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UCL Careers

contact: Karen Barnard, Director of UCL Careers

Good Practice

1. UCL Careers cannot provide professional vocational guidance working in isolation. Nor can Departments. Good practice in vocational guidance for undergraduate and postgraduate students can only be achieved if Careers and departments work together in a willing and active partnership.

2. The statements included in this Good Practice statement are addressed to all members of UCL. They will have most significance for students, academics - especially Departmental Careers Tutors - careers consultants and personal tutors.

Professional Conduct of Staff

3. Good Practice means that all academic staff and careers consultants will:

  • encourage students to develop their awareness of the options they face when they graduate and the skills they require to take advantage of those options;
  • consider which of their own contacts, including alumni, can be helpful to students in securing a start to their chosen career;
  • actively encourage employers to take an interest in offering vacation work, work shadowing experience, permanent, temporary or part-time employment to UCL students (where this does not interfere with their studies);
  • encourage employers to provide sponsorship for undergraduate students and studentships for postgraduate students;
  • treat every student's career discussions as confidential;
  • recognise that some students may choose to enter professions which do not directly utilise the academic knowledge gained from their degree, and ensure that all students, no matter what their career aspirations, are given equal encouragement and support;
  • work together to identify students who are at risk of unemployment or under-employment on leaving UCL and ensure they are given the appropriate support.

In addition, academic staff will:

  • give each student who seeks one, a fair reference, considering whether the student has the relevant abilities, personality and skills for the job applied for;

Development of Departmental Careers Education Programmes

4. Good Practice means that:

  • the Departmental Careers Liaison Tutor liaises with Careers to produce an annual programme of careers education relevant to students in the department;
  • the careers education programme is developmental, to commence during the first year of study and to include subsequent events which build on what has gone before (a minimum of one session per year group per annum to be included in departmental timetables);
  • the programme draws on information gained from destination statistics, employers and alumni;
  • the careers consultant will attend one departmental and one Staff Student Consultative Committee meeting per year to discuss career related issues;
  • students who participate in the careers education programme acquire particular advantages:

    1. have contact with employers and alumni working in different sectors; 
    2. know several methods which can be used to assist them in making suitable career choices; 
    3. know how to apply more successfully to jobs and courses; 
    4. fully understand the range of selection methods employers use, including aptitude tests and assessment centres; 
    5. are fully prepared to present themselves to the best of their ability at selection interviews; 
    6. understand the skill requirements of graduate employers and are able to provide suitable evidence for such skills, drawn from their academic, professional and personal life experiences.

Internal written contact with students

5. Good Practice means that:

  • each undergraduate and taught postgraduate student is informed of the name of the Departmental Careers Liaison Tutor and the Careers Consultant responsible for the department;
  • each undergraduate and taught postgraduate student is informed by their Departmental Careers Liaison Tutor of their department's careers education programme;
  • each postgraduate research student is informed of relevant careers events via UCL Careers and via the UCL Doctoral School website;
  • copies of the UCL Careers Annual Guide are made available for every student in pdf or hard-copy format, depending on departmental request. This includes events and services provided by UCL Careers [see also section 6 below];
  • information regarding relevant events is made available to students in a timely and appropriate manner via online, social and print media. This includes careers fairs, sector themed weeks, skill development workshops and details of other career activities;
  • Departmental Careers Liaison Tutors are sent weekly event listings by UCL Careers, to inform their students of activities;
  • each undergraduate and postgraduate student is encouraged to sign up to the UCLAlert email system (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/careers/alert) which will inform them of careers events and job vacancies relevant to their individual preferences;
  • all first year undergraduate and postgraduate taught students are emailed by Careers prior to starting at UCL, informing them of careers support available to them and how they should make the best of their time at UCL with regard to enhancing their employability;
  • each student is contacted regarding the Destination of Leavers from Higher education survey, 6 months after their course completion.


UCL Careers

6. Good practice means that the UCL Careers:

  • provides a career education, information, advice and guidance service for students and recent graduates;
  • endeavors to liaise effectively with all departments;
  • provides modules of careers education relevant to each department in the form of workshops, lectures, seminars and fora;
  • provides relevant information about internships and graduate roles to departments;
  • supports departments with placement provision where this is a formal requirement of their course;
  • liaises with employers, programme providers, professional bodies, academic staff and others to provide a comprehensive careers information facility;
  • provides a comprehensive careers information library with both paper and electronic resources;
  • provides each academic department with a bespoke careers website (unless otherwise requested);
  • provides a full programme of centrally run events, some of which are bespoke for certain groups of students such as postgraduates and international students;
  • provides access to events run by UCL's parent body The Careers Group, University of London;
  • provides termly departmental usage statistics detailing the number of students who engage with careers activities and takes appropriate action if usage is low;
  • collects, analyses and disseminates to departments the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education statistics sent to the Higher Education Statistics Agency;
  • assists departments in drawing up annual action plans to improve the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education data as appropriate.

December 2014