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Module DXX-4100:
Professional Placement

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

40 Credits or 20 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Prysor Williams

Overall aims and purpose

The purpose of the module is to enable students to obtain professional experience in an organisation with suitable geographical and environmental focus to enable the student to apply course-related concepts and develop generic skills. Given the range of possible placement locations, no two student experience will be the same and the range of activities and format will invariably differ. However, the placement will link theory and practice of the academic components of the course of study and enable personal development through professional conduct and interaction.

Course content

The placement consists of a block placement of a minimum of 6 weeks in length, to be undertaken at any suitable juncture in the academic year. The placement organization is arranged by the student, with the approval of the University. The placement provides students with real-life professional experience which will enhance the understanding of the link between theory and practice in a range of environmental fields. The placement provides students┬┐ with the opportunity to develop their future employment directions, and enhance their employability by employing self-direction, motivation and originality in a professional environment.

Assessment Criteria


A demonstration of an understanding of academic components of the course of study as applied to professional situations. Undertake professional activities with competence, diligence and with full appreciation of health and safety issues. Produce and present a portfolio that adequately describes activities conducted during the placement.


A demonstration of an excellent understanding of academic components of the course of study as applied to professional situations. Evidence of an ability to lead and innovate in professional conduct, and to challenge theory in a practical context. Demonstrate an ability to develop and communicate an informed perspective on a range of environmental issues. Display excellent professional conduct and an ability to network and communicate with environmental practitioners.

Learning outcomes

  1. Comprehensive understanding of the operation of their placement organisation and its interaction/relation to other external organisations/institutions.

  2. Self-direction, motivation and originality in professional activity.

  3. An ability to critically evaluate the operation of the placement organization, including commercial and economic aspects.

  4. An ability to critically evaluate the individual contribution to the placement organisation's activities.

  5. The application of key and transferable skills.

  6. An ability to communicate experience gained in a professional environment, both orally and in written form.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
LOGBOOK OR PORTFOLIO Portfolio of Placement 45
ORAL Mock job interview 35

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Work-based learning

Professional placement under the supervision, and training of a relevant academic member of staff and the placement supervisor.


4*1 hour Preparatory lectures


1*3 hour presentation session


Transferable skills

  • 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
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • 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)
  • 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

  • Apply subject knowledge to the understanding and addressing of problems.
  • Understand the provisional nature of information and appreciate competing and alternative explanations.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the importance of risk assessment and relevant legislation
  • Demonstrate awareness of the importance of risk assessment and relevant legislation


Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: