Master of Arts (Counselling and Guidance)

Master (Coursework)

Programme Type

Full-time, Part-time

NIE Graduate Programmes

[email protected]

Counselling and guidance are evolving to meet the needs of individuals in schools and communities to improve their understanding, adjustment, and daily functioning across the lifespan. The roles of counsellors are notably complex and multifaceted. The challenges and demands in the quality of the counselling and guidance services offered in educational and community settings are also increasing. Hence, counsellors need to be reflective about their own practices and ways to enhance their competencies in these areas.

The Master of Arts (Counselling and Guidance) is a rigorous, informative and structured training programme. It is a course-work oriented professional degree that is designed to prepare new entrants into the fields of counselling and guidance as highly competent and caring counsellors. The Master of Arts (Counselling and Guidance) is also designed to enhance and upgrade the knowledge and skills of counsellors at a master's level and to prepare those who may wish to pursue a doctoral education later.

The programme emphasises a developmental perspective, focusing on issues pertinent to providing counselling and guidance services and programme development. The counsellors' personal and professional growth and development; appreciation of diversity and demonstration of understanding ethical and legal issues are also emphasised. The practicum allows application of theories and techniques leading to effective individual and group counselling.

  • You must have a Bachelor's degree from a recognized university preferably with Honours or equivalent in a relevant discipline such as education, psychology, social work, or social science.
  • Only applicants who have the suitable personal attributes and aptitude for the counselling profession with potential to contribute to the community will be considered. Preference will be given to applicants with a clear career path for becoming a Professional Counsellor after obtaining the MACG qualification.
  • Preference will be given to those who have relevant experience in direct counselling work, social/mental health care service sectors, and/or majored in related fields such as education, psychology, social work, or social science.

Completed application forms will be reviewed and shortlisted applicants will be required to attend an admission interview with the faculty panel.

For international applicants, more information on the entry requirements can be found here.

There is generally only one intake for this programme, in August. You are advised to visit the website and look out for NIE’s announcements in November/December to confirm if the programme will be open for application at any particular intake.

Applicants who are currently working with sponsors, donors or financial institutions to fund their studies, are encouraged to submit their applications early to NIE so as not to miss out on our application period.

Applications are to be made online. Click here to sign up for an ISAAC (Integrated Student and Academic Administration System) account to apply with us. For those with an existing account, login to apply.

More information on required documents for application can be found here.

The Master of Arts (Counselling and Guidance) is offered on both full-time and part-time basis.

The candidature periods are as follows:



1.5 years


2 years



3 years


4 years

The MACG programme is a professional degree that comprises 42 Academic Units (AUs). Students may opt to complete the programme under the Practice Track or Practice-Research Track. The Practice Track consists of 12 courses of 3 AUs each (including 10 core courses and 2 elective courses) and clinical placements (2 blocks of practicum of 3 AUs each). Students who wish to strengthen their skills and knowledge in research may opt to do a Research Project elective (3 AUs) in place of a general elective, subject to approval.

The core areas have been identified as the essential competency areas for counsellors by the Council for the Accreditation of Counselling and other Related Educational Programmes (CACREP) in USA, and the Singapore Association for Counselling. For clinical instruction, a total of 400 hours (100 hours of face to face counselling and 100 hours of associated activities for each practicum) is required.

Important note for matriculated students:
Please refer to the ISAAC system for the programme structure relevant to your intake during Course Registration or consult Dr Lee Boon Ooi, your programme leader if you need clarifications.

Courses and Study Plan
Click here for more information.

Download the course descriptions for the programme.

The Master of Arts (Counselling and Guidance) programme is fully certified by the Singapore Association for Counselling as a training programme for Registered Counsellors. Upon completing the programme, students are expected to be competent in various areas including major counselling theories, evidence-based practices, case conceptualisation, treatment plan, case documentation, ethical and legal issues, and research and programme evaluation skills in counselling. Students are trained to adopt an integrated approach to counselling, which draws on knowledge from various counselling theories, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, and multicultural therapeutic perspectives.

For tuition fees, please click here.

For more information about scholarships, please click here

For programme-related matters, please consult the programme leader, Dr Lee Boon Ooi, for more information.

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