Work-based experiences can be a range of activities that take place within a work setting, including: placements, work experience and some forms of volunteering, providing scope for application of subject understanding and exercise of graduate level skills.
Undertaking any of these activities benefits students in a number of ways:
- Improved motivation to study
- Practical application of their subject area
- Experience of dealing with ill-structured problems
- Helps them decide what they do/don’t want to do when they graduate
- Greater confidence
- Development of interpersonal skills and enhanced employability
- Accumulating experience which may be desirable/essential for work or postgraduate study
- Improves employability
At postgraduate level, placements and work experience opportunities need to be embedded within an academic programme due to the short time available and are usually unpaid. To embed this in a programme requires effort and time. The Work-related Learning Opportunities Coordinator can provide guidance and support with this.
Placements could be offered to students at the end of a collaborative dissertation which would allow the student time not only to turn their research into a more "user friendly" output but gain experience of working in an organisation. For further information please see Collaborative dissertations
School of Interdisciplinary Studies
The School has recently introduced the option for students on its MSc and MLItt Programmes to undertake a Work Placement with an assessed Project Report and reflective E-portfolio as an alternative to a traditional dissertation. Students source projects based around a work placement, which takes place over 4-8 weeks of the summer.
The work placement allows students to integrate knowledge gained from degree courses with work-based learning. Through a project agreed by the course convenor and placement provider, the student will gain valuable industry experience, and will consolidate and develop skills of critical analysis, reflection, and communication.
The principle aims of this work placement are to:
- develop and complete a negotiated project or task(s) relevant to both the needs of the external placement provider and the degree requirements
- apply the skills and knowledge gained during the degree in the workplace environment
- reflect on the workplace structure and placement experience
- communicate valuable educational and practical elements of this experience.
On completion of the work placement students will be able to:
- negotiate and undertake work based tasks and industry related learning goals, as demonstrated in their final project
- relate elements of the work experience to academic themes and issues relevant to their degree programme, and apply the skills developed within the academic curriculum in the work place environment
- critically analyse and reflect on their professional practice and work-based experience
- present a specified industry-related project in an appropriate format.