module specification

SS5081 - Education: Experiential Learning (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Education: Experiential Learning
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
10 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
60 hours Placement / study abroad
50 hours Guided independent study
30 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Learning Contract
Coursework 90%   Summative Reflection (essay, presentation or other digital tool) (1500 words) including appendices
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module enables students to undertake a period of work-based learning in relation to their course at Level 5 within an appropriate educational institution or organisation and to gain credit for that learning. Students have the opportunity to apply, to test and to extend the knowledge that they have gained at all levels of their course. In doing so, students are able to enhance and extend their understanding of professional educational practice.
Students unable to take up a work placement can take the peer mentoring opportunity and gain an insight into mentoring, coaching and supervision together with opportunities to apply their learning to support new C-level students on the course. This represents an important first step that will allow students to build mentoring processes as a component into their subsequent professional lives or to open up a specific career path.

The module aims to give students the opportunity to:
• Apply their prior learning in an appropriate work environment;
• Relate specific knowledge (theoretical perspectives, ethics, policy and practice understanding) to the work or mentoring environment;
• Consider professional practice and pedagogies in specific real-life situations;
• Recognize how their work relates to wider educational and social discourses;
• Enhance their professional and personal development.

Note: Students are expected to find and organise 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.

Prior learning requirements

Work placements in educational institutions are very likely to involve a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check which students will have to obtain and pay for prior to undertaking their placement.


Guidance on finding and organising an appropriate setting for work experience and support with individual goal setting. LO1

Provision of a rational for practice-based learning. LO2,LO3

Introduction to key educational and social concepts to enhance students’ reflection on and interpretation of their experiences. LO3,LO4

The impact of power relationships in particular contexts and the ethics of professional practice in either work or mentoring practice.  LO4

Discussion of broader aspects of the work experience in the context of professional practice and employability. LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module is framed by Kolb’s (1984) learning style model, the four-stage learning cycle: (1) planning; (2) reflecting; (3) interpreting; and (4) identifying next steps. This cycle informs both the module structure and the assessment strategy.

In the autumn semester, students attend a series of sessions where they are briefed on the module and undergo induction. Guidance on securing a placement is offered in conjunction with the career service including inputs on experiential learning, and personal and professional development.

Note: Students need to have their learning agreement approved and their DBS check undertaken before they take up the opportunity to gain practical work experience.

During the work experience placement or mentoring sessions, students reflect on their observations and actions with respect to the objectives of their learning agreement and wider professional standards. Feedback sessions allow students to discuss their own practice and learning.

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

The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) provides supporting material including wider employability guidance and further training opportunities.

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:

1. Undertake work experience and meet the particular individual criteria set out in the learning contract (agreed by placement provider or peer, lecturer and student);
2. Identify the associations between university studies and the workplace environment; 
3. Illustrate how the work-based learning or peer mentoring experience can strengthen, alter or provide an enhanced way of understanding of educational practice, policy and theory;
4. Consider the impact of power relationships in particular contexts and the ethics of professional practice in either work placement or mentoring practice.
5. Reflect on the experiences gained in relation to future employability.


Core texts
Bassot, B. (2015). The reflective practice guide: An interdisciplinary approach to critical reflection. London: Routledge.
Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Oxford: Further Education Unit.
Hordern, J. &  Simon, C. (2017). Placements and work-based learning in Education Studies: An introduction for students. Abingdon: Routledge.
Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Prentice Hall.
Moon, J. A. (2004). A handbook of reflective and experiential learning: Theory and practice. London: Routledge.
Pollard, A. (eds.) (2014, 4th Edition). Reflective teaching in schools. London: Continuum.
Schön, D. A. (1991). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. Aldershot: Avebury.
Peer Mentoring and Coaching
Brockbank, A. and McGill, I. (1998) Facilitating Reflective Learning in Higher Education. Buckingham: SRHE/Open University Press

Caldwell, B. and Carter, E. M. A. (1993) The Return of the Mentor: Strategies for Workplace mentoring.  London : Falmer Press

Carnell, E., MacDonal, J. and Askew, S., (2006), Coaching and Mentoring in Higher Education: a learning-centered approach, London: Institute of Education

Clutterbuck, D. (1998) Learning alliances. London: IPD

Clutterbuck D & Ragins B R (2000) Mentoring and Diversity
London : Butterworth Heinemann

Cohen, N. (1995) Mentoring Adult Learners. Malabar, Florida: Kreiger Publishing

Downey, M. (1999) Effective coaching. London: Orion Business

Flaherty, J (1999) Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others, London: Butterworth-Heinemann

Klasen, N. and Clutterbuck, D., (2004), Implementing Mentoring Schemes: a practical guide to successful programmes, London: Elesevier

Parsloe, E. and Wray, M. (2000) Coaching and Mentoring, London : Kogan Page

Whittaker, M. and Cartwright, A. (1998) 32 activities on coaching and mentoring, (2000) The Mentoring Manual. London: Gower

Whitmore, J. (2009) Coaching for Performance. London: Nicholas Brealey
British Education Studies Association:
Careers Portal, Student Services, London Metropolitan University:
Department for Education:
Get into Teaching, Department for Education:
Prospects, UK graduate careers website:
Society for Educational Studies: