module specification

SJ7W01 - Accredited Work-Based Learning in the Creative Industries (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Accredited Work-Based Learning in the Creative Industries
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 200
105 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
89 hours Placement / study abroad
6 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Portfolio
Coursework 60%   Report
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

This module enables postgraduate students to develop and extend practical arts and/ or media experience and expertise in a professional environment.  Students will work with and be mentored by selected arts and/ or media practitioners.  The placement will be co-conducted by the student, the practitioner(s) (who will act as, or nominate a member of staff to act as, the workplace mentor to the students) and the module convenor.

The module is primarily for postgraduate students studying and/ or planning to work in arts, media, publishing, marketing, digital, PR, journalism and creative industries areas. It gives them the opportunity to work in a relevant environment and the chance to learn from professionals who are experienced in fields related to their study. It also enables them to consolidate and apply knowledge and skills acquired in their other postgraduate modules, to acquire and nurture new talents through practical and professional work, to understand the requirements and constraints of a professional environment and to develop their ability to reflect critically on their own skills.


Students will collaborate with, or assist, practitioners working in an appropriate professional environment.  They will either work on a specific project or work for a specified period of time.

Learning Outcomes 1, 2

Work will take place in a community arts, media or creative industries context.  It might involve creative production, production management, administration, organisation, marketing, financing and/or shadowing, or assisting with any of these or any other creative professional practice. It is normally expected that students will be responsible for identifying their own AWBL opportunities, with assistance from the module-convenor where appropriate.

Learning Outcomes 3, 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will be prepared for AWBL by staff-led tutorials.  These will take place prior to the workplace experience.

The tutorials will focus on developing the student's ability to act, communicate and undertake work in a manner appropriate to the particular professional context in which the placement occurs. They will also relate to the learning outcomes specified for this module.

The initial stages of the AWBL module will involve drawing up a tripartite learning contract that is agreed between the module convenor, the student undertaking the AWBL and the workplace mentor. The contract will identify the learning outcomes to be derived from the experience and specific tasks that the student will undertake.

The student will then normally undertake his / her placement, lasting a minimum of two weeks, within the remaining 10 weeks of teaching. They may be visited on placement by the module convenor. Students will also have individual tutorials during the semester with the module convenor to discuss their progress. The module convenor will be available, either physically or virtually, to liaise with the workplace supervisor/student during the process as required. The convenor and student will ensure that suitable health and safety requirements are in place before they start the role.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module students will be able to:

Subject specific skills:
LO1 collaborate as part of a team that includes professional practitioners;

Knowledge and understanding:
LO2 understand and show the association between university studies and the work-place environment;

Cognitive intellectual abilities:
LO3 reflect critically on the facts and processes prevailing in the arts, media, journalism and creative industries and their own experience of them;

Transferable skills:
LO4 learn independently for the purposes of continuing professional development.

Assessment strategy

This module has a pass on aggregate requirement
Coursework consists of:

A. Portfolio in which the student will collate materials produced during the placement; students should also keep a learning log that records the activities that they carried out in the placement. This should be submitted alongside the portfolio. 40%
B. Report (3000 words), in which the student will reflect on his / her achievement of the learning outcomes stipulated in the learning contract, specific work-place skills, acquired professional expertise, and ability to act and communicate effectively and appropriately in the workplace. 60%


Core Text:
Allen, K. et al, 2010. Work placements in the arts and cultural sector: Diversity, equality and access, Equality Challenge Unit
Hesmondhalgh, D., and Baker, S. (2011) Creative Labour: Media Work in Three Cultural Industries, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge

Other Texts:
Allen, K., and Quinn, J. (2012) Higher education work placements in the creative industries, Networks, issue 18.
Boud, D. and Garrick, J. (eds.), (1999) Understanding Learning at Work, London: Routledge
Brennan, J. and Little, J. (1996) A Review of Work-Based Learning, DfEE/QSC
Caves, R. (2002) Creative Industries: Contracts Between Art and Commerce, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press
Career Tracking 2001: Graduate Workplace Attitudes, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
Davies, R., and Sigthorsson, G. (2013) Introducing the Creative Industries, London: Sage
Hesmondhalgh, D. (2002) The Cultural Industries, London: Sage
Lingo, E., and Tepper, S. (2013) Looking Back, Looking Forward: Arts-Based Careers in Creative Work, Work and Occupations, 40(4), 337-363
Mayer, V., Banks, M. J. and Caldwell J. T. (eds.) 2009. Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries, London: Sage
McLeod, C., O’Donohoe. S. and Townley. B. (2011) Pot Noodles, Placements and Peer Regard: Creative Career Trajectories and Communities of Practice in the British Advertising Industry, British Journal of Management, vol.22, 114-1
McKinlay, A. and Smith, C. (eds.), (2009) Creative Labour: Working in the Creative Industries, Basingstoke, Hants: Palgrave
National Union of Journalists. Work experience: exploiting the dream.
Siemens, G. (2014) Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age,
Gender and Creative Labour, 2015. The Sociological Review Monographs, 63/1. London: Sage

Journal of Workplace Learning


Specific literature produced by the University’s Placement Office