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 following 12-month programmes: MSc Behavioural Finance, MSc Capital Markets Regulation and Compliance, MSc Corporate Finance, MSc Economics and Finance, MSc Financial Engineering, MSc Financial Risk Management, MSc Finance, MSc International Shipping and Finance, MSc Investment Management and MSc Finance and Financial Technology (FinTech).
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Mike Smith

Email: m.j.smith@icmacentre.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

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 vacation 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:

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

•Enhance their knowledge and skills by gaining relevant work experience

•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.

The aims of the written project are to:

•Apply independent research skills to the work experience undertaken

•Reflect and critically evaluate the broader significance of the work undertaken for the placement in c onjunction 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:

Contact hours: 1 hour meeting with supervisor

Because this is a placement module, it is based on your own the preparation required in advance of the placement and on the associated project following the placement. You will, however, receive supervision from a faculty member, who can provide some advice on how you can turn your 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. Tutorial supervision will be given by a placement project tutor.

•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 m odule convenor

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

•All students will also be required to attend a placement-preparation session with the Student Employment, Experience and Careers Centre (SEECC).

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Guided independent study:      
    Preparation of practical report 50
    Reflection 150
Total hours by term 0 0
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 your experience. It should address at least the following:

•Preparation/training undertaken for the placement

•Presentation of the organisation and its principal activities

•A reflective, self-evaluation of your role and tasks, and ways in which they contributed to the goals of the organisation

•What challenges did you face? How did you resolve them?

•How can your practical experience be reconciled with your academic knowledge?

That written project should be 3,000 words long. It should be based directly on the experience gained during your work placement but should also shed light on the relationship between theory and practice.

3000 word written project


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

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. Satisfactory completion of the placement 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):

Last updated: 4 April 2020


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