How is an academic placement assessed?


  • Students produce a placement report, which has the same word count as the assessed essay for the module.
  • This report usually replaces the assessed essay, although this might not always be the case.
  • The report reflects on the learning and/or academic activity accomplished on the placement rather than simply reporting on the day to day experience. The balance between recounting experience and analysing learning is discussed as the student prepares for the placement and when the report is in the planning stages.
  • The parameters for the report are agreed before the placement begins, although not so firmly that the report cannot be adapted to changing circumstances. It is often the case that, when faced with the realities of a placement, a student will want to alter the focus of the placement report. We encourage this flexibility, and students stay in contact with us whilst on placement so any such changes can be discussed and approved.
  • Full training is given in how to plan and write a report. We know that this is a new form of writing for most of our students and so are keen to support them. They usually relish the chance to try out something new, and we know that employers value this relatively scarce skill in Arts and Humanities students.
  • Although our students are monitored whilst they are on placement, we do not take the testimonials or references from placement providers into account when we assess placement reports. We have found over the years that the reactions of providers bear little relation to the assessment outcome of a report. Whilst we are aware of the many career benefits to be gleaned from a placement, ours is an academic placement system and the reports are judged purely on their intellectual merit, as with all of our students' assignments.



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