Landscape Department Employability / Careers Web portal
Alongside gaining your degree there are many opportunities both in the Department and through the University to gain skills, knowledge and work experience that will enhance your employability when you graduate. We know that a ‘good degree’ is not always enough to secure your future career and the following guide brings together the key employability opportunities, links and contacts to help you make the most of your time at Sheffield.
A general and very useful overview of the Universities various skills development opportunities can be found at www.shef.ac.uk/experience.
The Careers Service
The University has many online and physical resources to help develop skills, find work and careers advice that can improve your employability, whilst a student or after you graduate. The Careers Service team, provide an on-line and face-to-face service. They run daily Advice Sessions to help with any careers enquiries and you can visit their website for more information.
Opportunities for work experience and graduate jobs can be found through the Vacancies tab on Career Connect.
HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report)
The HEAR provides a comprehensive record of your university achievements, including extra-curricular activities, to accompany the degree certificate you receive upon completing your academic programme.
Within the Landscape Department there are many opportunities to engage in activities that will contribute to your HEAR, these include Year Group Reps on the Staff Student Committe, participation in SURE and OnCampus placements, Landmark Society roles, student UCAS interviewers, and outside the Department including Students Union Volunteering and Society roles.
University of Sheffield Enterprise (USE)
USE offer support for those wishing to improve business and entrepreneurship skills, develop a business idea or enhance your CV. ‘Whether you see yourself as a business tycoon or you want to run a community project that will change people’s lives, USE can help you take your ideas forward’. Find out more about the range of activities, talks, competitions and business development grants on offer at http://enterprise.shef.ac.uk
The Students Union run a comprehensive programme of work experience and employability skills activities through Sheffield Volunteering and ‘Give it a Go’ sessions. There are 280 different Student Societies catering for all interests , through which you can boost your CV and learn new skills as well as socialise. The Sheffield University Conservation Volunteers is one our students participate in. Taking on Society roles can contribute to your HEAR. Find out more at via http://www.shef.ac.uk/union/get-involved/
Department of Landscape
Working alongside Department staff, many of whom are engaged in outside professional activity, are a host of landscape professionals who, through their work as associate tutors, academic visitors, internal and LI professional review groups bring a wealth of experience and expertise in the landscape profession and current practice. The development of ‘employability skills’ is integral to the majority of modules, both discipline specific and transferrable.
At each level of the undergraduate (UG) programme there are specific careers focussed activities that involve the Careers service and external Landscape Practitioners alongside Department staff.
Level 1. At the beginning of the year a representative from the national professional body - the Landscape Institute – meets all the first years and explains the many benefits of becoming a graduate member of the LI.
Level 2. The focus during this year is the importance of gaining work experience and networking and developing a portfolio.
Level 3. This year you will be preparing for your ‘Year in Practice’, or future employment. The year starts with a student directed field trip where the emphasis on landscape in practice, meeting professionals and developing materials for your on-line portfolio. There are talks and advice from returning Year in Practice students and the Careers service. Alongside this there is support and advice for those considering other careers.
Within the postgraduate (PGT) programmes the emphasis is on introducing the breadth of the landscape profession and helping you to identify and develop your own specific interests through your selection of specialist modules (for those on the 2 year PGT) and dissertation topics.
For both undergraduate and postgraduates career development and employability form part of structured personal tutorials with your personal tutor, giving the opportunity to review your HEAR and other activities as well as reflect on your future plans.
You will find Department specific online resources, such as the ‘Employability – Making the most of what you’ve got’ tool in the Online Resources pages
The Landmark Society
LANDMARK is the Society for Landscape students in Sheffield, and is for anyone who is interested in nature, design and the environment. They organise volunteering opportunities and talks from landscape professionals, as well as sports and social events. Join the committee to boost your CV and gain valuable employability skills.
There are a number of ways to gain work experience to help you develop landscape expertise and gain transferable skills.
Landscape Jobs and Internships
We are often approached by companies or organisations wishing to recruit, or requiring paid or volunteer help. Details are posted on the Departments Jobs Board. You can also make your own contacts (for example with local landscape practices) and many students secure work or voluntary experience during the vacations. Staff who are involved in many different organisations in and around Sheffield also facilitate volunteering and work experience opportunities with organisations and sites such as the Botanic Gardens, Heeley Millennium Park and Green Estate company.
Careers Service ‘Jobshop’
Through the careers service student Jobshop link you can gain access to job and internship vacancies and lots of employment and careers advice
Year in Practice
Undergraduate students undertake a year in practice after their third year before returning for their final MLA year. You will find out more about this at level 3 and advice and support is offered through our Year in Practice tutor (firstname.lastname@example.org) and through MOLE for those enrolled on their YiP. With the Careers Service we have developed a tailor-made Skills for Work Certificate for Landscape Year in Practice to help you make the most of your work experience.
There is a possibility to work with any landscape practice in another country of Europe, as part of your course, funded by ERASMUS, e.g. through the ERASMUS Mundus Mobility grant for students. This is a unique opportunity because ERASMUS will pay your trainee salary in a landscape practice abroad, which will increase your choice of placements significantly. You will have to arrange this period of practice yourself but further details can be found on the ERASMUS website and support is offered through our ERASMUS coordinator (email@example.com).
Careers information and services specifically for International Students is available from the Careers Service
Individual advice is also available from the Students Advice Centre in the Students Union and through their website which covers topics such as working in the UK
Once you graduate from Sheffield you become one of our Alumni, this is the community of professionals who have shared similar experiences to you through being a student and studying at Sheffield’s department of landscape. Make sure you keep your details up to date on the Sheffield Alumni website
Our experience has been that Landscape Sheffield alumni are often keen to recruit graduates from Sheffield, as they have added confidence in the education they have had. Although not a guaranteed route to a job, alumni are well worth looking out for.
The Landscape Institute (LI) is the professional body and regulator for landscape architecture in the UK. Visit their informative website for information about professional development, job vacancies and landscape practices throughout the UK. Better still join!
The local branch – Landscape Institute Yorkshire + Humber (LYY&H), have an active programme of events and talks, a great opportunity to meet local practitioners.
Work within the Department
There are opportunities for MLA students returning from their Year in Practice to assist with tutoring other year groups, such as design workshops and running digital design surgeries. This is co-ordinated by Andy Clayden at the start of each semester.
Staff sometimes require assistance with their research and opportunities are circulated to students when available. If you have a particular interest in a staff members area of research ask about opportunities.
Funding is available through Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience SURE (http://www.shef.ac.uk/sure) to enable students to participate in ‘real-life’ research projects. Landscape staff and students have accessed this funding to support research opportunities in the Department.
Funding, available through the University’s On CampUS scheme, has been used to employ students for short internships.
We rely on our students at open days and events to ensure smooth running, create a welcoming atmosphere and share their knowledge with visitors.
General support is needed at various times and this is organised by our support staff
Student representatives from each year (UG and PGT) group (home and international students) attend the Student Staff Committee that meets twice per semester. Meeting with academic and support staff, this is an opportunity to contribute to the governance of the Department, for example to discussion on course development and student resources, and to contribute representation to the Department Learning and teaching Committee and Faculty Student Staff Committee.
Sheffield Mentors is a service run by Students Services and is available to all undergraduate students within the Department. Mentors are volunteer undergraduate students who have undergone training to equip them for the role. They are normally matched with a small group of year 1 students (the mentees) from their own department, and, if possible, from the same course.