module specification

NF7W22 - Food Science Industrial Placement (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23, but may be subject to modification
Module title Food Science Industrial Placement
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
200 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Reflective diary (1200 words)
Coursework 70%   Final Report (3200 words)
Coursework 0%   Profile
Other 0%   Supervisor's Report
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Summer studies North Not applicable -
Spring semester North Not applicable -
Autumn semester North Not applicable -

Module summary

 This module gives students the opportunity to undertake an assessed work placement in the food industry. The assessments are designed to encourage reflection of their experience and demonstrate learning at level 7.


 Students will spend a minimum of 30 days in an appropriate industry. The content of placements will vary considerably, reflecting both student aims and interests and the focus or specialism of the organisation. LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

The individual student is responsible for securing the placement for this module and the suitability of this should be agreed between the student and the supervisor.

In any placement, students should have a specific programme of work experience and will undertake a programme to learn about the structure and function of the organisation and its interactions with the particular industry in general. The details of this programme will be agreed in advance of the placement through negociation between the student, the module team and a representative from the prospective placement organisation. It is essential that the student undertakes a programme at a level that reflects that of their course.

Therefore the following components will need to be agreed in a Learning Contract:

• the appropriateness of the chosen organisation in relation to the course of study being undertaken;

• definition and agreement concerning the specific project to be undertaken;

• 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 high-level professional skills and competencies identified through personal profiling. Students are referred to the last two references in the bibliography where they can find information about the sorts of skills and competencies they might consider.

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 the activities and initiatives of the organisation are evaluated in terms of outcomes and success; and to monitor and reflect upon their placement experience and its implications for professional practice. It is important that this record contains a critical analysis both of the the placement experience and of the student's own progress. It is expected that either the academic supervisor or the industrial supervisor or both will assist the student in keeping this record up to date and comprehensive.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will undertake a programme of supervised work experience in industry appropriate to their degree course within a framework of agreed placement contract. They will carry out self-profiling of their skills/competencies, have regular meetings with external supervisor and contact with the placement tutor. The module provides extensive opprotunities for professional development and students are required to report on these in their coursework.

Learning outcomes

 By the end of this module, the student should be able to:

1. Demonstrate their depth of knowledge and understanding of operation of the particular business where the placement was undertaken including an analysis of the organisational structure and its strengths and weaknesses; they should be able to demonstrate a critical knowledge and understanding of the structure, operations and management of the placement provider.

2.  Critically evaluate the issues involved in the decision-making processes, risk evaluation and control processes within the organisation; it is recognised that the size of the organisations will affect the nature and structure of the decision-making process and therefore the student experience;

3. Critically evaluate approaches to the management of the particular business, including internal communication and delegation, and relate this to the application of good practice and management of an industry operation in general;

4. Demonstrate the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility, decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations; and the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

Assessment strategy

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

1. Reflective diary (Maximum 1200 words)
Students will maintain a continuous WEEKLY LOG that should combine a summary of work activity and experience gained with evaluative reflection and critical analysis on its implications for future professional practice. (30%)

2. Final Report (3200 words)
Students will write a REPORT of the work/project activity and experience gained in the placement context (with due consideration for any confidentiality that may be required), to include a description of the operation, a detailed analysis of the organisational structure and its effectiveness,  a critical discussion of the operation of the organisation and the application of good practice and principles of management to the industry in general. It is expected that the student will show how the knowledge and experience gained could be used for their own development as professionals in their chosen industry. This would include a critical reflection and analysis of the implication of their placement experience for future practice in their home country. (70%)

3. SELF-ASSESSMENT PROFILING that identifies transferable skills and competencies gained (in accordance with learning contract), together with supporting evidence. (Required to complete). This will be used to inform the development of their PDP record that is submitted with their Dissertation.

4. PLACEMENT SUPERVISOR'S REPORT (500 words approximately). (Required to receive satisfactory report). This will confirm the activities which have been undertaken and the skills and competencies developed together with an evaluation of the contribution which the student made to the organisation.

Students will be required to complete all elements of the portfolio


 Bourlakis, M. & Weightman, P. (2003) Food Supply Chain Management.  Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 14051016807. Also available as e-book, Kindle edition:

Flynn, A., Carson, L., Robert, L., Marsden, T. & Thankappan, S. (2004) The Food Standards Agency: Making a Difference? (Working Paper Series S).  BRASS Centre.  ISBN: 1904393462

Dawson, P (2003) Understanding Organizational Change: The Contemporary Experience of People at Work. London: Sage Publications Ltd. ISBN: 0761971602

Fanthome, C (2004). Work Placements: A Survival Guide for Students (Palgrave Study Guides). Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan. ISBN: 978-1403934345 (CORE)

McCabe, M (2014) How to get an internship or work placement. USA. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN: 978-1492290971

Reynolds, K, Mainstone, J, Foster, S, Rankin, P & Millbank, E (2009) Personal Development and Work Experience Guide: Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills for the 21st Century. Cambridge: Canbridge Occupational Analysts Ltd. ISBN: 978-190611023 (CORE)

McCauley, C.D., Ohlott, P. J. & Ruderman, M. N.  (2011) Job Challenge Profile: Learning from Work Experience, Participant Workbook Package (includes the Workbook and Self Instrument) (J-B CCL (Center for Creative Leadership)) Chichester: J. Wiley & Sons. ISBN: 978-0470494288

Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

Food Standards Agency:

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health:

Royal Institute of Public Health:

Institute of Food Science and Technology: