module specification

AS6W04 - Sandwich Placement (for Applied Biology) (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Sandwich Placement (for Applied Biology)
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 1000
750 hours Placement / study abroad
230 hours Guided independent study
20 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 5% 40 Placement application paperwork (500 words)
Seminar 15% 40 Seminar presentation (10 mins)
Coursework 60% 40 IBMS or Work based learning portfolio (4000 words for work based or IBMS competency portfolio)
Coursework 15% 40 Placement diary (1000 words)
Practical Examination 5% 40 Confirmation of satisfactory completion (from employer)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North - To be arranged

Module summary

One year of work based learning. Work experience based full-time in an organisation with roles relevant to the academic programme of study and at an appropriate level of responsibility. Relevant organisations include; NHS, research, industrial and private medical laboratories. Learning would be driven by practical experience in the work place. Progress and development will be assessed against an agreed framework of objectives as defined in the learning agreement. Placements in IBMS approved accredited training laboratories are eligible for BS6W04 variant, other biological placements are AS6W04 and chemical based placements are CH6W04. For part-time students in appropriate employment they can complete the module over an extended period during their degree rather than take a year out.

Prior learning requirements

AS4001, AS4002, AS4003, AS4004, and min. 90 credits at level 5

Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

The module aims to: Provide  experience of the technical expertise, knowledge, pressures and opportunities within the context of the Scientific workplace; Increase awareness of the scope, structure and operation of the host organisation, from a career perspective; Develop generic competencies as outlined in the registration portfolio or work based learning portfolio;Maximize  employeabilty by developing the student’s ability to work (at a certain threshold level) in a proffesional  capacity.

This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment and registration with relevant professional bodies.


Placement preparation:
Information session during the academic year preceding placement and development of personal placement aims.
Development of a personal placement aim indicating what the student wants to achieve and specific areas they want to experience

Benefits- consolidation and expansion of knowledge in the subject area; development of transferable and technical skills; experience of the real scientific workplace.
Application process- reflective practice; good presentation and interview skills useful for both placement search and portfolio verification.

Placement arrangements and coursework requirements; workplace expectations and environment; roles of the placement tutor and external supervisor.
An appropriate programme of work and guidance, which addresses the module aims and stimulates reflection, will be negotiated, on an individual basis, between the student and the workplace supervisor in consultation with placement tutor.

There is no formal taught syllabus in this module since the nature of sandwich placements varies. Assessments for the module are subject to academic regulations for taught provision.

Learning and teaching

The placement tutor is a point of contact for support and information throughout the placement whilst the external supervisor provides guidance and supervision on a day-to-day basis. Learning through example and hands-on experience is a key element in the development of sandwich students. The placement tutors normally makes three visits to each student placed in the UK; for students placed abroad, electronic forms of communication will be the main form of contact.

The learning process and benefits of sandwich placement are signposted during the introductory sessions.

At each placement visit the placement tutor monitors the student's progress in discussion with the work place supervisor. In discussion with the student, the placement tutor also reinforces the student's awareness of his or her achievements and provides advice on the purpose, format and preparation of the coursework assignments, which support the learning outcomes.

The placement diary evidences record keeping, notes the acquisition of skills and competencies and provides an opportunity for reflective practice.

Completion of registration portfolio/ work based learning portfolio develops reflective, analytical, organisational and communication skills. The portfolio has a defined structure with suggested activities.
The seminar presentation develops subject-based and transferable skills. It provides the opportunity to reflect on the year's work so far; it also offers the experience of developing and presenting a talk on the general aspects of work based learning.

The CV ensures students reflect on the contribution of sandwich placement to their career development and presenting it demonstrates their greater maturity and experience to a potential employer.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:
1. Appreciate a laboratory/organisation working environment, its products and the range of professional skills appropriate to the Scientific environment.
2.  Understand the inter-relationship between different departments/laboratories within an organisation.
3. Develop generic knowledge, skills and competencies of an appropriate professional standard.
4. Communicate usingverbal and written communication in the workplace and theassessment.
5. Work independently with minimum supervision.
6. Work with others as part of ateam in problem solving and trouble shooting.
7. Develop personal development Skills such as:Personal evaluation, action planning and career management.

Assessment strategy

The module will be summatively assessed by university academic staff by means of a placement diary (15%), an IBMS registration or work based learning portfolio (60%), a seminar (20%) and a CV (5%).
The University tutor and the work place supervisor provide placement support throughout the year. In particular, the University tutor provides detailed advice on all coursework assignments in progress, and formative feedback during placement visits. Confirmation by the Supervisors that the placement has been completed satisfactorily in terms of attendance, progress and achievement will also be required (0%).

To pass the module students must:
Obtain confirmation that the placement has been satisfactorily completed.
To pass the module, students need to pass all components with a minimum mark of 40%. If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%.

Component Learning outcomes
Placement diary 1,4,5
Registration/work based learning  portfolio 3,4
Seminar presentation 4,7
Placement application paperwork 7
Confirmation of satisfactory completion 1,2,3,4,5,6,7



Collins, C. H. (1988) Safety in Clinical and Biomedical Laboratories. Chapman and Hall Medical.
Jones, A., Reed, R. and Wyers, J. (2003). Practical Skills in Biology, 3rd edition. Prentice Hall/Pearson.
London Metropolitan University (2003). Information for Students, Employers and Supervisors on Health and Safety during Work Placements. London Metropolitan University Health and Safety Office.

Indicative websites
Institute of Biomedical Science /NHS jobs website
NHS Blood and Transplant
National Institute for Medical research
Laboratory of the Government Chemist
National Health Service careers
London Metropolitan University Careers service