Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

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

The placements seek to provide students with an understanding of the practical application of their academic knowledge of History, Welsh History or Archaeology to professional fields that are intimately associated with those disciplines. This may include, but not limited to, tasks in libraries, archives, excavations, museums, galleries, stately homes, schools. At the postgraduate level, the placement module is clearly linked to research-related tasks, which will enable the students to apply in professional environments concepts and methodologies they have become familiarised with during their postgraduate studies.

Course content

The students will work in a research-related environment, such as an archives office, an archaeological unit or a museum service. The students will undertake specific tasks of an academic nature as given by the officer(s) in charge. At the postgraduate level, students of this module will be expected not simply to follow instructions, but also to be able to take initiative. Students will also have the freedom to set up their own placements, as long as this occurs at the voluntary sector. If a student sets up her/his own placement, this will have to be approved by the tutor. These do not need to be restricted to north-west Wales. The module aims to allow students to tailor their work experience to their particular interests and career plans.

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 office of the relevant service or unit and adhere to the supervision and direction of the service officers and participate in the public role of that service or unit.

  2. Demonstrate initiative in developing research-related tasks.

  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. Undertake the searches and/or practical work within the normal sphere of the service or unit's activity.

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

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY 1,500-word essay exploring current developments/debates within the placement’s sector

Students will be expected to highlight the extent to which they have understood the learning outcomes through writing clear cogent essays which will show their knowledge of important debates within the placement’s sector and linking them to historiographical issues. Answers will be graded by considering the scope of reading; content; focus and clarity of argument; analysis; presentation; and the ability to use references and bibliography appropriately. Answers will be expected to show detailed knowledge of the topic they deal with; to analyse evidence and interpretations critically and in-depth; and to engage with current historiographical controversies.

LOGBOOK OR PORTFOLIO 1,500-word workbook detailing tasks undertaken and reflecting on skills gained at the placement

Students will be expected to critically reflect on the tasks skills they developed in the placement, when carrying out tasks and when developing initiative. Answers will be expected to refer to their preparation, to an account of their actual experience of the placement and to suggestions on how they could further develop the skills they developed in the context of the placement. Answers will be graded by considering content; clarity; analysis; presentation.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


4 workshops (1,5 hour 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 93
Work-based learning

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


1 introductory lecture (1 hour) outlining how students should approach the placement


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


Reading list

T. Ambrose & C. Paine, Museum Basics (Routledge, 1993).

T.C. Darvill, Ancient Monuments in the Countryside : an archaeological management review (English Heritage, 1987). [DA90.D36.1987 (Science)]

Idem, The Archaeology of the Uplands (CBA, 1986). [DA90.D38.1986 (Arts)]

H. Cleere, Archaeological Heritage Management in the Modern World (1989). [CC135.A73 (Arts and Science)]

P. Fowler, The Past in Contemporary Society (1992). [DA655.F78.1992 (Arts)]

J. Hunter & J. Ralston, Archaeological Resource Management: an introduction (IFA & A. Sutton, 1993). [DA90.A66.1993 (Arts)]

T. Rowley & M. Breakell, Planning the Historic Environment, II (Oxford Extra-Mural Dept.). [DA655.P56 (Arts)]

M. Hughes & L. Rowley, The Management and Presentation of Field Monuments (1986). [DA655.M3 (Arts & Science)]

G. Lambrick, Archaeology and Nature Conservation (Oxford, 1985). [CC81.A7 (Arts & Science)]

J. Hinchcliffe & T. Schadla-Hall, The Past under the Plough (DOE, 1980) [unavailable at UWB]

A. Jackson, Forestry and Archaeology: a study in survival of field monuments in SW Scotland (1988) [DA880.G1.J3 (Arts pamph.)]

Countryside Commission, Protecting Historic Monuments and Ancient Features, Leaflet 8 in Countryside Conservation Handbook (1980) [(Science)]

MAFF, Farming on Ancient Monuments, Leaflet 764(1979). [(Science)]

L. Macinnes, All Natural Things: Archaeology and the Green Debate (1992). [QH77.G7.A5 (Arts) - QH has several social / conservation books]

R. Harrison, Manual of Heritage Management (Oxford, 1994). [CC135.M315 (Arts)]

G. Chitty & D. Baker, eds., Managing Historic Sites and Buildings (Routledge, 1999).

E. Hooper-Greenhill, Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture (Routledge, 2000).

Buittler, C. & Davis, M. (eds.) (2006) Things Fall Apart: museum conservation in practice (Cardiff: National Museum of Wales)

Cronyn, J.M. (1990), The Elements of Archaeological Conservation, London: Routledge

Green, K & Moore, T. (2010) Archaeology: an introduction (5th edition)

Renfrew, C. & Bahn, P. ( 2010) Archaeology, Theory, Methods and Practice

Macdonald, S. (2011) A Companion to Museum Studies, Oxford: Wiley

Howard, P. (2003) Heritage: Management, Interpretation, Identity, London/New York: Continuum

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: