Employability learning

What is Employability?

Employability can be defined as, “a set of achievements – skills, understandings and personal attributes – that makes graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations, which benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy”. This applies to achieving success in the full range of job opportunities, further academic study and careers in academia. Embedding these themes is crucial for the student journey.

Why is it important?

There are two main drivers for this - external expectations e.g. Graduate Outcome Targets, TEF and student expectations. Fee paying students expect to be equipped with the employability skills, resilience and confidence to improve their long-term career prospects. Evidence of how the university approaches this may also impact how candidates choose their courses. 

Threshold questions

  1. Where in my programme can I meet, hear from and network with prospective employers, alumni and stakeholders?
  2. Where in the programme am I enabled to recognise the parallels between my academic experience and my employability?
  3. In what ways is my experience of the programme reflective of a diverse range of career role models, promoting awareness of equality of rights and opportunities within the workplace?
  4. How far are the assessments I’ll undertake reflective of authentic tasks I’ll carry out in the workplace?
  5. What opportunities are there for me to build confidence and strategies to develop my networks of career contacts, including employers, alumni and other stakeholders, and to present myself in person and online?
  6. How does the teaching team support me to take ownership of the latest graduate competencies and Brookes attributes to inform my career development? This question has been changed from original question on the website.
  7. What is the scope for undertaking placements, internships and local, regional and global mobility on my programme. This question has been changed from original question on the website.
  8. Do the expectations set for me from the beginning of my programme match the professional expectations for behaviour, self-management and etiquette expected of a graduate?

Threshold Plus

  • What distinctive/additional dimensions employability learning and development is the programme known for?
  • What question is missing in the team’s view?

What can programme development teams do to support their employability?

Your Programme Development Team can work together with your link careers consultant from Brookes Careers to embed employability. This could be to review current/proposed content to see where it already contains elements of employability. 

Alternatively, we could collaborate on embedding employability in module content, assessment/feedback processes. This document includes examples which address eight threshold themes that have been identified, e.g. programme or module design could include involving employers in live projects and observing assessed presentations from students. 

Finding ways to incorporate employability within programme development will complement further resources, advice and support which students can access outside of what is arranged within the curriculum. 


OCAED thanks the Oxford Brookes Careers Service team for the content on this page.