Initial Professional Development: A case study in embedding employability in an undergraduate psychology degree programme.

Alison Walker

Abstract


This paper evaluates an initiative to improve the effectiveness of student employability support by embedding skills development and work experience into the curriculum of a BSc (Hons.) in Psychology at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Building on the idea that university is the start of a student’s career, we have developed Initial Professional Development (IPD); a multi-faceted process of personal and professional development that draws together employability skills and attributes with work experience, critical thinking and reflection to form a solid basis from which students can continue to develop personally and professionally for the rest of their lives.

New modules and structured group tutorials help students make the transition into higher education and the world of work. A new core module at level four enables students to develop critical thinking skills, reflect on their learning and plan for their future. At levels five and six, option modules give all students the opportunity to gain work experience in an applied psychology context.

Initial feedback from students has been positive, with a high uptake of work placement opportunities. IPD has the potential to provide a structure and rationale for employability development with a clear place and value within the curriculum.

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