Our Work Placement Module

All students studying Humanities subjects can choose to take a Work Placement module in their second year, taught by an academic member of staff and a member of the Careers and Employability team. During the module, students complete a 75-hour placement of their choice involving them in meaningful projects and allowing them to utilise the skills they have developed as part of their degree. Our students have secured placements in a wide variety of workplaces.

They also benefit from the advice of invited guests including former students, local employers, and Keele alumni. During the module, all students complete a portfolio that they can show to potential future employers.

spotlight case study work experience Jordan Ori-Orison (English Literature and History BA)

"I completed my work placement at the Raven Mason Collection located in Keele Hall. The role that I was assigned revolved around the re-imagining and the re-displaying of the ceramics within the first room of the collection. The focus of my placement was to produce four informative graphics that would be implemented in and around the show cases in room one to replace the original informative boards that had been there since its opening. While this seemed like a simple task on paper, this placement exposed me to the different research tasks and design features that museums have to consider when designing a written piece for a collection so that it is accessible to a wide audience. I began to take things into consideration that I had never really paid attention to before as an avid museum goer such as the size of text used on a written piece – and the type of language used, what colours work best and how to establish a clear visual theme across a collection for those with reading difficulties."

"I essentially worked with no budget and used simple programmes such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Photoshop to produce the four informative graphics. I thought that this would limit the visual appeal and the effectiveness of the final products but worked with my placement provider to ensure that not only was I updating the look of the collection itself, but still providing educational content for visitors of the collection. I had the opportunity to meet with different people within the local museum sector and gained some really valuable knowledge on how to provide effective content for a museum and how to modernise it without spending a lot of money (as most of these collections are funded by donations only). I was also able to create a conversation between myself and the visitors of the collection and used their feedback throughout the design process to make sure that what was being produced would be enjoyed by the public. This was one of the most rewarding aspects of the placement because the visitor became an active participant in the modification of a collection that they had a history in and reflected the community aspect of the Potteries industry."

"I believe that this placement has provided me the opportunity to gain valuable experience working within the museum sector that I can apply to a similar role in the future, or to adopt the skills that I have learned in an editorial context to produce different pieces of writing that can appeal to a wide audience. I was able to apply pre-existing skills that had been developed throughout my studies and enhance them even further to produce a series of informative graphics that can meet the expectations of an accredited museum. I have been able to see what might be expected of me in the future in the roles that I hope to apply for and how to utilise the resources available to me to produce effective content."

spotlight case study work experience Hollie Barnett (English Literature and Philosophy BA)

"As a Combined Honours English Literature and Philosophy student, I am exceedingly passionate about both of my subject areas, and whilst I have always aspired to pursue a career in education, I was previously undecided as to the subject in which I wished to specialise. Consequently, the Work Placement for Humanities Students module appealed to me as providing an opportunity to apply the variety of skills and knowledge acquired from both sides of my degree in a practical setting, and to assist with deciding upon the career path to which I would be best suited."

"I undertook my placement at a local secondary school and sixth form establishment, working with all year groups from Year 7 up to Sixth Form. I was pleasantly surprised that, whilst the Philosophy side of my degree is not located within the School of Humanities, the flexibility of the Work Placement module meant that my placement could be tailored to my requirements, enabling me to choose to gain experience in Philosophy classes in addition to English. I partook in a variety of activities, including observing teaching of all year groups, assisting with pupils’ queries within the classroom, marking work, individually mentoring students, and working within the Special Educational Needs Department. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of my placement, the most rewarding experience of all was delivering English lessons to Year 7 and Upper-Sixth classes, which afforded me the opportunity of teaching students at opposite ends of the school, and was absolutely invaluable in confirming to me that education is definitely the correct career path for me to pursue. Further, observing the value of English in this practical setting caused me to reach the decision that English Literature is the subject in which I would like to specialise in the long-term, and it is now my ambition to undertake postgraduate study in English Literature, with a view to pursuing a career in education."

"Overall, the Work Placement for Humanities Students module has enhanced my understanding of the valuable, practical application of my degree subjects in the workplace, and has set me on a clear career trajectory. I would certainly regard it as the most invaluable and rewarding experience of my degree so far, thanks in no small part to the knowledge, expertise and support of my tutors, Dr. Rachel Adcock and Ms. Sarah Longwell."

spotlight case study work experience Naomi Peach (History BA)

"I completed my work placement at the Brampton Museum in Newcastle-under-Lyme. While I was there, my role was to research an area of the museum’s collection (I was given a collection of local clay pipes), accessioning the objects into the museum’s physical and digital records, before cleaning, marking and packing the objects to archival standards. I then curated a small display from my research and wrote a small article for a local magazine."

"This placement gave me an invaluable insight into the industry I want to have a career in, giving me hands-on experience that confirmed for me that this is what I want to do when I have finished my degree. Furthermore, it has given me the opportunity to be involved in object conservation which I have not previously had a chance to experience and have been pursuing further as a direct result of this placement."

spotlight case study work experience Aman Kaur (English and Psychology BA)

"My work placement provider was Kumon Educational Japan Co. Ltd., a global education provider that aims to provide students with tutoring guidance in the subjects of Mathematics and English. The module was extremely enjoyable – one of my favourites of my degree. I was able to network with people in a corporate hierarchy and was able to attain lifelong networks that would aid my professional career and heighten key skills for future employment."

"The experience showed me the importance of time management, communication, and professionalism, something I feel is so important to my development as a student and future professional."

"Overall, I believe an experience like this from a taught module is so necessary and something that I feel all students should take part in to truly gain a real insight into the world of work and life outside of University."

Lianna Fan (Media, Communications and Creative Practice BA) image of Lianna Fan

"I chose the Work Placement for Humanities Students module because it was an opportunity to further explore my career pathways, apply my current skills from university to a workplace setting, and learn how to structure a CV and Cover Letter. Therefore, by the end of my placement, I felt l was able to achieve these personal goals through the module classes and placement."

"I completed my work placement virtually with the Active Pregnancy Foundation as a social media/ marketing intern for their campaign. This placement involved researching information, creating promotional materials such as posters or badges. Within this placement, l managed to apply the skills
l have learnt in university, such as Adobe Photoshop and collaborative skills. Additionally, l have also learned new skills and knowledge such as using Canva, understanding the importance of brand awareness in promotional materials, using my initiatives to act on feedback, and maintaining professionalism in a work environment."

"Therefore, l believe the placement and module classes are beneficial and valuable for all students since they can learn more about the career they want to pursue, and it can allow
them to apply and learn new skills that would be transferable to their future university modules and jobs."

Grace Ormandy (History BA) Grace Ormandy pic

"I did my placement with the Canal and River Trust based at Anderton Boat Lift. Whilst I am a history student, I wanted to participate in a placement project that was associated more with education rather than history. This is because education is the career I wish to pursue. Throughout my placement, my main role was to produce educational resources for school trips mainly for young children in primary schools. I created a script for a boat trip, session plans for an EYFS storytelling club, and helped to create activities for both events."

"My work placement really put into perspective what kind of things I need to know and appreciate
in my future as a primary school teacher. I grew a better understanding of the importance of educational visits and was able to get some experience creating lesson plans. Throughout my placement, I also did a lot of research on the National Curriculum for primary school students. My experience with this allowed me to have a better grasp of learning outcomes and benchmarks for learning and the whole experience will help me when I go on to apply for teacher training programmes."

Aidan Gallagher (History BA) Aiden Gallagher

"My placement was with the Nantwich Museum, which is a small local history museum in the historic Cheshire market town of Nantwich from October 2020 to March 2021. Unfortunately, due to the lockdown, I was only able to attend “in person” for a few weeks, after which I volunteered remotely, working on a series of projects allocated by the museum manager."

"This was quite challenging for me. I had to become very self-disciplined as I needed to work towards specific deadlines whilst also trying to attend online lectures, seminars and tutorials and course assignment deadlines. Initially, I was tasked with writing a self-guided walking tour of the Civil War
battlefield sites of Nantwich, followed by an accompanying PowerPoint presentation, with dialogue, which could be seen by visitors to the permanent Civil War exhibition in the museum. I then needed to design some curriculum-related local history lesson ideas for key stages 1 and 2 which would be available on the museum website for local primary schools. I finally undertook a detailed website review of the museum website with suggestions for improvement."

"Although I did feel a little frustrated at being unable to volunteer on-site, I did gain hugely from my experience. For example, my time-management and organisational skills were greatly enhanced, I learnt how to work to deadlines and produce attractive, professional quality products. I even gained some skills I wasn’t expecting, such as photography for the walking guide and an in-depth knowledge of the primary school history curriculum and lesson planning skills. I would highly recommend any other student considering a placement, both as a confidence booster, as a means of gaining valuable, relevant work experience and transferrable skills, together with a real insight into the area of work you may be considering in the future."

Amy talks about her experience of the Work Placement module.