module specification

SS5081 - Education: Experiential Learning (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Education: Experiential Learning
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 150
20 hours Placement / study abroad
100 hours Guided independent study
30 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Learning Contract
Other 0%   Submission of employer report
Coursework 90%   Essay (2500 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module is designed to enable students to undertake a period of work-based learning, in relation to their course at level 5, within an appropriate organisation, and to gain credit for that learning. Students will have the opportunity to apply, to test and to extend the knowledge that they have gained at all levels of their course. In so doing, students will be able to enhance and extend their understanding of professional educational practice. The module will also afford them the opportunity to gain professional experience of an appropriate education-related work environment.

Students will be expected to find and organize their own placement in an educational setting where they get insight into professional teaching and learning practice. This is very likely to involve a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.  Objectives of the placement might be in relation to professional standards, how teaching and learning is facilitated, or intended outcomes of interventions.

Module aims

The module aims to give students the opportunity to:

  • Apply their prior learning in an appropriate work environment;
  • Relate specific knowledge – theoretical perspectives as well as policy/practice analysis – to the work environment;
  • Consider professional practice/pedagogies in specific real-life situation;
  • Recognize how their work relates to wider educational and social discourses;
  • Enhance their professional and personal development.


The module offers:

  • Guidance on finding and organising an appropriate setting for work experience;
  • Provision of a rational for practice-based learning;
  • Discussion of key educational and social concepts to enhance students’ reflection on and interpretation of their experiences;
  • Discussion of broader aspects of the work experience in the context of professional practice and employability.

Learning and teaching

The module is framed by Kolb’s (1984) learning style model, the four-stage learning cycle: planning – reflecting – interpreting – identifying next steps. This cycle will inform both the module structure and the assessment strategy.
In the autumn semester, students will attend a series of workshops where they will be briefed on the module and undergo induction. Guidance on securing a placement will be offered in conjunction with the career service, including inputs on experiential learning, and personal and professional development.
Students will need to have their work-based learning agreement approved and their DBS check undertaken before they take up the opportunity to gain practical experience.

During the work-experience, students will reflect on their observations and actions with respect of the objectives of their learning agreement and wider professional standards. There will be two or three feedback sessions allowing students to discuss their own practice and learning.

Towards the end of the spring term, there will be a series of workshops to support students’ interpretation of their experience in relation to theory and professional educational practice.

The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will provide supporting material including wider employability guidance.

Reference: Kolb, D. (1984) Experiential Learning Experience as a Source of Learning and Development, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Meet the particular individual criteria set out in the learning contract agreed by employer, student and tutor;
  • Identify the association between university studies and the work-place environment;
  • Illustrate how the work-based learning experience has strengthened, altered or provided an enhanced way of understanding educational practice/policy;
  • Reflect on the experiences gained in relation to future employability.

Assessment strategy


  • Learning contract; student to design after meeting with employer and tutor
  • Written coursework (2500 words); reflective essay relating to the learning objectives set out in the learning contract and wider professional practice/discourses
  • On completion of the work experience the employer writes a report, which the student submits as evidence of completion of the learning contract.  Completion of the learning contract and submission of the report is required to pass the module, but there is a 0% weighting.


Kolb, D. (1984) Experiential Learning Experience as a Source of Learning and Development, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Lindon, J. (2012) Reflective Practice and Early Years Professionalism, London: Hodder Education (2nd Revised Edition).
Matheson, D. (Eds) (2009) An Introduction to the Study of Education, London: David Fulton.
Mayo, M. and Annette, J. (Eds) (2010) Taking Part? Active Learning for Active Citizenship, and Beyond, London: NIACE.
Moon, J. A. (2006) Learning Journals: A Handbook for Reflective Practice and Professional Development, London: Routledge.
Pollard, A. (Eds) (2014) Reflective Teaching in Schools, London: Continuum (4th Edition).

BESA, British Education Studies Association
Careers, Student Services, London Metropolitan University
Institute for Volunteering Research, Evidence Bank
Job Shop, Careers, Student Services, London Metropolitan University
Prospects, UK graduate careers website
Reach volunteering, Careers, Student Services, London Metropolitan University
SES, Society for Educational Studies
The British Journal of Education Studies