module specification

SS6W01 - Work Placement for Professional Development (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Work Placement for Professional Development
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
40 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
10 hours Guided independent study
40 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
210 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Reflective Activity Log
Coursework 80%   Placement Report
Running in 2021/22

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

This is an Honours level core module and is based on a supported and self-managed work experience which can begin at the end of the second year and continue throughout the final year of the degree programme, though ideally to end by the beginning of the final semester. This pattern allows the final semester for researching and writing up the report. The aim is to achieve a minimum of 30 days. The work placement provides an opportunity for students to gain in depth knowledge in an area of their interest.

This module is designed to enable students to undertake a work placement in an organisational setting relevant to community development and to utilise this experience to develop and reflect on:
• The understanding of the academic discipline of the degrees
• The National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Community Development Work
• The range of generic and specific skills a student will need in their future career/area of employment, and
• Student’s own learning and performance.

The module aims to enable students to:

1. Extend and evaluate an understanding of community development
2. Develop job-search skills
3. Apply research skills by conducting a small-scale organisational study
4. Broaden awareness of work culture, organisational processes and policies, social issues and the occupational standards for community development work.
5. Identify generic/transferable skills for development/improvement. Extend and assess competence in these skills
6. Reflect on how these skills are appropriate to community development work and possible future careers
7. Review personal development/training needs
8. Enhance analytic and presentational skills through producing an extensive report written to a specific brief.


This placement is a requirement for the professional endorsement of the degree.

Students will undertake a work placement normally for 30 to 50 days duration. In preparation for the placement students will draw on their skills and knowledge for finding an appropriate organisation, negotiating work role and other relevant support. Once they find an organisation they will negotiate their role, find a supervisor and complete a provisional learning agreement. LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7

Students will then complete the Work Placement Approval Form. This provides information on the placement organisation, and the student’s role. This will be returned either with approval or for further information/amendment. Once this has been received, a university representative will visit the placement to establish a learning agreement and complete health and safety checks. LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7

Students will be encouraged to be reflective and analytical with regard to their attainment of their learning objectives and their performance on the placement. LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Workshops & Supervision

During the Autumn semester there will be fortnightly workshops. Individual supervision is available by appointment.

In the second semester there will be regular Feedback Sessions following the pattern of the 1st semester; the focus will move to the completion of the report and students should attend at least 4 feedback or supervision sessions.

A visit to the students’ chosen organisation by a university representative will be arranged, to meet with the person who will supervise the student and so that a Learning agreement can be completed.

As soon as students have obtained a work placement, they should complete the Work placement Approval Form. This provides information on the placement organisation, and students’ role. This will be returned either with approval or for further information/amendment. Once this has been received, a university representative will visit the placement to establish a learning agreement and complete health and safety checks.

Students would be expected to have attended two Placement Workshops organised during the summer before the academic year commences.

Students keep a reflective log through the placement process, and the placement develops professional and work-related skills.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able to produce an evidence-based account of a self-managed work experience.

More specifically, they will produce a work placement report, which should demonstrate that they have:

1. Developed an understanding of the relevance of their academic studies to a particular work-place/organisation or social issue (LO1)
2. A practical awareness of job-search strategies (LO2)
3. Undertaken a small-scale organisational study and produced a reflective log/diary (LO3)
4. Reviewed their utilisation of various methods of data collection (LO4)
5. Produced an analytical account of the organisational context, structure, policies and processes (LO5)
6. Identified generic/transferable skills (NOS) that they would like to develop/improve and assessed their competence in these skills (LO6)
7. Reflected on their future career choices (LO7)

Assessment strategy

There are two pieces of assessed work, a Work placement Report, (80% of the total mark) (LO01-07) and a reflective Work placement log/diary, (20% of the total mark) (LO1) (LO6)

The report should be 4500 words long (excluding the bibliography and appendices) which should include an introduction, aims and objectives, the evidence base, a section on preparation, search for finding  organisation/work, a section on the Organisation: Its management, context, related social issues; work role and skills review, analysis of a theme, conclusion & evaluation. The maximum word limit for the reflective activity log is 1500.


Students will draw on relevant literature that they have consulted in their modules over the past two years, particularly the literature on the module Human Rights, Social Justice and Diversity, Principles of Community Development and Introduction to Leadership and Organisation. 

They will be directed to further literature as per the nature of their placement. However the following literature are useful regardless the nature of your placement:

Key Texts:
Harris, V. (eds) (2009) Community Work Skills Manual, Sheffield: Federation for Community Development Learning(FCDL)
Craig, G., Mayo, M., Popple, K., Taylor, M. and Shaw, M. eds., (2011) The community development reader: History, themes and issues. Policy Press.
Freire, P. (1996) The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Hermondsworth/: Penguin
Ledwith, M (2005) Community Development: A critical Approach, Bristol: Policy Press
Meade, R., Shaw, M. and Banks, S (2016) Politics, Power and Community Development, Policy Press

Additional Texts:
Butcher, H.L. and Banks, S., 2007. Critical community practice. Policy Press.
Craig, G., Burchardt, T. and Gordon, D. eds., (2008) Social justice and public policy: Seeking fairness in diverse societies. Policy Press.
Cookle, I. and Shaw (1997) Radical Community Work: Perspective from Practice, Edinburgh: Moray House
Eade, D. (1997) Capacity Building: An approach to people-centred development, Oxford: Oxfam
Hawtin, M. (2007) Community Profiling A Practical Guide, Open University Press
Hogget, P. (ed.) (1997) Contested Communities: Experiences, Struggles, and Policies, Bristol: Policy Press
Handy, C. (1993) Understanding Organisation (Fourth Edition) Penguin
Popple, K. (1995) Analysing Community Work: Its Theory and Practice, Buckingham: Open University Press
Skinner, S (1997) Building Community Strengths: A Source Book on Capacity Building, London: Community Development Foundation
Twelvetrees, A.(2002) Community Work, London: Palgrave/Community Development Association

Infed (Informal Education):
National Council for Voluntary Organisations:
Local Authority websites (usually have ward based data)
Critical Social Policy, Feminist Review
Gender, Work and Organisation
New Left Review, Social Problems
Sociological Review, Sociology
Work, Employment and Society
Community Development Journal
Community Development