PGCert Career Development

PG Cert Career Development student
Entry year
Course code
Education and Childhood
One year part-time
Part-time (Online Learning)
Programme leader
Theresa Thomson and Dr Catherine Rosenberg

Page last updated 3 August 2020


Progress as a qualified career development practitioner while learning valuable additional skills and knowledge not found on comparable courses, such as enterprise education and delivering career-related learning to large groups of learners.

Accreditations and partnerships:

Why study career development?

The demand for career development practitioners is growing. As jobs evolve in an ever-changing world of work, people are increasingly in need of additional careers support and career management skills, so that they can transition positively between different stages of their careers.

Why UWE Bristol?

Whether you already work in this field, or aspire to do so, UWE Bristol's PGCert Career Development will allow you to professionalise your skills and meet the qualification requirement for the UK Register of Career Development Professionals.

Approved by the Career Development Institute (CDI), this future-facing course provides a strong grounding in contemporary careers development theory and practice, with the added benefit of being taught by current and experienced career development practitioners.

You'll develop the skills to support the career development needs of clients as you build your knowledge of contemporary issues, relevant theories and ethical models for practice.

Developed as a joint initiative between UWE Bristol's Careers and Enterprise team and the Department of Education, with input from the CDI, this PGCert brings together expertise from across the University to give you valuable additional skills and knowledge not found on comparable courses.

You will learn to design and deliver career-related activities to groups of learners, including larger groups, as well as providing support on a one-to-one basis. Enterprise education is also built in, reflecting the need for career development practitioners to have a confident understanding of this area.

The course is delivered and assessed online, making it a flexible study option that can be fitted in around other commitments.  Recognising that practitioners in this area increasingly need to engage with new technology, we will build an online community of practice and support you in your online learning journey.

Where can it take me?

Once qualified, you will be in a position to take your skills into a range of educational contexts, including schools, colleges and universities, as a career development professional. Your knowledge and experience will also be sought after in related fields, including enterprise, placements, employer relations, volunteering, mentoring, student advice and support, personal development and life coaching.



You will study:

  • Frameworks for Career and Enterprise Development
  • Careers and Enterprise in Practice.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you. 

Learning and Teaching

The course is delivered as a flexible online course, using authentic materials and interactive learning methods, including recorded lectures, online discussions and case studies, supported by online tutorials.

Each module includes weekly study units, with directed activity, supplemented by additional reading.

As you develop a critical, reflective and enquiring approach to your practice, you will develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • Contemporary frameworks for career development courses in a professional context
  • Contemporary policy issues related to employment, enterprise, education and training options
  • Professional, ethical career development practice with individuals and groups.

You will learn, and network, with fellow practitioners, offering mutual support, as well as receiving online support from your tutors at UWE Bristol.

See our glossary of teaching and learning terms.

CDI membership

As a student on the course you will be eligible for student membership of the CDI, giving you access to further professional development opportunities. The fees to join the CDI, and the Register of Career Development Professionals, are in addition to your course fees.

Study time

The course runs from September to June.

As a guide, you will be expected to spend 6-7 hours a week on directed activities and independent study.


You will be assessed using a variety of practice-oriented assessments, including a recorded presentation, appraisal of a case study and poster project.

The assessments are linked to real world practice and mapped to the external professional standards required of a qualified careers professional.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

The Postgraduate Certificate in Career Development is approved by the CDI and meets the qualification requirement for the CDI's UK Register of Career Development Professionals. If you intend to provide personal career guidance in a school or college you will require further study to achieve the Post Graduate Diploma and CDI awarded Qualification in Career Development.


Most students will be working in a relevant field, where you can apply your knowledge and understanding, and reflect on your experience.

Study facilities

The course is delivered and assessed online, with all materials provided through our Blackboard online learning system.

Students also have access to Study Skills resources through the UWE Bristol library at Frenchay which are particularly useful if you have been out of education for a while.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.


Careers / Further study

The course provides a solid foundation for those wishing to become fully qualified career guidance practitioners.

You will be equipped to provide one-to-one career advice or group career-related learning in UK schools, colleges or universities, or to take your skills overseas.

You could also progress into a related area such as enterprise, placements, employer relations, volunteering, mentoring, student advice and support, personal development or life coaching. 


Supplementary fee information

See our funding pages for more information. 


Entry requirements

Usually applicants will have an undergraduate degree (2:2 or equivalent) but applicants with other qualifications or professional experience are also encouraged to apply. We will consider evidence of your relevant personal, professional or educational experience where it demonstrates an ability and potential to succeed on the programme.

Please contact the Programme Leader to discuss your eligibility for the programme.

How to apply

Read more about postgraduate applications.  

For further information