UCC Postgraduate courses

Psychology - Applied Psychology (Guidance Counselling)

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Psychology - Applied Psychology (Guidance Counselling)

  • Code

    CKE15 Part-time

  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    18 months Part-time

  • Teaching Mode

    Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications


  • EU Fees 2020

    €6,000 Year 1; €3,500 Year 2
    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees 2020

    €13,000 (Year 1); €6,500 (Year 2)

  • Entry Requirements

    To apply for this course you should have a 2H2 honours degree. See Requirements for full details.

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    Not on offer 2020/2021

  • Start Date

    Not on offer 2020/2021

Course Outline

The aim of this MA course is to give you the knowledge and skills necessary to become a qualified guidance counsellor. Guidance promotes personal, social, educational and vocational development in individuals. The role of the guidance counsellor is to help people to make the right career decision. Their strengths, talents and virtues are assessed using career information and objective psychometric data. Counselling skills are also important to foster awareness and self-knowledge in the person. The ideal professional alliance is goal-oriented, future-focused, and dynamic. The course will appeal to:

  • Psychology graduates
  • Teachers
  • Social workers
  • Probation officers
  • Juvenile liaison officers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Mentors
  • Managers
  • adult education pastoral care
  • residential care
  • youth and community work
  • nursing
  • adult placement
  • development work
  • coaching
  • employee welfare
  • human resources


Students take 90 credits as follows:

Year I 

  • AP6205 Psychological Principles of Human Development (5 credits)
  • AP6206 Psychological Perspectives on Counselling Theories (5 credits)
  • AP6211 Theories of Career Development (5 credits)
  • AP6220 Career Skills (5 credits)
  • AP6221 Career Information Management Skills (5 credits)
  • AP6222 Counselling Skills for Guidance Counsellors (5 credits)
  • AP6223 Psychological Intervention Skills for Guidance Counsellors (5 credits)
  • AP6224 Group Work Theory and Skills 1 (5 credits)
  • AP6225 Group Work Theory and Skills 2 (5 credits)
  • AP6215 Professional Issues in Guidance Counselling (5 credits)
  • AP6226 Theory of Psychological Testing (5 credits)
  • AP6227 Practice of Psychological Testing (5 credits)

Module Semester Information may be found here. Module Descriptions may be found here.

Year II

  • AP6228 Guidance Counselling Field Practice (10 Credits)
  • ED6212 Project Portfolio (10 credits) 
  • ED6213 Educational Disadvantage and Multiculturalism: Learning and Identity (5 credits)
  • ED6214 Inclusion of Learners with Special Educational Needs: Identity and Disability(5 credits)

Details of the programme content and modules are in the Postgraduate College Calendar

Additional Teaching Mode Information

This programme will be taught during weekday working hours and evening hours over 18 months.


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Course Practicalities

Year 1 consists of 12 hours of lectures per week. Currently, four of these happen on Tuesdays and eight on Wednesdays. In year 2, there is a placement in a work setting one morning per week and currently up to seven hours of lectures on Wednesdays. Please note this timetable may be subject to change.

Assessment consists of a combination of:

    • essays
    • project reports
    • end of year examinations
    • placement supervision reports

The course is taught by staff from the School of Applied Psychology and the School of Education, as well as external teachers who include an educational psychologist, a counselling psychologist and guidance counsellor

Why Choose This Course

The course allows you to continue working while you gain an academic qualification in guidance counselling. You will also learn counselling skills, psychometrics and career service systems. These skills are consolidated in work placements in year two, in either secondary schools or adult guidance services.

We aim to educate you in the knowledge and skills necessary for practice as a guidance counsellor. Achieving these aims will require a lot of commitment and hard work, but the fun is not excluded! The class is relatively small and there is a great deal of staff–student and student-student contact.

The course is recognised by the Department of Education and Skills as initial training in guidance counselling and is also recognised by the Institute of Guidance Counsellors.  Students enrolled on the MAAP(Guidance Counselling) are eligible to become student members of the IGC and graduates can apply to become fully accredited members.

In addition to shadowing and subsequently conducting vocational guidance interviews in a post-primary or adult placement, students gain invaluable experience of the use of counselling skills within a post-primary school,  Students complete a counselling case study with a client, which is supported by 22 hours of dedicated group supervision.

Placement or Study Abroad Information

In year 2 of the course, you will complete 24 half-day placements in a work environment where there is a guidance function.

Skills and Careers Information

By the end of the course you will:

  • understand the value of enabling the personal, social, educational and vocational development of the client
  • justify the importance of understanding the needs of clients from diverse social and cultural backgrounds
  • evaluate relevant theory and empirical findings in the area of guidance counselling
  • advocate the importance of using career information to help individuals make good career choices
  • Explain the rationale behind the use of psychometric tests


  • to apply for this course you should have a 2H2 class honours degree. Graduates who do not meet this requirement and have a minimum of five years of relevant experience in teaching, industry or community work will also be considered.
  • you will be asked to supply a personal statement outlining your professional experiences and personal qualities relevant to undertaking training in guidance counselling and your reasons for applying to the course.
  • All applicants offered a place will have been selected through short-listing and face to face interview with the School of Applied Psychology.

N.B. Please note, the MA in Applied Psychology (Guidance Counselling) offers educational and training opportunities which will require you to come in contact with the public and assume positions of trust. To ensure the protection of the public, and justify public trust and confidence, UCC is committed to ensuring that only suitable candidates are allowed to undertake these programmes of study/training. Consequently, all students on the MA in Applied Psychology (Guidance Counselling) undergo GARDA/POLICE VETTING. University College Cork has made arrangements with the Gardaí with regard to Garda Clearance procedures.

If you are applying with Qualifications obtained outside Ireland and you wish to verify if you meet the minimum academic and English language requirements for this programme please click here to view the grades comparison table by country and for details of recognised English language tests. 

English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here

International/non-EU applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €6,000 Year 1; €3,500 Year 2.

The Non-EU fee for this course is €13,000 (Year 1); €6,500 (Year 2).

Full-time/Part-time fee:

If your course is offered full time and part time, normally the fee for the part-time course is half the full-time fee per year, please check the fact file for confirmation.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie .

Non-EU Fees

The fee schedule for 2019/2020 is available here.

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to three courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to PAC in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary forms requested for your course.

Please log into PAC for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application system PAC opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 


For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Completing online additional supplementary questions and personal statement. Please click on this link to view the additional supplementary questions: CKE15AdditionalQuestions (445kB) (445kB)

Character Referee's Report form to be posted DIRECTLY to the Course Coordinator, School of Applied Psychology, University College Cork. The Referee's Report form is downloaded and printed during the online applications process.  Referee's reports MUST be submitted prior to the interview.  Please click here to see a copy of the special REFEREE'S REPORT FORM: ‌‎‌‎CKE15RefereesReportForm (197kB) (197kB)

Non-UCC applicants must submit evidence of any post-secondary qualification(s) that were not completed in University College Cork and evidence of English language proficiency.

All applicants offered a place will have been selected through short-listing and face to face interview with the School of Applied Psychology.  Applicants will be short-listed for an interview after each round closing date and interviews will be arranged after each round closing date.


Please note that successful EU applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €500 on acceptance of their place.


Deferrals are not permitted on this programme.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Not on offer 2020/2021

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact