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Careers and Counselling at Work


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor and tutors: to be confirmed
  • Assessment: a two-hour examination (100%)

Module description

This module will build on psychological theories of adult development and theories of career to explore how individuals develop their careers. It will also explore the different theories and approaches to supporting individual change and development at work through counselling and career management.

The aim of the module is three-fold. First of all it gives you a good grounding in adult development and career theories; secondly it allows you to consider different approaches to supporting and counselling individuals in the workplace; and finally it provides an understanding of opportunities and strategies for career self-management.

This module will enable graduates from the BSc Business Psychology to gain a more sophisticated understanding of career development at work and how it can be supported. It will offer support to those who wish to undertake postgraduate study in organisational behaviour, change management or HR. The module will also provide the required background knowledge if you wish to undertake a research project in this area.

Indicative module content

  • Definitions of career, key career concepts and their wider social and cultural context
  • Career inheritances, and theories of adult development and career
  • Matching approaches to careers, including career anchors
  • Career decision-making and planning: the impact of individual activity on careers
  • Supporting individuals at work: counselling through life and career decisions
  • Different approaches to counselling, their roots in psychological theory and application to work
  • Roles, transitions and identities in relation to careers
  • Careers as relational and dynamic, including the role of mentors and mentoring in career development
  • The role of organisations in relation to careers, including the exchange relationship between employees and organisations as a form of psychological contracting
  • Careers in practice and notions of career success

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • be able to define career, understand its objective and subjective aspects and their social and cultural context
  • understand how career inheritances and theories of adult development inform an understanding of careers
  • be familiar with matching approaches to career choice, including the limits to occupational choice
  • appreciate the extent to which decision-making and planning can enable individuals to take charge of their own career
  • be aware of how counselling can support people through life and career decisions
  • have explored ideas of career and role transition and individual identity in the context of careers
  • understand the changing nature of social and developmental networks and their role in career development
  • be able to outline the role of organisations in relation to careers, the concepts of ‘resources’ and psychological contract
  • have examined the concepts of career self-management and career success.