module specification

MN6W04 - Professional Experience Year Placement (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Professional Experience Year Placement
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
15 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
200 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
0 hours Placement / study abroad
85 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 70%   Critical analysis of contribution to the organisation and self-reflective analysis: report (3,500-4,000 words)
Coursework 30%   Critical analysis of the organisation and workplace environment. PowerPoint Presentation with voice over (8-12 mins.)
Running in 2023/24

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

Module summary

The Professional Experience Year Placement is a Work Based Learning module designed to intensively develop student employability and increase career prospects upon graduation. The placement year requires learners to undertake a minimum of 44 weeks full-time employment relating to their studies and career goals. This comprehensive experience will facilitate application and progression of knowledge and skills gained via the degree programme any previous employment and wider life experience.

This ‘Year in Industry’ work based learning module is undertaken as an additional 30 credits between Levels 5 and 6, extending undergraduate course programmes to four years. The module provides an additional 30 credits to a degree programme, commencing in the summer following completion of Level 5. Students will retain student status during the year and complete their final, fourth year of study following the placement year.

Pre-placement preparation support over six months prior, will guide and assist students in their search for an appropriate placement role. Careers Consultants will provide guidance prior to the module to assist decision making in considering placement options and post placement, for career planning post-graduation. Students will only register on the module once they have secured a placement.

During the placement year, students will be supported remotely by Placement Tutors who will provide guidance on application of theoretical knowledge in a practical context, analysis of business problems and proposing solutions; identifying and articulating transferable skills and knowledge developed to meet the assessment requirements. Students will be expected to demonstrate improved understanding of their abilities and career goals, knowledge of the workplace organisation, co-operative and collaborative working and professional awareness through reflective learning.

It is a student's responsibility to apply for opportunities and to engage with the Work Based Learning team to assist them. The suitability of any opportunities will be assessed by the Module Team and all roles must meet the Health and Safety requirements for Higher Education Work Placements. Tier 4 International students will be required to submit weekly timesheets for the hours undertaken for the work based learning activity to meet their visa requirements. These will need to be signed by their line manager/supervisor.

The module aims to enable students to:

  • Effectively express and understand their current skills and abilities in relation to their career values and goals.
  • Practically apply the knowledge gained through their course programme to a related work environment.
  • Gaining comprehensive insight into a work environment.
  • Make a positive contribution to the employing organisation and demonstrate inclusive workplace practices.
  • Recognise their personal and professional development gains and apply to their future goals.

Prior learning requirements

Successful completion of Levels 4 and 5


The syllabus will focus on preparing students for the module requirements and their future career via: providing professional guidance to help learners find suitable professional 12 month work placement employment; self-reflection and analysis of their personal gains from the activity; and post experience planning.

  • Consideration of suitable placements as appropriate for the individual's course programme, including guidance on job application and selection processes and appropriate articulation of their abilities (via workshops/appointments/online resources in the year prior to the placement year). LO1, LO2, LO3 
  • Professionalism; work place ethics; making a positive contribution to the employing organisation; being a critical employee; self-motivation techniques; demonstrating inclusive workplace practices, team work and leadership and Health and Safety in the workplace LO1, LO2, LO3
  • How to create the Skills Development Plan contract for the placement and ongoing Learning Logs; critically self-reflect; analyse their personal and professional development and apply academic learning to the work related learning environment in reference to the appropriate QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for their degree programme. LO1, LO3
  • Prioritising tasks and problem solving within the workplace; successful interpersonal relationships and teamwork and analysing personal contribution to the work situation and analysis of the wider goals, aims and functions of the project/organisation. LO1, LO3 
  • Demonstration of confident self-presentation and self-assessment techniques for personal and professional development and resilience. LO1, LO3
  • Investigation and analysis of the immediate and wider work environment; analysis of the wider goals, aims and functions of organisations and applying theory to practice. LO2
  • Critical appraisal of their professional and personal development during the placement, reflecting and preparing for the next steps of their development to achieve career goals through study and additional experience. LO3 
  • Future career action planning following the work related experience, reflecting and preparing for the next steps of their development to achieve career goals through study and additional experience. LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module serves a number of diverse course programmes and is designed to be flexible for a range of subjects and work based environments. Student learning will be developed through individual and group-based activities and will include remote one to one support during the work based learning phase.

  • Preparation and application prior to module commencement to assist students in diagnosing their abilities; making decisions about suitable work based activities; guiding to suitable vacancies and producing appropriately targeted applications.
  • Class based workshops running in the early part of the module covering work ethics and inclusive work based practice; self-reflection and personal development planning. Group work will encourage discussion of self-reflections and analysis of work based challenge issues with peers and tutors.
  • Online learning: during the preparatory stage, this will be via the University’s Career Portal, including videos and practical tasks. During the Year in Industry placement (to offer remote support) via the Virtual Learning Environment.
  • Self-reflection: will be covered via face-to-face practical preparation to guide student to assess their personal abilities, plan for the work based experience and via self-reflection tasks within the assessment.
  • Independent study: preparing applications, recording work based activities and completing the assessments.
  • Timely Feedback/Feedforward: will be provided on the formative development plan and reflective logs, drafts of assessment and the final assessment will allow students to reflect upon their own practice and learning.
  • Post Placement development: students will be encouraged to further progress their employability in consideration of their graduate careers supported by the Careers & Employability team and online resources via the University Careers Portal.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes are formulated in accordance with the Higher Education Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) UK Quality Code, Advice and Guidance, Work-Based Learning.

  1. Critically assess their approach to tasks and problem solving within the workplace context and their contribution to the organisation.
  2. Appraise the placement organisation's goals, strategies, objectives and the market in which they operate.
  3. Critically evaluate their personal progress, reflecting on their professional development and how the placement experience relates to their future personal, career and academic goals.

Assessment strategy

FORMATIVE (non-credit bearing):
Early in the Year In Industry placement, students will undertake a Skills Development Plan outlining their intentions for their personal development during their employment experience. Secondly, they will maintain an ongoing Reflective Journal throughout the placement of how they have applied, developed and learnt key skills.

Employer Assessment (completed by employer) – this non-contributory feedback will give the tutors and students feedback from their line manager on how well they performed in the role (0%)

SUMMATIVE (credit bearing):
Learners are required to submit a portfolio of reports on their experiences and development within the placement role:

1. Critical analysis of contribution to the organisation and self-reflective analysis - report (3,500 – 4,000 words as required to meet the criteria - Learning Outcomes 1 and 3 - 70% weighting)
A critical, reflective analysis of how well the students perceives they have developed and performed in their role, met key performance indicators, completed tasks and contributed to the goals of the organisation with reflection on their achievements and skills. Within the reflective self-analysis, students are required to rate their achievement of particular skill sets and refer to the Skills Development Plans and Learning Logs they have completed throughout the placement. This section should include reference to the QAA Subject Benchmark Statements which related to their degree programme.

2. Critical analysis of the organisation and workplace environment - presentation (8-12 minute PowerPoint presentation with voiceover as required to meet the criteria- Learning Outcome 2 - 30% weighting)
a critical analysis and discussion of the organisation, in relation to the business environment with recommendations and drawing upon their academic learning.

  • Ongoing formative assessment in the form of an initial Skills Development Plan (template provided with Key Skills criteria) and submission of two completed Learning Logs during the year will allow learners to recognise their development during the role, whilst undertaking the placement distance learning and benefiting from ongoing formative tutor feedback. These will be later submitted as appendices within the report, along with an updated CV.

Assessment Marking and Moderation

  • All items of assessment will be first marked by the assigned placement tutor and a sample of the module cohort will be moderated through second marking and external examiner approval (in-line with University regulations). 
  • Due to the nature of the assessments, marking will not be undertaken anonymously.