Skip to main content


Professional Placement and Report

Module titleProfessional Placement and Report
Module codeBIO3049
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Professor Mike Allen (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module provides a unique opportunity to acquire new skills and develop your scientific training within a professional placement setting relevant to your degree programme and so enhance your CV and employability. The University endeavours to place students in a range of different companies and organisations with relevant services in biosciences research, analysis or consultancy, ranging from key multinationals to regional biotech companies to government agencies. As part of your placement, you will be expected to engage in a range of project work and write up a final scientific report on your return to the 4th year. This report should collate scientific experiences and technical approaches undertaken during your placement and provide detailed critical analysis of your research.

Module aims - intentions of the module

  • To give you experience within a professional work environment relevant to your programme of study.
  • To allow you to obtain important laboratory or other work experience and to present the work achieved in an extended report and oral presentation.
  • To allow you to gain generic skills experience including in working as a team, time management and communication skills.
  • To allow you to learn and develop scientific and technical skills from your professional work experience and reflect upon and evaluate your placement learning experience.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Define and evaluate the way in which research and technical operations are performed in a professional work placement environment
  • 2. Explain and show clear understanding of your role within the organisation, together with an awareness of statutory (e.g. health and safety) regulations
  • 3. Apply knowledge in a work situation in a task or problem-solving context

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 4. Evaluate in detail approaches to our understanding of biosciences with reference to your placement experience
  • 5. Analyse in detail essential facts and theory across a sub-discipline of the biosciences with reference to your placement experience
  • 6. Identify and implement, with limited guidance, appropriate methodologies and theories for solving a range of complex problems in your professional placement
  • 7. With minimal guidance, deploy established techniques of analysis, practical investigation, and enquiry within the biosciences-related workplace environment
  • 8. Analyse and evaluate independently a range of research-informed literature and synthesise research-informed examples from the literature into written work
  • 9. Illustrate and discuss, in detail and effectively, the contested and provisional nature of knowledge and understanding

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 10. Communicate effectively arguments, evidence and conclusions using written and oral means in a manner appropriate to the intended audience
  • 11. Devise and sustain, with little guidance, a logical and reasoned argument with sound, convincing conclusions
  • 12. Analyse and evaluate appropriate data and complete a range of research-like tasks with very limited guidance
  • 13. Work in a small 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)
  • 14. 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

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Leading up to the placement, you will be supported by both group and one-to-one meetings held with the Academic Placement Tutor and Careers Service. These meetings take place throughout stages 1 and 2, allowing you to enhance your chance of gaining a suitable placement and making the most of the opportunity.

A 12-month contract will be agreed between yourself, a Professional Placement Supervisor at the organisation you are working for and the Academic Placement Tutor for Biosciences. The programme of work will be agreed between you, the placement provider and the Academic Placement Tutor as part of the 12-month contract prior to starting the placement year. During your placement you will be supported by the Academic Placement Tutor with two visits (UK-based) or one visit and a video-conference call (overseas-based).

The final scientific report will be written up at the end of your placement, or during the vacation between the end of your placement and the start of your final year. Reports will be handed in during the third week of Term 1, and will be followed by an oral examination (marked by two academic assessors) of 20 minutes’ duration during week 7 of Term 1. 

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 Teaching4Discussion with university academic during visit at placement
Guided Independent Study20Report preparation
Placement876Professional Placement Supervisor and Academic Placement Tutor to discuss programme of work to be carried out


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Discussion with university academic during visit at placement4 hours1-7, 9-14Oral
Discussions with placement supervisorOngoing1-7, 9-14Oral

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
Workplace performance based on report by Professional Placement Supervisor (marks assigned by placement supervisor according to a mark scheme provided by Biosciences)30Ongoing1-7, 10, 12-14Written and oral
Written essay report marked by Academic Placement Tutor and another internal assessor605000 words1-14Written and oral
Oral presentation assessed by a panel of academic staff1020 minutes1-14Written and oral


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Workplace performanceNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
Written essay report Written essay report AllDecember
Oral presentation Oral presentation AllDecember

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 workplace assessment is not deferrable because of its practical nature. 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 submit a further assessment. 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 - Basic reading

  •  Reading of papers associated with programme of work.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Professional placement, practical experience, industrial experience, workplace environment, industrial environment, employability

Credit value90
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

BIO2071 Research Skills and Bioethics

BIO2001 Preparing for Professional Placements

Module co-requisites

BIO3048 Learning from Professional Placement Experience

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date