module specification

CS6W50 - Career Development Learning (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Career Development Learning
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
21 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
50 hours Guided independent study
9 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
70 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Coursework (A or B or C)
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Afternoon
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

The module enables students to undertake an appropriate, short professional activity related to their course at level 6 with a business or community organisation and to gain credit for their achievements. The activity can be professional training or certification, a volunteering activity, employment through internal or external work-based placements, research-related activities, business start-up projects, entrepreneurship programs and more. Please see the complete list of accepted activities on WebLearn.

Students are expected to engage in any one or combination of career development learning activities for a total of ~70 hours which should be recorded clearly in a tri-weekly learning log – part of the portfolio. The ~70 hours can be completed in ~30 working days in FT mode or spread over a semester in PT mode.

Students are expected to complete a total of ~150 hours, 70 hours of which is direct engagement in any one or combination of career development learning activities. Progress should be recorded clearly in tri-weekly learning logs which are part of the portfolio. The ~150 hours can be completed in ~35 working days in FT mode or spread over a semester in PT mode.

Students should register for the module to be briefed, undergo induction and module planning and have their career development learning activity approved before they take up the opportunity. Students must be made aware that both the "Learning Agreement" (LA) and relevant "Health and Safety (H&S) checklist", where applicable, must be approved before starting the learning activity. Activities started without prior explicit supervisor approval will not be accepted.

The module aims to provide students with the opportunity to:
• Gain a valuable experience of the working environment and the career opportunities available upon graduation.
• Sharpen critical thinking, creative problem-solving and the ability to articulate solutions correctly to decision-makers and budget-holders alike.
• Undertake a career development learning activity appropriate to their academic level to gain exposure and access to professional networks.
• Extend learning experience by applying and building on their academic skills and abilities by tackling real-life problems through enrichment and extracurricular programs related to student subject areas.
• Enhance existing skills and master new ones through a structured personal and Professional Development Plan (PDP).

Prior learning requirements

Successful completion of level 5 or equivalent


There is no standard syllabus for the module; the learning outcomes will be developed in the subject-based context of Career Development Learning. A "Learning Agreement"(LA) produced and approved before the activity begins will specify how the outcomes will be developed and how they will be evidenced. Depending on the chosen activity, students may work on real external client projects with agreed deliverables specified by the client. Students will be expected to work individually, in teams or a combination of the two.

Specific emphasis should be placed on enhancing existing and gaining new skills, professional conduct, self-management, teamwork, and understanding of business and client requirements where applicable. A suitable career development learning activity should offer students an opportunity to build on their achievement-based CVs and must be related to their degree subject. 

Students are expected to "learn by doing" and place emphasis on developing new skills and sharpening their existing skill set vis-a-vis soft/transferable skills as well as technical skills. The learning activity chosen should enable the student to build on previous experiences and learning gained within their academic course and elsewhere.


Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module leader undertakes induction and debriefing sessions and provides learning support through email, telephone contact, drop-in sessions and individual appointments. The academic module team offers formative tri-weekly feedback and assesses students’ portfolios (summative assessment).

The module is supported by an academic module team and the employability team.

The Academic Team: This is a team of academic supervisors, led by the module leader who also undertakes student supervision. Students are allocated to a supervisor who (depending on the nature of the learning activity) should be contacted for feedback and advice on matters such as:
• Learning Agreements & placement approvals.
• Tri-Weekly learning logs & feedback.
• All portfolio, assessment, attendance, and other related questions.

The Employability Team: This is the Careers and Employability team whose primary contact for students is the employer engagement officer who can provide:
• Assistance and guidance in finding and applying for internal placements and advice on finding placements externally.
• Employment support, resources and access to career portal(s).
• Support in obtaining and completing Health & Safety and other related online forms.

1. Induction

Induction sessions introduce students to the requirements and demands of the module, assist them in the diagnosis of their abilities, help them make decisions about suitable career development activities and ensure they produce an appropriate Learning Agreement (LA) for applicable learning applications/activities. For internal employment-based learning, opportunities will be advertised on student Career Portal(s), inviting applications and CVs. Candidates will go through an interview process that will seek to develop interview skills through responsive feedback and recommendations with the Employability and Careers Services. This is to encourage an appreciation of employability requirements sought by businesses and industry.

2. Approval of Learning Activity:

Once a career development learning opportunity is established, students must submit the following documents to WebLearn:
- Learning Agreement (compulsory for all activities)
- Job Offer Letter (compulsory where activity is employment-based)
- Research Brief (compulsory where activity is research-based)
- Training/Certification Confirmation Letter (compulsory where activity is training or certification programs)

The module team must approve forms before the learning activity starts. Each student will be assigned an academic supervisor to support the student throughout the process. The learning agreement form will identify and specify the following:

• Task (s) involved in the chosen activity.
• Skills, abilities and attributes to be developed and demonstrated, together with the associated assessment criteria.
• Learning opportunities for the development of the expected outcomes.
• Evidence is required to demonstrate the achievement of the learning outcomes.

3. The Career Development Learning

During the learning process, all students – regardless of the type of activities they choose – must keep a record of the activities carried out (in a reflective learning log, for instance), reflect on it and reference them to the agreed learning outcomes in the learning agreement (LA). These must be submitted every three weeks.

4.  Formal Feedback and Portfolio

The employer/client/work supervisor will produce feedback to evaluate the knowledge and skills demonstrated by the student. Where the activity is training/certification-based, proof of successful completion is required to inform the supervisor's feedback. Where the activity is research-related, evidence of satisfactory progress from the research lead is required. To adequately assess and provide relevant feedback, supervisors may require additional documents. This will be communicated to the student by the supervisor, if/when required.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module, students should be able to:

LO1 – Demonstrate that they can function effectively as independent learners in supervised and unsupervised learning environments, including selecting and applying appropriate methods and procedures to accomplish the required tasks.

LO2 – Communicate effectively with internal/external teams, clients, colleagues, decision-makers and budget holders.

LO3 – Apply analytical, creative and advanced problem-solving skills relevant to the subject.

LO4 – Critically evaluate skills and performance and plan for their systematic improvement.

LO5 – Evidence an enhanced understanding and awareness of important commercial, social and professional factors and their impact on society as a whole and business in particular.

Assessment strategy

This assessment strategy aims to embed graduate employment skills and provide a more inclusive assessment environment within which students are engaged as partners. It serves as a universal criterion for success for students to showcase their strengths and offers them an opportunity to broaden their horizons by choosing an assessment format that's relevant to their learning environment and their choice of learning activity.

The assessment formats fall under two categories, oral and written and students have a choice of one of the following formats:

A) A written portfolio report and 300-word reflective summary (2300 words total):

A written learning portfolio of 2000 words and a 300-word reflective summary (+/- 10%). This report must be submitted to WebLearn no later than the stated deadline. 
For a complete specification, including a template, please see WebLearn.

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B) An oral, visual portfolio presentation + 300-word written, reflective summary.

For this format, students are required to produce and submit two separate artefacts, a presentation and a reflective summary report. The presentation is about 30 minutes long and can be produced using any tool of choice, including but not limited to; PPT, Prezi, Visme, Google slides, Apple Keynote, etc. The reflective summary is a one-page report of 300 words (+/- 10%). Students will be given 15-20 minutes to discuss and present their portfolio, after which the supervisor will ask questions and engage in dialogue with the student.

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C) A dialogic poster presentation + 300-word written, reflective summary.

This format includes two artefacts which must be submitted separately on WebLearn; a poster and a written reflective summary of 300 words (+/-10%). The poster can be created using any tool of choice, including a one-slide page, a landscape MS Word, a PPT slide etc. The poster must be one full page, and a template with a guide, including samples, are available on WebLearn. During the presentation, the student is expected to engage in a dialogic exercise with their supervisor, discussing the poster and key aspects of their career development activity of choice.

Assessment artefacts (reports, presentation slides/posters and reflective summaries) must be submitted on WebLearn and are double-marked in accordance with the university guidelines and requirements of the relevant accrediting body. For more details on each format, please see assessment templates and guides available on WebLearn.

Learning Portfolio:

The Learning Portfolio (LP) is a summative assessment component relevant to all activities and students are expected to document it in a report or one of two presentation formats. For a full breakdown of each format, please see 13b. The LP contains evidence of the learning activities, a breakdown of their Professional Development Plan (PDP), professional training attended and certificates obtained (if any), a record of the student's career development learning activity in a log, the reflection on their personal and professional development during their learning experience that helped them to become more self-aware and to improve their performance. 

Portfolios should demonstrate how students boosted their employability and understanding related to their course degree. This can be done through reference to appropriate literature and the broader industrial context by enhancing their awareness of key commercial and professional factors related to their subject matter. Additionally, students' PDPs should be recorded in their portfolios to demonstrate how they went on about improving their graduate employment perspectives. 

A special focus is also given to students' ability to demonstrate a balanced mixture of soft, technical and reflective skills through assessments. The format and emphasis of each portfolio, which may vary depending on the chosen activity, are drawn up in consultation with the module team, who provides guidance on its content, technical specification and overall presentation.  Assessment by the module team is based on the portfolio's organisation, presentation, clarity, and technical content and will stress on soft, technical and reflective skills. [LO1-5]

Assessment can be both formative and summative:

The formative process includes the regular maintenance of a structured learning log. This allows the student to plan and monitor their progress, reflect on and learn from their experience, and improve their performance across the duration of their career development activity. Formative assessment includes supervisor's ongoing feedback as well as regular employer/client/work-supervisor comments and observations.

The summative process includes seeking feedback and evidence of performance from the student's client/employer or proof of successful completion of training/certification program – depending on the chosen career development activity. This feedback is not just a snapshot at a single point in time during the student's activity, but rather, it is that of the learning experience as a whole, including attendance and engagement.