Embedding employability into the curriculum

Simba Kaur

The creative industry curriculum at USW is designed around employability, embedding the skills and creativity that students need to be successful in their chosen industry.

On the Advertising and Graphic Communication course, students are taken to a design and advertising agency on their very first day. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, this of course has taken place digitally, but continues to set the standard of what will follow over the next three years.

Course projects are live briefs, written and delivered by industry in line with the curriculum. Students are tasked with producing high quality work to tight deadlines, using their creativity and technical skills, mirroring the working environment they will face when they enter graduate employment. They learn to pitch, critique, work in teams as well as softer skills, such as interview techniques, and understanding more about their own personalities and how to work well with others.

Adam Williams, Director of Design and Digital at USW, said: “As well as teaching skills that are appropriate to the course area, we are focused on developing students’ transferrable skills that they can take into any economic sector. Coupled with offering students lots of practical work experience, networking opportunities and emulating professional working environments and scenarios, we are already seeing the how this approach is helping our graduates enter the profession of their choice.”

Sam Foote, USW Advertising Design graduate and Senior Digital Designer at Crowdfunder.co.uk, said: “The course gave me a great foundation of skills in a lot of different creative areas which proved valuable for finding opportunities after university. I was able to secure summer placements in Cardiff and Bristol following the end of the degree and had secured a full time junior position at a design agency by September.”