SOS Work Placement (1 year)
Run by School of Ocean Sciences
30.000 Credits or 15.000 ECTS Credits
Semester 1 & 2
Organiser: Dr David Assinder
Overall aims and purpose
The principal aim of this module is to improve the chances of securing your desired employment upon graduation. It does this in several ways, the main one involving a sustained period of work experience in a subject area that is related to ocean sciences. The whole process, from the moment you decide to opt for the placement route, to the time that you complete the final assessment, is meant to be one of self-development.
The idea is that you find the placement, in close collaboration with, and with the assistance of, the University’s Skills and Employability Service (SES). Staff at the School of Ocean Sciences (SOS) will also act as coordinators for you. Over the initial phase of the module, you will develop your ability to reflect on the workplace skills you may already possess and identify the skills you still need to develop. Later, with guidance from SES staff, you will discover the best ways of searching for and applying for work placement opportunities.
Once at the placement, you will not only experience what it is like to work professionally in the field of ocean sciences; but you will also actively reflect on what you are gaining from that experience. Having this self-knowledge is crucial in terms of securing work once you graduate. Even if you intend pursuing an academic career, many of the skills required in research are the same as for work-place employment.
Not only do we hope that the experience will be positive for the reasons outlined above, but it is often the case that those who have been away on placements are that much more motivated and inspired in their remaining academic studies.
The practical element of the module comprises a block placement (1200 hrs ~ 7 months) taken at the beginning of the Level 6 year for undergraduate (BSc) programmes, and the end of the Level 6 year for extended undergraduate (MSci) programmes.You will formally register for the programme in the Spring of your Second Year and will be provided with guidance on locating and applying for a placement by both SES and the SOS Work Placement Coordinator1. SES will provide a tailor-made series of work experience workshops to advise you in terms of searching for job opportunities, creating applications and CVs, and preparing for the workplace environment. You will be able to start your work placement at a date to be agreed between yourself and employer, but not until the end of teaching term.
The onus is always on you to find the placement. If it transpires that you cannot find your own placement, there may be a very limited number of (unpaid) opportunities at SOS, but we can make no guarantee of this. Otherwise, you will switch to the non-work placement degree programme.
The placement should be related to ocean sciences, and this relationship must be made clear in your Pre-placement form. The placement must be approved by the Work Placement Coordinator (Dr. David Assinder) and the University before work begins. Before approval, a Risk Assessment must be conducted for the identified work placement. This will be done in conjunction between yourself, the employer and the College Safety Officer. Once at the placement, you and the Work Placement Coordinator hold the responsibility to ensure that the agreed monitoring measures are adhered to. It will be your responsibility to ensure that these requirements are met and that progress is reported to the SOS Placement Coordinator. It will be their responsibility to ensure that a formal record is noted (in the Target Connect, or equivalent, secure database). Only once all criteria are verified and recorded in this way will the placement be allowed to proceed.
All assessments have been graded as either 'Satisfactory to continue' or a Pass. This demonstrates the progression through planning the placement, carrying out the work, reporting and presenting on the work and having an employer statement.
The following statements explain what is expected from students to reach threshold (pass) criterion. Given that this is the only criterion by which the assessments are graded, only threshold is specified here.
Pre-placement form Gateway Test (LOs 1-4) In your Pre-placement form, you will have clearly identified and conveyed the potential health and safety risks associated with the placement. You should have also outlined and acknowledged the primary health and safety policies in operation in the employing organisation. In addition, you have included a risk assessment which has been signed off by the College Safety Officer and Work Placement Coordinator. You will have also presented a clear account of the process of applying for and securing the placement; and conveyed an ability to self-reflect on your learning experiences over the course of the process. As part of this, you should have also evidenced that you have considered the type of placement you seek e.g. is it to try out a particular career, build useful contacts, get some professional context to an academic area of interest, develop particular skills or technical knowledge, and/or gain working knowledge of a specific sector/profession? You will have also succeeded in justifying how the placement is linked to your degree programme, and you will have realistically identified and evidenced which work-related skills you already possess, and which skills might be acquired or practised on the placement. An important aspect of reaching the threshold target to pass the assessment is that you convey the above with a well-structured and clearly written form.
Post-placement report (pass/fail) (LOs 1, 2, 3, 5) At the end of the placement, your Post-placement report will contain a brief self-reflective element (1500 words ± 10%), where you have assessed the extent to which the placement has succeeded, and you have reflected on your experiences and the skills that you have acquired. To reach the required threshold, you will have shown thoughtful engagement of the following: • The job role and how it contributed to the success and effectiveness of the organisation. This may include elements of both teamwork and individual contributions. • Your experiences and observations during the placement, in relation to the goals that were set-out for self-development in the pre-placement document • A synthesis of how the experience will benefit you in the future; specifically how it will affect your thinking about your degree programme and how it will influence the way you seek employment in the future. An important aspect of reaching the threshold target to pass the assessment is that you convey the above with a well-structured and clearly written report.
Post-placement individual presentation (pass/fail) (LOs 1, 5) At the end of the placement, a Post-placement presentation will be delivered to both staff and students interested in participating in the work placement scheme. The presentation will consist of a 10-minute talk where you will describe and reflect on your experiences. You will also be asked to contribute to a question and answer exercise at the end of the session. The presentation will be graded pass/ fail by the Work Placement Coordinator.
Statement from Employer (LO 1) To pass this element, you will have submitted a signed letter or statement provided by your Work Placement Provider confirming that you have undertaken duties as required by the employer. It is your responsibility to ask your employer for this signed letter or statement. In situations where the relationship with the Work Placement Provider has broken down, it is your responsibility to let the Work Placement Coordinator know. Under such circumstances, it may be possible to identify alternative evidence, so that this becomes the new threshold for passing this element.
Detail the primary policies in operation at the employing organisation (e.g., Health and Safety).
Evidence how the placement is linked to your subject area.
Set specific work placement goals and identify the work-related skills possessed prior to participating in the placement and those that might be acquired during the period of employment.
Reflect on your learning experiences, professional contributions, and the skills acquired in relation to the work placement goals set; and explain how these fit with your personal objectives and development in the future i.e. both short- and long-term.
Demonstrate employability skills by:
Applying for and securing a work placement
Working effectively within your job role
Communicating effectively both orally and verbally throughout the application, placement and self-reflection process
|Post-placement individual presentation||20.00|
|Statement from employer||20.00|
Teaching and Learning Strategy
You will undertake a series of work placement workshops during the spring semester before your placement. Workshops will be provided by SES, under the coordination of the SOS Work Placement Coordinator. Workshop topics will include Placement Search, Preparing Applications, Placement Prep as well as such subjects as writing your placement proposal, writing your reflective account, health & safety in the workplace, data compliance, and money support.
You will be based in a work environment for ~ 7-12 months, which would normally equate to approximately 1200 hours of work-based experience and learning.
- 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
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
- 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
Subject specific skills
Other subject-specific skills depending on the subject area of the placement.
Resource implications for students
This module incurs a Tuition Fee. If the placement is unpaid or is not paid at a sufficient level, then living costs will also be incurred. Support materials and access to online materials to be made available via Blackboard.
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/osx-9002.html
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- CC1P: BSc Marine Biology with Zoology with Placement Year year 3 (BSC/BMZP)
- F62P: BSc Geological Oceanography with Placement Year year 3 (BSC/GEOP)
- CF1P: BSc Marine Biology and Oceanography with Placement Year year 3 (BSC/MBOP)
- C16P: BSc Marine Biology with Placement Year year 3 (BSC/MBP)
- F79P: BSc Marine Environmental Studies year 3 (BSC/MESP)
- C35P: BSc Marine Vertebrate Zoology with Placement Year year 3 (BSC/MVZP)
- F7FP: BSc Ocean and Geophysics with Placement Year year 3 (BSC/OGPP)
- F70P: BSc Ocean Sciences with Placement Year year 3 (BSC/OSP)
- F84P: BSc Physical Geography and Oceanography with Placement Year year 3 (BSC/PGOP)
- F65P: MSci Geological Oceanography with Placement Year year 3 (MSCI/GOP)
- F71P: MSci Marine Biology and Oceanography with Placement Year year 3 (MSCI/MBOP)
- C17P: MSci Marine Biology with Placement Year year 3 (MSCI/MBP)
- C1CP: MSci Marine Biology and Zoology with Placement Year year 3 (MSCI/MBZP)
- C18P: MSci Marine Vertebrate Zoology year 3 (MSCI/MVZP)
- F73P: MSci Physical Oceanography with Placement Year year 3 (MSCI/POP)