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Case Study: Northumbria University

Connecting with Universities and Careers


Providing cutting edge degree subjects for over 33,000 students, Northumbria University has successfully established itself within the top 50 UK University rankings.  Delivering over 520 degree based subjects across four different faculties, Northumbria University has become an institution of choice for students from over 135 countries. With an ongoing focus on raising the ‘employability’ of their students,  Northumbria University and Gradvert have worked collaboratively across different faculties to support key degree programmes with their employability agenda. Bringing programme leaders, members of the careers services and employers closer together, Gradvert have supported the institution in it’s mission to embed an employability programme across several key degree subjects.

The Challenge

With high publicity surrounding the raise of tuition fees across the UK, Northumbria University recognised the need to ensure that their degree programmes were doing more than just providing academic excellence. In order to support students into employment and allow them to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours graduate employers are looking for, the institution devised a plan to embed employability development into the academic curriculum. Northumbria and Gradvert first connected in 2014 to conduct research, develop employability modules and bring together faculty staff, the careers service and employers to provide a unified approach to employability.

Design of an Extensive Development of Research Programme

Development of Research Programme Employability Modules

Roll out of programme Across Multiple Faculties

The Solution

Gradvert initially started working within the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences to conduct an extensive research programme assessing students perceptions of their employability prospects and comparing this to employers perceptions. Using these findings as a basis, Gradvert were able to design and deliver a range of employability modules to support the Psychology Department embed their employability agenda. In addition to the delivery of an employability programme, Gradvert worked closely with the faculty to bring academic staff and the careers service inline with the employability agenda. The success of this project has led to continual delivery on the Psychology programme but also the roll out of employability development programmes across the faculties of Business and Law.

The Results

With the support of Gradvert, Northumbria University:


  • Supported the Psychology faculty with the raise in their employability figures.
  • Established an ongoing partnership with all faculties within Northumbria University.
  • Currently working with the Business School to embed an employability programme across 18 modules.