module specification

MN6W04 - Professional Experience Year Placement (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
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 15%   Critical analysis of contribution to the organisation - report (750 words)
Coursework 25%   Critical analysis of the organisation and workplace environment - report (1,250 words)
Coursework 60%   Self-reflective analysis - report (3,000 words)
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Not applicable -

Module summary

This sandwich placement module is undertaken as an additional 30 credits between Levels 5 and 6, extending students' undergraduate course programme to four years.

The module is designed to develop student employability and increase career prospects upon graduation. The sandwich placement year requires learners to undertake a minimum of 44 weeks full-time employment which is developmental and relates to their graduate career goals. Compulsory pre-placement preparation workshops and one to one support will be delivered by Placement Officers to provide guidance and assist students in their search for an appropriate placement. The placement must be in an industry relevant to their area of study, allow them to develop professionalism and to transfer learning from the classroom, and any previous employment to the placement workplace. 

During the placement year, students will be supported in applying theoretical knowledge in a practical context, analysing business problems and proposing solutions, and identifying and articulating transferable skills and knowledge developed during the placement.  Students will be expected to demonstrate improved understanding of their abilities and career goals, knowledge of the workplace organisation and professional awareness through reflective and reflexive learning.

Students will receive briefings prior to the placement and a post-placement debriefing.  They will be supported remotely by a Placement Tutor who will provide guidance with assessment.

Student will not be registered on the module until they have secured a suitable placement that meets all the requirements.

The module is open to all Business and Management undergraduate course programmes.

Prior learning requirements

• Students who pass this module at Level 5, will not be required to take this module or any other Work Related Learning module. 
• All undergraduate learners are required to undertake a minimum of 15 credits of approved Work Related Learning, as outlined with each course specification.


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

Professionalism, work place ethics, being a critical employee and Health and Safety in the workplace LO1

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 QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for their degree programme. LO2

Prioritising tasks and problem solving within the workplace; successful interpersonal relationships and teamwork and analysing personal contribution to the work situation. LO2

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. LO3

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. LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Workshop and guidance on applying for suitable placement roles - (15 hours across the second year of study, prior to the year placement)
• Pre-semester preparatory workshops will outline module requirements; assist students in diagnosing their abilities and making decisions about suitable work areas; guide on applying to both advertised jobs and speculative posts and ensure they are able to produce appropriately targeted applications. 
• Learners will be required to take up additional support on job search and application strategies.  Suitable opportunities will be advertised to students via Weblearn and the University Careers and Employability online vacancy portals.
• Learners will be given access to WebLearn in advance of the sandwich year to access module information including: how to register secured placements; access links to additional external resources and suitable placement/job sites to assist in developing labour market knowledge; obtain guidance on recruitment processes and view external websites advertising suitable opportunities.
• Relevant learning and assessment materials will be uploaded to the WebLearn module including slides, exercises, examples of previous student assessment submissions and tutor contact information.
• Students are invited to a 2.5 hour 'Return to University' workshop, two months prior to the submission of their report, to meet other students undertaking the 12 month placement, share their experiences and gain support for their final submission.

Research and independent study (85 hours)
• Independent study following action planning during the workshops and Placement Officer meetings.
• Professional work placement vacancy research, with face to face and online Careers guidance including accessing the University's virtual careers guidance Careers Portal.
• Completing specified online activities on the University Careers Portal and provide evidence of this (e.g. skills assessment, CV, mock interview tests, psychometric tests).
• During the placement experience, students are required to keep a regular record of the activities they have carried out to contribute to the placement role and the module assessment via Learning Logs.
• Post work placement: students will be encouraged to further progress their employability in consideration of their graduate careers goals.  This can be through for example: progressive employment experience and/or extra-curricular activities which will be supported by the Careers and Placement teams and online resources such as the University Careers Portal.

Professional Work Placement - (additional to learning hours: 44 weeks minimum full-time placement over one year)
• Learners will be supported via WebLearn, one-to-one support from the Placements team (face to face and remotely).  Supporting materials and detailed assessment criteria will be uploaded to WebLearn. 
• Each student will be assigned a placement tutor who will provide guidance and assessment support during the module.
• Where possible students and their line manager will be visited in the workplace or alternatively contacted via video conferencing.

Assessment Preparation (200 hours)
• Each student is required to submit a 6,000 Placement Report towards the end of their placement year focusing on critical analysis of their contribution to the organisation, their workplace environment and self reflection on achievements and skills gained and areas for development relating to the set Key Personal Skill Criteria.
• Timely formative assessment/feedforward will be provided for the Skills Development plan completed early in the placement; ongoing learning logs and drafts of the final summatively assessed report.
• Ongoing support from the Placement team/tutors will additionally encourage students to progress their reflective and reflexive capabilities.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes are formulated in accordance with the Higher Education Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Chapter B10, 2012, "Managing higher education provision with others" which covers work placement modules.

1. Evaluate the requirements of the work placement experience through articulation of professional abilities, personal goal setting and the choice of a suitable employment opportunity.
2. Critically assess their approach to tasks and problem solving within the workplace context and their contribution to the organisation.
3. Appraise the placement organisation's goals, strategies, objectives and the market in which they operate.
4. Critically evaluate their personal progress, reflecting on their professional development, how the placement experience relates to their future personal, career and academic goals.

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed via formative and summative elements and includes the following:
1. Pre-placement recruitment process (not graded) (Learning Outcome 1)
1. Placement report (6,000 words):
a. Critical analysis of their contribution to the organisation (Learning Outcome 2)
b. Critical analysis of the organisation and workplace environment (Learning Outcome 3)
c. Self-reflective analysis (Learning Outcome 4)
2. Employer Assessment (completed by employer) (Learning Outcomes 4)

1. Pre-placement recruitment process – formatively assessed
• Students are guided and supported in applying for suitable placements in the year prior to the module commencing, including analysis and reflection on their career goals, interests and abilities.
• Students are required to submit applications via the Placement Officers who will provide feedback and guidance and refer students to Careers Consultants as necessary.
• Once students have secured a placement, a job description must be submitted for approval by the Placement Officers as to how it meets the module requirements i.e. close to graduate level employment, relating to their subject of study, providing skills and knowledge development to enhance the student's future graduate employability.
• Applying for and securing a suitable placement role meets the requirements of this formatively assessed component.

2. Placement Report - 80%  (6,000 words). This will be in three sections:
• Critical analysis of contribution to the organisation: 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.
• Critical analysis of the organisation and workplace environment: a critical analysis and discussion of the organisation, in relation to the business environment with recommendations, drawing upon their academic learning.
• Reflective Self-assessment: reflection on achievements and skills gained in line with the set Key Personal Skill Criteria).  Within the Reflective Self-Assessment, students are required to rate their achievement of particular skill sets and complete a Skills Development Plan and Learning Logs throughout the placement.
• Ongoing formative assessment in the form of an initial Skills Development Plan and submission of two completed Learning Logs during the year will allow leaners 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.
• The report should include reference to the QAA Subject Benchmark Statements which most closely links to their degree programme. They should read the subject knowledge and understanding; skills; transferable application of the skills and the benchmark standards outlined in the document.  These will provide an overview of the knowledge and skills a student and graduate of each degree programme should know, and be able to apply to a professional work placement.

3. Employer Assessment Form - 20%
Employers will be asked to complete an assessment form, rating the student's performance in key personal skill criteria. 

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.



Core Texts:

Cottrell S (2015) Skills for success, personal development and employability 3rd edition, Palgrave Macmillian, Basingstoke
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

Other Texts:

Cameron S (2009) The business student’s handbook: skills for study and employment 5th edition Pearson, Harlow
Durrant A, Rhodes G, Young D (2011) Getting started with university-level work based learning, 2nd edition, Libri Publishing, London
Gallagher K (2016) Essential study and employment skills for business and management students, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford
Greetham B (2016) Smart thinking: How to think conceptually, design solutions and make decisions Palgrave Macmillian, Basingstoke
Heyler R (2015) The work-based learning student handbook, 2nd edition, Palgrave Macmillian, Basingstoke
Kirton B (2012) Brilliant workplace skills for students and graduates Prentice Hall, Harlow
Lumley M and Wilkinson J (2013) Developing employability for business Oxford University Press, Oxford
Moon J (2004) A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning: Theory and Practice Routledge Falmer, London
Rook S (2013) The graduate career guidebook: advice for students and graduates on careers options, jobs, volunteering, applications, interviews and self-employment Palgrave Macmillian, Basingstoke
Scherer A (2012) Brilliant intern Prentice Hall, Harlow
Williams K, Woolliams M, Spiro J (2012) Reflective writing (pocket study skills) Palgrave Macmillian, Basingstoke


London Metropolitan University Careers Service
Higher Education careers information
Higher Education careers information

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education, Subject Benchmark Statements for individual degree programmes:
Please refer to the Subject Benchmark Statement below which most closely links to your degree programme.  Please read the subject knowledge and understanding; skills; transferable application of the skills and the benchmark standards outlined in the document.  These will provide an overview of the knowledge and skills a student and graduate of your degree programme should know, and be able to apply to a placement role.  You will need to refer to these in your assessment.
Business & Management:
Communication, Media, Film & Cultural Studies:
Events, Hospitaiity, Sport and Tourism: