Work-related Task 

This task involves choosing a topic related to your work experience, carrying out research on the topic and producing a written or in special cases, a verbal account of your research.

The aim of this task is to increase and demonstrate the following: your commercial awareness; your labour market knowledge and research skills.

How to complete the task:

Choosing your topic

You can choose to undertake either a job study or an organisation study or a sector study. If you are interested in self-employment, you have the alternative option of completing a business plan. If you are completing the award as part of an assessed module, topics may vary slightly and your tutor may select the task that you will complete.

Option 1: Job study

For this option you need to identify a person working in a graduate role, or a role of interest that you could see yourself progressing into in the next few years.  The study should include information such as:

  • the route in e.g. entry requirements and career progression to this role
  • next step(s) e.g. progression from this role
  • the main duties
  • the most important skills they used
  • a typical day
  • best things about the job
  • challenging aspects of the job
  • Tips for someone starting out in this career

Option 2: Organisation study

For this option you need to investigate an organisation within your sector or that you may be interested in working for.  You should include information on:

  • what the organisation does and why; what is its aim or mission?
  • how it is funded or how it makes its money
  • the structure of the organisation; is the place you are working part of a bigger organisation?
  • the organisation's place in the sector/industry; who are its competitors?
  • challenges facing the organisation
  • new projects and initiatives
  • how the organisation markets itself
  • how the organisation recruits and the kind of people it is looking for

Option 3: Sector study

For this option you need to find out about a sector (or industry) which relates to your career interests.  This can be broad (eg education, hospitality) or more specific (e.g. pre-school education, the fast food industry).  You should include information on:

  • the national and international context
  • how the sector has developed
  • the main organisations in the sector
  • how 'your' organisation fits in to the sector
  • challenges and changes to the sector
  • the future for the sector
  • funding and financial issues
  • professional bodies

Option 4: Business Plan

For this option you need to focus on the important things to consider when starting your own business.  

Please use our template to help you to structure your business plan.

Your plan should include information such as:

  • mission statement
  • your business idea and goals
  • the market
  • finance/pricing
  • SWOT/PEST analysis



Instructions for completing options 1, 2 or 3

Carrying out your research

You can gather your information in a number of ways. 

If you choose the job study option, we recommend you carry out an interview of the person you are profiling and reflect her/his opinions in your study. Read our tips on carrying out an interview see work-related project interview.

You may also use second hand research such as internet research, LinkedIn profiles and through reading professional journals and newspapers.  Our Careers Library Online and Prospects contain links to sources that will be useful in your research.  As with any piece of academic work, you must reference these resources fully. It is important to check your sources and ensure that they are reliable and contain correct, up to date information. 

Compiling your study

If completing a written report we would suggest this would be approximately 1000 -1250 words (approx 2-3 sides of A4).  Please state the number of words used at the end of the report.  A copy of your report should be included in the portfolio you submit when you have completed all the tasks.

With appropriate permission we will incorporate the best reports in our careers library or on our website.

How is the work-related task relevant to your employability?

The purpose of the work-related task is to help you to develop the skills required to undertake research into the area you wish to work in, and the ability to select and assimilate relevant information for this. In undertaking this research you will develop and demonstrate your commercial awareness, a skill that is often stated in surveys as one of the most important skills required by employers.

You will be expected to have a good understanding of the role, organisation and sector in which you will be working, whether you are working for an organisation or self employed. This understanding is often testing during the selection process through applications and interviews as well as business plans and pitches.

What is it assessing?

Research skills, commercial awareness and occupational knowledge.

Support from the Careers Centre

It is advisable to check that the topic you have chosen is appropriate and workable, before making a start on it.  Please get in touch with us at

You can also talk to a careers adviser as you work on your project.  You can help in planning your project or feedback on your progress. 

For support with business plans, please contact the Enteprise Department at