

Career Development

DCU Graduates of the programme are educated and trained to a very high academic and professional standard supporting their own career path development across a diverse range of sectors directly and indirectly related to guidance.


 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.



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.


Due to the specialist nature of this programme, additional criteria may be used to assess suitability to undertake this programme. For further information, please contact the Programme Chair using the contact details above.



International Applicants


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



Postgraduate Taught

Postgraduate Taught


Part time

EU Status Fee Part-time
Yr 1 : €4,200 - Yr 2: €2,100
Non EU Fee Part time
Yr 1: €8,600 - Yr 2: €4,300

Next Steps

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


To apply for this programme:

All applicants should apply through here. Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application

Please submit the following:


  • Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study at undergraduate level with English translation if applicable should be uploaded with your application.
  • All applicants must submit a passport size photo.
  • All applicants must submit a Supplementary Form (downloadable directly from the supplement items & documents section after submitted your application)
  • All applicants must also provide emails addresses for two referees which will be invited into the system to complete letters of reference (Academic & Professional, Please see application portal)
  • If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements.  Please see link


Please ensure that you upload the required documentation.  Failure to do so will render ineligibility for interview.  DCU cannot accept responsibility for incomplete applications.


Application Queries

For EU applicant queries, please visit or email

For non EU applicant queries, please visit or email


Please note:


Applications Closing Date: 29th February 2024

Please note all documents must be submitted by 29th February 2024


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

Successful candidates please note deferrals on this programme are not permitted due to the large volume of applicants and the very strong competition for places. 

Canvassing of any kind will disqualify an applicant. Furthermore, we do not discuss any aspect of an application with third parties.