Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

Case studies

Man using a laptop on a desk close up 

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 do I improve my chances of success? Including FREE access to eCareersGrad and Graduates First

  • 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. 

Mastering the Consulting Case 

We've partnered with eCareersGrad to provide FREE access to a modular, video-based, interactive eLearning course.

Master the Consulting Case contains: 

  • 15+ video-based candidate answers showing what good looks like (and doesn’t) for key case scenarios including market sizing, market entry, revenue growth and more…
  • recruiter answer scoring guides and illustrated answer structures for handling the case introduction, issues analysis and dealing with the numbers
  • Spotlights on how to use case ‘frameworks’, essential financial concepts and mastering note-taking

Through Graduates First you can access a wide-range of resources.

It also has a useful Top Employer Profiles and Job Assessment Stages section linking to further information about how each organisation approaches its recruitment process and the kinds of assessments you may face. Over 100 organisations are profiled on the site.

There are short videos to help you navigate the process of preparing for case studies including tips, step-by-step guides, feedback reports and a jargon buster.


Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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