Employability in the curriculum: design and delivery

What does a curriculum designed for employability look like? Every curriculum will look different but it will likely include elements of the following:

  • Opportunities for, and active encouragement of, work experience. This could be in many different forms: blocks of work related experience; a short two week work experience; a year-long industry placement; a volunteering experience that can be linked to the curriculum; paid part-time employment that again could be linked to the curriculum; individual or group project work for an employer. There are therefore a varied range of experiences undergraduates and postgraduates can participate in to develop their expertise and work experience. 
  • Diverse and regular involvement with employers and alumni – not just as guest speakers and providers of placements but also to help inform the curriculum, get involved with student assessment; provide case studies and project ideas, to act as mentors etc. 
  • Subject teaching that is rich in real world examples, research projects and opportunities to see how the subject and its methods are applied
  • Active teaching methods – this may include problem solving; discussions/debate; team activities; real-world activities (fulfilling a project brief, consultancy); opportunities for students to create; competition; the pitching of ideas etc. 
  • Through the choice of teaching and assessment methods, provides a curriculum that enhances employability relevant student skills and attributes in a coherent and developmental way. 

  • Space within the curriculum for students to gain career management skills and insights and to be encouraged to engage in timely career planning
  • Enterprise education for all students, not just those that wish to set up their own business. Enterprise activities allow all students to develop creativity, leadership, negotiation, and confidence; all of these attributes highly valued by employers in general. 
  • Explicit recognition and valuing of employability across the curriculum – through employability relevant learning outcomes and assessment; highlighting and encouraging students to recognise the skills being developed; encouragement to engage with curriculum and extra curricula activities; plentiful opportunities for students to reflect on their development, articulate their development and plan their further development (PDP) 
  • Personal tutors and a personal tutoring system that is motivating and supportive in the way that: PDP is handled; career discussions enabled; and further opportunities and services promoted. 

Does your curriculum do all these things? Can it do it better? Specific advice on these various aspects of curriculum design and delivery are available in more depth though the other tabs on this 'Employability in the curriculum and beyond' website.

CES and TLS can support you to develop employability in the curriculum.