The Career Development Module is an optional module available in many courses at the university. Whilst the University offers the opportunity to use the module to support learners in schools with student tutoring or develop knowledge and skills using your existing part-time work, the Students' Union offers a third option. You can undertake the module by volunteering through the Students' Union in the local community or on campus (as a Rep for example), or by using your position such as President, Secretary, Treasurer, or Welfare Officer to accredit the module.
If you already volunteer through the Students' Union – either within the Union’s volunteering opportunities or with external charities – this route will help you to recognise and analyse the graduate skills that you use. To take part, you must be volunteering in a placement approved by the Students' Union before you start the module, and you must confirm your choice of placement with your personal tutor or degree programme director.
Please note: before applying for CDM, you must contact us first to check the eligibility of your volunteer/committee role and the availability left on the module; you will not automatically be given a place on the module because you meet the criteria and we must be aware of your interest before application.
Need help? Feeling unsure about anything regarding the volunteering route of CDM? Please come and see Liz Gulliver in the NUSU Activities Office or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a question regarding any of the other routes or would like more information on the methods of assessment for any of the routes, please contact the Careers department.
More Information Check Eligibility
1. Pre-Arranged Placements
Browse our placements here or browse placements by organisation or category. Not seeing anything you like? Our list of placements is constantly being updated so keep checking back to see if anything new takes your fancy.
2. Find your own Volunteering Placement
You are more than welcome to source your own placement with an organisation directly. If so, please explain the CDM role to prospective charities, the information on this page may assist you with this. Once you have gained a placement please inform us of the organisation, your role and the name of the person who will be acting as your supervisor (as we will need to check some paperwork with them).
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3. Use existing Committee, Rep, or Student Media roles
You can use the work you do in your volunteer role or position to use towards the CDM. If you hold such a position, you can email us to confirm your current placement. Spaces are limited, so the earlier you apply the better. Whilst the module is more targeted towards Lead Committee roles, students who are sharing roles or who hold other prominent roles within their student group may be eligible but will need to put forward a proposal and have this agreed by the CDM team at NUSU.
The main aim of the Career Development Module is for you to develop the 4 main graduate skills within your 70 hours of volunteering. You should apply these to your module assessments and also be able to articulate these for future success (in job interviews, applications, etc).
These are the main skills that employers have highlighted they look for in graduates:
- Planning & Organising: Set targets, plan actions and manage time and resources effectively to achieve personal and organisational goals.
- Communication: Use speech, writing, non-verbal methods and technology effectively to present and exchange opinions, ideas and information.
- Team Working: Build effective working relationships and collaborate with other people.
- Personal Enterprise: Use creative problem solving to respond to opportunities to improve own performance and work processes.
During the module: Students will be required to develop essential skills (planning & organising, communication, team-working, & personal enterprise) and be able to self-reflect upon and communicate exactly how they have developed these through their volunteering.
- During the initial stages of your volunteering, you should set personal and professional goals and targets you wish to achieve. These should tie in with your development of the graduate skills and should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).
- Communication of your development of these graduate skills should be made through regular meetings with your assigned Placement Supervisor. This is where you will update them as to your progress in tasks, how you have developed certain skills, how well you have developed them, as well as any obstacles you have faced and how you have overcome these.
- Self-reflection of this will be achieved through a further discussion of these goals and advancements during each regular Placement Supervisor Meeting, where you will review your progress in your set tasks and skills.