module specification

FC7W06 - Work Experience (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Work Experience
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 200
 
144 hours Placement / study abroad
24 hours Guided independent study
32 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Objectives met at the workplace
Coursework 15%   Work Experience Portfolio (1,000 words)
Coursework 60%   Work Experience Report (4,000 words )
Oral Examination 5%   Presentation (15 minutes)
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North - -
Year (Spring and Summer) North To be arranged -

Module summary

This module provides students with  an opportunity to undertake work experience in the Computing and IT industry at postgraduate level. The work experience spans two semesters and is underpinned by the taught element of the course in order to further enhance students’ skills relevant to their world of work and their career aspirations.

This Work Experience may take one or a combination of the following:

  • Students will be encouraged to find their own work placements in the public and private sector  in the  first instance.
  • Students may be placed in suitable employment at the university and will be  required to apply for work experience at the university.
  • Students may be placed in suitable employment in the voluntary sector
  • The World of Work (WoW) Agency in the School of Computing may find suitable projects for the students.
  • Students may undertake a WoWbiz project which would typically entail an  individual student or  a team of students working on a real project which has been specified by a business

Students will be prepared for work experience over a 6 week period. The  actual work experience will cover a period of 6 months followed by an appraisal, critical reflection  and review period of 2 weeks

The work experience forms an integral part of the degree and will be assessed formally by the academic supervisor. It is an important part of the student's education that they spend an appropriate time in work with a view to establishing good professional practice that will enrich their learning and prepare them for the world of work.

Students will have the work experience approved, before they take up the opportunity. It is essential that students are made aware that both the work experience and the relevant “health and safety checklist” where applicable need to be approved before starting.
Support and advice will be given to students by their academic supervisor. The academic supervisor  will be able to identify appropriate forms of work experience, consult a local employers’ database for prospective work experience and direct students to the careers team at Student Services for further help and advice in seeking employment

Module aims

The aim of the work experience period is to provide students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in the field of computing and related areas. The work experience period is seen by the course team as an essential vehicle for consolidation of knowledge and skills gained from the formal scheduled teaching element of the course..

The module aims to provide students with the opportunity to:

Gain a useful experience of the working environment and the career opportunities available on graduation.

Undertake work experience appropriate to their academic level.

Enhance their learning experience by  building on their academic skills and applying their knowledge  to solve real life problems in the working environment.

Enhance employability, professional development and personal development.

Syllabus

Work Experience is structured and will comprise three elements

Preparation for Work Experience:

Preparing Curriculum Vitae (CV) and cover letters
The job market and future trends in the Computing and IT industry
Searching for job opportunities in the Computing and IT industry in the UK
Effective presentation and communication skills
Interview techniques and body language
Team Working

Actual Work Experience

There is no standard syllabus for this element of the module. There will be agreed objectives and deliverables with the client. The learning outcomes of the module will be further  developed in the subject-based context of the work experience.  A “learning agreement” produced and approved before the work begins, will specify the way in which the outcomes will be developed and how they will be evidenced. There will be specific emphasis placed on professional conduct, self-management, team-working and understanding of business and client requirements.
The work experience will offer students a range of learning opportunities at level 7and enhance their  career aspirations. The work experience will enable students to build on previous knowledge and skills learned within their academic course. It will provide learning opportunities for further enhancing students abilities to solve problems, communicate effectively and work effectively as individuals or in a team.

Critical Reflection and Review

There is no standard syllabus for this element of the module. Students will be required to reflect on their experience given employer feedback and present their experience to their peers, invited employers and academic staff.

Learning and teaching

Work Experience is structured and will comprise three elements undertaken in six key phases :

Element 1 : Preparation for Work Experience
1.  Work experience induction session
2.  Approval of the work experience
Element 2: Actual Work Experience
3. Undertaking of the work experience
4. Visit by the academic supervisor
Element 3: Critical Reflection and Review
5. Employer’s formal feedback
6. Student report, portfolio and presentation

The module is supported by the module team who undertake preparation for work experience and debriefing sessions and who provide  support though email, telephone contact, drop-in sessions and individual appointments.

Preparation for Work Experience

1. Work Experience Induction Session
The Induction session introduces students to the requirements of the module assists them in the diagnosis of their abilities, helps them make decisions about suitable work areas, and ensures they produce an appropriate CV.

2. Approval of the Work Experience
When a work experience opportunity is available and an employer  is identified the student will be required to email the module leader the “Learning Agreement” form and the relevant “health and safety checklist” if applicable. Both forms need to be approved before the learning activity starts. Each student will be assigned an academic supervisor who will look after the student throughout the process.

The learning agreement form will identify and specify:

• objectives involved in the working activity;
• deliverables required;
• skills, abilities an attributes to be developed and demonstrated;
• learning opportunities for the achievement of objectives.

Actual Work Experience

3.Undertaking of the Work Experience

During the work experience, students will be required to keep a record of the activities carried out at the workplace in a portfolio, reference the activities to the agreed learning outcomes in the learning agreement and reflect on their performance.

4. Visit by the academic supervisor
The academic supervisor will visit the student at the work place in each semester. The purpose of the visit  is to obtain  feedback from both the employer and the student.

Critical Reflection and Review

5. Employer’s formal feedback,
The employer will assess the knowledge and skills demonstrated by the student in the learning agreement.

6. Student report, portfolio and presentation
The student is required  to submit a report, a portfolio and give a presentation . These enable the student to summarize the work experience, reflect on their learning and the experiences gained from the work experience and to develop action learning plans for the future.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module the student will be able to:
LO1: describe and evaluate the structure, major activities and responsibilities of  organisations;

LO2:demonstrate a deep level of understanding of the synergy between academic study, professional practice and practical application thereby considerably enhancing employability and career prospects in the IT and Computing industry;

LO3: engage critically  with alternative methods and procedures to complete required tasks.;

LO4: critically apply analytical and advanced problem solving skills in a working environment;

LO5: demonstrate the ability to recognise and respond to opportunities for innovation;

LO6: reflect upon and critically appraise the work undertaken, and plan for further enhancement;

LO7: demonstrate a deep level of  understanding of legal, social, ethical and  professional issues in the working environment;

LO8:demonstrate the ability to critically review the literature;

LO9: demonstrate independent learning, team working and effective communication  in a working environment.

Assessment strategy

The assessment on this module is 100% coursework and double marked in accordance with the requirements of the relevant accrediting body and the university guidelines.

Work Experience Portfolio The portfolio enables students to record and reflect on their personal and professional development during the work experience and is assessed by the academic supervisor. The portfolio will keep a record of the evidence that demonstrates how the student developed his/her Personal Development Plans ( PDP)  and enhanced their employability prospects through the attainment of objectives set. [LO2][LO3][LO4][LO5][LO6][LO9]

Work Experience Report

The work experience report is a structured report detailing the objectives set, the activities undertaken to meet the objectives and the extent to which deliverables were achieved. Assessment, by the academic supervisor , is based on the organisation, presentation, clarity and technical content and will stress both analytic and reflective skills . [LO1][LO2][LO3][LO4][LO5][LO6][LO7][LO8][LO9]

Assessment of the objectives set at the workplace

The assessment of agreed objectives is part of the learning agreement. The employer contributes to the assessment of objectives set at the workplace.
The assessment includes the extent to which objectives were met, technical skills developed, and generic skills acquired. [LO2][LO3][LO4][LO5][ LO9]

Presentation:

A short presentation is given by the student after completion of the work experience . This allows the student to describe how they obtained the work, the structure of the organisation, aspects of the work they carried out during the year, their aspirations and achievements, and to reflect on their experience.
The presentation is given to members of staff, employers and other students who have undertaken work experience.  [LO1][LO2][LO3][LO4][LO5][LO6][LO7][LO8][LO9]

Assessment can be both formative and summative:

The formative process includes the regular maintenance of a structured portfolio. This allows the student to plan and monitor their progress, to reflect on and learn from their experience, and to improve their performance during the work experience. Formative assessment also includes the regular employer comments and observations during the work experience period.

The summative process includes performance evidence obtained throughout the work experience from the portfolio, the report and the presentation. The employer will also provide feedback on the student’s performance and attendance.

Bibliography

Durrant A., Rhodes G., Young D., (2011), Getting Started with University-level Work Based Learning, 2nd edition, Libri Publishing, ISBN-10: 1907471219

Ruth Helyer R., (2010), The Work-Based Learning Student Handbook (Palgrave Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN-10: 0230229565

Fanthome C., (2004), Work Placements: A Survival Guide for Students (Palgrave Study Guides), Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN-10: 1403934347

Other resources appropriate to the placement and determined by the Academic  Supervisor .