module specification

SS6W53 - Sociology and Social Policy Work Placement (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Sociology and Social Policy Work Placement
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 150
80 hours Placement / study abroad
60 hours Guided independent study
10 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 5%   Learning Agreement
Coursework 30%   Learning Log 1200 words or video equivalent
Coursework 65%   End of Placement Report 2000 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon
Spring semester 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 6, within an appropriate organisation, and to gain credit for that learning. They will have the opportunity to apply, to test and to extend the knowledge that they have gained at all levels of the course. In so doing students will be able to enhance and extend their understanding of  Sociology or  Social Policy applied to the world of practice. The module will also afford them the opportunity to gain professional experience of an appropriate related work environment.

Students will register with the module leaders including an initial consultation about priorities and preferences, plus attend a series of workshops. They will be briefed on the module, undergo induction and work related learning planning, preparing a work-based learning agreement to be agreed/approved  between the student, academic supervisor and an employment setting representative, before they take up the opportunity. It is essential that students are made aware that both the work related learning agreement and relevant health and safety checklist (where applicable) need to be finalised and approved when starting the placement.

Module aims

The module aims to give students the opportunity to:

  1. Apply their prior learning in an appropriate work environment
  2. Relate specific knowledge and skills – theoretical, methodological,   analytical – as appropriate to real-life situations in the work environment
  3. Undertake work based activities relevant to their academic subject area and level
  4. Show awareness of and delineate the culture, structure and changing services delivery of a working environment
  5. Enhance their professional and personal development by developing new capabilities and skills


  1. Induction Sessions introduce students to the requirements, demands and expectations of work placements, assist in the consideration of interests and abilities; help students make decisions about suitable work areas for a subject related placement; and ensure they produce a suitable CV for placement applications. Explain and clarify the assessment requirements for the placement. Induction may be in a Workshop group and/ or one to one basis
  2. At the start of the placement the student, representative from employer setting and academic supervisor will approve a short learning agreement  based on a template, including:-
    - objective and activities anticipated for the placement
    - skills and capabilities to be acquired or developed
    - specific opportunities for developing subject relevant learning outcomes
    - practical arrangements for the placement e.g. schedule, workspace, supervision reporting
    Where possible and appropriate the academic supervisor will attend the workplace setting for an initial visit to finalise and assure arrangements
  3. The Placement  - will be a minimum of 80 hours in the placement setting
  4. Post Placement – a de-briefing session will enable the student to reflect on their learning and the experience gained to focus preparation for the end of placement assignment and contribute to career planning.

Learning and teaching

Students will be supported via group and/or one to one interactions with an academic supervisor before, during and after their work placement activities in addition to an agreed representative in the work based setting. Interaction may be synchronous, asynchronous both face to face and online. Online resources will also be made available via weblearn to support ongoing career reflection and planning. This will complement the wider employability activities programmed within both degree pathways

Learning outcomes

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

  1. Fulfil the requirements of a pre placement learning agreement between student, academic supervisor and employment setting
  2. Operate and communicate effectively, both independently and with others, in a structured and routinely supervised work environment, responding productively to feedback, critically reflecting on own performance
  3. Apply prior learning in new contexts, drawing upon previously acquired knowledge, skills and techniques to carry out agreed activities
  4. Identify, analyse and evaluate the major activities and objectives of the organisation in wider social policy or sociological contexts, including interrelations between theory and practice

Assessment strategy

  1. Preparation and completion of a short pre placement learning agreement between student, academic supervisor and employer setting supervisor, using template provided (5%)
  2. Maintaining a regular learning log, a running record and reflection on activities, progress, new understanding & skills development using template prompts provided.  1200 words or equivalent video diary (30% of module mark)
  3. An end of placement report describing, evaluating and relating placement activities, the organisation and its social policy or sociological contexts, including supporting evidence of any specific outputs generated.  2000 words (65% of overall module mark)


Durrant A., Rhodes G., Young D., (2011), Getting Started with University-level Work Based Learning, 2nd edition, Libri Publishing
Helyer R., (2010), The Work-Based Learning Student Handbook (Palgrave Study Skills), Palgrave Macmillan
Taylor-Gooby, P. (2010) Reframing Social Citizenship, Oxford Univ Press
Hills, J. (2009) Towards a More Equal Society, Policy Press

Alcock, P. (2006) Understanding Poverty, Palgrave
Annetts, J. (2009) Understanding Social Welfare Movements, Policy Press
Fanthome C., (2004), Work Placements: A Survival Guide for Students (Palgrave Study Guides), Palgrave Macmillan
Fitzpatrick, T. (2011) Welfare Theory: An Introduction, Palgrave
Hudson, J. and Lowe, S. (2009) Understanding the Policy Process, Policy Press
Lister, R. (2010) Understanding Theories and Concepts in Social Policy, Policy Press
Taylor, G .(2006) Ideology and Welfare, Palgrave