Boost your Employability

Working Together: EED3536 Group Photomployability for Arts & Social Sciences ED3536 is a third year, 30-credit course, which is a collaboration between the School of Social Science, the Centre for Academic Development, Careers, the Scottish Institute for Enterprise and local organisations. This novel course provides the opportunity for you to work in small groups to develop solutions for projects posed by a local business or charity.

The course involves you carrying out a group work-based project while also enhancing your employability through a range of workshops. During the course you practise key career and project management skills, most notably team work, creative thinking, negotiation and presenting. As a direct result of this course, effective links between the University and businesses have also been firmly established. If you are interested about reading the authentic learning opportunities offered by the course, please read Dr. Jenkins and Dr. Durkin's latest published case study, on page 94, in a case study compendium entitled 'Employability: Breaking the Mould' available here.

The course is co-ordinated by Dr Stuart Durkin, School of Social Science and is 100% coursework-based.

Organisations offering projects have included: Sue Ryder, Aberdeen Science Centre, AAB, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Aberdeen Council of Voluntary Organisations (ACVO), DeeTours Ltd and The Gordon Highlanders Museum.

To find out more watch the short video below from a previous ED3536 student.

There are a range of employability courses available to you, these include: Learning from Work ED1521, Career Development: Find Your Direction ED2550 and Employer-led Interdisciplinary Project ED3537. To register visit MyCurriculum.

Student experiences from the Working Together: Employability for Arts & Social Sciences Course

Mailie Besson

Mailie Besson, 22, French/Scottish

MA Honors student – International Relations and Spanish & Latin American Studies

Recently I have had the opportunity to work as an intern at the University of Aberdeen on the TESTA (Transforming the Experience of Students through Assessment) programme being piloted by the Schools of Natural and Computing Sciences and Social Science. This experience has been extremely beneficial for myself as well as for my colleagues. Being able to provide my perspective, as a student, to the ongoing projects happening in the institution is a privilege

I was fortunate to meet Joy Perkins and Stuart Durkin whilst enrolled in the “Employability for Social Science Students” course. Thanks to this wonderful course, which allowed me to build my employability skills and confidence, I accepted the internship offer presented to me by Joy Perkins. I had not previously known it was possible to have paid internships within the University of Aberdeen. To my delight to process of becoming an intern was quite simple and speedy!

Photo of Mailie Besson.

I am currently working for the Centre for Academic Development as well as with the Schools mentioned, alongside a fellow student intern. My role in this internship was originally to carry out research in order to gather foundational data for TESTA, growing in the heart of the University. I am now working alongside head figures of the University, in a student/staff partnership

Most importantly, this internship has proven to be extremely valuable and beneficial to me. Working with the University of Aberdeen has broadened my skills, boosted my professional and personal confidence, as well as provided me with a great sense of accomplishment.

I have developed employability skill such as researching, auditing, creating marketing material, presenting, virtual teamwork, delegating tasks, improve my time-management skills and verbal & written communication skills. The list could go on. Not only has this internship enhanced abilities that I will be able to use in many future professional settings, it has also allowed me to broaden my interests and areas of expertise. Never having previously had an intense interest in education, I now have a large amount of experience and knowledge on a new topic. In my opinion, diversifying your knowledge and skills is always positive.

Additionally, working alongside staff and lecturers at the Centre for Academic Development, as well as the two academic schools, has given me insight to the workings of the institution. Understanding staff perspectives and seeing their efforts to create a positive, encouraging and nurturing environment for students at the University of Aberdeen has changed my vision of the University as a whole. I feel as though my efforts in this internship are tangible achievements which will have ongoing positive consequences on student life, as well as my own.

The internship opportunities at the University are a valuable gift, which would be a shame to overlook.

Shaun Cameron

Shaun Cameron

12 November 2021

The following is a an interview with Shaun Cameron, a Senior Honours student in Politics and International Relations who recently completed the module; 'Working Together: Employability for Arts & Social Sciences'.

Why did you decide to pick the ED3536 course, Working Together: Employability for Arts & Social Sciences?

I decided to study ED3536 after speaking to an older student who had recommended studying the course due to their own experiences whilst completing a project for the course. As such I was keen to develop my own project-related skills and enhance my business understanding.

What did you enjoy about the ED3536 course?

I thoroughly enjoyed various aspects of the course including the opportunity to act upon skills developed in previous lines of work to complete a project with a business. Furthermore, I was able to establish a new working relationship with a company which related to the industry which I plan to enter after my degree. The course also enabled me to develop new skills surrounding virtual working. These skills will allow me in the future to be better prepared for an online working environment.

What benefits and outcomes have occurred for you as a result of completing the ED3536 course?

As a direct result of completing the course I have secured a graduate placement position with the company I completed the course project for. The company in question is an engineering outfit who I developed a fantastic working relationship with throughout the duration of the course. Additionally, the benefits of the course include enhancement of skills such as communication, working to deadlines and teamwork.

What advice would you have for other students looking to build their employability at University?

I would advise other students to take every opportunity available to them in respect to courses such as ED3536 as things such as placements, graduate jobs and further development opportunities can come because of impressing companies who take part in courses such as this. I would also encourage students to actively look for placement opportunities during summer months to enhance employability. And I would advise attending career fairs to maximize networking opportunities.