April 11, 2013, by Teaching at Nottingham

Beyond employability and the market: envisaging curriculum change in the new higher education environment

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Dr John Holmwood: “The session addresses issues arising from the ‘over-interpretation’ of employability as a desirable outcome of undergraduate education. Applications for undergraduate degrees in sociology and social policy have fallen nationally at the same time as the core and margin system have created a highly competitive environment in the upper margin. In this context, it is necessary to present a curriculum that is attractive to students, although there is little evidence that this is the same as employability. The university’s own evaluation of student attitudes shows that employability is very low in the priorities of existing sociology and social policy students. The task of curriculum development then is to maintain the traditional focus of degrees while reconciling them to central pressures toward employability. This dilemma is discussed in the context of curriculum change in the School of Sociology and Social Policy and the introduction of a new pathway structure.”

Dr John Holmwood
School of Sociology and Social Policy

This presentation was given at the Curriculum Review conference: creating coherent programmes. It was part of a session addressing models of curriculum coherence where colleagues offered examples of the implementation of a range of approaches to coherence, and shared their experience of the process of curriculum design at programme level. The full programme is available on the Curriculum Review conference page.

Produced April 2013

Posted in Employability