Module code: ENGM063

Module Overview

This is an elective module normally only available for full-time MSc students, and is intended to complement the students’ academic work with valuable practical experience in industry, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGO) or environmental research centers.  The Internship offers students a unique opportunity to gain hands-on and meaningful work experience, learn how to work co-operatively with others, obtain a better perspective of careers in the environmental and sustainability field and enhance employment opportunities.  Students will work on specific projects at, or in association with, their internship organisation and will have the opportunity to use and test some of the analytical skills they acquired from their MSc programme.

NOTE on overall student workload: Independent Learning Hours at 225 reflects standard University contract hours per week x 6 weeks), Lecture and Seminar hours are 2 and 4 respectively. These 231 hours reflect a supervised, experiential learning module delivered as an Internship placement over an equivalent 6 weeks full-time with an outside organisation. While the hours differ from the standard150 hours per 15 credit module, the nature and value of the experience is equivalent to a standard module but is acquired over a somewhat longer period of immersion. This has proved extremely popular with students, is highly valuable/appreciated re: future career prospects, is an outstanding opportunity to reflect broadly on the learning experience from their whole MSc course, and affords a unique observation of how sustainability knowledge applies in practice. We strongly support this module and its equivalence in learning experience to other ‘typical’ HFEQ Level 7 modules

Module provider

Sustainability, Civil & Env Engineering

Module Leader

MURPHY Richard (Sust & CEE)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 225

Lecture Hours: 2

Seminar Hours: 4

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Normally students must have achieved an average of greater than 60% on modules completed prior to starting the industrial placement.

Module content

The core of this module is an internship spent doing supervised work which relates to the implementation of sustainable development and environmental strategy.  Placements must be a minimum of 30 full work days (i.e. a minimum of six weeks full-time or equivalent) and can be undertaken on a full-time or part-time, basis as is appropriate to the internship organisation’s needs. The internship may be:

  • industrial: with a firm or company engaged in environmental management and / or sustainability or with activities directly affecting the environment and / or sustainability;

  • local authority and other public agency engaged in environment and / or sustainability;

  • NGOs, environmental and / or sustainability pressure groups and non-profit advocacy organisations engaged in work related to environmental and / or sustainable development issues.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation INDIVIDUAL SEMINAR PRESENTATION 20

Alternative Assessment

  • The alternative assessment is in the form of an individual essay of max. 3000 words on a topic to be set by the Module Leader. The topic will offer a reflective perspective on the overall nature of the internship placement undertaken
  • The alternative assessment is required if any of the individual items of summative assessment are missed.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  • Ability to reflect on the role that sustainability knowledge and insights are applied in a real world context(s)

  • Analytical skills in presenting key sustainability issues and how they apply in the real world

  • Individual, interpersonal and professional skills

  • Reflective skills and personal network development for future career choice

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Appraisal by internship supervisor at the end of the placement (30%)

  • A series of individual blog articles (not more than 5) totaling 2500 words on the internship (50%)

  • 15 minute individual seminar presentation (20%)

Formative assessment and feedback for this module consists of:

  • Students receive feedback on their performance during their internship from their internship supervisor who will manage day-to-day work during the internship

  • Students also maintain contact with Module Leader (and personal tutors) throughout their placement search, whilst on placement. The module leader can provide feedback on aspects of drafts of blog articles.

Module aims

  • To provide students who have limited experience working as environmental / sustainability professionals the opportunity to work in a similar type of role to that which they might secure upon graduation from their MSc.
  • This module also aims to give students practical experience applying theoretical concepts learnt in other MSc modules that they have undertaken.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate workplace-related interpersonal skills PT
002 Be able to articulate effectively environmental issues and sustainability challenges KP
003 Critically reflect on and assess the relationship between their academic work and its practical application C
004 Develop advanced writing skills for conveying environmental and / or sustainability issues to a non-academic audience P

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Each student will be assigned an internship representative who will act as a supervisor to provide guidance to the intern and ensure his/her time is focused on substantive work and activities, with academic guidance and support provided by the student’s personal tutor.  Students are expected to keep a diary of work experience and to develop blog articles and a seminar presentation on the project(s) and / or activities carried out during the internship.  The seminar presentation sessions following the internships (at appropriate times for either September or February entrants to the module) bring students together to give presentations discussing and reflecting on their experiences to their peers and for assessment by academic staff.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM063

Other information

The Centre for Environment and Sustainability is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience, in line with the Surrey Curriculum Framework. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Global & Cultural capabilities – the module supports students in acquiring learning experiences connected to engaging with people from different backgrounds, with this enriching experience provided in a context different from their usual university context. This helps develop further informed views on wider global, cultural and ethical issues within a sustainability context.

Employability – the internship provides an outstanding first-hand experience of sustainability at work. This enables students to gain direct experience of potential careers and provided excellent material for presentation in their CVs and in interview settings. The assessments and their feedback in the module provide additional experience supporting transferable skills and ability to exemplify key aspects of sustainability from personal, practical experience.

Sustainability – the module emphasizes the practical use of sustainability knowledge and its application often in a multi-disciplinary context for the benefits of society and organizations. This perspective is reinforced in diverse ways through the varying placement opportunities undertaken.

Resourcefulness and resilience – the ability to adapt to the daily needs of diverse organizations and ways of working with sustainability help develop students’ experiences. It enables students to reflect on their learning and on their role as active participants in creating and overcoming challenges in sustainable development.

Digital capabilities – while not a specific design objective of the module, the digital competencies, utilization of remote and hybrid engagement with internships, and in many cases the contribution that student’s digital skills offer to internship placement organizations are very strong, reinforcing examples of their abilities to participate actively and fully in the professional world.

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.