SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 60.00
ECTS Credit Points 30.00
Module Code MMW226498
Module Leader Thomas Peschken
School GCU London
Subject GCU London
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

Graduates increasingly need highly developed transferable professional skills as well as subject-specific knowledge to prepare for and to gain future employment. This module provides an opportunity for students to undertake work experience within an environment appropriate to their programme to develop their social and interpersonal skills, a comparative understanding of work procedures, and the ability to question concepts and to relate the theoretical and conceptual aspects of their programme to the managerial, technical or professional practice aspects of their working environment. Students will be supported to research, secure and undertake a work-based learning experience with a company, organisation or social enterprise where they will be developing effective professional practices. The module is designed to develop critical reflective practice, specialist skills, and act as a focus for the student's continuous professional development in the context of their chosen working environment and career aspirations. The professional practice experience may also become the context for or inform the subsequent Master Research Project module.


Pre-Work Experience: Placement expectations; Application process; Writing a Learning Agreement; Reflective learning During Work Experience: The learning on placement is explicitly experiential, and individually oriented. As such, the learning agreement between the student and the placement host will form the basis of the learning undertaken.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Identify and apply successfully for an appropriate work-based experience2. Negotiate a work programme (learning agreement), operate in the work based environment confidently and demonstrate positive contribution to the work place.3. Evaluate the role, responsibilities and relationships developed and undertaken by relevant professionals within the work experience organisation.4. Critically appraise and reflect upon own personal and employability skills developed via sourcing and undertaking work experience and implications for future career and continuous professional development plans.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Students are responsible for finding their own work experience or suitable work-experience opportunity but will be supported in a variety of ways; through the Career Planning and Professional Development module in the first trimester of the MSc programme; through GCU London and programme specific co-curricular events and activities; through Careers Service advice on application processes and interview skills and through module-specific workshops in the run-up to the professional practice trimester. Work-based experiences can take the form of a internships or work project in an organisation, an industry or community. Students are required to complete a minimum of 200 hours of work with flexibility of engagement to suit the needs of the student and the host organisation and specified in a learning agreement. Students will negotiate, with their line manager, their mentor, or their placement supervisor, a learning agreement, which will identify relevant objectives for the period of the internship. These, once approved by GCU, will form the framework for supervisor feedback for their work experience portfolio. During the placement, each student is assigned an academic supervisor, who will visit or contact the student at the work experience provider twice during the work experience. The first visit is to verify that the student has settled in, to ensure that both the student and the work-based supervisor understand what is expected of them and to ensure that the student's work is relevant to their learning agreement. The second visit is due after three quarters of the work experience. Its aim is to verify that things are still on track, as well as to provide guidance on the completion to the work experience portfolio.

Indicative Reading

Anderson, L E & Bolt, S B (2013) Professionalism: skills for workplace success. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson. Bassot, B, (2016) The Reflective Journal. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Caproni, P (2012) Management Skills for Everyday Life. (3rd International Ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Cottrell, S (2010) Study Skills for Success. The Personal Development Planning Handbook. (2nd ed). Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan Dowson, P (2015) Personal & Professional Development for Business Students, London, Sage Durrant, A., Rhodes, G. and Young, D. (2011) Getting started with university-level work based learning, 2nd edition. Faringdon. Fanthome, C. (2004) 'Work Placements - A Survival Guide for Students', Palgrave MacMillan Knowles, M. S. Holton, F. E. & Swanson, R. A. (2014) The adult learner: the definitive classic in adult education & human resource development. 8th ed. London : Routledge Moon, J. (2013) Reflection in Learning and Professional Development: Theory and Practice, Kogan Page Limited, London. Raelin, J.A. (2008) Work-based learning bridging knowledge and action in the workplace. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Kolb, D. A. (2015) Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. 2nd ed. Pearson, FT Press Neugebauer, J., & Evans-Brain, J. (2009). Making the most of your placement. Sage Publications. Roberts, A. (2009) Encouraging reflective practice in periods of professional workplace experience: the development of a conceptual model. Reflective Practice, 10(5), 633-644. Rook, S. (2015). Work experience, placements and internships. Macmillan International Higher Education. Rook, S. (2013). The Graduate Career Guidebook: Advice for Students and Graduates on Careers Options, Jobs, Volunteering, Applications, Interviews and Self-employment. Macmillan International Higher Education. Schon, D.A. (1991) The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Arena: Basic Books.

Transferrable Skills

Students following this module will develop the following core transferable skillsets: Self-Presentation & interview skills; Research & Analytical skills; Objective setting; Accepting responsibility; Cooperation, Adaptability, Personal Motivation; Organisation and Time Management; Self-awareness and self-evaluation; Personal Reflection; Personal Development Planning

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Placement 200.00
Seminars (FT) 10.00
Assessment (FT) 60.00
Independent Learning (FT) 330.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Portfolio n/a 100.00 50% Portfolio