Kingston University Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and MA in Career and Talent Management

A Programme for Professional Development by Work Based Learning with Kingston University

kingston universityKingston University’s flexible work-based learning approach very much fits with the pragmatism we favour at CCS. The fact that you can now gain a Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and MA in Career and Talent Management from a university whose Human Resource Management Faculty is recognised by the CIPD as a Centre of Excellence, is a marvellous opportunity.

The aim of Kingston University’s postgraduate work-based learning contract is to reward learning applied in the workplace with an academic award. Entry is normally for those with a first degree or professional qualification, but often this is waived when substantial and relevant work experience is there.

By successfully completing selected CCS management courses a student may be eligible to study for a Kingston University Master’s degree under Kingston’s Master’s by Learning Agreement award entitled MA Career and Talent Management.

How Kingston Benefited Me

“The Certificate course work fitted in around my regular work commitments without becoming too onerous, yet it also encouraged me to look more deeply into some of my case work and broaden my understanding of what career counselling can do, and what responsibilities I take on in offering it. The requirement to do 50 face-to-face client hours within the year meant that I actively had to look for extra clients and was able to immerse myself in career counselling far more than I would have done otherwise, which has since been positively noted in a job interview I have attended.

The course also enabled me to take a hard look at my own career, and I feel it has provided me with tools and insights to make better choices in the future.

I learnt a great deal through my course work and the excellent support I received from the course leaders, and I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to enhance their career counselling skills through a work-based scheme.” Kristine Pommert


“After completing the core counselling skills course with CCS, I felt well equipped with regards to working with clients in the capacity of careers coach. I was keen to continue my professional development in this area, but in the twelve years since I graduated from University I had lost the discipline I felt I needed to continue to read and learn about the subject.

The post graduate certificate in Career and Talent Management seemed to be the ideal way to ease me back into formal study, but in a way that fitted around my work and for a manageable length of time – the year certainly flew by quickly.

The reading list helped me get back into the right frame of mind and opened up the field of career counselling from a totally different perspective to my day to day work seeing individuals. Keeping a reflective journal seemed rather alien at the start (I think it was the name!). But actually I found myself writing things in it more and more regularly and have continued to do so since completing the programme. It’s become my first stop now to look up things I’ve read or thought about after working with clients.

The idea of writing and presenting case studies again seemed rather daunting too, but brought together my research and practice together in a way that was never possible at university. It gave the reading and research a real meaning when it was to help my work with a real individual rather than just an exercise in theory. The structure of working on the case studies has helped me form a frame work for my ongoing work with individuals as I continue to learn and develop my skills as a career counsellor.” Frances Cushway


Course Eligibility

If you have completed the CCS five day course, you will eligible to enrol on the Postgraduate Certificate. Part of the agreement with Kingston is that the CCS Core Skills Course will give you the opportunity to gain an award of fifteen credits towards the Certificate (60 credits in all). You will need to complete a two stage test to gain the 15 credits:

1. The CCS Licensing Questionnaire

This consists of fifteen questions testing your knowledge and learning from the CCS Core Skills Course. Some questions are based on case studies from the course. Success here is a necessary pre-requisite to enrolment with Kingston.

2. An assignment consisting of two questions, each requiring 1200-1500 words

The questions cover:

  • a critical reflection on your own career, and the implications of your experience for providing career support
  • a critical review of ethical issues in providing career support and how they apply to your working context

You will receive feedback on your responses to both the Licensing Questionnaire and Assignment. The Licensing Questionnaire will be marked by a CCS tutor. The Assignments will be marked by Professor Charles Jackson and Janet Sheath, who is the Academic Supervisor for the Postgraduate Certificate. Janet is Honorary Teaching Fellow at the Department of Organisational Psychology, Birkbeck Collge, University of London. Charles is a Fellow of NICEC (the National Institute for Careers Education and Counselling) and previously worked at the IES (Institute for Employment Studies).

In order to proceed to this stage, you will first need to enrol with Kingston University. Potential students need to get their application forms from Rebecca Deller on r.deller@kingston.ac.uk. The full Kingston University fee for the PG Certificate is currently £2400.

Group Days

1. Preparation Day

This CCS preliminary day will give you the opportunity to:

  • prepare for Assignment work
  • meet your fellow group of students
  • meet Janet Sheath, the academic supervisor, who will run one of the sessions.

2. Two Further Group Days

Held at Kingston University. The aim of these days will be to provide you with an opportunity to receive both academic and practical support and supervision, in a group setting.

The fee for these three days is £450 + VAT, payable to CCS. This also covers the cost of assessing the initial assignment.

The Kingston Certificate Programme

You will need to complete three further assignments to complete the sixty credits required for the PG Certificate in Career and Talent Management. These assignments will be based on a Learning Contract which you agree with your Academic Supervisor:

  1. Two case studies of practice (30 credits): At least one of these case studies should be a description of work with an individual client. The second case study can be either a second case study of work with an individual client, a case study of a group intervention (eg a career workshop) or other similar career development activity related to career and talent management (eg the development and introduction of self-help career materials combined with career counselling) for which the student has been responsible. The option of a group of students working in the same organisation presenting a group assignment would also be possible. Guidance would be given on the appropriate format of each case study which would be expected to be between 3000 and 4000 words long. Particular importance would be attached to students providing evidence of reflective practice and an awareness of an ethical dimension to their work.
  2. Course assignment (15 credits): The intention of the final assignment is to provide the student with the opportunity to relate theoretical issues relating to career counselling, career development or talent management to their professional practice. Possible activities might be a literature review on a particular topic relevant to their work (eg the career development of women, professional practice issues, etc), a small scale evaluation of the effectiveness/impact of a career intervention, a reflective journal, etc. The option of a group of students working in the same organisation presenting a group assignment would also be possible. Guidance would be given on the appropriate format of the assignment which would be expected to be between 3000 and 4000 words long. On successful completion of the final assignment, students will be eligible for the PG Certificate in Career and Talent Management.

1. Academic Supervision

  1. Initial half-day briefing for groups of students enrolling on the course. Held at Kingston Business School, this will include briefing on the course assignments, provision of reading lists and other course materials, opportunities to be introduced to the university’s library and computing facilities (eg Blackboard), and to meet fellow students. Alternative briefing arrangements will also be available for those who cannot attend.
  2. Up to 5 hours academic supervision. This would be delivered primarily by email or telephone on an individual basis. The two Group days (see above) will include some academic, as well as practical, supervision.

2. Academic Assessment

The Academic Supervisor will be responsible for the assessment of the case studies and course assignments.

3. Case Supervision

You will be expected to have a minimum of 50 hours of career counselling experience during the one year of the programme. Supervision is a requirement while you are attending the course. This may be with a CCS supervisor or you may set up an alternative arrangement with a suitably experienced person. Please discuss any arrangements you plan with Rob Nathan. CCS will be running supervision groups, which will give you a further opportunity to interact with your fellow students. This will involve a charge, payable to CCS.

The Diploma and Masters

The Diploma will require the attainment of a further 60 credits, through the completion of four assignments, while the Masters will require students to write a dissertation worth a further 60 credits.

The probable structure for the Diploma will be:

Research Methods for Career Counselling Focus would be on use of qualitative research methods in applied settings with particular emphasis on how such techniques can be used in the development of career counselling/development practice. Paper outlining how to approach the evaluation of a career counselling intervention and use small scale research.
Evaluating Career Counselling Practice Conduct a small scale evaluation of a career counselling/coaching intervention to demonstrate their familiarity with research skills/techniques. Presentation based on a small-scale formative evaluation of a careers counselling intervention.
Career Counselling Practice: techniques/methods/theories Relate theoretical issues in counselling, career development or talent management to their professional practice/work with clients. Paper reviewing how students have applied particular techniques and methods that develop and apply theoretical constructs in their career counselling. Evidence should be based both on literature/research evidence and case studies of work with clients.
Career Development Needs Assessment Conduct a review of career development needs either in an organisational setting or for a particular client/professional group. Presentation based on evidence from needs assessment outlining career development and counselling issues, strategy for intervention and possible interventions to address identified needs.

Students will also be expected to attend four one day skills training workshops, and to have at least six months and 100 hours of supervised career counselling practice.

The Masters in Career and Talent Management is obtained by a supervised dissertation.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

In certain cases, credit allowance can be made for prior relevant UK Certificated or Experiential learning. Each case will be dealt with individually. To discuss your situation , please contact John Forgan at ccp@kingston.ac.uk

Your Next Steps

Attend the CCS Core Skills course

  1. Attend the CCS Core Skills course (see dates)
  2. Request an Application Form from Mandy Treptow: m.treptow@kingston.ac.uk
  3. Tell CCS you wish to register for the next Kingston Preparation Day, which will be in February 2016, at Kingston University
  4. Further information is available on the Kingston University website at: http://business.kingston.ac.uk/business-services/services-individuals/work-based-learning/postgraduate-certificate-career