Sarah Jeffries-Watts

Sarah Jeffries-Watts

Programme Manager (Personal Skills Award), Careers Network

Contact details

University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Sarah manages the Personal Skills Award (PSA), the University of Birmingham’s prestigious award-winning employability award for undergraduate students. The PSA is an accredited award that enables students to develop, recognise, and articulate the skills and attributes that they have developed at Birmingham, in preparation for the graduate recruitment and development processes.

Sarah chairs the AGCAS (Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services) Skills Award Task Group in the UK, representing the key central functions and staff in HEIs that are responsible for managing employability or professional development Awards. The Group networks with employers and professional bodies to develop effective networks; and produces research, best practice, and materials to support stakeholders.


  • MSc. Public Management, University of Birmingham, 2013
  • BA (Hons) Educational Research, Lancaster University, 2000


Sarah plays an active part in the UK’s Skills Award community as a member, and Chair of the national AGCAS Skills Award Task Group. The Personal Skills Award is one of the most established Skills Awards in the country, and was the first winner of the Association of Graduate Recruiters’ Best Graduate Development Preparation in Higher Education’ award’.

Activities in recent years have included sitting on the QAA Working Group to develop the Recognising Achievement Beyond the Curriculum Toolkit, and writing a selection of articles and conference workshops on Skills Awards for the following organisations: AGCAS (Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services), Centre for Recording Achievement, Association of Graduate Recruiters, Lifewide Education, and National Association for Student Employment Services (NASES).

Sarah has an interest in research-led practice and is the Chair of the Careers Network Research Group. Her interests lie in working with students as partners, and students’ perceptions of different occupational sectors.

Other activities

Member of the Lifewide Education: a not for profit community-based organisation which aims to promote and support a lifewide approach to lifelong learning, personal development and education.

Previously taught on Personal Skills Award modules; current first and second marker on a number of modules.


Jeffries-Watts, S.E. (2014) Look both ways: exploration into the impact of student feedback on the development of the Birmingham Skills Award’. In Jackson, N. & Cooper, B. Ed. (2014) Learning Lives E-Book. [Online] Available at[Accessed 3 June 2014].

Nelson, D., Jeffries,. Mann, V. (2013) Extra-curricular awards stimulus papers: Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) perspective. QAA. [Online] Available at [Accessed 3 June 2014].


Subject area: University Skills Awards