Business, Management and Leisure

The Business, Management and Leisure Subject Network includes accounting and finance, business and management, events, administration and IT, adventure and tourism, hospitality management, professional cookery, and sport.

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The work in curriculum development and employer engagement within the subject network can be wide ranging - from conducting industry research projects, to hosting curriculum advisory groups, setting up employer mentoring programmes, and arranging internships, placement programmes, or events. This work also puts employability at the forefront, aiming to produce work-ready students and graduates who have experienced teaching and learning that meets the needs of employers and the sectors they operate in.

To find out more about working with students and staff in this subject area, please contact

Alana MacLeod

Alana MacLeod

Alana works specifically within the Business, Management and Leisure subject network, supporting academic staff at HE level across the university partnership.

Alana's background is in planning/communications, specifically supporting rebranding projects - the most recent following the regionalisation of Scotland's colleges and the merger between Banff & Buchan College and Aberdeen College to become North East Scotland College (NESCol).

Alana was made a permanent staff member at NESCol after the rebranding project - focusing on website and main publication developments, with additional responsibilities to support planning and quality functions at the College, specifically the ES & SFC Action Learning Project pilot and curriculum development planning. She has a joint BA (Hons) International Business with Marketing from the University of Strathclyde, graduating in 2012, and is currently working her way through the MSc Sustainable Rural Development course.

Alana Macpherson

Financial Services Curriculum Development - Case Study

Financial Services Curriculum Development - Case Study

To support the initial stages of a proposal to develop new financial services curriculum at HE level, the CDEEO was asked by academic leads to bring industry representatives together so that academic staff could better understand sector trends, themes, skills, and labour requirements.

Two meetings were held - one in Perth and one in Inverness - with combined input from academic staff and 15 business representatives in the central belt/Perthshire and Highlands & Islands.

The meetings allowed staff to hold structured discussions with employers, and receive first-hand information from industry specialists to support their proposal. Employers learnt more about the university, through discussion of existing qualifications and opportunities to ask questions, and the forum allowed for reflection on existing modules and identification of opportunities for new modules. Potential accreditation/exemption from the Chartered Banker Institute and St James’s Place Academy came as a result of these discussions.

Findings from the meeting were analysed and provided to staff in report format, and were impactful in underpinning the submission of the approval documentation. The information helped staff to design well-informed curriculum; employers to help shape their future workforce through involvement in initial planning stages; and most importantly, will help any future students to benefit from a course with strong industry backing which meets sector requirements.

RBS Mentoring Programme - Case Study

RBS Mentoring Programme - Case Study

In collaboration with RBS, a Mentoring Programme has been created and runs each year. It is open to students studying at HN level or above, across all partner campuses and centres.

Previously the programme ran for 6 months, but we are now piloting a revised, shorter programme running from March to May.

Each student applies for a place, and if successful is matched with a Mentor from RBS who will be on hand to speak to them about career planning, skills development, CV and interview preparation, trends and developments in the sector, etc. This can be done face-to-face, or via Skype, telephone or email. This way students from across the UHI partnership can access opportunities to have an employer Mentor to support them through their career planning, future thinking, exposure to industry, and development of critical employability skills.

Employer Testimonials

Employer Testimonials

Watson Wood Financial Planning

"With the CDEEO role, we have had an ongoing two-way communication between our firm and UHI…we have been able to recruit local talent directly from UHI and believe this is the way forward for our firm and others in industry. I wonder if we would have been involved in advisory discussion forums without this role providing the vital link between the academic staff and employers."

Scottish Institute for Enterprise

"I think the dedicated team can bring a new type of knowledge transfer to the process. I think many employers don’t know the types of skills they are looking for in the new economy so the whole process is much more than just implementing their voice. In many instances they are looking for help in identifying the skills they need and a dedicated team are well placed to do to this – the process is not just integration but one of co-creation between employers, UHI and students. For this process to work effectively there needs to be a dedicated team"

Entrepreneurial Scotland

"Working alongside Alana to support joint partnership between UHI and ES has and is a very positive experience. There are significant opportunities to raise awareness around ES benefits to both the student and other team members at UHI. Alana has been very effective in supporting this overall awareness. With Alana’s support we have the potential to position more effectively going forward the Saltire Programme delivered by ES which will benefit individual students but also raise the overall profile of UHI."

"Alana has been to a number of our entrepreneurial events and really vital that ES is made available to a range of employers and as such she has been very positive in highlighting the opportunities that UHI has to support a more joined up approach to entrepreneurship in the Highlands and Islands."

Staff Testimonials

Staff Testimonials

Accounting & Finance

"Employer events have resulted in employment and work placement opportunities for a number of students. It was on the department action plan to enhance employer links and this has been achieved. Alana has arranged 2 focus groups to explore a new degree and without these we would not have the market information to lend weight to a new degree. We would not have the employer input or knowledge or contact to progress this proposed degree.

I would not have been able to organise career events so there would not have been the opportunities for students and employers to meet. Without the focus groups we would not have the insight from the sector and the opportunity to make contacts working in the sector."

Hospitality Management

"Successful compilation and issue and reporting of Hospitality Industry survey to assist in producing evidence for Degree re-approval. Also assisted in the continuing building of links at local and UHI wide level with industry. Resulting in Hotel Manager forums currently being developed.  Strengthening employer’s links.  Alana has gone above and beyond to assist with these and in doing so has contributed heavily to the re-approval of the programme and the commendations identified."

"Staff time constraints would have limited the effective implementation of any of the above. The support we have received has been invaluable."