Below you can find examples of activities and initiatives within other institutions that address student employability within Social Science.
Embedding careers education within a three-year business studies degree at Lancaster University (source: AGCAS)
Lancaster University's BSc (Hons) Business Studies course includes a core module with careers education embedded across all three years. This module was developed jointly by academic and careers service staff to provide targeted careers intervention and employer involvement with a view to increasing student numbers in work experience and in 'positive' graduate destinations.
Rationale and objectives
The development was driven by the understanding that employability and effective learning are closely aligned (Yorke & Knight, 2004) and the belief that the most effective learning and positive outcomes would be achieved by enabling individual students to reflect and develop over years rather than weeks. After much discussion, it was decided that the learning objectives for careers education could be achieved without formal assessment.
Key objectives for the module include: raising student awareness of the need for work-relevant skills; preparing students for the graduate selection process and the expectations of employers; and equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed for life-long career management. Critical to achieving these has been enabling students to engage with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the business environment and fitting subject understanding into the broader context of student learning.
- Year 1 focuses on the graduate labour market, employer expectations, self-awareness and the action planning process using a mix of lectures, workshops, one-to-one PDP work and employer visits, business games and case studies.
- Year 2 focuses on organisational roles and opportunities with exploration of networking, decision-making and job search strategy. It incorporates employer visits and one-to-one networking.
- Year 3 focuses on the graduate selection process and job applications with an intensive two-day programme incorporating mock assessment centres, practice psychometric testing and mock interviews.
Management skills at University of Reading
This module is delivered to 100+ Management students and is one half of a 20 credit module called 'Management Skills'. The module requires students to act as recruitment consultants and prepare a 'client report' containing a job advertisement, the selection of candidates for interview and interview questions.
Students are required to work in diverse teams to research a business issue, solve problems effectively and think critically in order to gain the highest marks. The case study provides opportunities for careers education and the development of skills regarded by the HE Academy as essential for the employability of management graduates.
Students attend lectures, which introduce them to the case study and different aspects of the selection and recruitment process from an employer's perspective. All lectures and case study material are available on Blackboard, which also contains a range of links to useful sites and sources of help and information.
In team meetings (with 10% penalties for non-attendance) students have to bring individually-prepared work before embarking on the team task for the report. The written report is assessed, as is the presentation of the report to 'the client'. Individually, the students reflect on the processes they have been through and what they have learned about skills such as team working, leadership and negotiation (this work is also assessed).
The evaluation of the module (sample size 100) focused on employability skills and was overwhelmingly positive. For example: more than 85% of students reported that they had improved team working skills, effective problem solving and self awareness; 81% thought that the module had come at the right time in their degree; and 96% thought the academic level of the module was 'about right'.
Norwich Business School UEA
NBS-3P5Y Management Consulting And Development
Full Year, Level 3 20 credit module. This module is aimed at those students who are considering pursuing a career in personal/employee/management development and or management consulting. Students within a framework of self-managed learning will be expected to map the context of their learning experiences, complete self-diagnostic work, agree a strategic learning contract, participate in group learning meetings and undertaken individual work using action research as a tool to inform reflective practice. Students participate in a typical management consulting project for a client and in groups present their findings to the consulting client.
University of Abertay, Dundee
'Establishing Virtual Working within the Business Curriculum', Mary Malcolm.
London South Bank University
'Embedding Employability at London South Bank University: a process of evolution or design?', Helen George.
Nottingham Trent University
'BA (Hons.) Business Management (In Company) Degree: a programme designed by Nottingham Business School to enhance graduate employability', Vanessa Knowles.