Careers Service Careers module for student carers

This module focuses on career and employability learning. It supports student carers in acknowledging the role they do. It also takes into account their commitments and responsibilities.

Two student interns reviewed the original module, made recommendations, and developed new content. These student interns are carers themselves.

We'd like to thank June Cochrane and Tara McCulloch for their hard work in redeveloping this module.

Who is this module for?

It's been developed to support student carers from first year to Masters. We think you'll find it helpful, whatever stage you're at.

It focuses on career and employability learning. It will provide you with insights into the process of transition from university to work or further study. This includes an understanding of the processes of career choice and career development. It also focuses on the graduate recruitment processes and the labour market.

What will the module cover?

It's divided into 3 sections which cover the following topics: 


  • I just don’t know what to do with myself
  • Making the most of your degree
  • Building and Using Your Network 


  • Gaining and Recognising Your Experience
  • Effective Career Research
  • Thinking of Further Study


  • An introduction to recruitment processes
  • Separate sections on CVs, Cover Letters, Online Applications, Personal Statements, Recruitment (psychometric) Testing, Assessment Centres, Interviews

For more detail, go to the Module Content sections below.

What does the module involve?

This module is not credit-bearing. That means you can go at your own pace. You may decide to work through it from start to finish. Or dip into sections, and topics, that are relevant to the stage you're at. 

It's broken down into bite-sized sections. You can spend as much, or as little, time to fit around your commitments and home life. 

We have organised the module content for each topic in a 'book'. Click on the icon to begin working through that topic. Each book contains information, activities, and further resources. These are accompanied by suggestions for follow-up activities. Where possible, we have included an estimate for how long an activity may take you.

We have drawn on content from You're Hired! Graduate Career Handbook by Tristram Hooley & Korin Grant. We have provided online access to it through the University library. For EXPLORE and PLAN you're encouraged to read a chapter of the book before working through each topic.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module you'll be able to:

  • articulate your strengths, weaknesses, interests, and values. You can use this self-knowledge to support your career development
  • describe how your experiences as a carer will support your future career. It will also show you how to present your skills and knowledge to potential employers
  • show an awareness of common transition routes and recruitment approaches. And be able to produce key artefacts that support this transition (CVs, application forms, online profiles, etc)
  • demonstrate an awareness of the transferable skills you have gained from your caring role. You should be able to identify key evidence that supports this transition (CVs, application forms, online profiles, etc)
  • demonstrate knowledge of the labour market. And articulate how you might operate within it
  • demonstrate knowledge of self-care, self-reflection, and self-awareness

Find out more about the module content

I just don’t know what to do with myself

This section will encourage you to reflect on your values, likes and strengths. It will show how these attributes can help identify career paths.

Work through this section if:

  • you're not sure what you want to do after your degree. Or even how to begin thinking about a career
  • you find yourself at a crossroads in your career. Perhaps you feel as if you've studied the wrong degree or you're seeking a change of career direction
  • you've returned to education

Making the most of your degree

Whether you're doing a vocational or non-vocational degree, you still need to think about the relationship between your learning, your caring role, and your career. This section of the course will help you think about the subject you're studying, your caring role contributions, and how this might be useful to you when you graduate.

Work through this section if you're:

  • not sure how to talk about what you have learned in your degree
  • not sure what transferable skills you have developed through your studies
  • wondering if there was any point in undertaking a degree or furthering your studies
  • not sure how it will blend into your working and personal life

Building & using your network

Networks are critical to finding employment. As a carer, you may feel disconnected from networking. You may struggle to find the time. Or, you may feel like you've lost touch with networking. As a student, you'll have opportunities to build your networks. But who is it best to connect with and how should you do this?

Work through this section if:

  • the idea of 'networking' makes you nervous
  • you don't know who to network with or why
  • you're not sure what your networks have to do with getting a job
  • you want to build your network
  • you're nervous about networking or feel you need to refresh

Gaining & recognising your experience

There are many different ways in which you can develop yourself while at university. This section will discuss volunteering, part-time working, work experience, placements, and activities you can get involved with at university to develop your employability. It will show you how to make the most of each of these opportunities. And how you can manage your time, alongside your commitments, to get the right balance. 

Work through this section if:

  • you aren't sure what should be included in the 'work experience' section of your Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • you don't know if you have any relevant work experience
  • you'd like to get more experience
  • to help identify the unique skills you already have from your caring role

Effective career research

Researching possible jobs, careers and employers can help you make decisions about your career. This section will set out tips for identifying opportunities and gaining insights.

Work through this section if you:

  • are applying for jobs, or have an interview or assessment centre to attend
  • are wondering how to find out more about particular jobs, organisations, and industries
  • are planning for possible future prospects
  • want to be able to compete successfully in interviews and assessment centres
  • aren't sure why you need to do research
  • want to refresh your previous learning and techniques

Thinking of further study

Many students stay on after their first degree to do more study. Is this really a good idea? You may already have a postgraduate qualification. Or have recently returned to education. This section will examine whether postgraduate study will give you the edge. It will also give advice on what course to choose.

Work through this section if you:

  • don't really understand what postgraduate study is and would like to know more about it
  • are thinking about, or have already applied for, further study
  • would like to know more about what career options postgraduate study can open up

This section of the course will outline typical recruitment practices used by employers. It will also provide strategies that you can use to come out on top. It includes in-depth materials to help you with each stage. You'll also be signposted to further resources and support.

Being a carer means you will have many skills and knowledge gained through caring. These can be relevant to employers, even if you don't see them yourself. All it takes is some reflection to recognise the experience and skills that you have. 

Work through this section if:

  • you feel unsure about what to expect when you make an application
  • you are at any stage of the application process
  • your applications are not successful and you don't know why
  • you think your CV needs help
  • psychometric testing is getting you down
  • you are thinking about refreshing your skills further
  • you want to understand how your particular knowledge and skills are transferable