Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Work Experience (For Exchange Students Only)
Academic Year
Available semesters 1 and 2
Mutually Exclusive
External Examiners
  • Mrs Caroline Rymer (Senior Research Fellow - University of Reading)
  • Dr Martin Genner (Senior Lecturer - University of Bristol)
  • Dr Mark Paget (Reader - University of Sussex)
  • Mr Paul Courtney (Professor - University of Gloucestershire)
  • Professor Pat Heslop-Harrison (Professor - University of Leicester)
  • Dr Robert Baxter (Senior Lecturer - University of Durham)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 18 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Portfolio  100%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements that are equivalent to those that led to failure of the module  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Reflect in depth on workplace experience (Stream 1)

2. Identify strengths and weaknesses and identify strategies for addressing the latter (Stream 1)

3. Communicate experience in ways expected by employers (Stream 1)

4. Plan for a future career-enhancing strategy (Stream 1)

5. Develop and maintain a portfolio for future reflection on work experiences beyond the end of the module (Stream 1)

1. Reflect in depth on workplace experience (Stream 2)

2. Identify qualities required for successful entry into a career (Stream 2)

3. Identify strategies for success in recruitmentand interview/business start-up (Stream 2)

4. Effectively communicate employability aspects of careers development to peers (Stream 2)

5. Reflect on future career development (Stream 2)

Brief description

Stream 1 (default): Students will be expected to complete 50 hours of voluntary or paid work (part time or full time) experience during year 2 and its associated vacations. The work experience must conform to a set of minimum criteria, but it is not required that the work be directly relevant to degree schemes. Students will keep a reflective diary during their time working and complete as series of formative assessments. At the end of the working period, students will submit a portfolio in which they reflect on their experience, identify skills which need to be developed (and opportunities for this) and create a SMART plan, as part of a work experience portfolio, aimed at further enhancing their employability during year 3 and beyond.

Stream 2: Students with substantial experience of graduate level employment,or who have started up and run their own business, or who have already completed a degree-related IBERS work module (e.g. those transferring in from foundation schemes) will reflect on their experience in the context of employability development with the aim of producing supportive resources for their peers. Instead of the 50 hours work experience and reflective diary, stream 2 students will be expected to produce a briefing document, aimed at their fellow students, which is a profile of their career focussing on skills, challenges and opportunities. In addtion stream 2 students will be expected to produce a short 10 minute presentation followed by a Q&A session again aimed at their fellow students. Entry to stream 2 will be subject to staff approval and dependent on strict qualifying criteria.


During year 1 all students will be briefed about the module (via online notices, and presentations) and (for stream 1 students) about the need to identify suitable voluntary or work opportunities during the appropriate period. These opportunities will need to be meet specific criteria (and appropriate checks made on Health and Safety aspects and insurance cover), but the aim is to accept as broad a range of opportunities as possible in line with the stated academic aim.
Degree scheme coordinators are at liberty to identify degree-related work placements if they feel this is academically desirable and can be provided for all of the students taking their degree. This will be the responsibility of scheme coordinators.

Stream 1:
Students will keep a reflective diary for the first 50 hours of their work. A pro-forma will be provided and students will be expected to make an entry once per working day (or contiguous 8 hour period if part-time). Students will be supported by online resources (provided on Blackboard (and as downloadable/printable packages for those who do not have internet access). The reflective diary will form part of their portfolio.
Once 50 hours of experience have been completed, students will undertake a series of exercises aimed at raising awareness of the skills they have developed, the way in which these are perceived by employers and how their achievements can be communicated. The exercises will be developed in consultation with CAS.
Students will also be expected to compile a portfolio containing (in addition to the journal):
a. evidence of the work period
b. a completed skills audit (based on the current APPR)
c. evidence of engagement with CAS during year 2
d. a SMART plan of action identifying steps to be taken in year 3
e. a CV incorporating the experience gained during the placement.
Appropriate templates will be provided which will allow students to build further work experience into the portfolio which will expand and remain a resource long after the end of the module.

Stream 2:
Students must submit their request to enter stream 2, accompanied by the appropriate evidence, before the end of the 1st year.
Students will produce a 3000 word profile in which they describe the following elements with the specific aim of raising awareness of stream 1 students.
For those with experience of graduate level work the profile should describe how the individual entered the profession, what skills they needed to secure the job and the recruitment process, what skills they developed during the job, how the job developed during their time, the career path they followed, challenges and opportunities the job presented and a description of a typical 'day in the life'.
For those who have started and run their own business a profile describing the process of starting up the business (finance, marketing, sources of advice and help), how the business was developed, challenges and opportunities, dealing with 'the state', skills needed to start up and skills developed during the process and a typical 'day in the life'
In addition students will be expected to produce a 10 minute presentation summarising their profiles and aimed at their peers followed by a short Q&A session with the audience.
Students will also be expected to compile a portfolio containing:
a. a completed skills audit (based on the current APPR)
b. evidence of engagement with CAS during year 2
c. a SMART plan of action identifying steps to be taken in year 3
d. a CV incorporating the experience gained.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Communicating work-related experiences and skills development in an employer friendly way (CV) and to other students (stream 2)
Improving own Learning and Performance Reflecting on experiences, identifying skills deficits and opportunities for skills improvement (reflective diary and plan or profile & presentation)
Information Technology
Personal Development and Career planning Reflecting on achievements/experiences and integrating these into their CV supported by engagement with CAS and production of a career enhancement plan
Problem solving
Research skills Identifying further opportunities for development in their career enhancement plan
Subject Specific Skills
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 5