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Professional Placement

  • Module code: WP7000
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 120
  • Pre-requisites: Successful completion of 120 level 7 taught credits
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a Master's programme that incorporates professional placement learning, following completion of 120 credits. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment, and to develop and enhance key employability skills and subject specific professional skills in their chosen subject. Students may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for their subsequent major project module, and would be expected to use it to help inform their decisions about future careers.

It is the responsibility of individual students to locate and secure a suitable placement opportunity, or no more than 3 separate placements, which must be completed over a minimum period of 10 months and within a maximum of 12 months.  (Students can have periods of up to 60 days between placements out of work, if the period of inactivity exceeds 60 days their visa will require OS students to return to their home country). The placement(s) must be approved by the Module Leader, in consultation with Student Employability and Engagement (SEE), prior to commencement, to ensure its suitability.  Students seeking placements will have access to the standard placement preparation activities offered by SEE.

Aims

  • To enable the experience of working in a professional environment relevant to the field of study and to the student's ambitions.
  • To allow students to consolidate and apply the range of skills and knowledge acquired in the course of their studies to a work environment, and to reflect on and develop these skills and knowledge further.
  • To support professional skills development which will enhance career prospects.
  • To support the process of reflection and promote self-awareness in learning.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Relate academic knowledge and skills to professional working practices, by critically evaluating their own personal and professional development within the context of a placement experience.
  • Demonstrate professional skills (including self-presentation, communication, interpersonal/teamwork, research and information literacy, numeracy, time-management and project-planning, management and leadership skills, and ethical practice).
  • Maintain an accurate account of work activity and reflect on the experiences gained, critically evaluating their own performance, subject specific knowledge gained, by applying feedback from supervisors and assessors towards achieving improved performance.
  • Evaluate and complete tasks set in the work place, by applying effective communication and problem-solving initiatives to achieve the best outcome for the employer.
  • Confidently present a critical account of their understanding of the placement organisation and their experience within it.
  • Build their professional network and make informed decisions about future employment and career plans.

Curriculum content

The type of work experience gained by students will vary according to the organisation which employs them or the professional context they are working in.  The following features are desirable:  induction to the organisation, job related training, experience in a range of departments/roles, access to work that challenges ability and creativity, provides opportunities to use initiative and take responsibility, affords opportunities to enhance personal and professional skills, and delivers regular assessment or appraisal of progress.  As part of the identification of the placement, students may wish to explore the provision of specific project-based activities that are of utility to the organisation, that allow students to pursue areas of particular interest that demonstrate the achievement of the module learning outcomes, but which also have the potential for expansion and further investigation in the major project/dissertation.

Teaching and learning strategy

This module is primarily reliant on independent activity on the part of the student, with some support from their tutor.  

During the period of the placement(s) students will be supervised (online) by a tutor who, if possible, will visit during the placement. Depending on the location of the placement, meetings might take place face-to-face or via platforms such as Skype.

The module will make use of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Canvas for communication and dissemination of information between students and staff as well as making online learning materials available.

All courses based in the Kingston School of Art offer students free access to the online video tutorial platform Lynda.com. This provides a wide range of subjects to choose from, many with downloadable exercise files, including software tutorials covering photography, graphics, web design, audio and music, CAD and Microsoft Office software, as well as courses on Business and Management skills. Some of these are embedded in the curriculum and offer additional self-paced learning, others may be taken at will by students wishing to broaden their employability skills in other areas.

Students on a Tier 4 visa must maintain established monitoring activities.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Tutor's meeting(s) with students during work experience. Online tutorials for formative feedback comments on work diary, samples of work, etc. 6
Guided independent study Activities related to seeking and gaining a placement. Completion of the assignment (work portfolio). 644
Study abroad / placement 550
Total (number of credits x 10) 1200

Assessment strategy

Students will be required to keep a critical diary of the tasks and duties undertaken during their placement, to provide a framework for the reflective essay and work placement report.  They will also assemble and collate samples of work and evidence of achievement produced during their placement which will form part of their final submission.

Formative assessment/feedforward will be provided through preparation for work, comments on work diary, and meetings with tutor.

The summative assessment is through the completion of a Professional Placement Portfolio, to include:

  • A substantial collection of samples of work and/or project outcomes (e.g. in a digital portfolio and/or a professional website), from their time in placement(s).
  • A reflective essay (1500 words min), accompanied by visual materials.
  • An up-to-date industry-standard CV and professional profile.
  • A work placement report based on the critical diary.

Placement providers will be asked to appraise the students' work and this feedback will be made available to the student.    This module will be assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) Relate academic knowledge and skills to professional working practices, by critically evaluating their own personal and professional development within the context of a placement experience. Reflective essay.
2) Demonstrate professional skills (including self-presentation, communication, interpersonal/teamwork, research and information literacy, numeracy, time-management and project-planning, management and leadership skills, and ethical practice). Samples of work. Reflective essay. Work placement report.
3) Maintain an accurate account of work activity and reflect on the experiences gained, critically evaluating their own performance, subject specific knowledge gained, by applying feedback from supervisors and assessors towards achieving improved performance. Work placement report
4) Evaluate and complete tasks set in the work place, by applying effective communication and problem-solving initiatives to achieve the best outcome for the employer. Samples of work. Work placement report.
5) Present a critical account of their understanding of the placement organisation and their experience within it. Reflective essay. Work placement report.
6) Build their professional network and make informed decisions about future employment and career plans. CV and professional profile. Reflective essay.

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
Professional placement portfolio Coursework 100%
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS a requirement that the element of assessment is passed in order to achieve an overall pass for the module.

Bibliography core texts

Bassot, B.  (2015) The reflective practice guide: An interdisciplinary approach to critical reflection.  London: Routledge

Bolton, G. (2010) Reflective Practice: writing and professional development, London: Sage

Fanthome, C. (2005) Making Work Experience Count: How to get the right work experience and improve your career prospects.  London: How to Books Ltd.

Moon, JA.  (2004) A Handbook of reflective and experiential learning: Theory and Practice. London: Routledge

Wilson, K. (2012) Reflective Writing Palgrave Macmillan

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