ESC-30042 - Work Placement Year
Coordinator: Alix Cage Tel: +44 1782 7 33177
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 0
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733615

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective





Students must be in good academic standing, have a good University attendance record and must have passed all Level 4 and Level 5 (Semester 1) modules with an overall average of equal to or greater than 55% to be eligible for the Work Placement Year module.

Barred Combinations

Students may not register for both an International Year and a Work Placement Year.

Description for 2023/24

In a competitive job market, employers are increasingly looking beyond degree results and towards academically successful graduates who also understand how the professional work place functions and who have well-developed employability skills. Narrowing the gap between the skills students develop during their degree and the skills graduate employers desire can be key to a graduate securing employment and studies suggest a link between graduates who have undertaken a placement and securing employment.
During this Placement Year module, students will undertake a long-term (minimum of 30 weeks, full-time) work-based learning internship with a company or organisation, where they will be supported in developing effective professional practices through training in generic and specific employability skills and through developing independent reflective learning practices to enhance their continuing professional development in the context of their own working environment. Students will also gain a much greater understanding of professional practice within the environment and sustainability employment sector and be able to use their placement experiences to develop their CVs, better understand the place of academic theory and knowledge in real-world situations and improve their employability upon graduation.

The aim of this module is to provide students with the opportunity to carry out a long-term work-based learning experience (minimum 30 weeks equivalent of full-time work) in the environment and sustainability sector between Years 2 and 3 (Levels 5 and 6) of their degree programme. The module will be underpinned by employability skills training (as part of their preparation during year 2), reflective assessment, employer and tutor evaluation and support from academic tutors.

Intended Learning Outcomes

critically evaluate their learning from the work placement: 1,2
explain how the professional environmental sector operates and what skills are needed to develop their career: 1,2
apply academic theory learnt as part of the taught degree to real situations in the work place: 1,2
evaluate their own employability skills (via a SWOT Analysis) and create Intended Learning Outcomes for their placement in order to develop the skills areas which they have identified as being weak or needing further enhancement: 1,2
develop, through practice in the work place, the work-related skills identified through their SWOT analysis and Intended Learning Outcomes: 2

Study hours

The placement year is the equivalent of 120 credits and the student will be expected to be on placement for a MINIMUM of 30 weeks equivalent of full-time work (this is roughly equivalent to a standard university teaching period), therefore a minimum of 1050 hours should be spent on placement. The placements can continue for up to 12 months, providing the necessary assessments are submitted and passed for progression into the final year (FHEQ Level 6).
10 hours are given for scheduled learning and teaching activities - these are workshops which will cover: internship preparation including CVs and cover letters and how to find a placement; identifying skills gaps through skills audits and SWOT analysis; creating intended learning outcomes; and a Pre-departure workshop to complete necessary paperwork. 140 hours are provided for guided independent study.

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Portfolio weighted 30%
Mid-Placement Portfolio
The Mid-Placement Portfolio will be submitted 6-8 weeks into the placement and comprises two elements: 1. A SWOT analysis and Action Plan. The student will use their placement experience to reflect on their employability skills and consider the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) to the development of these skills. The SWOT Analysis will be used to create an Action Plan of Intended Learning Outcomes and planned activities aimed at strengthening their employability skills during the remainder of their placement and in the context of Continuing Professional Development; 2. An evaluation of the student┐s performance on placement by the Work Placement Host.

2: Portfolio weighted 70%
Final Placement Portfolio
The Final Placement Portfolio will be submitted at the end of the Placement and again, comprises two elements: 1. A reflective diary (~5k words) on the student┐s placement experience, documenting key activities and reflecting on skills gained from those activities and how they contribute to the work-based learning experience and development of employability skills; 2. An evaluation of the student┐s performance on placement by the Work Placement Host.