module specification

SC6W51 - Criminology Work Experience (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Criminology Work Experience
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 150
105 hours Placement / study abroad
28.5 hours Guided independent study
16.5 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Learning Log
Coursework 80%   Report
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module is based on self-managed work experience within an organisation or agency related to the field of criminal justice / criminology. The student either:

1. Spends a period of 15 days with his or her chosen employer and produces an evidence-based account of his or her experience. In carrying out the work experience students develop new skills and enhance their generic learning experience.


2. Undertake a piece of consultancy work for an employer producing a piece of work in agreement with the organisation that will develop the student’s new skills and enhance their generic learning experience.

Students will be assisted to find a period of work experience, which can be paid or voluntary, and will be allocated a supervisor whom they may contact for support to look for work and during the work experience period.

Prior learning requirements

Successful completion of at least one Criminology module at level 5

Module aims

The module aims to:

  1. Provide the opportunity for the student to gain experience of a working environment
  2. Enhance and extend their learning experience by applying and building on their academic skills and capabilities by identifying and / or tackling real life problems in the workplace
  3. Provide the opportunity to reflect upon the culture and structure of a working environment and their activity within it
  4. Develop new capabilities and skills in the context of a work environment.


There will be 8 workshop sessions that students must attend over the autumn and spring semester. These will be built into the calendar for the UG project / dissertation module although convened by a different member of staff. Workshop sessions will involve the following:

Autumn Semester
Introduction to the Module
Searching for Employment
CV and application writing
Interview and Presentation skills
Review of Progress in looking for employment

Spring Semester
Work Experience Review
Assessment 1: The reflective learning log
Assessment 2: The Final Report

Students will be assisted to search for work experience and guidance will be given in relation to health and safety by the module leader and appropriate documentation must be completed.

Students keep a reflective log specifying the tasks they are set and their effectiveness in undertaking these as well as noting key characteristics of the organisation and its procedures.

The work experience may be undertaken in a private, statutory or voluntary organisation and the placement can be organised to commence at any point from the end of the second year of the relevant degree programme. The most relevant work experience is undertaken in agencies that are part of, or related to, the criminal justice sector. Students will discuss and agree whether the placement meets the module requirements with the module convenor. 

Students who undertake special constable work as part of the BSc Police Studies, Procedures and Investigations, and complete this during the second year of the course, will be required to attend session 1 in the autumn semester and the spring semester assessment sessions as well as pass the assessment tasks to pass this module. They will not be expected to undertake a further period of work experience in the third year in order to pass this module.

Learning and teaching

  • Eight workshops (two hours duration each)
  • Student engagement in workplace (15 days’ duration in total)
  • Contact with supervisor as required on an individual tutorial basis.
  • Pre-work experience sessions introduce students to the requirements and demands of the work experience, assist them in the diagnosis of their abilities, help them make decisions about suitable work areas, and ensure that they produce a suitable CV for placement applications.
  • At the start of the placement the student, employer, and University staff agree a learning and assessment contract identifying and specifying the:
    o task(s) involved in the placement
    o capabilities to be developed and demonstrated, together with the associated assessment criteria
    o learning opportunities for the development of the expected outcomes;
    o evidence required to demonstrate attainment of the outcomes.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

  1. Operate effectively, both independently and with others, in a structured and routinely supervised work environment
  2. Communicate appropriately with colleagues and superiors
  3. Take a rational and organised approach, applying previously known or new techniques and/or methodologies, to task(s) set
  4. Describe and evaluate the structure, major activities and responsibilities of an organisation
  5. Evaluate critically his or her performance and abilities.

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed by two pieces of coursework, which consist of:

  • Reflective learning log (learning outcomes 4 and 5)
  • Written Report (learning outcomes 1-4)

The purpose of the Learning Log is to help students develop the skill of self-reflection, i.e. accurate self-analysis and action planning. These constitute the requisites for ‘Lifelong Learning’. The log will help students evidence the development of capabilities, and is also a record of experience gained during a work placement. As well as being assessed in its own right, it can be drawn upon when writing the placement report. Students are provided with 'Learning Log forms', which are designed to assist and standardise the recording of self-reflection.

The report must be appropriate to the workplace, and will take into account the ‘learning and assessment contract’. The report will be no longer than 3,500 words.


Association of Graduate Recruiters (1995) Skills for Graduates in the 21st Century,
Cambridge: AGR

Brennan J and Little J (1996) A Review of Work-Based Learning, DfEE/QSC

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2001) Career Tracking 2001: Graduate Workplace Attitudes

DfEE (1998) The Learning Age: A Renaissance for a New Britain, London: DfEE

Jupp V, Davies P, and Francis P (2000) Doing Criminological Research, London: Sage
King R and Wincup E (eds) (2001) Doing Research on Crime and Justice Oxford University Press

Raelin JA (2000) Work-Based Learning: The new frontier of management development, NewJersey: Prentice-Hall

Scott D (1998) 'Fieldwork placement and the social policy curriculum' in Alcock P, Erskine A and May M (eds) The Student's Companion to Social Policy, Oxford: Blackwell

Indicative websites


Students will also be required to generate their own learning materials for their chosen topics.