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Professional Development Experience (MSc)

Module titleProfessional Development Experience (MSc)
Module codeLESM910
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Dr Kelly Moyes (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

40 hours in any given year

40 hours in any given year

40 hours in any given year

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

The Professional Development Experience module provides promising geography and biosciences MSc students with the opportunity to become involved in cutting-edge research in close collaboration with a member of staff in an area of interest. Over the course of the internship, you will take responsibility for one or more aspects of a research project. The tasks that you work on vary from project to project, but may include laboratory research, field research data entry and general research administration. As you gain experience you may have the opportunity to progress to more advanced tasks such as data collection, data analysis and literature searches. This module is especially recommended if you are considering a career in research, but is extremely valuable for all career paths. Acceptance into this module is competitive and you are expected to demonstrate a strong enthusiasm for the area of research. This module does not contribute towards degree progression or award.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of the module is to improve your research skills (such as design, data collection, data processing or project management), your knowledge of a cutting-edge area of research and your employability (by giving you a clearer sense of the nature of a career in research; the development of skills and knowledge relevant to a career in research and evidence of these achievements).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Conduct empirical research at an advanced level and/or analyse and interpret findings in line with your project responsibilities
  • 2. Describe theories, research and experimental techniques in the area of your project
  • 3. Consider how your specific project is associated with a career in research and illustrate the pathway to pursuing this career

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 4. Acquire a critical understanding of knowledge at the forefront of an area of the discipline
  • 5. Think critically about the limits of knowledge and methodologies for obtaining this knowledge
  • 6. Evaluate critically and analyse empirical evidence

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 7. Take responsibility for an important part of a research project and demonstrate professionalism in your delivery on your tasks
  • 8. Act autonomously with minimal supervision or direction, within agreed guidelines
  • 9. Manage time effectively to meet deadlines

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module follows an apprenticeship model of research training. You will find a staff member who is willing to offer an internship within your area of interest. The supervisor will ensure that any necessary training is delivered in a timely fashion. Supervisors will meet regularly with you throughout the internship to ensure that you are adequately supported and that you have the opportunity to gain valuable skills and experiences.

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 Teaching45Internship activities
Guided Independent Study5Internship diary


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Supervisor discussionVariable2-9Oral

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
Reflective log50Answers to 4 questions (max 200 words each)1-6Written
Internship participation50Competent completion of internship tasks 4, 7-9Written


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Reflective logReflective log1-6Following completion of an additional 20 internship hours
Internship participationNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable

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. Where you have been deferred in the internship participation, you will have the opportunity to attend in the subsequent academic year. 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 – the mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will count for 100% of the final mark and will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

The Career Zone:

LES3910 ELE page:

CVs and Making Applications


Work Experience


Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Employability, careers, job application, work experience, research, internship

Credit value5
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date