20 credits at level HE4
This module is designed for people wishing to enhance their career prospects, change their career direction, or learn more about careers. It is a response to the need for individuals to shape their own careers rather than rely on organisations to provide career structures, as has traditionally been the case. The module aims to help you to:
gain information about careers and markets and explore and identify career resources
manage your career and make decisions about career choices
present yourself effectively in the job market
take action to enhance your abilities and extend your employability skills, experience and impact
connect with people and organisations that can assist you with your career development
use technology to assist you to manage your career development.
The module may be taken as a stand-alone part-time CPD module or may form part of a larger programme of study. It is flexible and consists of a menu of activities and a specialist project which meets your career needs.
At the beginning of the module you will have a careers interview and an initial assessment as well diagnostic assessments and self-assessment in a range of employability skills and attributes. You will then agree an individualised CPD package of activities, sessions and events from a menu and pursue your specialist project. You will have access to careers guidance sessions including an exit interview. You will be introduced to the Universitys AP(E)L processes so that you are aware of possible accreditation opportunities that will enhance your career prospects.
How to compete effectively in the job market; Sector skills: What employers are looking for; career theory; labour market information; Web resources; career options (work, self-employment, further study, gap year, opportunities internationally, etc.); paper based materials and publications; destination data; professional bodies / Sector Skills Councils; careers service and mentoring; the University's AP(E)L process.
Self assessment and skills audit; SWOT analysis; psychometric testing; self management and personal development planning; decision making and career choices; positioning yourself; managing career transitions.
Analysis of graduate CVs; building your CV; making job applications (CVs, application forms, covering letters); preparation needed for completion of application forms; understanding job descriptions and job specifications; selection methods; online applications; preparing for interviews (styles and techniques to adopt); presenting and pitching; assessment centres (e.g. what to expect); ethics.
Career action planning; critical thinking; review and reflective practice; study, research and academic skills; work placements and experience (preparation and practice).
Specialist project; reflection and need identification; project specification through SMART (specific, measurable, realistic, achievable within a time frame) objectives; action plan creation and monitoring.
Self marketing and promotion; networking; utilising social media; building your networks.
Internet; presentation software (e.g. Powerpoint); Skype; video conferencing; e-portfolios and professional development planning; Moodle, the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) used by the University; desktop publishing.
Teaching and Learning:
A blended learning approach to your learning is used which means that some of the inputs will be delivered face-to-face and others by e-learning. In face-to-face workshops, Masterclasses, and tutorials, you will learn about theory and practice so you can gain useful knowledge and develop skills that will help you to manage your careers. You will learn from having real experiences and reflecting on those experiences. You will also learn through a variety of methods such as lectures, discussions, case studies, presentations, and practical work. You will be expected to visit external agencies and organisations. You will undertake a range of activities and receive feedback on your performance.
You will undertake the following tasks and have formative feedback on your work which will help you to improve your performance. These tasks will not be used for formal grading.
1 Conduct relevant research about careers and markets.
2 Participate in diagnostic assessment and undertake a personal skills audit and SWOT analysis.
3 Prepare a considered career management plan demonstrating your current situation and indicating what your career aims are, with the action required to achieve them in clear steps.
4 Attend a mock interview and demonstrate effective communication, presentation and self marketing skills.
5 Prepare and give a presentation or pitch confidently and to an acceptable standard.
You will present a career portfolio and project for summative assessment. Your work will be formally graded i.e. it will determine your marks for the module. The learning outcomes and assessment criteria associated with these are shown in the next section.
Item 1 - Career Portfolio
For this assignment you will prepare a CV, letter of application and a standard application form demonstrating effective communication, presentation and self marketing skills. The following information will help you undertake this task at HE Level 4.
(i) the CV will have a neat layout and appropriate use of headings. It should be free of spelling or grammatical errors.
(ii) the covering letter will be well presented and have a neat structure. The letter will include: a description of your skills and experience, the opportunity being sought, your availability for work and possible interview, and have an appropriate closure. Your skills, experience and educational background will be appropriately targeted. The letter should be free of spelling or grammatical errors.
(iii) the standard application form for your chosen career area/position will be well presented. Your skills, experience and educational background will be appropriately targeted. You will provide suitable information to indicate your suitability for the post. The application form should be free of spelling or grammatical errors.
Item 2 - Career Project
You will propose a selected project at level HE4 and agree it with your tutor. Examples of projects are:
skills portfolio (e.g., preparing a portfolio to demonstrate specialist skills)
starting a business (e.g., business idea, research and business plan, testing the concept)
a live brief (e.g., this could be in any relevant area and will give participants real work experience)
a work project (e.g., this could be a placement and a work-based project that meets the needs of the participant and the employer
a project involving work shadowing
skills updating (e.g., learning new skills and producing a skills portfolio).
Your proposal will:
(i) outline the project and explain and justify how your proposal constitutes worthwhile career development
(ii) clearly state the project objectives in the form of SMART objectives
(iii) contain a credible action plan that you have created (the action plan should have appropriate information and level of detail).
You will complete the project to level HE4 standards and identify what you have learned from having undertaken it. You will demonstrate a scholarly approach in undertaking your project appropriate to the level of the module.
when you have successfully completed this module you will:
to demonstrate that you have achieved the learning outcome you will:
|1.||Present yourself effectively in the job market.||1.1. Prepare a CV, letter of application, and standard application form demonstrating effective communication, presentation and self marketing skills.|
|2.||Take action to enhance your abilities and extend your employability skills, experience and impact.||
2.1 Propose a selected project at level HE4 and agree it with your tutor.
2.2 Complete the project to level HE4 standards and identify what you have learned from having undertaken it. Use referencing where appropriate.
Your achievement of the learning outcomes for this module will be tested as follows:
|Description||Career portfolio||Career project|
There are no prerequisites for this module.
No restrictions apply.
This will mostly depend upon the nature of the particular project undertaken.
General sources include:
Brown, D. (2002) Career choice and development, 4th Edition. [electronic resource]. NetLibrary, Inc. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. http://www.netLibrary.com/urlapi.asp?action=summary&v=1&bookid=74093 [Accessed 31 January 2010]
Cottrell, S. (2005) Critical thinking skills: developing effective analysis and argument. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Cottrell, S. (2008) The Study Skills Handbook, 3rd. Edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Cottrell, S. (2010) Skills for Success: The Personal Development Planning Handbook, 2nd Edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Littleford, D. (2004) Career Skills: Opening Doors into the Job Market. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Routledge, C., Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Carmichael, J. (2007) Personal development and management skills. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
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