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Study information

Professional Training Year

Module titleProfessional Training Year
Module codeCSC3003
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Yu Hsuan Carol Yang (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

The Professional Training Year (PTY) is an integral and assessed part of the 4-year undergraduate BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences (with Professional Training Year) degree, BSc (Hons) Neuroscience with Professional Training Year and BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Medical Sciences programme.. It takes place in Year 3 of the programme. During your PTY you will remain a student of the University and retain access to all University of Exeter resources.
The Professional Training Year (PTY) provides you with an excellent opportunity to gain invaluable experience of working as part of a cutting-edge research team. This gives you the chance to discover what it is like to work in a real research environment and will enhance your career prospects. You may even get the opportunity to attend a national or international science conference to present your research data, or may get your name on a research paper.

Undertaking a PTY placement will enhance your professionalism, independence and confidence; increase your subject knowledge and research skills; improve your problem-solving, team-working, leadership, communication and project management skills; and prepare you for working in a professional work environment.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to:

  • Expose you to a professional work environment relevant to your degree programme.
  • Allow you to obtain important science research experience and to present the work achieved in a written report and poster presentation.
  • Help you gain experience in working as part of a research team.
  • Promote learning from a structured reflection of your PTY experience.
  • Develop personal and key skills through the managing of learning in the workplace, working with others and problem solving.
  • Enhance the developmental gain obtained from the PTY experience and the knowledge of how learned skills can be transferred to the academic curriculum and your future career.
  • Enable you to develop a clear understanding of the academic background to the learning you have acquired.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Demonstrate an appreciation of how research is performed in a professional research environment and gain the experience of working as part of a research team.
  • 2. Demonstrate an ability to apply knowledge in a working placement situation in a task or problem - solving context.
  • 3. Demonstrate an understanding of your role within the organisation, together with an awareness of statutory (e.g. health and safety) regulations.
  • 4. Demonstrate knowledge of what the employing organisation does, how it is managed, and how it seeks to achieve its goal.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 5. With some guidance, demonstrate an ability to apply practical techniques and skills to a research environment.
  • 6. Evaluate aspects of biomedical science with reference to the PTY experience.
  • 7. Demonstrate an ability to link the PTY experience to the academic curriculum.

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 8. Demonstrate professional competence in communicating effectively with research professionals and external partners and audiences.
  • 9. Manage time, workload, ambiguity, change and stress effectively.
  • 10. Study autonomously and undertake projects.
  • 11. Interact effectively in a group or team.
  • 12. Demonstrate effective Personal Development Planning (PDP), based on self-awareness and reflection.

Syllabus plan

You will sign a PTY placement agreement and be assigned a programme of work approved by the PTY Module Leads. An academic tutor will visit the PTY placement, where possible, to discuss your progress and any other concerns you and the PTY supervisor may have. If the academic tutor is unable to visit the placement then live video-conference meetings will be used.

You will undertake a biomedical science-related PTY and collate your PTY experiences and received feedback in your e- portfolio. You will also work with your PTY supervisor and academic tutor to promote reflection on your development during the PTY. To assist you with these tasks, you will complete an Academic and Professional Learning form which is then discussed and agreed with your academic tutor before the start of PTY and reviewed during the PTY period.

You will write a report of your PTY project, following specifications laid out in the PTY handbook and roughly following the style of a journal article in a field relevant to the project.
You will create and present an A0 poster describing research data obtained during the project, to be held approximately 4 weeks after the start of year 4. If we are unable to hold the oral presentation of the poster an online submission of the poster will be assessed instead.

In the event that your project is impacted by COVID-19, you may still be able to write a report and create a poster using modified specifications (e.g. hybrid literature review/data analysis or a narrative literature review) outlined by the module leads, or you may transfer to the 3-year programme.

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 & Teaching activities4Three separate meetings with university Academic Tutor in person at placement or by video link or telephone as appropriate for distant placement. Email contact with Academic Tutor at least twice in the year and as and when required depending on the student.
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities10Introduction and Planning meetings with placement supervisor to organise project aims and expectations.
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities20Completion of Academic Support and Professional Learning support form in conjunction with placement supervisor at regular meetings throughout the PTY to be arranged by mutual agreement, subject to demands of the project.
Guided independent study1To contribute at least 2 posts to the online discussion forum.
Guided independent study1To continue to update and add documents to ePortfolio.
Guided independent study330Reflecting on the PTY, investigation and writing up.
Placement/study abroad834Placement/study abroad.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Your academic performance will be supported by frequent feedback, by your Project Supervisor.On-going throughout your placement1 - 12Verbal and or 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
Written report65Scientific report maximum of 8.5-10 pages2,5,9,11Written feedback
Poster presentation20A0 poster, with 10 min presentation and 5 min Q&A, or online submission.1-2,5-6,8Written feedback
Professionalism component- encompassing the following elements a) Supervisor student performance judgement b) E-portfolio c) online discussion forum posts 15Electronic folder containing experiences, feedback and assessment results. Two online discussion forum posts 2-7,9,11Mark and oral/written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written report (65%)Scientific report maximum of 8.5-10 pages.2,5,9,11Re-assessment period
Poster presentation (20%)A0 poster, with 10 min presentation and 5 min Q&A, or online submission.1,2,5,6,8Appropriate date to be agreed with student
Professionalism component- encompassing the following elements a) Supervisor student performance judgement b) E-portfolio c) Yammer posts (15%)Please see notes below2-7,9,11

Re-assessment notes

In the case of module failure, students will have the option to be referred in the failed assessments, or to transfer to the 3-year degree programme. In the event of transferring back to the 3-year programme, the PTY mark will not count towards the degree classification, although it will remain on the student’s final degree transcript. In the event of failure after referral, the student will be transferred to the 3-year programme.

Due to the nature of the Professional Training Year, it is not possible to repeat the placement. In the event of failing the module entirely as a result of failing the Professionalism component, it is not possible for this to be reassessed. Therefore, students would have to transfer to the equivalent 3-year programme.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Haoke J. and Philips J (1996) Getting your Message Across, Simon and Schuster.
Kolb D. (1984) Experimental Learning: Experience as a source of Learning and Development, PHI, New Jersey.
Longson S., (1999) Making Work Experience Count, How to Books.
Macnamara, J (1996) The Modern Presenter’s Handbook, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-72-480840-0X.

Also reading of papers associated with the programme of work.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


Four reasons you should do a Placement Year


Key words search

biomedical, clinical, science, medical, training, research, work experience, experimental, placement, professional

Credit value120
Module ECTS


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NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


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