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School of Business and Management

Embedding Employability within and beyond the Student Curriculum

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Sarah Bryan is the Business Development Officer at the School of Business Management (SBM).  Working closely with Dr Patrick McGurk, Senior Lecturer in Management Practice, Director of Skills and Employer Engagement and the SBM Careers Team, Sarah is the professional services staff lead for the development and implementation of two new modules and a mentoring programme to help students enhance their employability and career prospects.

Professional Academic and Development Skills

The undergraduate ‘Professional Academic Development’ (PAD: BUS144) for second year students and the postgraduate ‘Graduate Professional Academic Development ‘(GPAD: BUSM178) non-credit bearing elective modules were introduced to enable students to develop extra skills not currently taught in the programmes.


The PAD and GPAD modules comprise of the following four pillars:

  1. Employability – This part of the modules focuses on the skills to help students look, apply, undertake assessments and interview for jobs. It covers traditional areas such as CV writing, applications and interview techniques to psychometric tests, presentations, networking and work-based observations.
  2. Citizenship – This part of the modules focuses on skills that enable students to make a social, political and economic contribution to society.
  3. Academic Writing – This part of the modules is to enhance written skills in relation to employer applications and academic writing
  4. Quantitative Skills – This part of the modules includes familiarization with the computerized analytical skills in IT.

The Professional Academic and Development modules are year-long non-credit bearing modules delivered in Semester A and B on Wednesdays.  The module leader Dr Nick Tsitsianis built the modules with teaching contributors: Patrick McGurk, Dr Kyla Sankey, Dr Athanasia Kalaitzi, Iain McLoughlin and Sarah herself. 

What is unique about the modules is that both students and employers have had the opportunity to shape its content as SBM identified that there was a demand for these employability modules.  Current numbers evidently support this with 170 students currently on roll and 87% of students saying that they would recommend this module to fellow students.

The modules are practical and hands-on with students undertaking in class video interviews, psychometric tests with results and valuable sought after industry qualifications like Prince 2 and Microsoft accredited Excel training.  Students also have access to guest lectures with for example, Naina Oliver a former BBC Journalist on ‘Confident Communication for Success’ and Paul Hughes ex Chelsea Footballer on ‘Leadership and Communication Insights.’


SBM Mentoring Programme

SBM is a place of firsts. Congratulations to Sonia Singh, Sarah Bryan, Patrick McGurk and the students/Alumni for launching the first SBM Mentoring Programme for undergraduates in years one to three. Students are matched with a mentor from an industry area of interest.  The Alumni or non-Alumni industry professional mentors are from companies such as Citibank, Barclays, KPMG and AmazonMusic.  They also include entrepreneurs and are part of a community of 37 mentors supporting the career ambitions and aspirations of our students.  The programme has two cohorts running from October to April and January to June. Interested in applying?

To find out more email Sarah Bryan at: