module specification

MN7W89 - Business Work Placement Project (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Business Work Placement Project
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
 
5 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
140 hours Placement / study abroad
15 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
40 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 75%   Written report (4,000 words)
Coursework 25%   7 minute reflective video files with formatively assessed CV
Running in 2019/20
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Not applicable -
Autumn semester North Not applicable -

Module summary

The module requires students to obtain a minimum of 20 days / 140 hours (up to six months full-time employment depending on the structure of the postgraduate degree programme) in a business project role, relevant to their course discipline.  The assessment strategy will encourage students to articulate their skills and knowledge gains obtained from the professional experience.

Students will be required to:
• critically analyse the professional experience in the context of the workplace by applying relevant knowledge and theory acquired from their postgraduate programme;
• undertake a project in the professional experience context that demonstrates critical and analytical abilities and a reflective appraisal of their achievement in this task
• critically self-reflect on their personal development in the professional role and analyse how this experience relates to planning their future career.

Students will be contacted to ensure they understand requirements of securing work related activity in advance. Support is provided to find and apply for suitable opportunities through the Placements and Careers teams. The suitability of the opportunities will be assessed by the Module Team.  Learners may be able to utilise existing employment, providing they can demonstrate that it is personally developmental and involves a certain level of responsibility.

In all cases, the work related project must be approved by the Placement Team prior to the project commencing. 

It is a student's responsibility to apply for opportunities and engage with the Placement and Careers team to assist them in finding a suitable role.

Prior learning requirements

None
• Student must have a suitable work experience project secured at the outset of the module and will be fully supported in their search for relevant employment.

Syllabus

The syllabus will focus on preparing students for the module requirements and their future career via: providing professional guidance for those learners seeking suitable work related learning activity/employment; reflection and analysis of their personal gains from the activity; and post experience planning.

Consideration of suitable work related learning projects as appropriate for the individual and the module, including guidance on job application and selection processes and appropriate articulation of their abilities (via pre-semester workshops/appointments). LO 1

Professionalism, work place ethics, being a critical employee, Health and Safety in the workplace, setting personal goals. LO 1

Critical self-reflection on their personal and professional development, application of academic learning and previous employment work experience to problem solving for the work based project; (referring to the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for their postgraduate degree programme). LO 2

In-depth analysis of the immediate work environment, personal contribution to the work situation and analysis of the goals, aims and functions of the project/organisation. LO 3

Future career action planning following the work related experience, reflecting and preparing for the next steps of their development to achieve postgraduate level career goals through study and additional experience. LO 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Career workshop and guidance on applying for suitable work related projects - (1-2 hours)

• Pre-semester preparatory workshops will outline module requirements; assist students in diagnosing their abilities and making decisions about suitable work areas; guide on applying to both advertised jobs and speculative posts and ensure they are able to produce appropriately targeted applications. 
• Those seeking work-related learning opportunities will be required to take up additional support on job search and application strategies.  Suitable opportunities will be advertised to students via the University Careers and Employability online vacancy portals.
• Learners will be given access to WebLearn in advance of the semester to access module information including: how to register secured work related learning opportunities; access links to additional external resources and suitable placement/job sites to assist in developing labour market knowledge; obtain guidance on recruitment processes and view external websites advertising suitable opportunities.

Timetabled workshops during the semester (3 hours)

• 1 hour workshops will run for Weeks 1-3 and will cover the syllabus outlined.
• Any students undertaking the work related project in the summer prior to the academic year the module is registered, will be invited to condensed workshops prior to the work related activity commencing.
• Relevant learning and assessment materials will be uploaded to the WebLearn module including slides, exercises, examples of previous student assessment submissions and tutor contact information.

Research and independent study (40 hours)

• Work related activity research and opportunity search, with face to face and online Careers guidance including accessing the University's virtual careers guidance Careers Portal
• Independent study following the workshops
• During the experience, students are required to keep a regular record of the activities they have carried out to contribute to the module assessment.
• Post work related learning development: students will be encouraged to further progress their employability in consideration of their graduate career goals.  This can be through for example: progressive employment experience and/or extra-curricular activities which will be supported by the Careers and Placement teams and online resources such as the University Careers Portal.

Work related learning activity - (140 hours)

• Learners will be supported via WebLearn, one-to-one support from the Placements team (face to face and remotely).  Supporting materials and detailed assessment criteria will be uploaded to WebLearn. 
• Each student will be assigned a placement tutor who will provide guidance and assessment support during the module.

Assessment - (preparation time 15 hours)

• The student is required to submit a critical report of the employing organisation and their experience of the project and a reflective videos summarising their professional and personal progression throughout the term of the experience. This will include evaluating their learning and employability development and action planning for the future.
• Timely feedback/feedforward on draft reports and video concepts from tutors will allow students to progress their reflective and reflexive capabilities.
• The employer/client will be requested to complete an evaluation on the knowledge, skills and attitude demonstrated by the student, which will not contribute to the summative assessment, but provide developmental feedback.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Evaluate their professional competencies and transferable skills to gain a subject relevant work based project and apply to professional business practice.

2. Critically and analytically judge problems, applying relevant academic theory and prior experience to achieve suitable solutions and increase effectiveness of the project.

3. Appraise a business environment and analyse the impact of their personal contribution to the work related project and the organisation.

4. Reflectively evaluate their personal skills and knowledge gained and performance in the workplace context in relation to their future career planning.

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed via formative and summative elements and includes the following:
1. Written report (summative assessment)
2. Reflective video (summative assessment)
3. Employer feedback (formative assessment)

During the placement, students will be required to maintain a continuous and reflective record of their work and the experiences gained in the form of a learning log.

Students will require to show understanding of the work related learning organisation, its goals and activities. This research may require the approval of the organisation, the obtaining of which will be supported by the module tutor. 

1. Report

The research report should draw on postgraduate level theory, including seminal and recent academic journal articles, and cover the following:
• analysis of the project search process
• explanation and critical review of the activities of the organisation
• a report on the project/research undertaken and its implications for the host organisation
• a critical evaluation and discussion of their role in terms of functions such as finance, logistics, production, marketing, technological development, HRM and management. This may include issues such as:
o Management style-values and priorities, responsiveness to external change and change management
o Marketplace and the nature of the competition
o Financial performance & structure
o Communication and information systems both internal and external
• Consideration and analysis of the impact of external factors including government measures and policies, the economy, changing social attitudes, changes in the sector.  Each should be     considered in terms of the organisation’s market and industry.
• Use of PEST and SWOT analyses as appropriate
• make recommendations based on their observations for areas of the business which could be improved

2. Reflective Video

Students will be expected to keep a reflective log recording how they have applied relevant theory from their studies in the workplace environment and developed and strengthened their skill set and technical knowledge.

The seven minute video must draw upon the content of the reflective logs and demonstrate how the student’s professional development has evolved during the work placement. In particular they should evaluate the benefit of the work experience, the skills development, implications for their professional practice and future career planning.

3. Employer Assessment

The host employer will also be invited to complete an assessment form rating the student's performance in a number of areas including personal characteristics (e.g. motivation, leadership etc.), quality of work, interpersonal skills and intellectual skills.

Assessment Marking and Moderation

• All items of assessment will be first marked by the assigned placement tutor and a sample of the module cohort will be moderated through second marking and external examiner approval (in-line with University regulations). 
• Due to the nature of the assessments, marking will not be undertaken anonymously.

Bibliography

Textbooks:

Core Texts:

Cottrell S (2015) Skills for success, personal development and employability 3rd edition, Palgrave Macmillian, Basingstoke
Trought F (2017) Brilliant employability skills: how to stand out from the crowd in the graduate job market (business skills) 2nd edition, Pearson Business, Harlow

Other Texts:

Cameron S (2009) The business student’s handbook: skills for study and employment 5th edition Pearson, Harlow
Gallagher K (2016) Essential study and employment skills for business and management students, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford
Greetham B (2016) Smart thinking: How to think conceptually, design solutions and make decisions Palgrave Macmillian, Basingstoke
Heyler R (2015) The work-based learning student handbook, 2nd edition, Palgrave Macmillian, Basingstoke
Kirton B (2012) Brilliant workplace skills for students and graduates Prentice Hall, Harlow
Lumley M and Wilkinson J (2013) Developing employability for business Oxford University Press, Oxford
Moon J (2004) A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning: Theory and Practice Routledge Falmer, London
Rook S (2013) The graduate career guidebook: advice for students and graduates on careers options, jobs, volunteering, applications, interviews and self-employment Palgrave Macmillian, Basingstoke
Williams K, Woolliams M, Spiro J (2012) Reflective writing (pocket study skills) Palgrave Macmillian, Basingstoke

Websites:

London Metropolitan University Careers Service http://student.londonmet.ac.uk/jobs-and-employment/career-and-employability-advice/
Higher Education careers information www.prospects.ac.uk
Higher Education careers information http://targetjobs.co.uk

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, Subject Benchmark Statements for individual degree programmes:
Please refer to the Subject Benchmark Statement below which most closely links to your degree programme.  Please read the subject knowledge and understanding; skills; transferable application of the skills and the benchmark standards outlined in the document.  These will provide an overview of the knowledge and skills a student and graduate of your degree programme should know, and be able to apply to a work related learning activity.  You will need to ref0er to these in your assessment.
Accounting: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/SBS-Accounting-16.pdf
Business & Management: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/SBS-business-management-15.pdf
Communication, Media, Film & Cultural Studies: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/SBS-Communication-Media-Film-and-Cultural-Studies-16.pdf
Economics: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/SBS-Economics-15.pdf
Events, Hospitality, Sport and Tourism: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/SBS-Events-Hospitality-Leisure-Sport-Tourism-16.pdf
Finance: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/SBS-Finance-16.pdf