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The University of Southampton
Careers, Employability and Student EnterpriseStaff

The Graduate Capital Model

The Careers and Employability Service have worked with Dr Michael Tomlinson, Associate Professor in Education to produce a number of videos explaining the Graduate Capital Model, its applications, future uses and the five capitals which form the model.  Click on the thumbnails below to view the videos and learn more from Dr Tomlinson.


The Capitals are inter-related and equally important.  At Southampton we define them as follows:

Human Capital - Developing graduate level knowledge and skills to become well-rounded professionals, confident to access the labour market.

Social Capital - Developing networks and social relations to enhance knowledge and access to target employment.

Cultural Capital - Appreciating the culture of sectors and organisations; being able to present yourself and your profile in a credible way.

Psychological Capital - having the capacity to move into and adapt to a fluid job market and to withstand challenges and pressures.

Identity Capital - Understanding experiences, values and achievements to support development of your professional profile; the development of strategies to accomplish career goals.

Overview of Learning Outcomes

We have created a set of learning outcomes tailored to each of the capitals within the Graduate Capital Model. These outcomes are designed to be used for auditing and mapping curriculum as well as programme development.

Graduates with well-developed Human Capital will be able to:
• Apply subject discipline knowledge and concepts
• Demonstrate transferable skills* relevant to the graduate job market
• Interpret the labour market and search for opportunities
• Identify appropriate ways to apply for opportunities
• Write high quality applications and perform well in the recruitment process

Graduates with well-developed Social Capital will be able to:
• Identify a range of graduate-level roles
• Examine what is new or changing in the graduate job market
• Describe the key influencers in their field
• Recognise and capitalise on opportunities that arise
• Build a network of career contacts
• Create an effective online presence
• Demonstrate the confidence to talk to people they do not know

Graduates with well-developed Cultural Capital will be able to:
• Demonstrate that they have added value through extra-curricular activities
• Select and apply methods to present themselves in a professional and targeted manner (on paper, on-line and in person)
• Assess the culture of key organisations in their chosen sector
• Demonstrate an awareness and sensitivity to different cultural contexts  and an increasingly internationalised labour market

Graduates with well-developed Identity Capital will be able to:
• Identify their skills, attributes and experiences and evaluate gaps to be addressed
• Evaluate their self-concept, including their values and motivations
• Appraise their strengths and areas for development
• Test their ideas through work experience and insights
• Judge their fit for roles and opportunities
• Select an emerging or clear career path(s)
• Assess their progress, identifying and recording their learning

Graduates with well-developed Psychological Capital will be able to:
• Manage workplace uncertainty and when necessary generate plans to take measured risks
• Demonstrate the capacity to be adaptable, able to manage setbacks, changes and transitions
• Establish personal strategies to manage workplace stresses effectively
• Construct career contingency plan(s)

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