module specification

MN7W01 - Professional Development and Work Placement (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Professional Development and Work Placement
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 600
12 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
120 hours Guided independent study
168 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
300 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Case Profile: Personal Development Plan Placement Report Individual Practice Reflection
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

This module is one of three triple-weighted module alternatives open to students (alongside the dissertation and the consulting report). The module provides you with the opportunity to showcase your professional skills in the execution of business-related tasks and experiential learning in the form of a work placement.  When executing business tasks, successful practitioners are able to critically evaluate organisational matters and apply their knowledge to contribute strategies, ideas, recommendations and solutions that add value to their organisation. Furthermore, successful practitioners actively develop and shape their own behaviour, capabilities and identity. By critically reflecting on their experiences in work, they are able to develop their own capabilities and skills, and have the ability to understand how they personally add value to an organisation. It is the development and application of these capabilities in a professional context that is explored in this module.
The 1st week of the yearlong Workplacement programme will introduce students to the module and to the first task, the production of a substantial management report that helps to investigates a specific organisational opportunity or issue. This is a significant independent project, where you determine the subject to be investigated and the methodology to be followed. Your project is an ideal opportunity to seek out and draw upon a wide range of knowledge, and for you to demonstrate how this underpins any final conclusions and recommendations. Your project will help you demonstrate your ability to think and act independently when executing a complex and challenging task.
The remaining period of the module is spent in the work placement with an employer,  which you will have secured during your time on programme (or before). This practical experience will allow you to explore and test your own professional competence in a specific working environment. You will maintain a Professional Development portfolio of your experiences and will, ultimately, be able to articulate your understanding of how you personally add value in a professional context. Again, you will be expected to draw on a wide range of knowledge to help evaluate and explain your experiences.
Educational Aims
This module aims to:

• Allow you the opportunity to carry-out an in-depth project where you can integrate the knowledge and professional skills you have gained throughout your programme.
• Ensure you are able to identify and utilise different types of knowledge to influence your thinking or action.
• Help you develop robust business research skills and an ability to formulate new ideas and solutions through the analysis of primary and/or secondary data.
• Allow you to explore your own skills, character and identity within a professional environment and to identify key attributes that will aid long-term success in your chosen career field.
• Facilitate your development of good reflective practice, ensuring models and concepts can be used effectively in the critical evaluation of your performance.
• Ensure you learn how to integrate knowledge, experience and reflective practice to continually develop your professional skills and competence.

Please note:
• Students are responsible for applying for opportunities and to engage with the Module Team/Work Based Learning teams to assist them. 
• The suitability of any opportunities will be assessed by the Module Team/Work Based Learning Team and all placements must meet Health and Safety requirements for Higher Education Work Placements.
Those studying on a Student Visa will only be able to complete a work placement if it meets UKVI monitoring requirements including: approval of the placement dates and hours by the Placement Officer prior to starting the placement, submission of weekly timesheets for the hours undertaken, signed by their line manager/supervisor and continued engagement with the Placement Officer as well as the International Student Support and Compliance Team.

Prior learning requirements

None, however students who are taking this route will need to demonstrate that they have relevant work experience.
Whilst the university will endeavour to assist in the process, students are expected to secure their work placement before joining the course.


The syllabus for the Work placement module will focus on preparing students to be proficient in their future career and able to meet the module requirements. The students will be given professional guidance through Work placement related activities which they will apply on their Work placement. Using their critical analysis skills, the students will be able to reflect on the experience and practice they have gained.

Students gain the following experience through the Work placement:

- Professional Development - before starting the work placement, students will conduct a self-report (using Strengthscope) in order to identify their ‘significant strengths’. The students will then prepare a professional development plan identifying what you intend to achieve and how you intend to develop during your placement.

- Practical management experience – the students will gain practical experience not only on how to self-manage but also managing resources (LO1, LO2),

- Students will critically evaluate their organisational performance using various models (LO3). Students will position their own experience in this context. Report writing – during the first phase of the Work placement module, the students will have the opportunity to learn how to write evidence-based report that reflects on the experience gained from Work placement (LO1, LO2),

- Networking opportunities – during the Workplacement period, the students will develop strong network with employers and employees which will enhance their opportunity to graduate employment (LO1-4).

- Reflective practice – the students will reflect on their own experience, what they have learnt during the placement (LO4, LO4)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This is a practice and development module with the majority of the time invested with one or more organisations

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate the different approaches to business/management issue(s) in the context of your chosen area to be investigated, with the use of appropriate evidence-based information and theory.
2. Understand the personal and organisational value of using different forms of knowledge in practice in order to develop independent and self-managed learning.
3. Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate organisational performance.
4. Exercise appropriate judgment in the planning, selection and collection of evidence and utilise reflective practice techniques to critique your performance and identify improvements.

Assessment strategy

This module is assessed through the submission of a portfolio. The portfolio is a collection of work that shows how you have achieved the intended learning outcomes of the module and the total word count should not exceed 10,000 words. Your portfolio will have five components as shown below.

1. Case Profile (20% of module grade)
Word count: 2,000 words (excluding title, bibliography, reference and appendices)

Students will identify and write a profile of the organisation in which they will undertake their workplacement, setting the organisation in its competitive and industry context. The profile should draw on the student’s knowledge of management theory and practice.

2. Personal Development Plan: (20% of module grade) 2000 words

Students will undertake a self-report using Strengthscope and use this to inform and construct a personal development plan mapped to the chronology of their placement.

3. Placement Report (40% of module grade)
Word count: 4000 words

This assessment integrates two aspects: the contribution that the student has made to the organisation in which they undertook their workplacement, and the learning the student derived from that organisation. Students will produce a report which gives a detailed account of the critical events and experiences during their workplacement.

The material for this report should be collected consistently and regularly during the workplacement and maintained via an e-Portfolio or Blog.

When writing about these events and experiences, students should use their learning from this and from other modules on the course to apply, cite and reference relevant insights, theories and concepts.

4. Individual Practice Reflection (20% of module grade)
Word count: 2,000 words (excluding title, bibliography, reference and appendices)

Students should revisit their PDP and reflect on what they have successfully accomplished and how. The reflection should clearly detail what students were unable to do, or using the benefit of further learning and hindsight, anything they would have done differently. The reflection should also have a feed forward element, where students set out their remaining objectives and plans for subsequent development.


Students determine the relevance and quantity of the resources they need to refer to, which will be influenced by the topic under investigation and the context it is applied to. Students are encouraged to draw upon a variety of resources (books, academic and professional journals, online resources etc.) in their work.

The following resources may prove helpful in understanding the approach to executing the assessment components of the module.

Adair, J. (2013). How to Grow Leaders: The Seven Key Principles of Effective Leadership Development. London, Kogan Page.

Brown, P & Hesketh, A. (2004). The Mismanagement of Talent: Employability and Jobs in the Knowledge Economy. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Bolton, G. (2010). Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development. 3rd Ed. London, Sage Publications Ltd.

Careercake (2018) How to get the most from your temporary work placement: California: Carpenteria/
Available at
Cottrell, S. (2015). Skills for success: personal development and employability. London: MacMillan.

Lumley M and Wilkinson J (2013) Developing employability for business Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Robson, C. (2016). Real World Research. 4th Ed, Chichester, John Wiley & Sons.
Rook, S. (2016). Work experience, placements and internships.

Schein, E. (2013). Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

Trought, F (2017) Brilliant employability skills: how to stand out from the crowd in the graduate job market (business skills) 2nd edition, Pearson Business, Harlow.


Cunliffe, A. & Hibbert, P. (2013). Responsible Management: Engaging Moral Reflexive Practice Through Threshold Concepts. Journal of Business Ethics [online]. Vol 127, 177-188.

Gray, D. (2007). Facilitating Management Learning: Developing Critical Reflection Through Reflective Tools. Management Learning [Online]. Vol. 38, Issue 5, 495-517

Ramsey, C. (2014). Management Learning. A Scholarship of Practice Centred on Attention. Management learning [Online]. Vol 45, Issue 1, 6-20.

Academy of Management Journal
Academy of Management Review
California Management Review
Harvard Business Review
Journal of Management Inquiry
International Studies of Management and Organisation
British Journal of Management

Websites: to be provided in class/Weblearn

Electronic Databases: to be provided in class/Weblearn

Social Media Source: to be provided in class/Weblearn

Reading List Talis