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Study information

Employability and Workplace Learning

Module titleEmployability and Workplace Learning
Module codeBIO2106
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Luke Surl ()

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

The opportunity to develop your employability skills and potential in your degree is paramount to achieving your future career aspirations.  In this module, you will be guided through possible career paths and learn to identify employers’ needs in an ever-changing job market, all with a view to helping you prepare for future employment. Topics covered will include designing your CV, writing cover letters, improving your presentation skills, navigating the application process and developing interview techniques.  All of these skills are vital when applying for your first graduate job or further study. As part of this module, you will undertake a 38-hour self-organised work placement with the support of the Career Zone and Placements Team. This placement will maximise your employability potential and give you the chance to experience and explore a particular career.

Please note that this module cannot be taken by students on the Professional Placement or Industrial Experience programmes.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to prepare you for the workplace by developing your employability and career development skills.

As part of this module, you are expected to develop the following skills:

  • Know how to make professional applications, prepare a high-quality CV and cover letter, and improve your interview skills
  • Strategic thinking and problem solving in the workplace
  • Presentation skills to feel as comfortable as possible when delivering a talk and become a confident communicator
  • Reflective practice to build a portfolio about your work experience and create a future employment plan
  • People skills in communicating with peers, employers, and module teaching team
  • Enquiring mind in pursuing further reading on topics covered in the module
  • Data management skills in collecting, recording and analysing data (e.g. reflections)
  • Team-working in a professional environment

The module requires you to undertake a minimum of 38-hours work placement (which may be completed part-time), and you must be willing to carry out independent research, to utilise the Career Zone services, and to attend careers-related events.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Plan and set out clear goals that are to be achieved from the work experience
  • 2. Reflect upon and evaluate the work placement and analyse what was learnt in terms of employability
  • 3. Develop an initial career plan that evaluates and applies this placement experience, and what you need to do to achieve your goals

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 4. Research, analyse and evaluate the current job market for Bioscience graduates
  • 5. Apply your learning to produce examples of professional communications for future employment

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 6. Effective time management and being proactive
  • 7. Demonstrate independent learning and initiative, plus self-direction and originality in your work
  • 8. Conducting yourself professionally in the workplace and working within a team
  • 9. Create your own network and develop your commercial awareness and understanding

Syllabus plan

A series of in-person and online lectures, seminars and guest speakers will support the learning and teaching process. An indicative list of the topics that will be covered can be found below. Typically, one of these topics will be delivered every two weeks, with independent learning tasks set for the weeks in-between.

  • Introduction to the module
  • Career routes for Bioscience graduates
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Introduction to reflective practice
  • Developing a CV and cover letter
  • Making applications
  • Presentation skills
  • Presentation skills – practical session (research of the job market about your career plan).
  • Interview techniques
  • Professionalism and marketing yourself
  • The importance of emotional intelligence
  • Self-assessment and appreciating the value of a work placement
  • Review of the module and the portfolio

Alongside this taught content (and prior to the end of Term 2) you will be required to complete the 38-hour placement in the work setting of your choice.

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 Teaching12Seminars, lectures and guest speakers
Guided Independent Study60Research and preparation of career development portfolio
Guided Independent Study40Related directed study such as pre- and post-seminar activities including reading key papers, watching recorded videos, attending careers fairs, meeting with career development officers
Work placement38Self-organised work placement

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Organising work placement (contacting employers, applying for a placement, completing required forms)Not applicable1, 4-9Written and oral
Creation of a LinkedIn profile page Not applicable1-9Oral
Feedback during seminars and lecturesAd hoc1-5, 7Oral

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
Written portfolio including reflections on your work placement and career plan702000 words1-3, 6-9Written
Oral presentation of your career plan detailing skills, experiences and competencies that you need to acquire.3012 minutes3-5, 7Oral

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written portfolio including reflections on your work placement and career planWritten portfolio (70%)1-3, 6-9August Ref/Def
Oral presentation of your career planOral presentation (30%)3-5, 7August Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons that are approved by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. If deferred, the format and timing of the re-assessment for each of the summative assessments is detailed in the table above ('Details of re-assessment'). The mark given for a deferred assessment 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 (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) and the module cannot be condoned, you will be required to complete a re-assessment for each of the failed components on the module. The format and timing of the re-assessment for each of the summative assessments is detailed in the table above ('Details of re-assessment'). If you pass the module following re-assessment, your module mark will be capped at 40%.

Please note that in the event of re-assessment, you will not be given the opportunity to accrue an additional 38-hours work placement. Any re-assessment must relate to your original work placement.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

A dedicated module ELE page will support the learning activity on the module, providing relevant guidance, links advice and resources. In addition, students are directed to:

My Career Zone (

  • A large selection of electronic resources are available via the Career Zone webpages and My Career Zone Digital.

Handshake (

  • To sign up to placement appointments, employer events and skills development workshops

My Career Zone Digital (

  • Work Experience Supporting your Journey to Success

Biosciences Employability Portal(

  • Includes extensive resources, guidance and links relating to Biosciences careers

Key words search

Employability, careers, job application, work experience, placement

Credit value15
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