Module code: POLM031

Module Overview

This module supports the student’s evaluation of, and learning from, their Postgraduate Placement. Learning will occur during and/or after placement.

Module provider


Module Leader

GILLESPIE Ciaran (Politics)

Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 4

Independent Learning Hours: 570

Guided Learning: 24

Captured Content: 2

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

A pass in the PG Diploma assessments with a 50% or higher mark. ‘Introduction to Research’ module (POLM009), ‘Research in Practice module’ (POLM011). Student must be undertaking and/or have completed an approved Professional Training placement  

Module content

Indicative content includes the following:

Students will attend a couple of information sessions and briefings on the module prior to going on placement.  Whilst on placement, the student will have one meeting with the Visiting Academic Tutor who will also meet with the Workplace Supervisor. The visit will be done via Skype/Adobe Connect or by phone if these are unavailable. The Visiting Academic Tutor will fill in a report which is part of the assessment. The Workplace Supervisor will also fill in a report which will act as reference to the Visiting Academic Tutor report and is complementary to the assessment. During and following the completion of the placement, the student will be expected to write a report on their postgraduate placement project detailing some of the research they havconducting whilst on placement, underpinned by academic knowledge gained during the taught part of their masters’ degree.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) PLACEMENT PROJECT 7500 WORDS 80

Alternative Assessment

In case of failure of visiting tutor report a 1500-word report accounting for the reasons for the failure and steps taken to address problems will be produced

Assessment Strategy

Assessment Strategy

The module assesses students on a number of skill areas. The first and foremost being the resourcefulness and resilience required to identify and secure a placement relevant to their career goals. Students are encouraged to find placements that will yield opportunities for application of global cultural intelligence, as well as cognitive and practical digital skills developed during their masters programme. Student progress is then monitored and evaluated through two instruments of formal assessment.

Summative assessment and feedback

  • Visiting Tutor Report: Feedback from the visiting tutor after meeting with the student on their professional placement and discussing their progress both with the student themselves and their workplace supervisor. A brief report template, available from the Surrey Learn page, is submitted to visiting tutor for completion and final grading.

  • Submission of Placement Project Document: A 7500 word report on the activities of the student while they were on placement. This is to be formatted in the style of a research document akin to a dissertation. This means the student must identify literature relevant to the work conducted, and must detail the activities in terms of appropriate methodologies, reporting of findings, analysis and conclusions concerning work completed.

Formative feedback will be provided in a number of occasions throughout the module.

Module aims

  • Enable students to acquire and develop knowledge as it occurs in professional practice
  • Apply postgraduate level academic knowledge to the study of work activities and processes
  • Enable students to mature professionally and academically through the evaluation of their placement experiences
  • Provide opportunities for students to gain confidence in handling new situations, solving problems and making decisions that are relevant to their field of study
  • Provide experience of working in a professional environment that is relevant to the field of study

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
005 Advance their observation, analysis and critical evaluation of operational practices C
006 Apply graduate level academic knowledge to professional practice situations where appropriate K
007 Execute operational decisions appropriately – T/P PT
008 Evaluate their personal and professional development PT
009 Produce a comprehensive project report evaluating integrating the knowledge from their postgraduate placement to academic debates and research KC
001 Further cultivate global cultural intelligence in international or domestic placement KPT
002 Develop digital skills in applied professional contexts CPT
003 Gain experience in harnessing sustainable solutions in private or public sector PT
004 Demonstrate resourcefulness and resilience through successful navigation of identification, execution, and research-led review of placement PT

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:

Facilitate opportunities for student professional and academic development, where learning from postgraduate modules and professional experience can be mutually developed in a workplace environment that supports the student’s future career objectives. Throughout the course of the module the student will gain experience with and receive feedback on; the job discovery and application process, cv and covering letter production skills, interviewing technique and professional workplace conduct. They will receive help and support while on placement, with a visit occurring from a designated member of staff. The student will also be required to produce a full report of the work accomplished while on placement in order to fully determine the extent of skills development and to ensure that the academic content of their master’s program have found practical utilisation during the professional training experience.

The learning and teaching methods may include:

  • Regular reflection / update reports

  • Presentations and/or discussions at Tutor visits

  • Compilation of significant report/project

  • Discussions with Employer / Placement Supervisor

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: POLM031

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Relations (International Intervention) MSc(YEAR LONG) Year-long Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Public Affairs MSc(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

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.