Academic and Professional Development Assessment

Guidance for Academic and Professional Development Assessment for Component B (the document might be updated depending on questions received)


Component B is due on the 10th of December by 2pm (UK time) via blackboard and has two parts. This component counts for 75% of the module mark.

Part A: 70% of the component Mark

This a collection of three 500-word written assignments, informed by the academic skills development portion of the module and designed to help you to practice 3 distinct writing styles/assignments.  You will be expected to submit the following:

1.A short literature review on the importance of employability for graduates

Here you have flexibility in terms of the topic area, for example you can look at importance of employability for graduates and examine different factors eg. own development, role of Universities and external influences eg. role of employers. Equally, you can select a more specific focus eg. the role of soft skills for accounting graduates or the importance of soft skills for Chinese graduates. Remember that this is a literature review and therefore the emphasis is on presenting and analysing the arguments drawn from the studies around this field. Your conclusion should try to summarise what you found out about the research on the topic.

2) A mini reflection on how you can develop your own employability in order to secure a graduate role

Here you should consider your preferred career destination/area/job and analyse your own strengths and weaknesses to securing it after graduation. It will be important to include what skills are required by employers and then consider your own pros and cons. For example, if it is an accounting career, what are the main skills, knowledge and experience employers desire eg. technical & soft skills with more focus on presentation and analytical skills. You then need to analyse how strong are your presentation and analytical skills, why do you think that is (i.e what was it that made it developed) or conversely, if it is not your strong suit, why do you think it is not well-developed and what you should do about it. Here you can write in the first person and use I.

3) An analysis of an organisation’s graduate recruitment, focusing on what are the key requirements they expect potential candidates to possess.

Here you need to look at an organisations graduate recruitment, so it should be normally a large organisation (like the pwc example in the lecture) and analyse it considering whether it reflects the organisations values, mission, strategy, whether the organisation is placing emphasis on its graduate recruitment (is it well-developed/structured) and whether it can contribute to their success (for example looking at employer brand name/value proposition and whether it is attractive for prospective employees; the role of graduate recruitment as a talent management pipeline etc.). If you wish to focus on a specific programme eg. Graduate marketing/internship rather than the entire range (if they have many, that is also OK).

About using sources and referencing

Generally, there is flexibility in terms of how you will approach each as long as you keep to the broader topic, style of writing, academic conventions (using academic literature) and word count.  You need to use references, at least 6-7 for each and potentially more. It is essential to use Harvard referencing and provide a full reference list in the end of each task. In-text citations are included in the word count. You can use some websites provided they are from another reputable sources, but the majority of your references should be academic. Try using different keywords and combinations, starting generally e.g graduate employability, the skills for graduate employability and then soft skills as that will allow you to understand more about the topic and help you decide what to include and not to include. The in-text citations are part of the word count, not the reference list in the end.

Where can I find examples and further information?

Lectures 5 and 5.2 cover the assignment and how to write a literature review respectively and it is essential that you watch them. Lecture 5 also provides further tips, explains the different mini-assignment and also has both example extracts and structures (as discussed, the structures are only for guidance and by no means limiting, you can adopt them as you see fit according to your own direction/focus in each as long as you keep to the broader topic and writing style required.

Also, group tutorial during week 4 also covered the three tasks and included sources to workbooks in the library where you could find out more about reflective writing and how to write a literature review. You should also revise the first 3 weeks of academic skills you covered (pre-recorded material) as this will help you e.g in terms of critical writing.  Also, in the component B folder you will find some initial references to get you started on the topic – you are welcome to use them or not, in any case you will have to find them your own.

Lectures for week 5 are here  (Please make sure you watch Lecture 5 on assessment carefully as most questions are covered there)

Group tutorial slides are here

Component B resources are here  (also essential to look at)

All three mini assignments carry equal marks so please focus on all of them equally and don’t spend too much on one at the expense of the other two. The word count is 1,500 without plus or minus 10%.

Part B: 30% of the component Mark

Part B (1500 words) focuses on your employability and is designed to help you develop the skills needed to identify future opportunities in terms of employment, study etc., and to enable you to apply for a graduate job. Your submission for Part B will comprise of four items:

  • The relevant job advert or course description: Here you need to find either a graduate role or master’s you want to apply for and include a copy. This can be a screenshot, or you can cut and paste it. This is not included in the word count. The job can be an internship or something other area than what you are studying e.g education if that is what you are interested to pursue after graduation. Use the websites we showed you during the module to find relevant jobs. It would be good if you chose a role/job that you can apply for rather than something you aspire to eg a more senior role as it would b difficult to tailor your CV and cover letter.
  • A CV and covering letter to accompany, tailored to suit the specific job advert you have selected (or PG course you wish to apply for). You should follow the guidelines discussed during the sessions. The CV should be up to 2 pages long and combine your skills and experience well, demonstrating your abilities and key strengths. The cover letter must be 1-page long should fully address all the requirements of the role with your best examples. This should also include areas you lack experience, demonstrating how you will improve. It is essential to use S.T.A.R in order to make your examples stronger both in the CV and cover letter. There are a lot of resources and examples to help you with both, again covered in the lecture 5 but also in Component B folder. Please anonymise your CV & Cover Letter and don’t include any personal information in your submission.

For example please see the UWE careers toolkit here

and also the example cover letters here

  • A template outlining the skills, competencies and other requirements of the role and how you meet them (providing examples drawn from your experience).
  • A detailed development plan showing what you will do to acquire any skills or professional accreditation that might be required, and you feel should be strengthened.

These are the two templates provided in component B folder which you need to use.

Skills outline template

Please include here the relevant skills from the job advert Provide example(s) of how you meet them































PDP template

Learning and Development Need How and where you will get it.  Be specific!


Timescales Who will arrange it?


Further comments
Provide a specific description of the desired development (e.g. skills, knowledge, experience,) E.g. Course, Workshop, Conference, Self-development (research, reading, etc.), Coaching, Mentoring, Job Shadowing, Project work, etc. E.g. End of April, To be completed in the next 6 months, Over next 1-2 years.


E.g. You, parents, a mentor, etc. E.g. Resource requirements, Additional notes   

























You need to complete these two tables first and then finalise your CV and cover letter. In Skills Outline, list the requirements from the role and think of your best example, writing it briefly in the next column. Similarly, any areas that you don’t possess or need development from the job advert, consider how you will address them and write that in the template. After you are done, use the information and S.T.A.R to finalise your CV and cover letter. For the CV and cover letter, you can use 1.5 spacing if it helps with keeping the 2 & 1 page limit.

What help is out there, what if I have any questions?

We will be using week 6 (w/c 23rd of November) & week 7 (w/c 30th of November) to provide you with additional support. During Week 6 & 7 the webinars will be drop-in sessions and you can ask your tutor any questions you have. Similarly, Group tutorials during Week 6 look at component B and Week 7 will also be used as drop-ins.

Please note that tutors are not allowed to read drafts or check your work. They can look at a plan and give advice about structure, academic writing, referencing etc. so please do bring your work and come prepared to ask questions. Similarly, please don’t e-mail drafts or request for tutors to check your work but instead use the numerous opportunities to seek help in-class. You can of course contact your tutors on e-mail with specific questions or any points you are not sure.

So, please do come and ask us any questions or help you might need. I am happy to discuss with students as many times as possible. Please do not ask your friends as they will not know either and will end confusing you/giving wrong information resulting in bad results. Always check with the module team when you are in doubt.

You can also contact me at any point via e-mail, MS Teams or on Wechat.


How do I upload the assignment?

Please see full guidelines here

Can I check my assignment for plagiarism?

Please see here

How to reference in Harvard format?

Please see here




Can I use subheadings?

Yes, if you want. It is not a requirement but might help you keep track of your structure and flow.

Where to put the references for Part A?

You can include the reference list in the end of each of each mini assignment as that would make it easier to follow. Nevertheless, if you include the references in the end of Part A, that is fine too.

Can I screenshot the job advert?


Can I use a PDF format of my CV?

Normally no but contact me to find a solution as this is included in the word count.

My cover letter & CV will not fit if I use double spacing, what can I do?

You can use 1.5 spacing for the CV and Cover Letter only if you wish. It is important that the former is up to 2-pages and the latter 1-page long. Also, in your cover letter don’t include the address of the company etc.,  but go straight into the letter.


What personal information should I anonymise, why and how?

We need you to ensure that your name in particular is not included, so you can either delete it, put **** (asterisks) and so on. Similarly, also anonymise any information such as telephone number, contact e-mail etc. This is very important to ensure the anonymity of your submissions.