PIR-20082 - Work Experience in Politics, International Relations and Philosophy
Coordinator: James Pf Tartaglia Room: CBB 2.014 Tel: +44 1782 7 34315
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2019/20


Available as a Free Standing Elective





Module will be open to successful applicants only.
Students will apply to take this module in the second semester of their first year. The application process involves a proposal which includes: i) statement of interest; ii) the details of potential work experience with a identified organisation/company; iii) an explanation of how the experience relates to their academic interests in Politics, IR and/or Philosophy and iv) a short CV.

Barred Combinations


Description for 2019/20

In a competitive job market, understanding how the professional work place functions, and knowing how to identify and demonstrate the kinds of attributes and skills needed for a chosen field, are keys to securing desirable employment after graduation. Enhancing `employability¿ is a major focus of the Keele Distinctive Curriculum, and SPIRE has always provided excellent support for our students¿ career planning. This module is designed to enable students to gain work-based experience in a professional context and to reflect, in an academically informed and discipline-specific way, on their own capabilities, attributes and career plans.
The module consists of five taught workshops in Semester 1, where students are introduced to the theory behind work-based learning and given practical instruction on finding, carrying out and reflecting on a work-based learning experience. Students must find a suitable organisation or company that is willing to take them on for a 75 hour 'placement' which must be completed before the start of the examination period in Semester 2. The terms of the students' time with the organisation/company are to be negotiated and formalised in a 'work-based learning agreement' signed by the student, work supervisor, and Head of School for SPIRE.
Students must meet with their work experience tutor for discussion of the work-based learning and progress on assessments; two (compulsory) half-hour one-to-one sessions are scheduled over the course of the module. Students' completion of the 75 hour work experience period will be monitored and verified by the participating work supervisor in the institution/company where the work experience is undertaken.
The module is assessed though a 2,000 word academic essay which brings together the theoretical and practical dimensions of the work experience (worth 35%, due in Semester 1) and a portfolio comprising 6 documents (a skills audit, a CV, a covering letter, a learning agreement, a work-based learning report, and an evaluation of the student's work by the work supervisor in the organisation/company) (worth 65%, due in Semester 2).

To enable students to make connections between theoretical knowledge/academic perspectives in their chosen subject and the processes/practices/policies that exist in a related professional environment;
To encourage recognition and development of skills and capabilities valued in the work place;
To enable students to acquire many of the graduate attributes listed in the Keele Distinctive Curriculum;
To enhance graduate employability and students' ability to plan their career path.

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

Intended Learning Outcomes

Carry out a personal skills/attributes audit in relation to a work experience in order to identify goals and `skills gaps¿ and to translate these into achievable learning outcomes will be achieved by assessments: 1
Make meaningful connections between academic theory learnt as part of a degree programme and professional contexts and situations in the work place. will be achieved by assessments: 2
Conduct independent research into the policy and/or philosophical and ethical dimensions of a specific field, organisation or company in order to prepare for active and informed participation in that field, organisation or company (i.e., in the actual work period) will be achieved by assessments: 2
Reflect on and critically evaluate learning gained from a work-based learning experience will be achieved by assessments: 1
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.) will be achieved by assessments: 1

Study hours

9 hours taught sessions/workshops
1 hour individual consultation with work experience programme tutor
75 hours work experience
30 hours independent preparation and research
35 hours assessment preparation
= 150 hours total

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Portfolio weighted 65%
A portfolio containing six documents relating to the work experience
The portfolio will contain the following: - personal skills audit - CV - covering letter to organisation/company - work-based learning agreement - reflections and evaluation of work-based learning - evaluation of students' work by representative (or 'work supervisor') of the organisation/company in which the student has worked (including verification of number of hours completed) Please note that the reflection/evaluation part of the portfolio is the most substantial piece of writing and therefore is worth 60% of the mark for this assessment.

2: Essay weighted 35%
A 2,000 word essay
A 2,000 word essay on the political/policy context and/or philosophical-ethical framing of the work-based learning experience, drawing on scholarly literature and other forms of relevant research.