module specification

GI7005 - Public Service Placement (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Public Service Placement
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 200
195 hours Placement / study abroad
5 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

The aim of the Public Service Placement module is to enable students to experience directly the work of a relevant area of public service in an organisation over a substantial period of time. Through a sustained period of work-based experiential learning, and through exposure to and engagement with current professional practice in public administration, students will have the opportunity to:

- become familiar with current practices and recent developments in public administration methods and processes, within a specific organisational context and policy area;
- develop and strengthen their practical knowledge and theoretical understanding of public service systems and mechanisms;
- acquire a range of appropriate professional competencies and more general transferable skills in public administration work, which can support them in future practitioner roles as change agents in their own societies and future work roles;
- develop a reflective understanding of what constitutes effectiveness in public administration and how to evaluate this.


Students will spend the equivalent of two – three full-time days a week over a period of 8-10 weeks attached to an appropriate public service organization. The content of placements will vary considerably, reflecting both student aims and interests and the focus or specialism of the placement agency.

However, at a general level, all students will undertake a specific programme of work and organisational familiarisation within the placement agency, the broad features of which will be negotiated and agreed in advance. This will normally include

 attachment to a specific project or change initiative within the organisation;

carrying through a specific task or tasks as appropriate to the project;

opportunities to observe and participate in relevant policy development and strategic planning meetings;

exposure to the different elements and working groups within the organisation;

development and acquisition of an agreed range of relevant professional skills and competencies identified through personal profiling.

During the placement, students will be required to maintain a continuous and reflective record of their work and the experiences gained. This will enable them to consider the ways in which public service activities and initiatives are evaluated in terms of outcomes and success; and to monitor and reflect upon their placement experience and its implications for professional practice in their home countries.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students undertake a programme of supervised work experience, linked to a project or change initiative in a public service organisation, within framework of agreed placement contract.

The Faculty has a dedicated Placements Officer. She meets with students, helps them in CV development and the identification of their interests, and in profiling of skills/competencies, and then identifies potential placements based on individual needs from our wide range of professional contacts.

A preliminary meeting occurs involving the student, the Placement Officer and the placement provider. After this a work specification is drawn up and agreed, setting out the task, the responsibilities of the student and the length of the placement.

During the placement itself, the student is supported by two visits by London Metropolitan University tutor and a final debriefing meeting.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the placement, students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate systematic understanding and depth of knowledge and understanding of the strategic issues involved in and the professional competencies required for the management of a public service project or initiative [LO1];
2. Critically evaluate approaches to public administration in the UK and accurately assess ways in which they might inform professional practice in their home country [LO2];
3. Demonstrate systematic understanding and practical application of a range of transferable skills and competencies in public administration appropriate for professional practice and for academic communication with others in the field [LO3];
4. Critically evaluate the appropriateness of strategies and tactics involved in initiatives associated with the management of change in public administration contexts [LO4];
5. Demonstrate a reflective capacity to appreciate how current knowledge and models of practice in public administration can inform their own and others practice [LO5].

Assessment strategy

Each student will submit a portfolio consisting of the following elements:

1. Reflective diary (2500 words)
Students will maintain a continuous weekly log which should combine a summary of work activity and experience gained with evaluative reflection upon its implications for future professional practice. Weekly pro-forma record sheets of work activities will be included as an appendix. - (30% of placement assessment)
2. Final Report (3500 words) :
Students will write a detailed overview of work/project activity and experience gained in the placement context, provide an evaluation of the knowledge and experience gained for their own development as practitioners, together with critical reflection and analysis of its implications for future practice in their home country. (70% of placement assessment)
3. Self-assessment profiling forms which identify transferable skills and practitioner competencies gained (in accordance with learning contract), together with supporting evidence. (Required to pass)
4. Placement supervisor's report (500-1000 words). (Required to pass)
Confirming the activities which have been undertaken and the skills and competencies developed together with an evaluation of the student’s contribution to the organisation.


Students will be provided with tailored reading lists as appropriate to the tasks set them in the placement. [LO1]

On the principle of work placements:

Christine Fanthome (2004), Work Placements: A Survival Guide for Students, Palgrave.