Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

Case studies

Abstract image of brainwaves between two heads 

What are case studies?

Case studies are usually comprised of a scenario (real or imagined), a set of instructions and an information pack.

You should expect to receive information in multiple formats (emails, reports, graphs and statistics) and you’re likely to be given 30-60 minutes to research and prepare a piece of analysis.

Case studies may feature at assessment centres as part of individual written tasks, group exercises and/or presentation activities.      


Why do employers use case studies?

Like situational judgement tests and in/e-tray tasks, case studies offer employers a glimpse of your potential to perform the role, as well as a sense of what it might be like to work with you.

Some of the key skills which employers may be looking for are:

  • interpretation
  • analysis
  • decision-making
  • prioritisation
  • interpersonal and communication
  • presentation (verbal and written)

How to improve your chances of success?

  • Don’t waste precious time looking for the ‘right’ answer – there probably isn’t one. Focus on reaching a reasoned decision that you’ll be able to justify to your assessors.
  • If asked to choose between a series of proposals, record their pros and cons as you read through the information pack including key statistics.
  • Keep an eye out for inconsistencies and gaps in the information. Highlighting these in your report or presentation will earn you points for attention to detail and analysis. 


Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679