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Module HPS-4005:
Work Placement

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Teresa Crew

Overall aims and purpose

This module provides the opportunity for work-based learning, by means of placements with a range of agencies suitable for History, Philosophy or Social Sciences students. The aim of the module is to prepare students for future work-based contexts. Students will identify and arrange their own placements. If the student has any difficulties, staff will assist in this process. The module also includes weekly employability sessions Students will develop various employability skills in the work placement, most notably - Communication - verbal and written communication, and listening e.g being clear, concise and focused; being able to tailor your message for the audience and listening to the views of others. - Organisation - learning to prioritise, work efficiently and productively, and manage your time in order to meet deadlines. - Problem solving - analysing facts and situations and coming up with appropriate solutions.

*If you are interested in this module, please contact the module convenor prior to choosing it as an option.

Such experiential and career-oriented learning is consistent with the university’s commitment to employability enhancement. The module complies with the University Code of Practice on Placement Learning (

Course content

Course Content: The work-based placement agencies include archive record offices in North Wales (for History and Archaeology students), and voluntary sector agencies for Social Sciences students such as Victim Support, Probation, Citizens Advice. Work-based placements involve a commitment of around 70 hours in total, although some students begin and end their placements outside of the duration of the module. A number of employability sessions are incorporated into the curriculum, some of which are provided by the Bangor Employability Award team.

Each individual student’s experience of the module will therefore be different, mediated by the nature and location of the placement, and their defined roles within this work context. All students will begin their studies with an individual orientation to their placement by means of one-to-one and small group tutorials. They will embark on a guided reading and study programme, facilitated by the module convenor and teaching team. Their grounding will include reading and discussion aimed at understanding the links between academic study and agency work practice. These will then be linked to the specific undertakings of the placement agency, for example in relation to equality and diversity training, or addressing the needs of vulnerable social groups. The module incorporates structures for reflection on the learning process within a work-based context. Recommended reading will include texts on the value and role of such reflection, and this will be an integral part of the first assignment. Students are also required to report on one or more aspects of their work-based learning within their chosen agency (second assignment). Topics for this aspect of the module will vary according to the individual placement, and so reading and tutorials will be tailored to specific student needs.

Assessment Criteria


Students who receive a mark ranging between B- and B+ will regularly conduct the tasks allocated to them. They will read relevant texts and link their placement tasks with conceptual and methodological issues.


Students who achieve A- and above will show an exceptional performance at the placement and will be able to develop insightful remarks in their assignments on the links between theory and practice, building on their placement-related experience.

C- to C+

Students who receive a mark ranging between C- to C+ will regularly conduct the tasks allocated to them. However, other than that, they will fail to read relevant texts, link their placement to conceptual and methodological issues and will show no initiative.

Learning outcomes

  1. Show regular attendance at the work placement and adhere to the supervision and direction of the service officers and participate in the public role of that service or unit.

  2. Produce and deliver a presentation in relation to the experiences on the work placement

  3. Produce a report, project or similar work to the professional standard required by the service or unit

  4. Engage constructively in a learning environment

  5. Show ability to link complex abstract concepts and debates with practical tasks.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION 10 min presentation with 5 mins for questions

The presentation should:

  • describe the organisation where they worked and their tasks
  • critically reflect on the placement (models of reflection such as Schön (1983) or Gibbs (1988) are useful to help you do this
  • outline skills they developed in the placement - referring to models of employability
  • offer suggestions on how they could further develop the skills they developed in the context of the placement.
  • Recommenations for the employer
  • Recommendations for the work placement module

Answers will be graded by considering content; clarity; analysis; presentation.

This assignment encourages you to make observations about your experiences during your work placement and link these with research in your subject. The Blackboard site will provide some examples of how this assignment has been structured in previous years. But for now, take a look at the following regarding reflexive writing. Dependent on numbers, students will be given 2 sessions in which to choose to do their presentation. TBC when module starts

REPORT 4,000 word essay exploring current debates

Report to contain the following:

  • An overview of the organisation
  • An overview of the sector and current debates
  • Recommendations for how to tackle any specific issues

This is an academic piece of work so use research and statistics when you are discussing current debates e.g. the lack of diversity in many academic subjects, the over-reliance on volunteers


Teaching and Learning Strategy


5 workshops (up to 2 hours each), where students will reflect on their placement experience as well link it to current debates within the placement’s sector and to concepts they have discussed in their postgraduate studies overall.

Private study 90
Work-based learning

Work at an institution, where the student is expected to carry out prescribed tasks, but also to develop initiative.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Articulacy in identifying underlying issues in a wide variety of debates.
  • Precision of thought and expression in the analysis and formulation of complex and controversial problems.
  • being sensitive to the differences, or the "otherness" of the past, and the difficulty to using it as a guide to present or future action
  • being sensitive to the role of perceptions of the past in contemporary cultures
  • planning, designing, executing and documenting a programme of research, working independently
  • marshalling and critically appraising other people's arguments, including listening and questioning
  • demonstrating a positive and can-do approach to practical problems
  • demonstrating an innovative approach, creativity, collaboration and risk taking
  • presenting effective oral presentations for different kinds of audiences, including academic and/or audiences with little knowledge of history
  • making effective and appropriate use of relevant information technology
  • appreciating and being sensitive to different cultures and dealing with unfamiliar situations
  • critical evaluation of one's own and others' opinions
  • engaging with relevant aspects of current agendas such as global perspectives, public engagement, employability, enterprise, and creativity

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: