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The Exeter Award

Enhance your employability


  • combine subjects not otherwise possible at Exeter
  • cross-subject degrees to suit your interests and career ambitions
  • leads to a named degree title of the subjects you study
  • study two subjects, or sometimes three
  • create your own themed pathway
  • vary the proportion of the subjects each year
  • add vocational elements to your studies
  • opportunities for study and work abroad


Note that you are liable for fees for the one-year placement. A proportion of your normal annual fee is charged – details

Module code FCH3004 Module level 3
Module title Work Experience (UK) - One Year
Module Co-ordinator Dr Mike Dobson
Credit value 120 ECTS Value 60

FCH2015 taken in year 2 either for credit (i.e. within the 120 credits of year 2) or just attending.

All work placements must be approved by the University before they commence.

Work placements have to be arranged and all the administration completed, by the end of the summer term of the second year.

Co-Requisites None
Duration of module

The module takes place in year 3 and forms one academic stage of the degree.

Minimum of 30 weeks of work are required at one or more work placements/internships, excluding any holiday allowance.

Preparation and associated classes commence in year 2 through FCH2015.

Total student study time 1200 hours overall total for module (i.e. preparation and work placement), of which approximately 300 hours should be spent on specific tasks related to this module. For example, the 300 hours could be split approximately: induction and planning 25 hours; creating CV and letter of application 5 hours; researching the company/organisation and comparable ones 40 hours; compiling journal 110 hours; preparation and writing of essay 100 hours; preparing and giving presentation 20 hours.


This module permits students to study on a year-long placement during the third year of a four-year programme.

This module aims to enable students to:

  • Gain benefit from being in a workplace by learning from a structured reflection on their experience
  • Provide the opportunity to develop an understanding of a business environment through practical experience; to encompass NGOs, SMEs etc.
  • Gain experience in the use of technologies and applications commonly used in organisations
  • Add to their employability by developing vocational experience through:
    • seeking and successfully gaining a workplace
    • being in a workplace for a significant period, and reflecting on that experience
    • adding directly to employment-related transferable skills
  • Develop work-related interpersonal awareness and competence through reflection on the experience of working with others and as part of an organisation
  • Enhance key transferable skills through the managing of their learning in an independent context, time management, problem-solving and giving an oral presentation
  • Gain in personal development through being in a work environment and then transfer the skills acquired to both academic work and future vocational work
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO's)

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

Module-Specific Skills:

1. Demonstrate understanding of the workplace, gaining knowledge of what their particular placement organisation does, its management, measures taken towards sustainability and how it seeks to achieve its goals.

2. Show an ability to use appropriate language and presentation skills to analyse their experiences and to communicate conclusions, both orally and in writing

3. Demonstrate an ability to reflect critically on practical experiences gained, and the impact they may have on the student's views and actions

Discipline-specific skills:

4. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the process of experiential learning by reflecting on and evaluating the experience of working in an organisation/company

5. Show an ability to reflect critically on the independent learning and self-management that work requires

6. Understand the social, economic, cultural and administrative considerations which influence employment settings

Personal and Key Skills:

7. Show an ability to identify and adapt to working and related practices in an employment setting and reflect critically on them

8. Develop / enhance practical work-based skills and experience

9. Negotiate the different types of working relationships with staff within the workplace, and others - directly or indirectly - relevant to the placement

10. Demonstrate the ability to identify and reflect on personal challenges and to learn from their resolution

11. Demonstrate ability to use a range of technologies and applications relevant to most work places

12. Be aware of the processes involved when applying for employment

13. Draw up an action plan for the development of their skills, knowledge and experience at each stage in the process (before / during / after the period of work experience)

Learning/Teaching Methods

Students will be required to maintain regular contact with the FCH Director or other designated teaching staff while preparing for and on the placement.

Details of Learning and Teaching methods:

Linkage to ILO's:

While students are based at the University, this module will include the following range of methods:

  • Lectures
  • Optional individual mock interview
  • Presentations from students who have completed work placements and subsequent discussion
  • Handbooks and guidance notes for the work experience
  • Oral and illustrated presentation (using PowerPoint or similar) by each student about the work experience, with class discussion

While students are on the work experience, this module will use the following range of methods:

  • Individual study and research (e.g. on the particular workplace and comparable ones)
1, 4-6
  • Work experience for 7-9 months
1-11, 13
  • Self-based learning through compiling a reflective paper-based or web blog journal during the period preparing for going on the work experience and while actually on it
2-5, 7, 10, 13
  • Opportunities for email, telephone and Skype contact with FCH staff and other students on work experience
2-3, 5, 7
  • On-line ELE discussion board
1-5, 7, 10
Assignments and Assessments

Placements are organised by the students, but must be approved by the FCH Director.

Students should start seeking placements during the summer at the end of their first year, as some companies open their application process in July for starting the placement in the third year of the degree.

Placements require a completed Letter of Intent, signed by all parties, before students can go on the placement.

Students who are unable to achieve a placement, or who fail this module, revert to the three-year FCH degree programme and have no reference to UK work experience in their degree title.

Formative or % Contribution Form of Assessment Size of the assessment e.g. duration/length ILOs assessed by this assessment Feedback Method
Outcome = achieve placement / do not achieve
Application process for work placement, e.g. application forms, interviews and any employment tests set by the employer. Start of application process depends on timetable of intended employer - may be as early as July at the end of the first year for starting the placement in the third year of the degree. As specified by the employer 12 The employer may choose to give feedback
Formative The work placement. Report based on information provided by the Employer contact via standard report form at end of term 1 and end of term 2.   1, 6-11 Written feedback and opportunity for verbal feedback from module co-ordinator.

55% of the final mark.

Reflective and analytical paper-based or web blog journal, for the period preparing for and during the work experience. See module handbook on ELE for details. Submitted in completed form during term 1, year 4. 10,000 words 1-7, 9-10, 12-13 Opportunity for verbal or electronic feedback from module co-ordinator while the journal is being compiled. Written feedback and opportunity for verbal feedback after the journal is completed.

25% of the final mark.

Essay. See module handbook on ELE for details. Submitted in completed form in the early part of term 1, year 4. 2,000 words 1-13 Written feedback and opportunity for verbal feedback from the module co-ordinator.

20% of the final mark.

Reflective and critical oral presentation (using PowerPoint or similar) about the work experience. Presented during term 1, year 4. 20 minutes 1-7, 10-11 Immediate verbal comments after delivery from the module co-ordinator and from other students, plus subsequent written feedback.
Syllabus Plan
  • During year 2, as part of FCH2015/FCH2030:
    • Introduction
    • Reflective writing
    • Personal skills assessment, SWOT and PDP
    • Finding jobs, including use of social media
    • Commercial awareness
    • Presentation techniques
    • CV writing
    • Application letters
    • Interview techniques
    • Optional mock interview
    • Student presentations on the work experience
  • Compile a reflective journal while applying and preparing for the period abroad and continue while on the work placement (years 2 and 3)
  • Work placement (year 3)
  • Complete the reflective journal (year 4)
  • Write an essay on the experience (year 4)
  • Student presentations on the work experience (year 4)
Indicative Learning Resources

Indicative basic reading list:

  • Cottrell, S. (2008) The Study Skills Handbook, 3rd edn. (Palgrave Macmillan) (Streatham library - 378.170281 COT)
  • Fanthome, C. (2004) Work Placements: A survival guide for students. (Palgrave Macmillan) (Streatham library - 371.2270941 FAN)
  • Gibbs, G. (1988) Learning by Doing: A Guide to Teaching and Learning Methods (Further Education Unit) (St Luke's Library - 374 FUR)
  • Kolb, D. (1984) Experiential Learning: Experience as a source of Learning and Development (Prentice-Hall) (St Luke's Library - 370.152 KOL)
  • Longson, S. (1999) Making Work Experience Count (How to Books) (St Luke's Library - 370.113 LON)
  • Moon, J. (2006) Learning journals: a handbook for reflective practice and professional development (Routledge) (St Luke's Library - 153.42 MOO)
  • Northedge, A. (2005) The good study guide (Open University) (Streatham library - 029.6 NOR)
  • Race, P. (2003) How to study: practical tips for university students (Blackwell) (Streatham library - 378.17 RAC)
  • Schön, D. (1990) Educating the reflective practitioner: toward a new design for teaching and learning in the professions (Jossey-Bass) (St Luke's Library - 378.013 SCH)

Indicative web-based resources:

Date of this version and revisions:


Revised autumn 2012 - removal of employer feedback as contributing to overall mark, and appropriate redistribution of component marks. Added that taking or auditing FCH2015/30 is a pre-requisite. All changes approved by FCH PAC during summer/autumn 2012.

Revised summer 2013 - minor changes to some phrasing.

Revised 7.4.14 - slight alterations to proportions of assessment (with student agreement); removal of formative CV, letter of application and interview (with student agreement). Mark proportions approved by FCH PAC.

Revised 1.9.14 - minor alterations to update teaching and learning methods, syllabus.

Prepared by: M.J.D.