Skip to main content

Study information

Workplace Learning

Module titleWorkplace Learning
Module codeLES2002
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Professor Catherine Leyshon (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

1-10 plus a placement of 60 hours

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

In the current economic climate, a good degree is not always enough to secure graduate level employment. Employers are looking for graduates who can demonstrate that they have the necessary skills, independence and enthusiasm to succeed, and will therefore favour those who have obtained relevant work experience during their degree.  This module will provide you with an opportunity to get ahead of the crowd by gaining practical experience in a real-life working environment. Drawing on the support of the Career Zone, you are responsible for researching, applying for and completing a placement of at least 60 hours in duration (either full time or part time). The module is normally taken when you are a second year. However, you need to research and apply for a placement when you are a first year. Ideally, you will undertake your placement in the summer between your first year and second year but it is possible (though not advisable) to complete the placement in term 1. In any case, the placement must be completed by December of your second year.  This module provides a valuable opportunity for you to build confidence, develop transferable skills and enhance your CV, all of which will improve your career prospects after graduation. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will provide you with the opportunity to gain practical experience in the workplace, with the aim of developing valuable transferable skills and enhancing future employability. After completing your placement, the classroom-based element of the module will cover writing CVs and application forms, interview techniques, professionalism and networking. There will also be detailed support sessions to help you complete the assessments which focus on reflecting on your experience, reviewing and reflecting on the gaps in your skills and knowledges and how to fill them, and writing an application for a real job.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Compose an effective and well-presented application for a real job, complete with supporting letter/statement, making clear links between your experience and the job description
  • 2. Explain what the placement organisation does, how it is managed and how it seeks to achieve its goals
  • 3. Describe your role in the organisation, together with an awareness of statutory (e.g. health and safety) regulations
  • 4. Interact effectively with colleagues in the workplace

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 5. Outline the career paths available to students with a degree in Biosciences and Geography

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 6. Illustrate the transferable skills gained during your degree and how these can enhance future employability
  • 7. Evaluate your own learning and performance in the work placement, demonstrating how the skills learnt are transferable to other contexts
  • 8. Communicate ideas, principles and theories fluently using a variety of formats in a manner appropriate to the intended audience
  • 9. With some guidance, study autonomously and gather and organise information from appropriate sources
  • 10. Evaluate own strengths and weaknesses in relation to professional and practical skills, and apply own evaluation criteria

Syllabus plan

The module is focused on learning by experience, mimicking the job application process and providing experience in the workplace. You have access to the support of Career Zone when applying for positions and upon completion of the placement. You will write an essay which reflects on your experience of completing your placement. You will also complete a presentation in which you reflect on what the placement has taught you about gaps in your skills, knowledge or training and how you might fill them. Finally, you will complete an application for a real job of your choice. Overall, these assessments combine as part of your career planning process. If you take this module you must have a placement position organised by the start of your second year.

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
Student learning and teaching10One introductory lecture, in which you are told what you will gain from the module, and how to behave professionally in the workplace, one on networking, one on writing a job application and one on giving a successful oral presentation
Guided independent study80Searching for suitable work placements and conducting additional reading in preparation for module assessments
Placement60Practical experience working with an independent organisation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Host evaluationPerformance during work placement1-4Oral

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 review351500 words1-3, 5-10Written
Oral presentation3510 minutes1-4, 5-9Written
Job application303 page application form1-3, 5-6, 8-9Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Reflective reviewWritten assignment1-3, 5-10August reassessment period
Oral presentationOral presentation1-4, 5-9August reassessment period
Job applicationWritten assignment1-3, 5-9August reassessment period

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 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 complete a further written assignment. 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

  • Cottrell, S. (2003), Skills for Success: The Personal Development Handbook. Palgrave Macmillan
  • Fanthome, C. (2004) Work Placements: A survival guide for students. Palgrave

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Careers, employability, CV, work experience, transferable skills, personal development

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date