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Professional development

We acknowledge the importance of employability skills and we’ve embedded them as part of your studies. Our degrees have been designed to develop the core skills that employers seek in graduates. You'll have the opportunity to complete unique professional development certificates and engage in different work placements.

Professional development certificates

We offer a series of certificates outside of the curriculum as a way of continuing your professional development. These certificates will help you enhance the skills identified by employers as being vital for success in the workplace. Your achievement will be recorded on your Higher Education Achievement Report which you can show to employers.

Certificate of Digital Literacy

To succeed in an increasingly digital society, you need to be savvy about how it can be used to enhance your life and career, as well as the potential threats that come with the territory. Our workshops focus on issues such as online identity, copyright, the reuse of digital information, digital etiquette and digital forms of media.

Certificate of Sustainability

The primary focus of this certificate is the process of institutional environmental auditing. You’ll research an aspect of sustainability on campus, undertake a sustainability audit, explore ways of addressing the problem and design solutions which will be presented to the University.

Certificate of Coaching Practice

This certificate aims to develop your ability and confidence to conduct effective coaching conversations. You’ll have the opportunity to practise the key skills – such as listening to understand, asking open questions, and building rapport and trust – that enable you to coach well. These skills are useful in many other contexts, including teaching, consultancy and managing people.

Certificate of Professional Communication

This certificate aims to develop your professional communication skills and promote your understanding of the working environment. Workshops will explore theories and concepts around communication in relation to the world of work. Using this preparation, you’ll undertake a short work placement which concludes the certificate.

Work placements

We encourage you to undertake a work placement as part of your study programme. This will enable you to engage in the world of work and learn about the professional environment. It’s an opportunity for you to apply theory to practice, develop skills, learn from industry professionals as well as explore a future career path. This ultimately supports you in developing your employability skills and prepares you for future employment. As part of your degree, you’ll have the option to take part in both short and long work placements which are formally recognised on your Higher Education Achievement Report. The two work placement options are:

  1. Intercalated year-long work placement: You’ll complete a four-year degree and your work placement will take place in your third year. The work placement can take place in the UK or globally and after completion, you’ll return to Warwick for your final year.
  2. Short work placement: As part of the Certificate of Professional Communication, you’ll undertake a short four-week work placement which takes place during the summer. Our students have been successful in securing work placements with employers from the private, public, and third sectors. This includes Research Institutions, Governmental Bodies, NGOs, Intelligence Agencies, Environmental Consultancies, and many others. They have undertaken diverse roles from Marketing Assistant, Sustainability Officer, Intelligence Analyst, and Researchers.

In the GSD Department we have a dedicated Employability and Placement Manager, Bodrun Nahar, who’ll provide you with one-to-one careers guidance. Bodrun works in collaboration with employers, so you’ll be supported in securing appropriate work placements. You’ll have access to specialist pre-placement advice, guidance and preparation, as well as ongoing support during your placement.

What careers can I go into as a GSD graduate?

    As a GSD graduate, you have a wide range of career pathways that are available to you. This is demonstrated by the variety of work placements that our students have completed with employers from different sectors.

    Our students have been successful in securing work placements with employers from the private, public, and third sectors. This includes:

    • Research Institutions
    • Governmental Bodies
    • Non-Governmental Organisations
    • Intelligence Agencies
    • Housing
    • Sustainable Consultancies
    • Finance

    Our students have undertaken diverse roles such as:

    • Marketing Assistant
    • Sustainability Officer
    • Intelligence Analyst
    • Researchers
    • Teaching
    • Human Resources

    Skills and strengths

    You will learn valuable transferable skills that will help you with your employment prospects including:

    • Analysing and problem-solving: Through your study of economic principles and models, you’ll learn how to extract the essential features of complex systems, providing useable frameworks for evaluation
    • Critical thinking: Assess arguments, make judgements, formulate reasoned debates and generate feasible solutions
    • Communication: Develop advanced communication skills that enable you to communicate with a variety of audiences and in different settings
    • Research: An integrated programme of research skills training, teaching you how to source, evaluate and use different forms of information and data
    • Organisation: Through a rigorous assessment schedule and a compulsory dissertation module in your final year, you’ll learn the essentials of time management, prioritisation and how to be well organised
    • Collaboration: You’ll have plenty of opportunities to work with others and nurture your emotional intelligence, developing a professional attitude

    Top tips for careers

    • Don’t discount the activities you have done before you get to university – these are a foundation for you to build on and can inform your future direction/interests.
    • There are so many opportunities available to you across the university and beyond and they are often difficult to locate. Ask staff members from different departments and students from previous years.
    • Don’t take on everything you come across in the first month of getting to university. Gather information on what opportunities are out there. Once you arrive, ask questions to lots of different people, throughout your degree. You might find a sport you've never heard of and want to take on a leadership role; you might be interested in research and apply for a grant from one of Warwick's undergraduate research funds; you might want to work on or off campus to assist financially and further your career. Take your time to make these decisions.
    • It’s never too early to start thinking about work experience and employability skills development. Equally, it’s never too late either. Speak to someone, from Careers staff, your department, or the Students' Union.

    Warwick's employer reputation

    • 3rd most targeted university by the UK’s top 100 graduate employers (The Graduate Market in 2020, High Fliers Research Ltd.)
    • Warwick has been ranked as having the 6th highest earning graduates in the UK (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020)

    • Warwick is ranked 32nd in the world for our reputation with employers (QS World University Rankings 2020)

    Student Opportunity: Careers

    You’ll also have access to the University’s Student Opportunity resources (including careers counselling, employment advice, and job fairs). For information about the dedicated Careers and Skills support offered at Warwick, please visit their website.