AGCAS Research Conference 2019

Creating new knowledge through research: implications for policy and practice

Now in its fourth year, the AGCAS Research Conference has become an annual fixture in the AGCAS events calendar.

The conference aims to promote research of particular relevance to careers and employability practitioners and offers a dissemination platform to AGCAS members who are undertaking research of their own, either individually or in collaboration with colleagues.

The conference celebrates research-informed practice and aims to inform and inspire delegates to undertake practitioner research, regardless of research background.


Workshop descriptions

Confirmed keynotes

Professor Tristram Hooley, Chief Research Officer, ISE
Always look on the bright side of life? Why employers are upbeat, but graduates might want to prepare for the worst
At the heart of this presentation will be the question ‘if a new recession is imminent and Brexit is going to decimate the economy, why are so many employers increasing the number of students that they are hiring?’ How you answer this question is central to how you see the near future of the graduate labour market and how you should shape your careers and employability programmes. So, is the glass half empty or half full?

Dr Tracy Scurry, Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching, Newcastle University and Dr Ciaran Burke, Associate Professor of Higher Education, University of Derby and Co-Convenor of the SRHE Employability, Enterprise and Work-Based Learning Network
The graduate career resilience challenge
This session will explore the notion of graduate career resilience. Whilst the notion of resilience is subject to much critique and debate it continues to pervade wider discourses of graduate attributes and careers. Drawing on findings from two recent project (SRHE and HECSU), we will highlight the key debates and consider the challenges that this presents for students, graduates, employers and higher education institutions.

Dr Rita Hordosy Lecturer in Education, The University of Manchester and Dr Tom Clark, Lecturer in Research Methods, The University of Sheffield
How do student experiences of employability change over time? Interrelations of policy, practice and career planning
This session will examine the relationship between student budgets, part time employment and career planning and explore how constraints on finance can impact on experiences of employment in both ‘the here and now’ and the imagined future. Detailing the highs and lows of part time work and the different approaches to career strategy associated with the student experience, we argue that discourses of employability need to be seen in conjunction with all other aspects of the student ecosystem. Our evidence suggests that graduate outcomes are not necessarily a product of better or worse career planning. Instead, they are an ongoing process of negotiation that is thoroughly intertwined with the policy and practices that shape social mobility.

Why should you attend?

10 things I learned at the AGCAS Research Conference 2018: Kate Daubney

The HE careers and employability sector is rich and complex; the factors impacting the profession are diverse and interconnected. Turning research findings into practical day-to-day delivery is critical to how services evolve provision and to the positioning of practitioners as experts in a shifting policy landscape where graduate employability is under increased scrutiny. The AGCAS Research Conference offers the opportunity to learn from colleagues, who will share insights and experiences of creating new knowledge through research, highlighting how knowledge, expertise and research can help to inform, design and examine government policy.

Within the current metrics-driven climate, TEF has enabled and enhanced a cross-institutional strategic approach to graduate employability; many AGCAS members are reporting increased academic engagement and collaboration with careers service activity as a result of subject-level TEF. Within this context, the AGCAS Research Conference is evolving to foster collaborations of mutual interest and benefit between AGCAS members and the academic community and to assist AGCAS members in building relationships with academics who research and teach careers and employability content. 

Key audience 

  • AGCAS members/careers and employability practitioners who are new to research but with an interest in developing a research portfolio.
  • Research-experienced careers and employability professionals.
  • Academics with research interests in careers and employability.
  • Anybody with an interest in HE policy and the role research plays in knowledge creation and informing policy

For further information about the conference, email