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Preparing for Professional Placements

Module titlePreparing for Professional Placements
Module codeBIO2001
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Professor Mike Allen (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

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 enable you to find and secure a professional placement with an organisation or business and will prepare you adequately to carry out your placement in a professional manner. By equipping you to know the main routes to source placements, it will allow you to research effectively and appreciate the varying timelines and recruitment practices that organisations adopt. This module will be delivered by a range of professionals in the university and also by employers, giving you the opportunity to get ahead of the crowd by gaining practical experience of a real-life working environment. There is no pre-required learning to undertake this module.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module will inform you of how to research relevant organisations and companies and apply for placement opportunities. You will understand how to identify your own skills and personal qualities to ‘self-promote’ and stand out in a competitive environment. You will be given advice on how to write an effective CV and cover letter, how to set up a LinkedIn profile and make the most of the networking opportunities. You will explore the role social media has in the recruitment process and how to make the most of this in finding and securing a placement. You will look at how to complete application forms successfully as well as prepare for a range of interview techniques including assessment centres. The module will also look at professionalism in the workplace, investigating common scenarios that you will face and suitable approaches, enabling you to fully immerse yourself into a professional environment.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Know how to effectively research employers to source placements and internships opportunities
  • 2. Compose an effective and well-presented CV, complete with supporting letter, making clear links between your experience and the job description
  • 3. Produce a LinkedIn profile and develop skills in networking

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 4. Understand the complexities of factors influencing non-academic science from labs to marketplace
  • 5. Identify and investigate the range of career opportunities available and relevant to a student with a degree in life and environmental sciences

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 6. Improve professionalism and your approach to your behaviour in the workplace
  • 7. Use the internet to enhance career prospects and learn how to have an effective online presence
  • 8. Showcase your skills, motivations and personal career development needs and promote these effectively

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

  • From lab to marketplace
  • Professional placement introduction
  • Professionalism in the workplace
  • How to write effective CVs and application forms
  • Attending interviews and assessment centres
  • Using social media effectively and networking skills
  • Developing a LinkedIn profile

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 teaching8Seminars - you should attend all timetabled activities
Student learning and teaching2LinkedIn practical
Student learning and teaching2CV writing and feedback
Guided independent study18Conducting additional reading and research to prepare high quality applications


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Creation of LinkedIn pageOngoingOral
CV preparationOngoingOral/written

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
There is no summative assessment in this module100



Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Tristram Hooley and Korin Grant, You’re Hired! Graduate Career Handbook, Maximise your employability and get a graduate job, ISBN: 9781844556489

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Careers, employability, CV, personal development, transferable skills

Credit value
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

BIO1333 Fundamental Principles for Bioscientists

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date