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The University of Southampton

EDUC2028 Employability

Module Overview

This module explores the concept of employability both from a conceptual and practical perspective. It explores the many definitions and approaches to this issue, why it has gained significance in light of educational and employment changes and what this means for individuals and society. In this module you will: - Be Introduced to a variety of conceptual approaches to employability and how this concept has emerged and why it is important; - Explore a range of salient topics around employability and a range of related research, including how the issue relates to skills, class, equality, gender and people’s career transitions and outcomes; - Be encouraged to think strategically and reflectively on your own emerging career development, planning and orientation.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- Develop in-depth and critical understanding of ‘employability’ and its conceptual underpinnings; - Develop awareness of contextual issues impacting upon educational provision and employment opportunities in contemporary society; - Enhance understanding and appreciation of the complex inter-relationship between educational systems and employment, including relevant policy developments; - Examine the changing nature of career progression and work in the modern labour market and how this impacts on individuals’ transitions to, and experiences of, employment; - Encourage stronger reflections and personal awareness on how these wider challenges come to bear on individual planning and motivations around future career development and employability management.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the complex political and socio-economic surrounding individuals’ transitions to, and integration, into the contemporary.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the issues and factors that shape individuals’ employment progression and outcomes and how employability is socially and personally constructed.
  • Display evidence of critically examining how wider social and economic changes impact on education systems and education policy relating to skills, professional and economic development.
  • Develop an enhanced reflection and practical awareness in relation to the management of your own employability and early career planning.


- The meanings and definitions of employability; - Theoretical approaches to understanding employability; - Resources relevant to employment, including skills and capitals; - The relationship between employability and equality, including class, gender and disability; - The changing relationship between higher education and the job market; - The perspectives of employers and the recruitment process; - Practical tools in relation to employability, including CV management, job search and interviews

Special Features

Where practical, effective and efficient the size of teaching groups is maintained to enable interactive approaches to teaching and learning. Contributors to the teaching will have Qualified Teaching Status and/or be a member of the Higher Education Academy.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will use a combination of lectures and interactive learning approaches, the latter largely based on prior reading before each session. You should expect to do a significant amount of research and reading outside of class contact time – some reading or activities will be directed by those who are teaching on this module, however, you should also expect to undertake research and exploration of the topics yourself. You will also have a 1:1 tutorial towards the end of the module to discuss your topic with the module tutor and plan ahead for the coursework.

Independent Study128
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

The mismanagement of talent: employability and jobs in the knowledge economy. 

Studies in Higher Education. 

British Educational Research Journal. 

Journal of Education and Work. Journal of Education and Work. .

Wilton, N. (2012). The impact of work placements on the skills development and career outcomes of business. Studies in Higher Education. ,37 , pp. 603-620.

Tomlinson, M (2012). Graduate Employability: a review of conceptual and empirical themes. Higher Education Policy. ,25 , pp. 407-431.

Education, Work and Identity. 

Education and Training. 

McGowan, T (2015). Should Universities Promote Employability. Theory and Research in Education. , pp. 1-19.

Review of Vocational Education – The Wolf Report. Report to the Department of Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. London: HMSO.

Holmes, L. (2013). Competing Perspectives on Graduate Employability: possession, position or process?. Studies in Higher Education. ,38 , pp. 538-554.

Howieson, C. and Semple, S (2013). The Impact of Career Websites: what’s the evidence?. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling. ,41 , pp. 287-301.

Higher Education Research and Development. 

British Journal of Sociology of Education. 

Fugate, M (2004). Employability: a psycho-social construct, its dimension and application. Journal Vocational Behavior. ,65 , pp. 14-38.

The Global Auction. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (3000 words) 70%
Reflective account  (1000 words) 30%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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