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:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Ms Rebecca Jerrome

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

Type of module:

Summary module description:

You'll gain and apply a range of essential career planning skills including developing your career action plan, CV, applications and professional networks, through a series of seminar sessions supported by a Careers Consultant. You'll use your skills to apply for and undertake a short work experience placement (35 hours) related to International Development, and through this experience will develop your critical self-reflection abilities, to help you get the most out of this professional development opportunity.


This module provides opportunities for students to gain essential career planning skills and 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) to enable students to learn and apply essential skills for planning their career (ii) enhance employability through acquisition of relevant experience and (iii) promote personal and professional development and increased self-awareness by providing a framework for critical self-reflection in the context of the career decision making and work based learning experience.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By completion of the module students will be able to:

  1. - Identify, assess and articulate their skills, interests, values and personality traits in the context of career decision making

  2. - Effectively articulate relevant experience and skills in their CV and online profile

  3. - Reflect on their personal career planning journey including through critical reflection on the personal and professional learning opportunities afforded to the m during an independently organised micro work-placement in the field of international development.

Additional outcomes:

Students will also gain experience of

  • Careers information retrieval, research and decision making using a variety of sources.

  • Writing an effective application (a CV and covering letter)

  • Networking - informed by their understanding of the recruitment and selection processes.

  • Organising a mini work-placement

  • Applying their scientific/technical skills and knowledge to the tasks and responsibilities of the role in which they are working in the micro placement.

Students will also gain or enhance a range of day to day transferable skills in the work place, as appropriate to their role, including for example time management, communication, team work and independent work, initiative, organisation, decision making and global awareness.

Outline content:

  1. A series of career planning sessions, supported by Reading Careers service

  2. 35 hour Micro-work placement, which will satisfy the following conditions:

    1. Work placements must amount to 35 hours minimum - the equivalent of one full time week of work. 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 are allowed/encouraged but are not a necessity for completion of the module.

    2. All placements must be within a company or organisation connected with international development, for example in the areas of charitable and aid relief, fundraising, consultancy, youth work and education, research, communication, planning and policy.

    3. Placements must be undertaken between the end of the Part 1 examina tions and 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 off 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, fa ilure 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 (Spring Term Part 1):

  • Career action planning

  • Research and preparing to obtain work experience placements

  • CVs and covering letters

  • Applying for work experience

  • Networking including use of online platforms e.g. LinkedIn

  • Reflective thinking and writing

There will be a number of seminars and tutorials in the Autumn Term Part 2.

Seminars and tutorials will help students to prepare for placement(s) and develop the skills needed for securing a micro-placement and other future placements/forms of employment. They will encourage effective self-evaluation and reflection during and after the placement. Drop in sessions will be available for support.

Work based learning during a microwork placement:

A micro 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. This placement must be approved by the University and all associated paperwork must be completed BEFORE any placement commences.

Contact hours per term will be dependent upon the timing of the student’s individual placement. Accordingly, hours below are indicative only.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 4 8
Tutorials 1 2
Work-based learning 35
Guided independent study: 10 30 10
Total hours by term 15 40 45
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Portfolio 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will be required to submit reflective portfolio divided into parts, and containing evidence of their career planning and micro-placement activity to include:

  1. Career action plan

  2. CV

  3. LinkedIn profile

  4. Evidence of attendance at careers/professional development events

  5. Placement learning log and reflective account

  6. Testimonial form from placement provider (not formally assessed)

Formative assessment methods:

There are regular opportunities for discussion in class sessions. Students will receive feedback on elements of their portfolio submission, allowing time for reflection and development.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor 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[1] (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.

Assessment 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 necessary 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: 15 July 2020


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