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Developing Students Employability as a member of St Mary's Staff

Developing Students' Employability - How St Mary's Staff Can Help.

Academic and professional staff play a vital role in developing the employability of St Mary's students and graduates. Research by the UK Engagagement Survey (UKES) shows student conversations about their career with members of university staff are positively correlated with improving career development skills. You can help by signposting students to careers support from L3 and 4 so this becomes a normal and integral part of their academic journey and not something that is left to final year.

If you are an academic you can also:

  1. Discuss the students career development during personal tutoring sessions
  2. Reference module content to the world of work and enable students to recognise skills gained through their studies
  3. Create authentic assessments to contextualise learning to professional life
  4. Engage employers in the development of module content or participation within modules e.g. Guest Speakers
  5. Build employability content into programme design
  6. Encourage students to take opportunities to gain experience within the curriculum e.g. workplace learning modules and on  an extracurricular basis through internships ,volunteering or entrepreneurship.
  7. Encourage students to participate in the St Mary's Award to develop and reflect on skills and experiences they are gaining at university.

The Employability Services team can support you with all of this so if you wish to find out more, please visit the Academic Development Framework Employability Pages in Moodle or contact us for a discussion on

The Graduate Outcomes Survey

The Graduate Outcomes Survey is conducted by the Higher Education Statistics Agency as a statutory requirement on behalf of all universities and higher education colleges in the UK. It is a total census giving snapshot of graduate activity 15 months after leaving Higher Education. Results are usually published in August.

The graduates in the survey population are initially emailed a link asking them to take part in the online version of the survey. For those who do not respond to the online version of the survey, a telephone follow-up survey is undertaken.

HESA has a response target of 60% for UK leavers, 45% for EU leavers and 25% for non-EU leavers.

If you have questions about the Graduate Outcomes Survey please contact Aysha Mirza via

What's so important about the Graduate Outcomes Survey?

Graduate Outcomes information is used as a measure of the employability of graduate and postgraduate students from Higher Education. The employability of students affects academics as it influences an institution's:

  1. Performance in league tables
  2. Performance indicator status
  3. Teaching Excellence Framework award
  4. Quality assurance

How is the Graduate Outcomes Survey information useful for programmes?

It can be used to:

  1. Market courses to prospective students as it is a useful guide to understand options after graduation.
  2. Monitor employability on programmes and aid with curriculum design to boost employability outcomes.
  3. Inspire current students with career ideas
  4. Ensure that careers guidance is topical, accurate and comprehensive and give an indication of key employers of St Mary's graduates.

What questions does the survey ask?

The survey is concerned with what a graduate is doing fifteen months after they graduate, be that: full-time paid work; part-time paid work; voluntary or unpaid work; work and further study; further study only; assumed to be unemployed; or not available for employment. The questions are devised by HESA and used by institutions nationwide.

 There are also three new 'graduate voice' measures which allow graduates to comment on:

  • How meaningful or important they feel their activity to be
  • Whether they are using the skills they gained from their qualification in their current activity
  • How they are progressing towards their future goals. 

What programmes can do to positively influence Graduate Outcomes

  1. Embed employability in the curriculum for the programme at all levels of the degree. You can email us on for a discussion on how best to do this for your programme.
  2. Include opportunties to gain work experience within the programme e.g. workplace learning modules, placement year, service learning.
  3. Keep contact details of your finalists and communicate details of the survey near the census date e.g. August before survey in September (approx. 14 months post graduation). Work with the Career Consultant for your programme to draft appropriate communications. This will ensure a good response rate.
  4. Remind your final year students that they can still access the careers service after graduating and refer any graduates that need support to the careers service. This will help more of your graduate to gain graduate level employment.