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Improving Graduate Futures and Employability Through Embedded Industrial Experience

Dixon, John; Gordon, Neil



The financial cost to individuals of higher education is now regularly exceeding £50k before maintenance in the UK; consequently, students are more concerned than ever that their degree should offer value for money when they enter the jobs marketplace. Overshadowed by long-term debt, lack of career options and job offerings with low salary, student numbers in the arts, languages, humanities and philosophy areas have suffered compared to most STEM disciplines (Universities UK, 2018). Computer science, I.T. and computing tend to buck this trend (HESA, 2020), and, with a drive toward reskilling the workforce for a more technology-focussed future, this suits Government strategy. However, graduate employers want to hire individuals who are well rounded and have experience; businesses identify that more general workplace experience is key.

The subsequent sections describe a level 7 (Master’s) capstone project module, Commercial Development Practice, dedicated to fulfilling these employer requirements by focussing on project processes rather than project products. The practicalities of running this module and considerations that have been key for the successful application of this technique over the 14 years the module has been running are discussed. The curriculum, pedagogic approaches and assessment methods are presented.
The evaluation of this approach, which analyses the impact and student experience and perception of the module using data gathered since 2015, has found that participants gain valuable skills, experience and confidence which leads to more employable graduates.


Dixon, J., & Gordon, N. (2022). Improving Graduate Futures and Employability Through Embedded Industrial Experience. New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 13, 2022
Online Publication Date Jan 14, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Jan 14, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jan 17, 2022
Journal New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences
Print ISSN 1740-9888
Publisher Higher Education Academy
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Issue 17
Keywords Computer Science; Computing; Curriculum Development; Education; Employability; Employment; Industrial Experience
Public URL
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Published article (536 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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