Courses at DCU
Institute of Education

Graduate Diploma in Guidance Counselling

PAC Code:
Course Type:
NFQ Level:
Delivery Modes
Minimum Points:
+353 (0) 1
700 9253

Dublin City University's Institute of Education are delighted, with the support of Donegal ETB and MSLETB to offer our Graduate Diploma in Guidance Counselling as an outreach programme in Sligo.  

 This 1.5 year part-time programme is 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 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 DES 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.




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.

Postgraduate Taught
Make an Application

Application for entry in August 2020 are now open. Closing date: Friday 27th March 2020. 

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

Applications MUST be submitted online at with course code DC908.

Please submit the following:

  1. Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study at undergraduate level with English translation if applicable.
  2. The following supplementary form MUST be fully completed (click here to download) and emailed directly to   Please DO NOT submit a handwritten form.

  3. All applicants must also provide TWO COMPLETED REFERENCES (Click here to download).  Please ask your nominated referees to complete and email the referee's form as soon as is possible to and to include your NAME on the subject title of the email.

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


Please note:

Applicants do not need to complete the personal statement on PAC 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.


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