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Learning for the Real World: Preparing Postgraduate Design Students for Employment through Embedding Work-Related Learning in the Curriculum

Learning for the Real World: Preparing Postgraduate Design Students for Employment through Embedding Work-Related Learning in the Curriculum

Year: 2012

Section: Professional Perspectives for Design Students

Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen

Author: Sabine McKinnon, Bruce Wood

Series: E&PDE

Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University, United Kingdom

Section: Professional Perspectives for Design Students

Pages: 754-759

ISBN: 978-1-904670-36-0

Abstract

Employability has been the subject of considerable debate in the UK higher education sector for some time. In the case of design graduates there is evidence that employers are dissatisfied with their general commercial awareness. Glasgow Caledonian University’s MA Design Practice and Management aims to improve students’ employability skills by giving them the opportunity to spend one third of their programme working in a real-life creative company. This paper presents the findings from a pilot study with the first cohort of students (n=8) on this programme. Its objective was to explore the perceived benefits and challenges of embedding work-related learning in the curriculum. The research adopted a mixed method approach. Students assessed their own employability skills in an on-line survey at the beginning and the end of the programme. Focus groups as well as interviews with the placement providers (n=3) and the academic programme leader provided additional qualitative data. All students reported improved employability skills as a result of their real-life industry experience. The programme leader observed increased confidence levels among the students and welcomed their improved independent learning skills. Employers appreciated the knowledge transfer opportunity and valued their work with the students as a useful recruitment tool. The challenges included raised anxiety levels amongst students who are not used to such a teaching approach and an increased workload for academics.

Keywords: Employability, work-related learning, design curriculum

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ds conferenceE&PDE 2012: 14th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education

E&PDE 2012: 14th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design EducationThe 14th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE2012) will take place at the Department of Design Sciences, Product Development, Artesis University College Antwerp, 6-7 September 2012 with the theme "Design Education for Future Wellbeing". The conference is a unique opportunity for educators, practitioners, researchers and student in design-related areas to meet and exchange experiences in design education and future wellbeing. Artesis University College is...

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Special Interest Group (SIG)Design Education

Design EducationTo bring together academics, designers, training professionals and others throughout the world who have an interest in design education at the tertiary level....

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Keywords
Design Science Journal