LWMPLA-Professional Placement

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Ms Marie Aronsson

Email: e.m.l.aronsson@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module provides students with the opportunity to critically assess the correlation between theory and concepts learnt in the classroom and practice. Students of this module will undertake a professional placement of a minimum of 4 weeks full time (or the equivalent thereof) during the course of the programme with an entity linked to crisis, conflict and/or disaster management within any relevant legal and/or non-legal professional discipline. The placement will be followed by a reflective podcast and a significant written report.

This module aims to link theory and practice through giving students the opportunity to apply the theory and concepts learnt in the classroom to a practical, professional context and, in turn, to consider how practical insights learnt should further inform theoretical and conceptual approaches and understanding, through the undertaking of a professional placement. The placement must be linked to an entity (eg governmental, intergovernmental, private/corporate, civil society/NGO) working in the field of crisis, conflict, and/or disaster management. Additionally, the module aims to further develop high-level analytical, research, and communication skills through both practical experience and the writing of a significant professional report.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:
•Demonstrate a sound understanding on synergies between theory and practice within the context of the organisation in which the placement has been undertaken, including a demonstration of an ability to identify and make recommendations as to how such synergies may be improved;
•Be able to locate insights gained during the placement (eg in terms of law, policy, regulations, and/or practice) within the wider global context in which crises, conflicts, and/or disasters occur;
•Be able to locate their findings within relevant scholarship and literature;
•Demonstrate sound critical, analytical, and evaluation skills;
•Access, take advantage of, and critically use different sources of research, including those made available by the placement provider;
•Evaluate the objectivity and relevance of different sources of research;
•Construct an argument(s) that can be sustained through the report;
•Use a recognised citation style (eg Oscola);
•Present the report in a manner that is clear, logical, well-written and present conclusions that are well argued for.
•Demonstrate well-developed oral communication skills through the production of a podcast that is clear, logical, and reflective.

Additional outcomes:
It is also expected that students will be able to:
•Develop transferable skills in problem solving, decision making, team working, and time management;
•Develop personal responsibility and initiative in planning, arranging, managing, and carrying out a professional placement culminating in the production of a professional report and podcast;
•Make decisions during, and be able to adapt to, any unforeseen and challenging situations, including in relation to the research for the professional report and podcast, developing self-reliance and initiative in addressing and solving problems;
•Identify and navigate their way through relevant research resources such as databases and other information technology in the production of the report;
•Develop an ability to use basic technical equipment for the production of a podcast;
•Demonstrate skills of self-reflection and evaluation through the making of a short podcast.

Outline content:
Students will undertake a professional placement of a minimum of 4 weeks full time (or the equivalent thereof) during the course of the programme with an entity linked to crisis, conflict and/or disaster management (eg governmental, intergovernmental, private/corporate, civil society/ NGO) within any relevant legal and/or non-legal professional discipline. This practical experience will give students the opportunity to critically assess the correlation between theory and concepts learnt in the classroom and practice.
Responsibility for setting up the placement will lie entirely with students undertaking this module, though guidance will be given. No formal relationship will exist between Reading University and the placement provider. Where comparative assessment and research is being carried out, it will be possible to undertake more than one placement (each must be for a minimum of one week, or the equivalent thereof). The suitability of the proposed placement(s) and topic of the professional report must be approved in advance by the module convenor. Where students are already in suitable voluntary or paid employment, it will be possible to use this work experience to satisfy the placement requirement though this is not obligatory.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching and learning takes the form of two briefing seminars, first giving guidance on how to find a suitable placement, and second on how to approach the writing of the professional report and production of a podcast. There will be the opportunity to have three supervision sessions at times agreed between the student and their supervisor, normally early during the placement, midway and then prior to submission of the assessments.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 2 2
Project Supervision 1 2
Guided independent study 45 348
Total hours by term 2.00 48.00 350.00
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 85
Oral assessment and presentation 15

Other information on summative assessment:
Assessment 1:
A professional report of a maximum of 12,000 words (including footnotes and/or endnotes but excluding declaration, table of contents, bibliography), formatted in accordance with the rules set out in the Regulations for PGT Dissertations in the PGT Handbook. 85%
Assessment 2:
A 5 minute podcast as a reflective account of the placement experience. Students may discuss functional as well as substantive aspects of the placement, such as whether and how the experience was useful; anything they would do differently in the future, eg in terms of setting up and selecting a placement provider; whether and how their professional skills – such as oral or written communication, presentation, analysis – were developed; any challenges encountered and how these were overcome; whether and how their professional insights and skills developed; how their attitudes may have changed eg to a particular organisation/aspect of the disaster sector, or to theoretical aspects learnt during the programme. 15%

Formative assessment methods:
Feedback will be given by the module convenor or another supervisor. This will be on the draft outline of the planned professional report which should be submitted early into the placement, as well as on the equivalent of at least one substantive chapter of the report prior to its submission.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
See School of Law PGT Programme Handbook

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

Things to do now