Careers lesson plans

Students in a classroom having a careers lesson
Use our careers lesson plans for KS4 and KS5 pupils to help them explore their skills and their options.

Exploring careers: lesson plan

This lesson aims to encourage students to start exploring different careers, encourage consideration of the different routes into careers and expand students’ thinking by providing exposure to a range of different careers.

The lesson plan is designed for year 12 and 13 students, or year 10 and 11 students who intend to progress on to A level, Scottish Highers or the IB. It’s designed to encourage independent learning via the TARGETcareers website, though we have also provided a sheet of additional resources (below) for students who’d like a bit of extra help.

Exploring careers: additional resources

This additional resources sheet supports the exploring careers lesson above. It provides further information and guidance for students who would like an extra steer.

Transferable skills and competency questions: lesson plan

This lesson divides into two parts. The first introduces the concept of transferable skills and the types of activities that can help to develop them. Students will identify which transferable skills they already possess and consider ways in which they could develop ones that they don’t yet have. The second part of the lesson covers competency questions, which employers use to explore candidates’ transferable skills during the recruitment process for jobs or apprenticeships. Students will learn how to answer competency questions and consider which of their own skills and experiences they can draw on in order to do so.

The lesson is intended for students in year 10 to year 13. It is relevant both for those who wish to go to university and for those who plan to apply for jobs or apprenticeships after leaving school.

Transferable skills and competency questions: additional resources

These resources support the transferable skills and competency questions lesson plan above. They include a summary of what competency questions are and how to approach them, along with a sample competency question and answer.

Degree Explorer: activity 1

This activity is designed to help teachers run the TARGETcareers Degree Explorer assessment in class with their students. The Degree Explorer helps school or college students to consider which university subjects would suit them best. It can be used either with sixth form students (S5/S6 in Scotland), or with Year 11/S4 students so that they can then choose A level/Higher/IB subjects that fit their degree aspirations.

The activity will fit into a time-slot of around 30 minutes. You can then use activity 2 and activity 3 in subsequent lessons as follow-ons to help students to reflect on and make use of their Degree Explorer results.

Degree Explorer: activity 2

This activity is intended as a follow-on to 'Degree Explorer: activity 1' (above). It is written to help teachers help their students to reflect on the Degree Explorer's subject suggestions and consider their next steps in terms of finding out more about subjects that interest them. The activity requires a time-slot of 20-30 minutes.

Degree Explorer: activity 3

This is the final activity relating to the TARGETcareers Futurewise Degree Explorer. Once students have completed and reflected on the Degree Explorer (activities 1 and 2), this activity provides some dedicated time for students to research their next steps, with suggested useful resources to help them to do so and the opportunity to discuss their findings with classmates. It is designed to take 20-30 minutes.

Communication skills: activity plan

This activity focuses specifically on communication skills. It encourages students to consider their importance for the world of work, and to reflect on their own communication skills. 

The activity is designed to take around 20 minutes. It is suitable for students in years 10–13, or S3–S6 in Scotland.

Degree apprenticeship v. traditional degree: activity plan

This activity is designed to help students decide between a degree apprenticeship and going to university in the traditional manner. It includes a number of online research tasks and discussion tasks to help them fully understand what each option entails, consider the similarities and differences between them and think about what type of person each route might suit.

The activity is particularly suitable for year 12 students. It can be adapted to fit the teaching periods available – for example, it could be run as two 25-minute lessons with homework tasks before each lesson.

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Degree Explorer

The Degree Explorer helps you plan for your future! Match your interests to university subjects and explore each recommendation to find out what suits you.

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