AP2ID4-Mini Work Placement and Professional Development for International Development Students

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Pre-requisites: Part 1 BSc International Development (3 & 4 years)
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Miss Rebecca Jerrome

Email: r.m.jerrome@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This is not open to students outside of the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development. The module is intended only for students studying on BSc International Development


This module provides a means of promoting and recognising short-term work placements within the field of International Development, which are independently organised by students and approved by the University. Its main aims are to (i) enhance employability through acquisition of relevant experience and (ii) promote personal and professional development and increased self-awareness by providing a framework for critical self-reflection in the context of the work based learning experience. The module will also give students an insight into the concepts of life-long learning and continuing professional development. Placements must be completed by the end of the Easter Vacation of Part 2.

Students may undertake the work placement in the Summer Term at the end of Part 1, ONLY with prior consent of the module convenor. They must still attend the scheduled sessions in the Autumn Term of Part 2.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By completion of the module students will be able to:

- Organise and undertake a mini work-placement in the field of international development

- Critically reflect on the personal and professional learning opportunities afforded to them during the work-placement.

Additional outcomes:

Students will gain experience of applying their subject specific skills and knowledge to the tasks and responsibilities of the role in which they are working. Students will also gain or improve their transferable skills in the work place, including time management, communication and teamwork.

Outline content:

Seminars/tutorials will include:

  • Concepts of experiential, life-long learning and professional development

  • Finding and securing placements

  • Reflective thinking and writing in the context of self-development

Outline conditions:

  1. Work placements must amount to the equivalent of two to three weeks of work (minimum 80 hours). This may comprise two/three weeks with the same placement provider. Other arrangements for accrual of time may be discussed with and approved in advance by the module convenor on a case by case basis (i.e. weekly day/part day sessions over a period of time). Longer summer placements (at the end of Part 1 only) are allowed/encouraged but are not a necessity for completion of the module.

  2. All placements must be within a company or organisation explicitly connected with development issues and associated areas such as charity work, poverty reduction, public administration, politics and community and youth development, including organisations that focus on issues relevant to deprivation and social exclusion.  Placements will normally be in organisations in the UK but may be overseas only with prior approval of the module convenor.

  3. Placements must be undertaken by the end of the Easter Vacation of Part 2.

  4. All placements must be discussed with and approved by the University in advance of the placement commencement date. Placements will not be approved retrospectively. Placements which involve doing a job the student already does or has done in the past will not be approved – students are encouraged to seek new opportunities.

  5. All placement providers must satisfy health and safety requirements, hold relevant insurance and be willing to provide evidence of student attendance along with a basic testimonial of the student’s performance. Health and Safety documentation and a Work Placement Agreement must be completed and signed before the placement can commence.

  6. In order for placements to be recognised within this module, it is the responsibility of the student to have all required paperwork completed and submitted to the module convenor prior to commencing their placement, failure to do so will result in penalty in the final module mark, failure of the module or if there is time, another placement being fulfilled.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Seminars and tutorials:

These will help students to prepare for placement(s) and develop the skills needed for effective self-evaluation and reflection during and after the placement.

Work based learning during a mini work placement:

A mini work-placement will be independently organised and undertaken by the student. Students are encouraged to apply for a challenging placement aligned to their personal career interests, which will afford them quality development opportunities. The placement must be approved by the University and all associated paperwork must be completed BEFORE any placement commences.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 6
Tutorials 1
Work-based learning 25 25 30
Guided independent study 10 3
Total hours by term 42.00 25.00 33.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:

  • an experiential learning diary/log

  • a 1000 word reflective narrative critically exploring the work based learning experience

  • a testimonial from the employer 

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall. 

    Reassessment arrangements:

    By submission of coursework.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    1. Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: Students will need to provide any neccessary clothing, footwear or PPE if undertaking a practical based placement, unless these are provided by the employer.

    2. Travel, accommodation and subsistence: Students will have to pay for any such costs associated with undertaking their placement.

    Last updated: 1 August 2017

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