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Module DXX-3009:
Professional Placement

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Ms Sian Pierce

Overall aims and purpose

The module provides students with the opportunity to acquire professional experience that is relevant to their degree programme and which will enhance their prospects of graduate-level employment after leaving the University. It builds on employability skills developed under the Bangor Employability Award (BEA), and the placement itself contributes work experience for the BEA. Students take responsibility for finding suitable placements, and placement providers assess the performance of students while they are on placement. Students produce a portfolio that evaluates both the organisation that provided their placement and the student's own work within that organisation.

Course content

The practical element of the module comprises a block placement (15-20 days) during the summer vacation between the second and third (final) years. The placement must be approved by the module organiser and the University before work begins; the module organiser will monitor progress during the placement, mainly by email. During the first semester of the final year, students attend a post-placement meeting and individual tutorials, and submit a placement portfolio.

Assessment Criteria


Grade D- to D+ Portfolio describes the placement organisation, explains the work done by the student while on placement, and shows some attempt at self-reflection.


Grade C- to B+ Portfolio describes the placement organisation and explains its position in its sector, explains in detail the work done by the student while on placement, makes some suggestions for improvement at organisational and personal levels, and shows engagement with the process of self-reflection.


Grade A- to A** Portfolio describes the placement organisation in detail, evaluates its position in its sector, explains in detail the work done by the student while on placement, makes critical and constructive suggestions for improvement at organisational and personal levels, and shows thoughtful engagement with the process of self-reflection.

Learning outcomes

  1. Explain the history, current activities and current structure of the organisation in which they spent their placement

  2. Evaluate the position of the placement organisation in its sector

  3. Describe in detail one area of the organisation's activities (if possible, one in which they were directly involved during the placement) and make suggestions for improvements in this area

  4. Review their own contribution to this area of activity and to the organisation more generally

  5. Reflect on their placement performance in terms of their strengths, weaknesses, personal skills and skills deficiencies

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
LOGBOOK OR PORTFOLIO Placement Portfolio 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Private and guided self-study

Work-based learning

20*7 hour days on placement


6*1 hour workshops 4 * 2 hour workshops(with Careers/ Employability)


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
  • 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
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • 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

Process management : 1. Organisation - able to coordinate an administer workloads efficiently 2. Prioritisation - able to rank tasks according to level of importance 3. Planning - able to set achievable goals and structure the necessary action, using SMART GOAL techniques. 4. Complexity management- able to handle ambiguous and complex situations and their consequences 5. Decision making - able to decide firmly, clearly and swiftly upon a course of action from a series of options 6. Evaluation - able to examine the outcomes of tasks and events from a personal and organisational viewpoint also judge levels of quality and importance

Liaison Customer relations - able to liaise sensitively and diplomatically with a cross section of users Negotiation - able to discuss and attempt to achieve mutually satisfactory resolution of contentious issues Conflict resolution - able to resolve conflicts in relationship with others Networking - able to build relationships in various and multiple scenarios, sharing skills and ideas Relating to self & others Self confidence- having confidence to deal with the challenges faced through the skills element of the module Emotional intelligence - having a sensitivity to emotions in the field work location, being able to navigate those of others and to manage those of your own

Relating to working practices Independence- able to work and demonstrate to field work providers that you can work to an appropriate level with minimal supervision Initiative- able to take appropriate action and arrange activities without having to be prompted Adaptability - able to respond positively to changing circumstances and new challenges within the field work location Positive attitude - having an optimistic and proactive approach to the fieldwork and other users Stress tolerance- able to retain effectiveness and be efficient under pressure Willingness to learn - Demonstrate a willingness to learn about the field work location prior to going there and also whilst there in order to meet the needs of the providers

These criteria have been drawn from the Skills & Qualities Analysis of the Bangor Employability Award and are used with kind permission.

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module