module specification

LL6W51 - Work Placement for Professional Experience (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Work Placement for Professional Experience
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
10 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
28 hours Guided independent study
7 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 25%   Work Related Learning agreement written report (1,200 words)
Coursework 75%   3 x 5 minute (15 minutes total) reflective video files with formatively assessed CV
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Afternoon
Spring semester North Thursday Afternoon
Spring semester North Wednesday Morning
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

The work placement module enables students to gain academic credit for learning through work undertaken in a legal work environment.  The work may be paid employment (part-time or full-time) or an unpaid work placement with a suitable organisation. This might be a firm of solicitors, a barristers’ chambers, a legal department of a commercial enterprise, a firm licensed to offer legal services, or a not-for-profit legal advice service such as a Law Centre or Citizens Advice Bureau.

Students are required to undertake a minimum of 105 hours in a legal workplace, equivalent to 15 full working days (based on 7 working hours per day). The minimum hours can be completed full-time or part-time during the summer after completion of level 5, or part-time over the level 6 academic year. 

The module aims to develop of students’ employability skills and competences and their abilities of self-reflection and personal development and career planning. The module builds on prior learning gained from academic studies and other relevant experience. 

The focus is on oral and written communication skills; the ability to work independently and as part of a team; the ability to manage time efficiently, to prioritise tasks, to complete tasks accurately in a timely way and to comply with time limits; problem-solving skills – finding appropriate solutions to challenging problems by the application of law or other theory; awareness of professional codes of conduct and their application in practice. The development of initiative/innovation and commercial awareness is encouraged.

The assessment promotes development of the student’s ability to evaluate their skills and competences, to evaluate their contribution to the organisation, to reflect on the development of professional skills and competencies necessary to their graduate career goals, and to action plan in relation to graduate career and academic goals.

Students are supported in their learning and development through group sessions and individual guidance and feedback. Students attend four group introductory sessions at which the module leader explains the requirements of the module, the skills focus, and the assessment. Individual support is available on request throughout the academic year. Detailed guidance on the module requirements and the assessment is provided via weblearn

The responsibility for finding suitable placement lies with the student, but support is available to find and apply for suitable opportunities through the GSBL Placements and Employability Unit and University Careers service.

The module leader will assess the suitability of the proposed placement and approve as appropriate.

The module is open to level 6 students on law undergraduate courses and other undergraduate courses in another discipline and law.


Prior learning requirements

Successful completion of level 4 of any undergraduate degree course in law or in any other discipline and law.


The syllabus will focus on preparing students for the module requirements and their future career via: providing professional guidance for those learners seeking suitable work related learning activity/employment; reflection and analysis of their personal gains from the activity; and post experience planning.

Consideration of suitable work related learning activities as appropriate for the individual and the module, including guidance on job application and selection processes and appropriate articulation of their abilities (via pre-semester workshops/appointments).  LO 1

Professionalism, work place ethics, being a critical employee, Health and Safety in the workplace, setting personal goals.  LO 1

Critical self-reflection on their personal and professional development, application of their academic learning to the work related learning environment (referring to the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for their degree programme).  LO 2

Problem solving in the work based environment; investigation and analysis of the immediate environment; personal contribution to the work situation and analysis of the wider goals, aims and functions of the project/organisation.  LO 3
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.  LO 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching sessions 4 hours

Four teaching sessions will take place at the beginning of the semester. [For those undertaking their placement in the preceding summer, individual sessions will be offered at the end of the preceding academic year.]

The teaching sessions will be used to:
Explain the requirements of the module including the student’s responsibility of finding a suitable placement, notifying the University  details of the placement, organisation, likely tasks, and dates and time to the University, along with health and safety information and employer liability insurance details;
Familiarise students with the range of employability skills and abilities which are the focus of the module;
Explain the assessment in detail.

Individual guidance and support sessions 1 hour

Students will be offered an individual session (or sessions) of up to 60 minutes during the academic year to discuss their progress in the placement and development of relevant skills.
This may include feedback on draft coursework.

Work-related learning activity 115 hours

Most of the learning for the work placement module (minimum 105 hours) takes place outside the classroom, in the relevant organisation or places indicated by the supervisor such as courts/tribunals or barristers’ chambers.
10 hours is allowed for finding a suitable placement (preparing a CV and contacting suitable organisations etc)

Preparation of Assessment tasks

It is expected that the student will devote 30 hours to the preparation of the assessment for this module, including recording their activities, reflection on the development of their abilities during the placement, action planning for future academic, personal development and career goals, and evaluation of their contribution to the organisation.

Blended learning

Less relevant given the nature of the module, nevertheless the teaching sessions will make full use of internet sources and students will have access to detailed guidance on the module requirements, relevant skills and the assessment items through materials and guidance available on weblearn.

Opportunities for reflective learning and personal development planning

These are of particular importance to this module given the learning outcomes and assessment, and significant time is allowed to the student for such activity.

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. Analyse the requirements of the work related learning activity through articulation of professional abilities, personal goal setting and consideration of the work environment.
2. Explain their approach to problem solving and personal progress within the workplace and relate to appropriate literature.
3. Appraise the work environment operations and determine personal contribution to the work related learning activity.
4. Critically reflect how the experience relates to their future career and academic goals and plan for further progression.

Assessment strategy

The module is assessed via formative and summative elements and includes the following:

Work-Related Learning Agreement (Learning Outcome 1)
Video reflective portfolio of three videos with a CV (Learning Outcomes 2, 3 and 4)

1. Work-Related Learning Agreement (summative assessment) - Learning Outcome 1
The Work Related Learning Agreement comprises planning for the achievement of work related activities and setting learning goals in the form of a learning contract to prepare for their role and develop awareness of professionalism.  Students will be required to:
• Complete online activities on the University Careers Portal
• Set four personal, work-related goals.
• Undertake a brief critical planning for the work experience activity.

2. Video reflective portfolio with any supporting evidence (summative assessment) and CV (formative assessment) - Learning Outcomes 2, 3 and 4
• A video format assessment forms an ongoing learning log of personal and professional development.
• Students are required to submit three video files – 15 minutes in total, at key stages throughout the placement (or other formats where reasonable adjustment needs to be made) to allow them to recognise their development during the role, whilst taking distance learning and benefit from ongoing tutor feedback.
• Formative feedback will be provided throughout and learners are invited to submit synopses of their video plans before each submission for feedback.  By receiving regular feedback during the term of the role students will be encouraged to learn reflexively, developing their performance in the role through personal reflection.
• Each video must refer to at least one of the learning goals they set for themselves in Assessment 1.
• Learners will be required to refer to the QAA Subject Benchmark Statements which most closely links to their degree programme, in the assessment.  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 work related learning activity. 
• Students will be required to film the video and upload via WebLearn by the set, formative and summative deadline(s).

Reflective video topics:

1. Skills and Knowledge: (Learning Outcome 2)
Providing examples of generic skills and sector/industry specific knowledge gained
2. Organisation/Project: (Learning Outcomes 3)
The organisation/department/project to illustrate in-depth understanding and critically analysis from their observations.
3. Next Steps: (Learning Outcomes 4)
This will be the final video reflecting on the whole work experience for the module, summarising how they have met their four learning goals and demonstrating progression relating to their graduate career goals. Students are required to submit a copy of their CV which this final submission which includes the module work related experience for formative feedback.

Feedback from the line manager / client / supervisor (not assessed)

The student’s employer / line manager will be asked to provide feedback to evaluate the knowledge, skills and attitudes demonstrated by the student and their performance and attendance.  This will not contribute to the assessment.


Final deadline for the submission of a correctly completed Placement Notification form (not assessed, but essential for the placement employment to be appraised and approved):
● For those undertaking the placement over the summer (where available) at least one week before the role commences
● For those undertaking the placement during the semester, by the end of Week 3.

The Work Related Learning agreement is due on Week 5, Day 3 or an agreed date during the summer early in the work related activity.

Deadlines for each of the three video portfolio elements, including submission of a CV with the final video:
o Video 1 deadline: no later than Week 7, Day 3
o Video 2 deadline: no later than Week 10, Day 3
o Video 3 and CV deadline: no later than Week 13, Day 3

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 Macmillan, 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:

Durrant A, Rhodes G, Young D (2011), Getting started with university-level work based learning, 2nd edition, Libri Publishing, London
Fanthome C (2004) Work placements : a survival guide for students Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke
Finch E and Fafinski S (2014) Employability Skills for Law Students OUP, Oxford
Greetham B (2016) Smart thinking: How to think conceptually, design solutions and make decisions Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke
Heyler R (2015) The work-based learning student handbook, 2nd edition, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke
Hooley T and Grant K (2017), Graduate Career Handbook: Life after graduation, maximise your employability, get a graduate job Crimson Publishing
Kirton B (2012) Brilliant workplace skills for students and graduates Prentice Hall, Harlow
Moon J (2004) A Handbook of reflective and experiential learning: theory and practice Routledge Falmer, London
Rook S (2015) Work Experience, Placements and Internships  2nd Ed, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke
Rook S (2013) The graduate career guidebook: advice for students and graduates on careers options, jobs, volunteering, applications, interviews and self-employment Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke
Scherer A (2012) Brilliant intern Prentice Hall, Harlow
Williams K, Woolliams M, Spiro J (2012) Reflective writing (pocket study skills) Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke


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