Information for Staff

Graduate employability is a priority for the whole institution, not just the Career Development Service. The University’s reputation, its standing in league tables, and its ability to recruit high quality students are all heavily influenced by how successful our students are in securing graduate jobs and further study. At least as important as this is the fact that students expect and deserve to be well supported in their preparation and search for graduate employment and further study.

The Leicester Award Programmes

The Leicester Award is a co-curricular experiential student development programme, run by the Career Development Service, which focuses on developing the reflective and critical thinking abilities to ensure our students make the most of their time at university.

Leicester Award LogoThe Leicester Award

The Leicester Award is a personal development programme that enables students to become better learners across academic, personal and professional contexts. It complements the development of transferable skills embedded within academic programmes. Enhanced employability is an outcome of this approach, although not separately identified as with previous versions of the Leicester Award.

For 2016/17, the programme was re-designed, streamlined and incorporated into the first year curriculum. The focus of the programme has shifted from being an ‘opt in’ employability programme to one that supports the development of critical thinking and reflective abilities – as a core part of their first year curriculum.


The Leicester Award Gold

Achieving the Leicester Award unlocks a variety of opportunities to progress a student's personal and professional development via the Leicester Award Gold. This advanced skills development programme is tailored specifically to the student, giving them the opportunity to explore an area of their interest with real world experiences such as; placements, studying abroad, further study and business start-up. Students will expand their network, get support from a professional mentor, develop commercial awareness and learn how to articulate their attributes on both academic and professional applications. Students can select the relevant Leicester Award Gold programme for their future career plans and apply to take part.

Career Appointments and Workshops

The Career Development Service offer a range of appointments to students including career guidance, mock interviews and CV/application advice as well as workshops. You can find out more here.

Careers Fairs

You can find out more about our Careers Fairs and Employer Events here; including our flagship Festival of Careers. This week long festival takes place in October and brings together a series of themed careers fairs and fringe activities.


The CDS promote a wide range of work experience, placements and graduate jobs. These are advertised through the MyCareers portal and our in-house recruitment agency - Unitemps.


Stakeholders internally (students, the Students’ Union and departments) and externally (employers, alumni and parents) all have an important role to play ensuring our students develop the extra dimension they need. Transferable skills such as team working, communicating and planning and organising need to be developed in a range of contexts (curricular, co-curricular and extracurricular) throughout a student’s time at the University.


Early student engagement with the employability agenda is one of the most critical factors in improving a student’s chances of graduate destination success. The longer a student leaves thinking about their career options and planning the more difficult it becomes to achieve a positive outcome. Students need to take responsibility for their own career planning with support from their department and the Career Development Service.


Specific departmental responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Work with your Career Development Service (CDS) contact to embed the Leicester Award in your first year curriculum. They can support you in considering different approaches;
  • Inform your CDS contact of experiences your students may already be involved through the department that could count towards the Leicester Award e.g. Fieldwork;
  • Discuss the Leicester Award with your first year personal tutees to check their progress;
  • Allocating the CDS a 15 minute slot with all year groups as part of a core lecture to encourage early engagement with employability;
  • Encourage your students to engage as early as possible in identifying and developing their transferable skills, career management skills and application competencies;
  • Refer your students (via teaching, tutoring and PDP contexts) to the opportunities and one-to-one support provided or promoted by the CDS;
  • Promote the importance of employability to students on an on-going and integrated basis, not just at the start of each academic year;
  • Ensure that Careers Tutors have the necessary time and influence to champion the importance of employability in the department;
  • Make use of the Personal Tutor system to encourage regular reflection not just on academic progress but also skills development through the Leicester Award programmes - promoting and encouraging students to use the support offered by the CDS as fully as possible;
  • Share ideas and suggestions with the CDS and other departments, via the regular college Careers Tutor meetings and on an ad hoc basis;
  • Help to identify students who have yet to secure graduate work or study in the summer at the end of the penultimate year – this is to enable targeted support for this priority group.

Career Development Service

  • The CDS can provide guidance to university staff on embedding employability and experience into taught programmes.
  • The CDS have opportunities for university staff to hire University of Leicester graduates.

More information

You can contact the CDS for more information about any of our services.

To find out more about the level of service we provide to you and other university stakeholders, please see our Statement of Service for further information.

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