Workplace Learning

Module titleWorkplace Learning
Module codePSY1208
Academic year2017/8
Module staff

Dr Chris Dodds (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

All students are encouraged to pursue work experience during their time at university. This module will provide you with an opportunity to link that work experience (at least 50 hours) with an academic context, allowing you to develop an academic perspective on one or more issues arising in a work place setting. It will also develop a number of skills which should enhance your future employability.

There will be departmental and careers service support for those taking this module. However, in order to be eligible, you will be required to find a placement or job for yourself. You will also have to be registered for the Exeter Award and My Career Zone (www.mycareerzone/

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module will give you an opportunity to link your academic study with work experience, enhancing your employability while also delivering assessed coursework in the shape of a written report reflecting on your work experience.

The module will provide you with a basic toolkit for identifying and securing appropriate work experience. This toolkit will be delivered by departmental and careers service staff. However, it is up to you to find, apply for and secure your own work experience opportunities.

Individual work opportunities, whether paid or unpaid, must be agreed with the module leader before you can proceed. In recognition of the fact that not all psychology graduates will go on to work as psychologists, the work opportunity you identify does not have to be directly related to psychology.

There will be four pieces of written assessment for this module:

  • A personal development plan in which you outline your personal goals for your period of work experience. This should include an analysis of your learning styles; key skills; strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and focus on areas that you hope to develop throughout your work experience.  
  • A research proposal in which you outline a potential research project that relates to your area of work experience. The aim is to use the knowledge you have acquired from your work experience to identify a particular issue and then outline a plan for a psychological study designed to further explore this issue. Note that you will not be required to carry out this study, only to write the proposal.
  • A cover letter addressed to your employer, written from the perspective of a new applicant for a role within the organisation. The aim here is to reflect on the key skills, knowledge and experience that you will have gained as a student of psychology at Exeter that make you an excellent candidate for the role. 
  • A reflective diary focusing on the skills, knowledge and experience you have gained throughout your period of work experience, relating back to the personal development plan you wrote at the outset of the module.

Eligibility for the module is dependent on your employer writing a letter confirming that the placement has taken place.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. With some guidance, identify and secure appropriate work experience
  • 2. With some guidance, enhance your preparation for future job hunting, employability and career development.
  • 3. Describe your role within the organisation as well as the various internal and external factors (legal frameworks, regulations etc.) which govern that organisation
  • 4. Relate your work experience to the skills and experience you are gaining in your degree
  • 5. Apply knowledge to a work situation in a task or problem-solving context
  • 6. Reflect on your learning during the work experience

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Describe your learning process and reflect on some key issues arising from the workplace

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Communicate ideas and arguments through written presentation
  • 9. Collect information for yourself, managing information and selecting appropriate data and research strategies
  • 10. Focus on issues and assess priorities, taking responsibility for your own learning with minimal direction
  • 11. Produce information to make you attractive to future employers
  • 12. Manage time and resources to achieve the aims of the module

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The introductory sessions will be held during Term 1 of Year 1. These sessions will cover:

  • Introduction to the module (compulsory for all first year students)
  • Identifying work placements – what’s appropriate?
  • What makes a good presentation?
  • How to ‘sell’ your skills and experience to an employer

Work experience should take place during Term 1 and 2 of Year 1. The review sessions are timetabled throughout Term 1 and 2 in advance of the assessment submission deadlines and will provide key support and guidance for the assessments. The graduate attributes relevant to students of Psychology will be described during these sessions and you will be encouraged to reflect on your own development and application of these in the workplace.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching5Introduction to module, sessions on how to find and carry out work experience. Guidance for each assessment. Review of progress.
Guided independent study95Researching suitable work opportunities, plus once one is secured, research on the organisation, and your role within it. Written report skills.
Placement5050 hours of suitable work experience approved by the module leader


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Host evaluationPerformance during work placement 1-4, 6, 9-10 Oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Personal development plan251000 words2, 8-12Written, oral
Research proposal251000 words3-5, 8-12Written, oral
Job application cover letter and CV251000 words2, 4-5, 8, 10-12Written, oral
Reflective diary251000 words2-12Written, oral


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Personal development planPersonal development plan2, 8-12Deadline to be set in August of year of assessment
Research proposalResearch proposal3-5, 8-12Deadline to be set in August of year of assessment
Job application cover letter and CVJob application cover letter and CV2, 4-5, 8, 10-12Deadline to be set in August of year of assessment
Reflective diaryReflective diary2-12Deadline to be set in August of year of assessment

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. Where you have been referred/deferred in any assessment you will have the opportunity to resubmit in the August/September re-assessment period. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%; deferred marks are not capped.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Moon, Jennifer A (2004), A handbook of reflective and experiential learning: theory and practice, London Routledge.
  • Neugebauer, John and Evans-Brain, Jane (2009). Making the most of your placement, London: SAGE

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE page – URL (The module ELE page will contain information about the module assessments


Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Finding work:

There is a lot of information on the University’s Careers and Employability Service (CES) webpages about careers and the help that can provide, as well as job opportunities at:

There are also numerous other websites which advertise internships, placements and other work opportunities:

You may also want to join the Exeter Psychology Alumni LinkedIn group, which includes hundreds of graduate students from our Psychology programmes who may be able to advise you about what work might be available. However, please bear in mind that they will not be able to find you graduate work, as this requires a degree, but they may be able to offer some guidance:

Other topics:

Further CES general guidance is available on specific topics, as follows:

  • Careers and Employment Service Guide– available from CES
  • Your Job is online - DVD available at CES
  • Looking Good on Paper - DVD available at CES
  • Making an Impact - DVD available at CES

Personal development

CVs and Making Applications



The changing workplace

Students at Work (University of Warwick video)

Key words search

Employability, work experience, placement, organisational psychology, personal development

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date