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Professional Placement

Module titleProfessional Placement
Module codeESS3108
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Lynsey Melhuish (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

minimum of 9 months full time work over the entire year

minimum of 9 months full time work over the entire year

minimum of 9 months full time work over the entire year

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Increasingly, graduate positions request that applicants have work experience applicable to the role. This year-long module will enable you to immerse yourself in a professional environment; you will learn to apply existing skills and subject-specific knowledge, improve personal and transferable skills, make new contacts, and enhance your employability. You will apply for a placement position with a relevant organisation (with the module convenor's support) and spend a minimum of nine months full-time in the workplace. Feedback and support will be provided by the module convenor and the placement host.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to better prepare you for the graduate job market by developing your overall employability and career prospects. You will research suitable organisations, consider the potential benefits of opportunities, and create a professional personal brand by crafting high-quality covering letters and CVs. Immersing yourself in a workplace will enable you to apply and develop skills and knowledge, understand your degree's full value, expand your professional network, and help guide your future career decisions.  You will be encouraged to reflect on your experience, with the help of feedback from the module convenor and placement host, to enhance your learning and future career planning.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Research suitable employers, identify an employer which suits your own skills and interests, and produce CVs and covering letters.
  • 2. Interact effectively in a professional environment.
  • 3. Work in a team and deal proficiently with the issues that teamwork requires (i.e. communication, motivation, decision-making, awareness, responsibility, and management skills, including setting and working to deadlines).

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Apply skills learnt during Stages 1 and 2 in a professional environment.
  • 5. Learn practical and transferable skills for use in a professional environment.
  • 6. Illustrate the transferable skills gained during your degree and how these can enhance future employability.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Evaluate your own performance in a role and identify skills that you would like to develop further.
  • 8. Demonstrate how skills learnt during the placement are transferable to other contexts.
  • 9. Evaluate own strengths and weaknesses in relation to graduate-level professional and practical skills, and act autonomously to develop new areas of skills as necessary.
  • 10. Reflect effectively and independently on learning experiences, evaluate personal achievements, and articulate the importance of continued professional development.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

On placement, you will gain valuable experience by spending a year working within an organisation appropriate to your degree. Research of, and submission of applications to, suitable placements will begin at the beginning of the second year. Throughout this process, support will be provided by the module convenor and by way of attendance at prearranged career development sessions.

Placements should be a minimum of nine months full-time and can begin after the release of your penultimate year grades. Annual leave can be taken when on placement according to the host organisation’s procedure. When on placement, you will be required to provide monthly progress updates via email and engage in at least one video call progress meeting attended by the module convenor and your employer. Upon completion of your placement, you will produce a report to reflect on your professional development. This should include information on skills learnt, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and how your placement has influenced your career aims. The module will culminate in you providing an oral poster presentation on your placement experience. This will be in the form of a recorded online presentation with the opportunity to share in future career conferences and associated employability events with students, staff and employers.  

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching13Introduction lecture in which you are told what you will gain from the module, and what is expected of you, followed by lectures/seminars on finding a placement, writing a CV and cover letter, critical reflection and employability skill development.
Scheduled learning and teaching2At least one meeting to discuss the placement choice and a further meeting during the placement (usually by phone or video conference).
Scheduled learning and teaching5Attendance during student conference and involvement in student careers event.
Guided independent study60Search and apply for suitable work placements, and conducting additional reading in preparation for module assessments.
Placement1120Practical experience working with an independent organisation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Discussion regarding placement choice At least one meeting1Oral
Monthly email updatesOngoing2-6, 9-10Written
Meeting during placement1 hour2-6, 9-10Oral
Host evaluationPerformance during work placement2-6, 9-10Oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Poster presentation50A0 Poster and 5 minute oral delivery1, 3-10Written
E-work book501800 words1-10Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Poster presentationPoster presentation (50%)1, 3-10To be agreed with the module convenor
E-work bookE-work book (50%)1-10To be agreed with the module convenor

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to redo the original assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Cottrell, S. (2021), Skills for Success: The Personal Development Handbook. Bloomsbury Academic.
  • Fanthome, C. (2017) Work Placements: A survival guide for students. Bloomsbury Publishing

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Careers, employability, CV, work experience, transferable skills, personal development

Credit value120
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date