Students from the University of Suffolk are getting the chance to use virtual reality headsets to work on presentation and interview skills in the years ahead.

The University started using two Bodyswaps VR headsets last spring to provide additional support for students in communication and public speaking skills, and employability and job interview skills.

That has allowed less-confident students to practice giving a presentation, be interviewed for a job or speak in public without having to be with other people.

Now, the University has been selected as one of 25 business schools in the UK and US to join the Bodyswaps and Meta Soft Skills Education Research Project for Business Schools.

That will see the University receive two more headsets and expand its modules to include customer service; equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI); leadership and management; and healthcare.

The University of Suffolk will be involved in the six-month project starting at the end of this month.

Amy Carpenter, Head of Careers, Employability and Enterprise at the University of Suffolk, said: “Embracing VR technology has been a great way of developing the skills of our students who need more support, and complements the wider advice and guidance our Careers and Enterprise team offers.

“Our courses are widely recognised for preparing students for employment and the Bodyswaps VR technology is one way of helping students become job ready.”

Since taking up the kit last year, the modules have helped students in areas such as identifying poor communication behaviours, answering questions confidently, and preparing for difficult interview questions.

BSc Computing student Conor O’Leary is one of the students to have already taken advantage of the headsets.

East Anglian Daily Times: Student Conor O'Leary has used the headset.Student Conor O'Leary has used the headset. (Image: Gregg Brown/UoS)

He said: “I found using the Bodyswaps technology to be really useful and it has helped me hone my skills in presentations and interviews, which will be invaluable for the future. It’s really a bit of a blend of career support and new technology which I think works really well.”