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NCL3007 : Career Development for final year students

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Miss Gayle Leach
  • Lecturer: Mr Darrin Beattie, Dr Jessica Jung, Mrs Salome Bolton
  • Owning School: Academic Services
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To develop students’ self-awareness and the ability to self-manage, proactively interact and ethically apply knowledge and skills in a work-related context.

The Career Development module offers students the opportunity to undertake work-related learning in a variety of environments, both on and off the University campus. Through engagement with the module, students will learn about themselves, enhancing their employability (see ) and personal enterprise skills as well as contributing towards meeting the aims of the host organisation.

Outline Of Syllabus

Successful graduates are equipped with the necessary skills to perform and an ability to plan and manage their portfolio career, which is likely to be varied. The 3rd stage Career Development module therefore offers students the opportunity to learn about their skills and attributes and how they might apply these in future roles upon graduation. To aid this learning and development, they undertake work-related learning in a variety of different environments, both on and off the University campus. See for more information. Supported by their module tutor, students will reflect on and manage their own learning and development through a series of workshops, seminars and lectures. Through engagement with both placement and teaching, students will enhance their employability and personal enterprise skills whilst contributing towards the aims of the host organisation.

Students will join the module at the start of semester one and are expected to balance their work for the module across both semesters. Students will complete a minimum of 70 hours of direct engagement with the organisation hosting the work-related learning spread over at least 10 weeks. Host organisations may require other constraints e.g. number of contact visits made.

At the start of the academic year students are expected to:
•       confirm that all pre-requisites for work-related context have been met;
•       attend all teaching/seminars and complete preparation tasks;
•       (student tutoring route only) receive placement allocation;
•       negotiate calendar of activity and duties with host organisation to meet module requirements across both semesters – it is recommended that students complete at least 30 hours of direct engagement in each semester (total hours over year = 70);

During semester one students are expected to:
•       complete a minimum of 30 hours of direct engagement with the organisation hosting the work-related

Sem 1
1       Career Planning part 1 (Crash course in using tools to identify Career Aspirations – support from Careers Advisors to develop not necessarily deliver)
2       Succeeding at your placement part 1 (organisational awareness/role awareness and self-efficacy)
3       Experiential learning (introducing goal setting, action planning and reflection in ePortfolio – student share blog posts with module tutor to inform tutorials and as a reference point in final assessment)
4       Intro to soft skills (communication and teamwork)
5       Group task 1 – Tutor lead session to introduce task (provocation), form groups and introduce Fact Finding (FF)
6       Group task 2 – Space in timetable for fact finding
7       Group task 3 – Tutor lead session into Problem Finding (PF), students then conduct PF and tutor introduces Ideas Finding (IF)
8       Group task 4 - Space in timetable for IF
9       Group task 5 – Tutor lead session into Solution Finding (SF), students then SF, tutor intro Acceptance Finding (AF)
10       Debrief group task and reveal Creative Problem Solving (CPS) (language of CPS not used in teaching, students then able to reflect on their experience when concept is introduced)
11       •       Succeeding at placement Part 2 (reflecting on performance – possible access to anonymous feedback from team members - and what this means for role at placement
•       Group assessment (presentation of AF)

During semester two students are expected to:
•       complete the remaining hours of direct engagement with the organisation hosting the work-related learning spread over at least 5 weeks (total hours over year = 70);

Sem 2      
1       Career Planning part 2 (something around using job descriptions to plan development needs and relating to placement)
2       1-1 tutorial
3       1-1 tutorial
4       1-1 tutorial
5       Professional conversations
6       Intro to Networking
7       Emotional Intelligence and resilience
8       1-1 tutorial
9       1-1 tutorial
10       1-1 tutorial
11       Assessment
12       Assessment
Exam week 1       Assessment

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion131:2031:20Student support, email, drop in and additional tutorials
Placement/Study AbroadEmployer-based learning170:0070:00Direct engagement with placement
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching20:200:401-1 tutorials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops131:0013:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity125:0025:00Eportfolio reflective logs
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity110:0010:00Problem based learning teamwork exercise
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study150:0050:00Blackboard module study aids and independent secondary research
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module provides an opportunity for students to begin to formulate their career ideas and develop these towards career choices. The teaching programme is designed to support career planning through the use of goal setting and action planning within an experiential environment of a placement choice. Students are also exposed to graduate skill theory to reinforce the importance of their learning.
Seminar teaching coupled with peer learning through group tasks encourages students to practice/discuss the skills they are using within their work placement. Seminars will facilitate discussion of the graduate skills and the assessment criteria in relation to students’ individual experiences at their work placement, encourage application of the skills introduced and help students prepare for assessment.
Self-directed learning resources and pre and post session tasks (via Blackboard) will introduce the students to theory around graduate skills, goal setting and self-reflection/development. Students will be set small tasks to carry out in-between workshops to enable the dissemination of theory/experience to form the basis of seminar discussion.
The exposure of a work placement environment provides the student with an opportunity to apply learning from teaching in a ‘real environment’ and then use reflection as a method to achieve continuously improve in the workplace.
Through the teaching programme opportunities are factored in for professional conversation to encourage students to reflect on academic learning in relation to the graduate skills placement experiences and group activities to support them in assessment components.
The aims of the module are drawn from the Newcastle University Graduate Skills Framework and informed by current Graduate recruitment guidance. The intended skills outcomes aim to equip students with the ability to articulate how they have developed and learned from practical work experience to make them more employable. Students will achieve the learning outcomes for the module through full engagement with the activities indicated above.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1M30Group exercise and presentation. Individual contribution peer assessed through WebPA.
Prof skill assessmnt2M30Host organisation supervisor evaluation of student competence.
Written exercise1M10Series of short tasks over semesters 1 and 2 that assess understanding of theories and concepts prior to seminar teaching.
Prof skill assessmnt2A30Demonstration of skills and career development during placement through a professional conversation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment components are designed to develop and reward effective performance as described in the Newcastle University Graduate Skills Framework provided for the students (linked to definitions of employability in Newcastle University and sources such as

Students are expected set goals that relate how they will demonstrate the module learning outcomes, and are expected to maintain a dialogue with their module tutor and placement supervisor as they plan and implement action for progressing these goals.

Professional skills assessment 1 will take the form of an evaluation of student performance in relation to their identified development needs in the workplace by their placement supervisor. Student time spent on preparing and discussing skills competence for this task is roughly equivalent to a written task of 1500 words.

Professional skills assessment 2 is a group exercise that will give students the opportunity to explore how they and others act within a team setting and the effect such behaviour has on team performance. The presentation will evaluate the output of the team task while WebPA will be used to enable students to evaluate their teammate’s contribution to the team task and provide feedback on individual behaviours in relation to the module Graduate Skills framework. Student time spent on preparation and delivery of this task is roughly equivalent to a written task of 1500 words.

There will be a series of short online tasks for students to complete between seminars to assess their understanding of theories and concepts to ensure seminars are practice focused. The overall completion of these tasks is equivalent to writing 500 words or less as will come in the form of e.g. answering multiple choice questions.

The oral examination is structured like a professional conversation to give students the experience of articulating their development in a common professional setting. The oral examination requires students to demonstrate their development as a result of module teaching and planned purposeful placement experiences and they may refer to a skills portfolio to help guide this conversation. Only students that have completed a minimum of 90% of placement visits will be examined. Students that have not completed 90% of placement visits by the end of the University Examination period and have not had a PEC approved by their academic school, will be considered to have been absent without formal approval from their examination and a mark of 0 (zero) will be returned for this component of module assessment.
Student time spent on preparation and delivery of this task is roughly equivalent to a written task of 2000 words.

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