Social Sciences Placement
Run by School of History, Law and Social Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Julia Wardhaugh
Overall aims and purpose
This module is optional at Level 5/Year 2 and is open to all single and joint honours students whose degree programmes are wholly within the School of Social Sciences. It is not open to joint honours students with other Schools, since this is a specialist Social Sciences placement, and since taking this module would detract from their ability to take core and recommended modules for their programme of study. All placements will be based in the North Wales region. The purpose of the module is to provide the opportunity for work-based learning, by means of placements with a range of agencies and charitable organisations that provide social support. 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 (https://www.bangor.ac.uk/regulations/codes/code07.php.en). Some placement providers may have their own service level student placement agreements in place (for example this is the case for Victim Support, for academic year 201718) which specify appropriate roles and relationships for students, teaching staff and agencies.
The general aim of the module is to provide students with experience of working in agencies, and to help to prepare them for future work-based contexts. The placement providers (named representative/s) will have a clear role in supervising the work of the students and liaising with academic staff in the School with regard to learning outcomes for students, although they will not be directly involved in the assessment process.
The specific aims of the module are to provide School-based preparation and support for the placement through individual and small group tutorials; a programme of independent study and guided reading; and intensive placement learning opportunities.
Each individual student’s experience of the module will 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, guided by the module convenor and teaching team. Their grounding will include reading and discussion aimed at understanding the links between academic study and social agency practice. For example, research and publications on topics such as crime and victimisation, health and social care and a range of policy issues will be addressed. 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 assessment. Students are also required to report on one or more aspects of their work-based learning within their chosen agency (second assessment). 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.
Threshold (40-49%) For the reflective placement diary - shows satisfactory ability to reflect on the work-based learning experience; provides a satisfactory commentary on the student’s own experiences of the placement. Demonstrates a basic awareness of the literature on reflective and experiential learning. For the report on the student’s work with the agency - shows satisfactory ability to integrate at least two of the following elements in providing a basic report: awareness of the nature of the agency’s work; the ability to place this work in a wider theoretical and/or policy context; and basic commentary and reflection on the student’s own learning process both within the agency and in a wider academic context.
Good (50-69%) For the reflective placement diary - shows a good or very good ability to reflect on the work-based learning experience; provides a thorough commentary on the student’s own experiences of the placement. Demonstrates good or very good awareness of the literature on reflective and experiential learning. For the report on the student’s work with the agency - shows good or very good ability to integrate each of the following elements in providing a competent report: awareness of the nature of the agency’s work; the ability to place this work in a wider theoretical and/or policy context; and commentary and reflection on the student’s own learning process both within the agency and in a wider academic context.
Excellent (70-95%) For the reflective placement diary – shows excellent ability to reflect on the work-based learning experience; provides an insightful and skilled commentary on the student’s own experiences of the placement. Demonstrates excellent awareness of the literature on reflective and experiential learning. For the report on the student’s work with the agency – shows excellent ability to integrate each of the following elements in providing a coherent and skilled report: awareness of the nature of the agency’s work; the ability to place this work in a wider theoretical and/or policy context; and critical commentary and reflection on the student’s own learning process both within the agency and in a wider academic context.
Develop and reflect on the acquisition of a range of work-based skills.
Understand the links between social science studies and the work practices of agencies.
Establish effective working relationships with staff and client groups within the agency.
Report on and evaluate one or more aspects of student’s own work within the agency.
Identify a range of professional, social and academic skills which are relevant to the workplace.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Tutorials will be held in small groups and one-to-one to prepare students for the placement; also held during the placement to support the process; and at the end of the placement to reflect on the learning process.
Private study to include: review of literature on reflective and experiential learning; policy and/or theoretical context of the placement agency; tasks and issues engaged with in the specific placement. Preparation of two assignments.
Placement – work-based learning under the joint supervision of the agency and the School. A learning agreement (between student, university and agency) will be in place to cover all aspects of this work-based 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
- 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
Subject specific skills
- Critically evaluate the mixed economy of welfare and the interrelationships between health and social care and between the agencies, practitioners and individuals involved in their provision;
- Explain the origins and nature of the social organisation of healthcare and associated services in advanced industrialised and majority world societies globally;
- Evaluate the impact of difference and diversity on the incidence and experience of illness;
- Analyse health and health issues, alongside health information and data that may be drawn from a wide range of disciplines;
- Draw upon, and consider, lived experiences of health, well-being and illness from diverse sources and perspectives.
- Capacity to identify and describe the causes and consequences of social order and change in specific contexts.
- Ability to formulate and investigate sociologically informed questions.
- Competence to carry out a piece of sociological research using either primary or secondary data, or both.
- Be able to recognize how social data and sociological knowledge apply to questions of public policy.
- Use the theories and concepts of social policy and other social sciences to analyse policy problems and issues
- Undertake either on their own, or in collaboration with others, investigations of social questions, issues and problems, using statistical and other data derived from research publications.
- Analyse and discuss social policy and related issues distinguishing between normative and empirical questions
- The ability to identify criminological problems, formulate questions and investigate them
- Competence in using criminological theory and concepts to understand crime, victimisation, responses to crime and deviance; and representations of crime, victimisation, and responses to these, as presented in the traditional and new media and official reports
- The ability to recognise a range of ethical problems associated with research and to take action in accordance with the guidelines of ethical practice developed by the British Society of Criminology and cognate professional bodies
- the capacity to analyse, assess and communicate empirical sociological information
- the ability to recognise the relevance of sociological knowledge to social, public and civic policy.
- Be aware of the ethical, social and political contexts within which social policy practice and research is conducted and delivered
- Develop a knowledge and expertise with respect to a range of evidence-based policy making and practice.
- use some of the established theories and concepts of social policy and other social sciences to analyse how social needs, social problems and policies themselves are constructed and understood in both national and international contexts
- seek out, use and evaluate qualitative and quantitative data derived from social surveys and other research publications
- distinguish among and critically evaluate different theoretical, technical, normative, moral and political approaches to social problems and issues
- representations of victimisation, crime and deviance, and of the main agents and institutions which respond to crime and deviance, as found in the mass media, new media, in official reports and in public opinion
- how to develop a reflective approach and a critical awareness of the values of local cultures and local politics, and of the student's own values, biography and social identity, and how to bring these skills to bear in an informed response to crime and victimisation
- awareness of how political and cultural values - including the student's own have an impact on responses to and rival interpretations of safety and security, crime
- how to use empirical evidence - both quantitative and qualitative - about the distribution of crime, deviance, offending and victimisation of all kinds to explore
- relationships between these and social divisions and social change.
- how crime, deviance and victimisation are socially and legally constructed the different sources of information about crime and victimisation, both quantitative and qualitative, and how they are produced - including their location in particular legal, political, social and ideological frameworks - and how they can be interpreted
- trends in crime, harm and victimisation
- relationships of crime, deviance and offending, and victimisation to social divisions such as: age, gender, sexuality, social class, race, ethnicity and religious faith
Resource implications for students
Travel expenses for attendance at placement. This will be established as part of the learning agreement and any costs to the student will be understood in advance. Efforts will be made to establish placements close to the students’ home locations wherever possible, in order to reduce travel costs.
Core texts: Fanthorne, C. (2004) Work Placements: A Survival Guide for Students Basingstoke, UK, Palgrave Macmillan Helyer, R. (2011) The Work Based Learning Student Handbook Basingstoke, UK, Palgrave Macmillan Helyer, R. (ed.) (2015) Facilitating Work-based Learning: A Handbook for Tutors Basingstoke, UK, Palgrave Macmillan Moon, J. (2004) A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning London, Routledge Falmer Mumford, J. and Roodhouse, S. (2010) Understanding Work-based Learning London, Routledge Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives journal. London, Routledge
Specific reading lists will depend on the agency with which the student is placed and will be developed on this basis.
Courses including this module
Optional in courses:
- L34L: BA Criminology and Criminal Justice and Social Policy year 2 (BA/CCJSP)
- LM50: BA Social Policy and Criminology and Criminal Justice (IE) year 2 (BA/SPCIE)
- LM49: BA Social Policy/Criminology year 2 (BA/SPCR)