LAW-30098 - CAB Legal Research Placement
Coordinator: Lisa M Mason Tel: +44 1782 7 34363
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733218

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

Legal Research-Placement with Citizens Advice Stoke-on-Trent. This is a 12-week placement module. You can choose to undertake it in either semester 1 or 2. During the placement you will be trained as a Digital Advisor giving advice over the telephone and making appropriate referrals. There is a possibility that this may be extended to face-to-face advice depending on your progress and CAB┐s needs. Weeks 1 and 2 of the placement will involve induction training and observations. You will be giving advice under supervision in week 3. Thereafter you will be on rota to provide telephone advice once a week for three hours (weeks 4-12) at the CAB┐s office in Hanley.
Places on this module will be limited to between 10-12 students per semester. The CAB┐s office is in Hanley and reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed by the CAB.
This is a 15-credit bearing module available to third year law students only (assessment is detailed below). The CAB is looking for dedicated volunteer law students with a professional commitment who can be relied on to turn up on time in accordance with rota arrangements.
Selection of students for this placement module will be made based on a completed application form (which will be made available via email to you all in mid-June). The deadline for completing the form will be 1st July 2019. You might further be asked to have a chat with Lisa Mountford (module leader) over the telephone. Account will additionally be taken of your Level 5 results. Those students who are selected for the semester one placements will be notified by email over the summer.
You will not be able to choose the CAB module through e Vision when you re-enrol on your third-year options: This is because of the limited number of places and timetable complexities (your placement hours need to be blocked off on your timetable). You will therefore need to make a full selection of other modules when e Vision opens for re-enrolment after being notified of your results in case (1) your application for the CAB module is unsuccessful or (2) your application is successful but there are timetable constraints on your individual timetable.
The placement will be subject to a DBS check paid for by the CAB.
Previous volunteer experience is not a pre-requisite nor is involvement with CLOCK.
What will the placement involve?
Attendance on the CAB┐s induction programme (12 hours in total delivered at Keele and at the CAB) which will be timetabled during induction week w/c 30th September 2019 (TBC) for semester 1 students (Week 1 of the placement). This will also include a familiarisation visit to the CAB┐s office in Hanley. (Semester 2 induction and training will take place before the Christmas break). The CAB induction training additionally involves online training sessions and 8 online assessments, five of which must be completed by the end of week 2. This sounds onerous, but we are assured that it is not. In week 2 of your placement, you will be observing advisors at the CAB. In week 3, you will be providing telephone advice under supervision. You will also be required to complete the CAB┐s Learning and Assessment Record as you are undergoing your training and reflecting on your experience.
The module involves a commitment to the CAB. You must fulfil your rota requirements. You will be timetabled for your slots as well as for the induction/supervision element. The University┐s mandatory attendance requirement apply to this module, but aside from this, it is a professional commitment and you would be letting the CAB and members of the public down if you failed to attend.
There will additionally be a small number of timetabled teaching sessions within the Law School plus supervision sessions in connection with the second piece of assessment.
How will I be assessed for the purposes of gaining credits towards my degree?
There are two University assessment requirements for this placement module:
You will need to submit a short written reflective piece based on your experience as an Initial Advisor/Digital Advisor (1500 words maximum). This is weighted 30%. You will be able to draw on the CAB┐s Learning and Assessment Record to assist you in this assessment task. There will be a 1.5-hour session on critical self-reflection delivered by Dr Russell Crawford.
You will also need to complete and submit a written piece (title to be approved by your supervisor or module leader) on a socio-legal area broadly relevant to the work of the CAB (2500 words). This is weighted 70%.
What some of our current cohort of students have said:
┐I did not expect to enjoy it as well as I did. I thought it would be easy, but it was challenging and made me realise I had an impact being there and able to give initial advice to people who really need it.┐
┐It is an enjoyable placement and would contribute hugely to your confidence skills┐
┐Go in with an open mind and enjoy the experience.┐
┐Choose a topic you and really interesting and just throw yourself into it, you and it so much more rewarding and get so much more out of it.┐
┐The staff at the CAB are lovely!┐ I have really enjoyed the experience.┐

The purpose of the module is several fold:
To enable students to develop a wide variety of skills, both academic and personal, and to deploy these to help the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and, in particular, the public it serves;
To encourage recognition and development of skills and capabilities valued in the work place;
To enable students to further develop their legal research skills and to enhance their critical analysis capabilities;
To enhance graduate employability.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Reflect on and critically evaluate learning gained from a work-based learning experience: 1
Communicate legal information to non-specialist audiences using appropriate techniques and to understand the legal and ethical issues arising
: 1
Conduct independent research on a socio-legal/welfare based issue within the broad remit of the Citizens Advice Bureau: 2
Learn, through experience, how to 'learn on the job' - i.e., to learn to develop skills/attributes appropriate to the work environment (such as professional dress and comportment, interpersonal communication and collaboration, following set codes of practice, etc.): 1
Demonstrate meaningful connections between academic theory learnt as part of a degree programme and professional contexts and situations in the work place: 2

Study hours

Research project/essay supervision (6 hours)
Initial induction training at CAB (12 hours)
Placement (33 hours)
Revision session (2 hours)
Self-directed research reading, reflection and assessment (97 hours)

School Rules

The module will be open to successful applicants only and numbers will be capped according to the maximum number of placements available.
Students will apply to take this module in either the first or second semester of their final year. The application process will involve: (i) a statement of interest, (ii) a CV, (iii) informal interview with module leader and (iv) an average year 2 mark of 50%.
Allocation of a place is dependent upon individual student lecture timetables, which will not be finalised until the September. Students are automatically enrolled onto a reserve module until the selection process is complete.

Description of Module Assessment

1: Reflective Analysis weighted 30%
Written critical reflection
A short written piece, maximum 1000 words, critically reflecting on the student┐s placement experience.

2: Report weighted 70%
Report based on independent research into a socio-legal problem
Report on a socio-legal problem. Report brief to be selected by the student and approved by the module leader. Title to be on a research area broadly relevant to the placement experience. Maximum word limit 2,000 words (excluding footnotes).