Preparing Aston Business School students for placement

Helen E. Higson, Etta Parkes

Research output: Preprint or Working paperWorking paper


Aston Business School (ABS) has offered four-year sandwich degrees (including a year long placement) for over 30 years, and ABS has often been ranked top for graduate employability. This report outlines the activities ABS uses to meet its ever increasing placement targets. ABS builds relationships in students’ thinking between theory and practice, and this has implications for their study, the placement period and beyond. Developing the links has certainly been a factor in the enhanced employabilility of ABS graduates, resulting in ABS having been ranked top for graduate employability for many years. The eight employability skills used as the basis for the placement preparation objectives originate from Smith at al’s (2002) work on employability. We were encouraged to find that these employability skills overlap with the benchmark of the ‘Profile summary for Business and Management’ outlined by Hawkridge (2005). In this case study we provide a rationale and then the objectives of the placement preparation period, followed by specific details of the preparation process. The evaluation highlights key achievements and areas for development, and the discussion is future-focused. Readers should note that the ABS Undergraduate curriculum is aimed at preparing students for employment but this case study focuses on the role of the Placements Team.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationYork (UK)
PublisherHigher Education Academy
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Copyright belongs to The Higher Education Academy. This material may be freely distributed and copied for educational purposes only, provided that appropriate acknowledgement is given to the Higher Education Academy as the copyright holder and original publisher.


  • placement
  • higher education
  • graduate employability
  • business and management education


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