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Workplace Learning

Module titleWorkplace Learning
Module codeLES2002
Academic year2022/3
Module staff

Professor Catherine Leyshon (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

(60 hours during stage 2 - over summer and term 1)

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

In the current economic climate, a good degree is not always enough to secure graduate level employment. Employers are looking for graduates who can demonstrate that they have the necessary skills, independence and enthusiasm to succeed, and will therefore favour those who have obtained relevant work experience during their degree. This module will provide you with an opportunity to get ahead of the crowd by gaining practical experience in a real life working environment. You will apply for a placement position with a relevant organisation, and spend 70 hours in the workplace (either full-time or part-time, depending on when the placement is conducted). Feedback and support will be provided by the module coordinator and the placement host. This module provides a valuable opportunity for you to build confidence, develop transferable skills and enhance your CV, all of which will improve your career prospects after graduation.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will provide you with practical experience in the work place, with the aim of developing valuable transferable skills and enhancing future employability. You will practice searching for jobs, and writing CVs, application forms and cover letters. You will also spend a minimum of 60 hours working with your chosen organisation, which will allow you to gain CV-enhancing work experience, make contacts and build confidence. You will gain feedback on both your application and performance in the workplace, and will also be encouraged to evaluate your experience and demonstrate how the skills learnt will benefit you in the future.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Compose an effective and well-presented CV, complete with supporting letter, making clear links between your experience and the job description
  • 2. Explain what the placement organisation does, how it is managed and how it seeks to achieve its goals
  • 3. Describe your role in the organisation, together with an awareness of statutory (e.g. health and safety) regulations
  • 4. Interact effectively with colleagues in the workplace

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 5. Outline the career paths available to students with a degree in Biosciences and Geography

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 6. Illustrate the transferable skills gained during your degree and how these can enhance future employability
  • 7. Evaluate your own learning and performance in the work placement, demonstrating how the skills learnt are transferable to other contexts
  • 8. Communicate ideas, principles and theories fluently using a variety of formats in a manner appropriate to the intended audience
  • 9. With some guidance, study autonomously and gather and organise information from appropriate sources
  • 10. Evaluate own strengths and weaknesses in relation to professional and practical skills, and apply own evaluation criteria

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module is focused on learning by experience, mimicking the job application process and providing experience in the workplace. You are given support and feedback when applying for positions and upon completion of the placement. You will also give an oral presentation on completion of the placement, outlining the nature of the placement and what you have learned. You will also write a reflective review, outlining the skills gained during your work placement, and how you will take the experience forward as part of your career planning process. Your performance will be appraised by the module coordinator and you will be offered formative feedback from the host organisation. If you take this module you must have a placement position organised by the start of your second year.

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
Student learning and teaching6One introductory lecture, in which the you are told what you will gain from the module, and how to behave professionally in the workplace, one on networking, one on writing a job application and one on giving a successful oral presentation
Guided independent study84Searching for suitable work placements and conducting additional reading in preparation for module assessments
Placement60Practical experience working with an independent organisation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Host evaluationPerformance during work placement1-4Oral

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
Job application303 page application form1-3, 5-6, 8-9Written
Oral presentation3510 minutes1-4, 5-9Written
Reflective review351500 words1-3, 5-10Written


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Job applicationSeparate job application1-3, 5-9August assessment period
Oral presentationOral presentation1-4, 5-9August assessment period
Reflective reviewReflective review1-3, 5-10August assessment period

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 to submit a further assessment. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Cottrell, S. (2003), Skills for Success: The Personal Development Handbook. Palgrave Macmillan
  • Fanthome, C. (2004) Work Placements: A survival guide for students. Palgrave

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 value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date