ICM309-Work Placement and Project

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Only available to students on the 12-month MSc. Climate Change, Sustainable Business and Green Finance, MSc Finance and Financial Technology (FinTech), MSc Accounting, Financial Management & Digital Business and MSc International Accounting and Finance.
Modules excluded:
Placement opportunity: Mini placement
Current from: 2023/4

Module Convenor: Dr Simone Varotto
Email: s.varotto@icmacentre.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Dr Mike Smith and Professor Simone Varotto co-convene this module.

This module gives students the opportunity to pursue a work placement with an external organisation broadly related to the general sphere of their degree studies. The aim of the module is to allow participants to gain work experience in a career path of interest, develop a wide range of employability skills, build their network and enhance market awareness. The maximum duration of the placement is 3 months and it takes place during the summer period (June-August). Placements should be secured by students independently. The Centre’s career development office can support students in their search and application process. Placements secured by students are subject to the approval of the module convenor. The module is assessed by a 3,000-word project based on the work experience gained.


The aims of the work placement are to:

  1. Provide the student with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills gained in their academic studies

  2. Enhance their knowledge and skills by gaining relevant work experience

  3. Develop a wide range of employability skills

Assessable learning outcomes:

The student will demonstrate their learning outcomes by preparing and writing a project of 3,000 words which directly relates to, but also builds upon and expands, the work experience positioning it in a broader scholarly setting.

By the end of the modules, students will be able to:

  1. Apply independent research skills to the work experience undertaken

  2. Reflect and critically evaluate the broader significance of the work undertaken for the placement in conjunction with the practical knowledge acquired on the placement

Additional outcomes:

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

  • Communication skills

  • Networking skills

  • Team-working ability

Outline content:

Because this is a placement module, it is based on students’ own preparation required in advance of the placement and on the associated project following the placement. Students will, however, receive supervision from a faculty member, who can provide advice on how students can turn their placement experience into an appropriate report.

Global context:

The placement can take place anywhere in the world.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Within this module, the onus is on independent working, including work experience, learning by observation, training, as well as applying these experiences specifically to an applied project. 

  • The module convenor must give approval for the company, placement activity planned and the project work that will arise out of it.

  • An academic supervisor will be agreed, who may be someone other than the module convenor

  • The academic s upervisor will discuss and agree with the student the level of commitment to the organisation required by the student.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Guided independent study:      
    Preparation of practical report 50
    Reflection 150
Total hours by term 0 0 200
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The method of assessment is based on a written report summarizing students’ experience. It should address at least the following:

  1. Preparation/training undertaken for the placement

  2. Presentation of the organisation and its principal activities

  3. A reflective, self-evaluation of their role and tasks, and ways in which they contributed to the goals of the organisation

  4. What challenges did they face? How did they resolve them?

  5. How can their practical experience be reconciled with their academic knowledge?

That written project should be 3,000 words long. It should be based directly on the experience gained during students’ work placement but should also shed light on the relationship between theory and practice. The submission date for the report is in the first or second week of September.

Formative assessment methods:

Formative feedback on students’ written report proposal will be provided in individual meetings with their assigned supervisor.

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here: https://www.reading.ac.uk/cqsd/-/media/project/functions/cqsd/documents/qap/penaltiesforlatesubmissionpgflexible.pdf

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that 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: https://www.reading.ac.uk/cqsd/-/media/project/functions/cqsd/documents/qap/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.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Satisfactory completion of the placement, which is determined by the student’s progress during the period of their employment and/or internship, and submission of the written report which requires a pass mark of 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment will take place by means of the re-submission of the applied project.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Travel, accommodation, and subsistence: 

Students are responsible for travel, accommodation and subsistence while on the work placement. These costs can vary depending on where the work placement takes place.


Last updated: 25 September 2023


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