Integrating career development learning into the curriculum: Collaboration with the careers service for employability




career development learning, careers services, employability, curriculum, course development, collaborative curriculum development, organisational transformation


Career development learning has a demonstrable positive impact on the graduate employability of higher education learners. This is particularly the case if it is integrated into the curriculum rather than experienced as an add-on or included in finite curriculum elements. However, integration of career development learning into curriculum is a significant and challenging undertaking in course design, and also in facilitation of learning experiences. Academics manage crowded curricula in their disciplinary areas, and many also have external course accreditation requirements to deal with that may not include career development elements. In many institutions there is mixed understanding of what career development learning entails, no clear top-level strategic support, and unprecedented numbers of enrolled students across digital and on-campus provision. This article explores challenges and opportunities in integrating career development learning into curriculum in higher education, and identifies effective strategies for doing so at institutional, school, and program levels. It draws upon case studies comprising more than 30 interviews across nine universities in Australia and internationally, exploring how cross-disciplinary collaboration between career development practitioners, learning and curriculum designers, and academic units can be effective in enacting curricular career development learning at scale. The article suggests strategies for institutional leaders, academics, and careers practitioners in higher education insitutions at different stages in the curricular career development learning journey.


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Author Biographies

Ruth Bridgstock, Griffith University, Australia

Ruth Bridgstock is Professor of Curriculum and Teaching Transformation at Griffith University’s Centre for Learning Futures. She is Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and National Senior Teaching Fellow for Graduate Employability 2.0. Ruth’s research focusses on how universities can foster learner capabilities for productive participation in the 21st century knowledge economy and society. She is also interested in the future capability of educational institutions, including organisational transformation and teacher professional learning. Her blog is

Michelle Grant-Iramu, QUT, Australia

Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Michelle Grant-Iramu's career has focussed on building cultural capital and capabilities through collaboration and social engagement, working across community, government and industry sectors. Michelle also has experience in higher education, teaching creative industries’ courses that combine disciplinary learning with industry-based experiences. More recently, Michelle’s portfolio of work includes strategic consultancy, evaluation and research with a strong focus on collaboration enablers, capability building and social network development.

Alan McAlpine, QUT, Australia

Alan McAlpine is the Associate Director of Student Success at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He sits on the board of Graduate Careers Australia, the Career Industry Council Australia (CICA) and was national president of the National Association of Graduate Career Advisory Services (NAGCAS). He successfully managed a university career service for more than a decade, resulting in involvement with three ALTC (Australian Learning and Teaching Council) awards for teaching and learning.


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How to Cite

Bridgstock, R., Grant-Iramu, M., & McAlpine, A. (2019). Integrating career development learning into the curriculum: Collaboration with the careers service for employability. Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 10(1), 56–72.