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CEG8008 : Professional Skills and Career Development for Engineers

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Ms Gigi Herbert
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To develop students' self-awareness and the ability to self-manage, proactively interact and ethically apply knowledge and skills in a work-related context.

The Professional Skills for Engineers module offers students the opportunity to undertake work-related learning to develop and compile evidence in relation to professional competences and standards relevant for their career intentions. Through engagement with the module, students will enhance their employability, develop their understanding of how to be successful in current recruitment and selection processes, and learn professional development skills that will help them plan and manage their early career development.

Outline Of Syllabus

Successful graduate engineers need to be able to assess and analyse their skills in order to articulate and evidence the core professional skills and attributes valued in industry as well as by a wide range of graduate employers. This, alongside the ability to proactively plan and manage their personal professional development, is essential to career progression and achieving professional accreditation in industry (e.g. ICE, I-Struct-E, CIWEM, APM, CIHT).

Supported by their module tutor, students will reflect on and manage their own learning and development through a series of seminars, workshops and preparation and consolidation activities.

Students will complete a minimum of 35 hours of planned, purposeful activity within an agreed professional context. This Professional Experience provides the context for the practical development of core professional skills and demonstrating improvement in specific graduate skills and attributes, and progression towards a graduate career.

Topics and themes addressed in module teaching will include:

•       Module introduction and induction

•       Developing organisation and commercial awareness: Resources for understanding organisations

•       Exploring industry: Employers, occupations, and sectors. Understanding routes into industry and routes to career progression, exploring trends in occupations, sectors and industries.

•       Understanding professionalism: What are professional and occupational standards and why do they matter? Using professional and occupational standards to inform your development goals

•       Professional self-management skills: Reflection and experiential learning, resilience, growth mind set and responding to challenges and setbacks, building on strengths, understanding yourself/understanding others.

•       Professional self-management skills: Exploring career values and motivations - how do these relate to the different types of roles in industry? What resources are available to explore career options and matches?

•       Professional self-management skills: Developing self-awareness - understanding yourself and others, developing emotional intelligence.

•       Professional self-management skills: Strategies for self and project management, time management and organisation, developing enterprising behaviours and creating opportunities.

•       Professional self-management skills: Goal setting and action planning, benchmarking and analyzing skills and attributes.

•       Professional interaction skills: Positive professional impressions, communicating professionalism, establishing expectations and 'managing up', negotiation and influencing skills, managing difficult conversations.

•       Professional interaction skills: How our strengths and weaknesses impact our effectiveness; bringing out the best in ourselves and others; management or leadership; you don't have to be a leader to lead.

•       Professional interaction skills: Networking to further your career - including face-to-face and online networking.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Placement/Study AbroadEmployer-based learning135:0035:00Direct engagement undertaken within a host placement organization or an agreed Professional Context
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials150:0050:00Lecture Materials & Activities (non-synchronous activities)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Preparation for professional skills assessments
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities10:300:30Synchronous online one-to-one tutorials (students to book into appointment slots)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching19:009:00Synchronous online small group/seminar discussions/activities.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching30:301:30Synchronous online small group tutorials (up to 3 per (students to book into appointment slots
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity126:0026:00Reflective journal logs (using ePortfolio or VLE)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study134:0034:00Completion of preparation and consolidation engagement tasks provides and self-directed research.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time22:004:00Skills Challenge/Group Project
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Overall, the teaching programme provides a framework for students to develop their knowledge of how to

-explore, plan for and develop their career options and opportunities;
-explore skills and attributes related to their professional career aspirations and set personal goals to develop such- qualities through their placement experience;
-develop their self-awareness, resilience and personal impact.

Non-synchronous structured and guided learning, online synchronous (timetabled), online synchronous small group and individual tutorials will support students in:

-evaluating their current skillset and analyze how this related to both their work placement and future career ambitions;
-analysing and developing individual learning and development needs [];
-developing feasible plans entailing a programme of specific planned actions aimed at addressing the identified development needs;
-evidencing and articulating their professional competence and impact.

Topics addressed in module teaching will include leadership, effective professional interaction, professional self- management and organisation, and creating problem solving.

Structured learning tasks on the VLE will prepare students for their placement experience and inform and support the development of personal goals focused on addressing their individual learning and development needs in relation to core graduate skills and attributes enumerated in specific professional competencies and standards. Students will determine the specific skills and/or attributes they intend to prioritise based on analysis of their development needs and career plans, and will discuss their personal goals in these areas as part of the first module assessment (Professional Skills Assessment 1).

Self-directed learning and completion of preparation and consolidation tasks (via the VLE) will introduce students to core principles and approaches supporting professional behaviours, career management, and personal and professional development. Students will be set small tasks to complete alongside online synchronous seminars and workshops to encourage reflection upon and application of these principles.

Small group work and engagement with the discussion board allows students to further reflect upon their goals, ambitions and progress with direct input and feedback from their module tutor, and also allow the sharing of plans and ideas to be included in module assessments.

One-to-one tutorials allow students to review their progress with their module tutor and also aid preparation for module assessment.

The work placement/professional experience (minimum 35 hours) which students undertake as part of the module provides the context within which they are expected to practise experiential and social learning through reflection, critical analysis and continuous improvement.

The aims of this module are drawn from the Newcastle University Graduate Skills Framework and informed by current graduate employer intelligence. The skills outcomes aim to equip students with the ability to articulate how they have developed and learned through practical work experience to enhance and extend their employability.
Students will achieve the learning outcomes for the module through full engagement with the activities and a commitment to their own development.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1M40Written PDP Development Plan and Professional Conversation
Prof skill assessmnt2M50Final Portfolio
Prof skill assessmnt2M10Module Engagement Portfolio. Completion of a set of short tasks to prepare for and apply seminar teaching.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment components are designed to (1) develop and recognise effective application of proactive professional development and career management strategies and (2) develop and reward effective performance in relation to core professional competences as described in the Newcastle University Graduate Skills Framework and by other appropriate professional accrediting organisations (e.g. ICE, I-Struct E, etc.) or sources (e.g.

Professional Skills Assessment 1 focuses on goal-setting, self-awareness and career knowledge grounded in use of relevant professional competences. Students will submit a written professional development plan elaborating how they have evaluated their degree of competence across core graduate skills in order to arrive at a robust understanding of their development needs and a rigorous professional development action plan . Students will articulate the personal goals they have set for their placements, the graduate skills and attributes they have decided to focus on developing, and the professional standards they have identified to work towards. They will also be expected to articulate and explain their rationale for prioritising these skills, attributes and goals, demonstrating occupational awareness in relation to both their placement organisation and their career ambitions, as well as self-awareness through analysing their existing strengths and weaknesses and how their personal goals for this module will help them to develop these. Student time spent on preparation and delivery of this task is roughly equivalent to a written task of between 1500-2000 words.

Professional Skills Assessment 2 is a portfolio assessment submitted in semester 2. This will require students to present evidence of their progress towards and achievement in relation to the personal goals, graduate skills and professional standards they have identified in semester 1. The portfolio is an opportunity for students to reflect on their progress during the module, evidence their professional skills and attributes, and demonstrate their contribution to their host placement organisation. Student time spent on preparation and delivery of this task is roughly equivalent to a written task of 1500-2000words.

Portfolio Assessment 3 involves completion of a series of short preparation and consolidation tasks for students to complete before and after scheduled teaching to support understanding of professional principles and concepts and to ensure seminars and workshops are practice focused. . Student time spent on preparation and delivery of this task is roughly equivalent to a written task of 1000 words or less as these will often take the form of, e.g., answering brief questions.

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