Linking Curriculum Learning to STEM Careers

Discover how to adapt your curriculum to link to careers in science, design & technology, engineering, computing and mathematics.

5,426 enrolled on this course

Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

How will you develop your students' career aspirations?

Enhance your role as a STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) subject teacher by linking curriculum learning to careers. Through weekly tasks, you will identify how to adapt your STEM curriculum, engaging your students in careers linked to their classroom learning.

Learn from experienced educators who have adapted their teaching, worked with employers and collaborated with local STEM Ambassadors to create a careers-linked curriculum that both engages and inspires students within the STEM subjects.

Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds GEMMA TAYLOR: As a teacher, you want your students to share your enthusiasm for your subject. Making you subject real and embedding how the curriculum links to future careers will raise your students’ aspirations and help them connect their learning to their career interests.

Skip to 0 minutes and 26 seconds SPEAKER 1: I think there’s a great opportunity for teachers to find themselves enhancing their lessons and helping young people with their future aspirations. It’s not just an add on or something that’s done by one or two specialists down the corridor somewhere. Everybody’s involved in that process.

Skip to 0 minutes and 43 seconds GEMMA TAYLOR: In this course, you will draw upon examples of effective careers learning, discover curriculum-linked careers resources, and hear from teachers who have embedded careers learning in their teaching.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 seconds SPEAKER 2: It’s not redesigning the whole lesson. It’s just putting a spin on that lesson that you’re learning.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds SPEAKER 3: The value of getting employers to come in is just one word, experience. I teach what is limited, in terms of other careers and other professions. So get the experience in.

Skip to 1 minute and 10 seconds GEMMA TAYLOR: Over four weeks, you will explore your students’ careers needs, make small changes to your teaching, discover the value of working with employers, and support your students in evidencing their careers learning. Throughout the course, you’ll be building a STEM careers learning journey tailored to your subject, your students, and your school or college.

Skip to 1 minute and 29 seconds SPEAKER 4: We’ve put real purpose and context into learning. It’s created a window into the world of work.

Skip to 1 minute and 35 seconds SPEAKER 5: So if you can actually put it in context, pupils are going to relate to it to a higher standard. They’re more likely to actually remember it and get better GCSE marks.

Skip to 1 minute and 43 seconds SPEAKER 6: Students’ enthusiasm does increase.

Skip to 1 minute and 45 seconds SPEAKER 7: It’s a win-win situation.

Skip to 1 minute and 47 seconds GEMMA TAYLOR: Join us online to engage, inspire, and empower your students with a careers rich curriculum.


  • Week 1

    Careers in your STEM teaching

    • The difference you can make as a teacher

      Welcome to the course. To start, we introduce how embedding careers in the curriculum is all about good teaching, then ask you to consider your role in supporting your students' to develop their career aspirations.

    • Opportunities within your curriculum

      We’ll be introducing different ways to link the curriculum with STEM careers, but having an idea of a topic or part of the curriculum to work on will give you some focus during the course. Where would you start?

    • Supporting your students

      A theme that you’ll encounter throughout the course is being able to tailor your teaching to your students’ needs and interests. What are their current aspirations and how might you broaden their horizons?

  • Week 2

    Embedding careers in your curriculum

    • Small changes, big impact

      Welcome to week 2. This week is about how you can start with small changes and approaches to planning and teaching to develop curriculum-linked careers learning.

    • Making changes

      We’ve seen some examples, now it’s time to make a small change to a lesson that will support your students’ careers learning.

    • Evaluating small changes

      Small changes can make a big difference, but it’s an iterative process that requires review of whether there is a positive impact on student learning. What do you do now to evaluate your small changes?

  • Week 3

    Enhancing your curriculum with employers

    • Working with employers

      This week you’ll go beyond small changes, to think about how employers and local industries can support the teaching of the curriculum in STEM subjects.

    • Planning for employer engagement

      Project-based learning provides a great opportunity to create authentic learning experiences with employers. Here we look at some key principles and two case studies.

    • Embedding employers within the curriculum

      Now you’ve had an insight into the types of curriculum learning that employers support, you’ll need to build a relationship and discuss with employers how to link with the curriculum.

    • Creating links with employers

      Work with your careers leader to develop useful links with employers. Who could you approach in your local area? Have you considered alumni?

  • Week 4

    Your teaching within your school or college

    • Moving beyond the timetable

      Enrichment activities can extend careers learning beyond lessons, provide students with opportunity to develop employability skills (such as team working, problem solving) and provide motivation for students to study STEM subjects

    • Developing a careers learning journey

      Planning different forms of curriculum-linked careers learning, from small changes to embedded employer engagement, involves working with other. To start with, how might you represent the changes you are making?

    • Whole school and college strategies

      Teachers should work together to support school and college careers strategies. As we have explored, embedding careers is about good teaching practice, but it doesn't have to mean increased workload.

    • Developing your teaching further

      We finish the course with some key advice from Sir John Holman, and invite you to record your professional development as you go forward with your teaching.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Engage students through linking STEM curriculum learning with careers, providing a real-life understanding of your subject and its relevance in future career paths.
  • Develop meaningful encounters for students with employers, linked to the teaching of your STEM subject.
  • Improve your curriculum content by applying a STEM careers learning journey approach.
  • Evaluate the impact of linking curriculum learning to careers contribute to discussions about careers education in your school or college.

Who is the course for?

This course has been designed for both secondary teachers and further education lecturers, with case studies and specific activities for each sector. This course is for all teachers, to enable you to embed careers learning in your teaching. Careers leads may find this course useful to support school and college strategies.

Our focus is on the UK STEM sector, however, we will be presenting the need for STEM skilled working, reference to the practise of employer volunteers, and approaches equally applicable to other countries.

Who will you learn with?

I am the D&T, Engineering and Careers lead for STEM Learning UK. I started my career in industry as an engineer, then moved into teaching secondary D&T and Engineering.

An experienced science teacher, head of faculty, senior school leader and education consultant. Currently working for the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.

Gerard Liston is an education consultant and director of Forum Talent Potential CIC, which helps schools to enrich classroom learning in partnership with local employers:

Who developed the course?

National STEM Learning Centre

The National STEM Learning Centre provides world-class professional development activities and resources to support the teaching of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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