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Welcome to the Professional Skills Curriculum

The Professional Skills Curriculum (PSC) is a joint collaboration between CAPOD and the Students' Association, with input from many additional staff, students and external presenters. The programme is open to all University of St Andrews students, and focuses on the top 11 skills graduate employers value, delivered through a series of online workshops, lectures and practical skills sessions. 

The PSC is now closed for the summer. The first of our online workshops will re-open on 1 September.

There are varying ways you can engage with the PSC, and there are opportunities for achieving certificates and degree transcript listings. The PSC runs each academic year between 1st September - 1st June. All completion ‘passport stamps’ must be verified and reflective essays submitted by the 1st June in order to gain a certificate. Support for the PSC from graduate employers, PSC completers and staff members can be found in our PSC blog.

Staying Connected

The PSC now comes in a handy app form, to help you stay in touch with events, updates and news.

Facebook pagehttp://www.facebook.com/ProfessionalSkillsCurriculum. Twitter@PSC_scheme

You can also request to be added to the PSC weekly email list. Simply send an email to profskills@st-andrews.ac.uk with the words 'PSC mailing list' in the title.

How to participate in the PSC

The PSC is a 'graduate training scheme' before you graduate!  Open to all students, you can dip in and out as much as you like.

Getting started

You can engage with the PSC in two main ways. Firstly, you might wish to use the PSC infrequently, coming along to one or two events over the course of the year in topics that interest you. That’s absolutely fine!

The second way is to work towards attaining a PSC Award.

  1. Log onto the PSC Moodle page to complete a skills analysis and choose five professional skills you’d like to work on this year.  You can also download the  or can pick one up with a new Passport.

  2. Collect a PSC passport at any point during the year (either at the end of a lecture/practical skills session, or from CAPOD reception), and use your passport to collect eight or more PSC attendance stamps related to your five professional skills areas.
    You can collect stamps for completing online workshops from the CAPOD office (Hebdomadar’s Block, St Salvator’s Quad) (Mon to Fri: 09.00 - 13.00). For lectures or practical skills sessions, you can collect your stamp at the end of the lecture or session.

PSC completion requirements

To complete the PSC, you must have completed ALLof the following requirements:

  • Completed an initial skills analysis (PSC visa) PSC Visa (editable PDF) (PDF, 2,771 KB) and upload it to Moodle.
  • Obtained PSC stamps for a minimum of 8 workshops, lectures or practical sessions, completed during the year (1 September - 1 June) that relate to the five skills areas you identified when you started the PSC.
  • Submitted a short reflective essay (1500 words) on your PSC experiences & what you have gained from participating in the programme.  Please read the PSC Reflective Essay Guidelines (PDF, 68 KB) prior to starting your essay.

You can upload your essay to Moodle: https://moody.st-andrews.ac.uk/moodle/mod/assign/view.php?id=236504

 

Transcript & certificate

Image of PSC certificate.

On completion of the PSC, you will be invited to a special recognition event to celebrate your achievements - this will be held around the beginning of May each year.

Your achievement will be acknowledged on your degree academic transcript and you will receive a PSC Award certificate from CAPOD. As the PSC is also endorsed by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) you have the option to purchase a certificate endorsed by the ILM which includes a 6-month studying membership of the ILM.  Purchases can be made from the University shop.

The programme: online workshops, lectures & practical skills sessions

Once you have identified the five skills you wish to develop this year, you can find online workshops, lectures and practical skill sessions related to them.

The complete PSC programme

Please visit PSC workshops for the dates, times and other relevant details of ALL the workshops, lectures and practical sessions available. Alternatively, you could download our app which gives you the whole PSC programme at the touch of a button.

 

a. PSC Practical Skills Sessions

Practical Skills Sessions are the most hands-on way to learn, and will give you an opportunity to practise the skills in question. These sessions have a limited number of participant places and go into topics in more depth than PSC lectures or online workshops. There is a sub-set of practical skills sessions called 'Leadership in Practice' which are led by the British Army and based upon a leadership programme within the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.  

Please visit our leadership page for further information on topics and activities associated with student leadership.

 

b. PSC lectures

There are a number of evening, lunchtime, and occasional breakfast lectures on a range of professional skills topics.

These lectures are FREE for all who attend, and the sessions are delivered by professionals & students who have extensive real world experience in the topic of their lectures.  Please visit the programme page, to confirm dates, venues and other relevant details. Lecture materials are stored on the PSC Moodle page.

 

c. PSC Online workshops

The collection of online workshops can be found on the PSC Moodle page (https://moody.st-andrews.ac.uk/moodle/course/view.php?id=1792)

The workshops generally take an hour to complete, followed by an optional assessment (mandatory if you require a passport stamp).  Once released, each workshop remains open until the 1st of June.

 

d. Manager Forums 

These events aims to provide students who ultimately wish to fulfil management roles with the rich knowledge and management experience of University staff. Over the year there will be a range of events such as Q&As and speed networking events where students are able to directly interact with staff to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the real-life aspects of becoming a manager.

Managers' forum

PSC Leadership

Leadership is one of the skills that students want to develop most. Throughout the academic year we will invite guest speakers to talk exclusively on an aspect of leadership. 

Our PSC Leadership Talks are an innovative format designed to stimulate students’ thoughts about leadership and related topics. 

If you are interested in developing your leadership skills, have a look at the PSC Leadership page; this includes further details about the leadership strand, including information on the 'Leadership in Practice' course, a series of six practical skills sessions.

The PSC also supports the 'St Andrews Student Leader of the Year Award'- more information about the award and how to apply can be found here.

PSC Extra

In this part of the PSC website you can find additional interviews with PSC speakers and visiting external presenters. You can also access recommended TED talks and follow-up resources on the top 10 skills graduate employers value.  

Please view our PSC Extra page, and make use of the additional resources.

Undergraduate students taking part in the PSC have the opportunity to self-study for Microsoft Office Specialist Qualifications. This is a time-limited first-come, first-served opportunity to gain and globally recognised IT qualification for free! More information can be found on the MOS web page.

CAPOD is always looking out for students who would like experience in working within various areas such as film-making, media, development, marketing and exposure to a real-life work project.

PSC interns

CAPOD provides opportunities for students to develop & enhance the PSC.  Working on PSC projects, CAPOD volunteers gain knowledge and experience in their area of responsibility as well as great employability skills through being part of a project team. 

As the volunteering opportunities are unpaid, the time commitment is flexible, and usually only 1-2 hours per week. We are flexible and will always try to accommodate you.

The following volunteering opportunities are available now for academic year 2017/18:

[post filled] Social Media Coordinator: This volunteer will take over the running of the PSC facebook page and twitter account. They have to be on top of their game in order to stay on top of all the PSC activities going on and advertising them in good time. If that wasn’t enough, they need to liaise with staff in the Library to get our PSC monthly adverts up on the Library screens and seen by thousands of students each day.

[post filled] Newsletter Coordinator: This volunteer will be in charge of the PSC mailing list and ‘profskills’ email account. Their job is to think of ways to grow the list throughout the year, and send a weekly email detailing everything that’s happening in the PSC world. PSC Newsletter Coordinator role description (Word, 35 KB)

Poster Designers x 2: These volunteers need to have a good eye for poster design and be prepared to design one or two posters/ e-posters every week to advertise upcoming PSC events. This year, we’ve also tasked our poster designers to stretch out into facebook cover photo design, pop-up banner design and even hoodie design! There’s a varied menu of design work to be done. PSC Poster Designer (Word, 38 KB)

[posts filled] PSC: Leadership Coordinators x2: These volunteers run the Leadership strand of the PSC. Their job is to invite interesting guest speakers to talk specifically about the importance of leadership, to run a number of Leadership Rountable events to encourage student discussion on leadership themes, and to help promote the Student Leader of the Year Award in semester 2. PSC Leadership Coordinator role description (Word, 30 KB)

PSC Outreach Coordinator: This post involves taking the PSC into the local St Andrews high school, and working with a postgraduate student to deliver a programme of PSC workshops to a small group of school pupils. PSC Outreach Coordinator role description (Word, 30 KB)

PSC:Extra Coordinators x 2: The role of the volunteers will be to meet with external presenters who visit St Andrews to deliver workshops to University staff. They will capture the presenters’ expertise and knowledge on professional skills topics and post them to the PSC Extra section of the PSC webpage. They’re also in charge of hunting down useful TED talks, articles and videos to add into our collection. PSC Extra Coordinator role description (Word, 30 KB)

[post filled] Employer Blog Coordinator: This volunteer will interview PSC alumni, employers and academics to get their thoughts on why professional skills are important, and blog regularly to keep people informed as to the impact of the PSC. Employer Blog Coordinator role description (Word, 38 KB)

Managers' Network Coordinators: This post is to liaise with the 50+ professional managers at the University who have completed a ‘Passport to Management’ programme and figure out how the PSC can best use their skills. Can they write us a case study, speak at a workshop, agree to a video interview, act as a student mentor? You will also be tasked with organising 2-3 events over the year to bring staff together with students. PSC Manager Link role description (Word, 38 KB)

Film-maker: This volunteer will film and edit a range of PSC related materials. They’ll likely be involved in making PSC video adverts, filming guest speakers, editing interview clips and helping to get the PSC word out there via our shiny new vimeo and youtube channels.

Film-editor: This volunteer will focus mainly on film editing. The footage will be varied, including guest speaker interviews, making adverts and editing down online learning materials.

Online workshop developers x2: The PSC online workshops need a bit of a makeover from time to time, and these volunteers will work behind the scenes to keep the online resources updated. There is also scope to design a whole new online workshop from scratch. PSC Online Workshop Developer role description (Word, 38 KB)

[post filled] Careers link: This post involves two main aspects. Firstly making links between Careers events and PSC events where there are overlaps. For example, if an employer is coming to speak at a Careers event, we need to let our employer blog and/or PSC extra volunteer know. Secondly, helping to map the links between PSC workshops and different career areas. For example, if we put on a new workshop topic, what career areas is it relevant for? Careers Link role description (Word, 37 KB)

[post filled] App developer: This one is a specialist role, maintaining and expanding our fantastic new PSC app. 

Societies' link: This post involves making links across various student societies and clubs and highlighting to them the particularly relevant PSC events running. It's a bit of a networking and promotional role. On the other side, it might also involve figuring out what societies and clubs could contribute to the PSC programme. For example, the PSC has already benefitted from a Presentation Skills session from the Debates Society, and a Project Management workshop from the Playfair Project. The role holder will work closely with the Students' Association's Director of Student Development and Activities to organise bespoke PSC sessions for Socities and Sub-committees. PSC Societies Link role description (Word, 38 KB)

Cultural Event Coordinator. This post is to create a series of workshops and event that help students learn about different cultures over the year. PSC Cultural Event Coordinator role description (Word, 30 KB)

Interested?

Please get in touch if you are interested in any of these opportunities. Send an email detailing which role/s you'd be interested in (please list an order of preference if more than one) with your CV and cover letter. Your cover letter should include what motivated you to apply for the role and why you think you'd be a good fit for the position. Please note the closing date for applications has been extended to the 19 September.

Send your application email to the PSC Coordinator: cmw9@st-andrews.ac.uk

The PSC has expanded into our local high school, Madras College. Every year a number of PSC workshops are held for School Pupils and we use University students to help run these.

The school students learn about some of the professional skills that will help them in their transition to University or employment, and at the end of their programme the school pupils are invited to attend a PSC lecture in the University. 

If you would like to be involved in co-delivering or facilitating some of the School sessions, please contact PSC co-ordinator Cat Wilson - cat.wilson@st-andrews.ac.uk

The feedback for the PSC programme has been very positive, and participants have found they have gained (& developed) their knowledge and skills greatly.  In turn they have implemented these new skills across a variety of areas, such as academic group work, society committees, applications for internships or jobs and more.

If you have any feedback on your PSC experience, you can send it to us via this short, anoymous survey: https://surveyplanet.com/5891ef13b286220c797c0221

"The Professional Skills Curriculum is a terrific course. I learned skills that helped in everyday life and in the professional world. It changed my outlook on what it means to be a leader, and I am grateful to everyone involved in the program. I highly recommend that every student take this course. I guarantee you will learn something new and valuable!.” - Joe Tantillo, Director of Representation 2015-16

"The skills & knowledge I gained through the PSC has helped me lead my society committee in a whole new, improved way" (PSC graduate)

"I have enjoyed participating and am very grateful for how much it has helped me in my ability to study, find internships and jobs, and perform well at them. Above all else, it has greatly increased my self-confidence.” (PSC graduate)

"The Professional Skills Curriculum is a great initiative to fill the gap between academic skills and the real world.”

"I’m glad I went to the effort of doing the PSC. What I have gained from it in terms of skills and knowledge is certainly disproportionate to the amount of effort it has taken. I feel much more ready for the work environment and for a position of leadership than ever before.”

“Attending the lectures and workshops has been incredibly helpful to me by making me aware of some of my weaknesses, on which I can now work with a better understanding of where I am at and where I need to go. “

“Overall I feel these workshops have given me a taste of what to expect in a professional workplace and they have made me more employable as an individual.”

“When the time comes for me to learn similar professional skills in a real professional environment, I will have a head start through the information I have acquired through this course.”

“Basic things like chairing a meeting, knowing how to present and managing a team are all essential to any prospective graduate.”

PSC Passport 2012

Contact

Catriona Wilson
PSC Coordinator
CAPOD

T: (01334) 462558
E: cmw9@st-andrews.ac.uk


PSC navigation

- PSC home
- Programme 2016/17
- PSC History and Hall of Fame

Additional

- CAPOD students
- St Andrews Student Leader of the Year Award

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