University Alliance > Campaigns > UK universities growing global graduates > Personal support > University of Portsmouth

University of Portsmouth

UK universities growing global graduates

Purple Door Careers and Recruitment

“By building much stronger bridges between every academic department and our careers advisers we will ensure work – and life beyond university – is embedded into teaching, learning and assessment for every student no matter what they are studying.”

Julia Hughes, Head of Employability, University of Portsmouth

Courses at the University of Portsmouth have employability skills and work-related learning built in and assessed alongside academic studies. All courses approved or
re-approved in future will need to demonstrate how they foster employability.

The initiative includes posting a careers adviser to every department to teach alongside academics and help course leaders reshape the future curriculum. The aim is to embed employability in every course, including those subjects which traditionally have not had explicit, transferable skills for employment. It is part of a major drive by the university to encourage its 20,000 students to develop real-life skills and help them find jobs after their studies finish.

Central to the support available is ‘Purple Door Careers and Recruitment’ (PDCR) offering information, guidance, events, links to employers and enterprise opportunities.

PDCR works closely with departments around the University ensuring joined up employability support. Each adviser is linked to a faculty working with students – alongside academics – in lectures and group sessions to help in their decision making, the ability to self-reflect, and to assess their skills, competencies and experience. Activities include learning how to research resources, compile a CV, make effective job applications and succeed at interviews.

A key feature of the student offer is PDCR’s excellent working relationship with employers from the region and internationally. They promote graduate opportunities, recruit students for volunteering and work experience roles and place graduates into full-time employment, posting over 3,100 vacancies in the past 12 months.

This activity is strengthened by an events programme designed to help students meet employers, find out about different career sectors and learn how to make a successful application for a placement, job or course.

To find out more, visit