PIM92-Applied Research Project and Placement

Module Provider: Graduate Institute for Politics and Internat Studs
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Giovanni Razzu

Email: g.razzu@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module gives students an opportunity to do a work placement or an internship with an external organisation specifically related to the general sphere of public policy. Based on the work experience gained, the student will write a research report which develops their capacity for independent, critical research in a specialised domain.


The aims of the work placement are to:

  • provide the student with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills gained in their academic studies;

  • extend knowledge and learning in their chosen pathway;

  • gain knowledge, understanding and skills of working in a relevant work environment.

The aims of the research project are to:

  • apply independent research skills to the work experience undertaken;

  • develop and deepen a combined academic as well as practical knowledge and understanding in a chosen specialised area.

Assessable learning outcomes:

The student will demonstrate their learning outcomes by:

•             preparing and writing a research project of 4,000 words which directly relates to, and builds upon, the work placement that is undertaken; provides an appreciation of the placement and an opportunity to research and evaluate alternative approaches which should be of value to the employer and the placement student.

•             heightened ability to generate sources of practical information and ideas and combine them in an extensive study project.

Additional outcomes:

The module also aims to encourage the development of the following skills:

•             working with other people;

•             an understanding of the requirements of the workplace.

Students will gain hands-on experience of full-time employment in a work environment that is directly relevant to their skills and knowledge in the field of public policy. Their confidence and self-reliance, maturity and sense of responsibility, team working and communication skills will be enhanced. The overall experience will be potentially invaluable in terms of their future career development and employability.

Outline content:

The area of work undertaken on the placement will be related to the students’ programme of study in the sphere of public policy. The day-to-day content of the work will be set by the employing organisation and in agreement with the School of Politics, Economics and International Relations. The work placement should provide the student with invaluable first-hand experience as well as providing opportunities for independent problem solving and working in a team.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The onus of this module is on independent working, including work experience, learning by observation, training as well as applying these experiences specifically to an applied research project. Tutorial supervision will be given by a placement/research project tutor.

It is expected that most placements will be undertaken in the summer term. The specific duties and amount of time engaged in the work placement will be subject to the mutual agreement of the employer and University authorities. In terms of the academic part of the module:

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Supervised time in studio/workshop 2 4
Guided independent study 94
Placement 100
Total hours by term 102.00 4.00 94.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Project output other than dissertation 100

Other information on summative assessment:

Students are required to submit a 4,000 words project on a research question agreed with the supervisor and related to the placement by an agreed deadline (which under normal circumstances would be in mid-September).

Formative assessment methods:

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 module mark

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessments will take place in September.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Printing and binding: There may be photocopying costs involved in project research, at 5p per sheet.

Last updated: 22 September 2017

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