Start a new search?

HIST299: From Education to Employment: History Work Placement Module

Department: History NCF Level: FHEQ/QCF/NQF5//RQF5
Study Level: Part II (yr 2) Credit Points: 15.0
Start Date: 11-01-2016 End Date: 18-03-2016
Available for Online Enrolment?: N Enrolment Restriction: Fully available to all students
Module Convenor: Dr SJE Riches

Syllabus Rules and Pre-requisites

Curriculum Design: Outline Syllabus

  • The syllabus for the module will cover four key strands. Please note that the content of the preparatory session will be primarily delivered through seminars in the specified weeks, but where necessary some of these sessions could be delivered as tutorials, for instance where the requirements of the placement provider mean that the placement will take place on a different timescale.  
    1.  Weeks 11-12: Preparation for Placement: 4 hours, seminars typically 2 x 2 hours
    • Self-assessment of students' skills, attributes and preferences;
    • Employability skills in practice: self management, communication skills in practice, problem solving and team working;
    • Guidance on completing the Learning Agreement - which must be submitted and signed off before the placement commences
    • Guidance on assessment - role of the Learning Agreement, preparing a portfolio and writing reflectively.
    2.  Weeks 12-19: Work Placement Activity
    Students will typically spend 30 - 40 hours over a period of of up to 10 weeks with their host organisation in the Lent term.  This may take the form of a 'block' placement running over several days. Students' travel costs will be met, through HEIF or Departmental funding, in order to ensure the inclusivity of the module.  Based on the experience of FASS Placements, we estimate these as 12 X £100 = £1200 per year maximum.
    The student will normally work closely with identified member(s) of staff in the museum, art gallery, archive or other organisation and will maintain contact with the Module Convenor throughout the placement period. The Module Convenor will ensure that a Health and Safety assesment is carried out and documented appropriately by the placement provider, and also that relevant insurance cover is in place. The Convenor will provide feedback on the Learning Agreement - which must be signed off by the placement provider, student and Module Convenor before the placement starts - and will also advise the students on plans for the portfolio and reflective report. The Module Convenor will usually arrange to visit the student on-site during the placement, and will always conduct a site visit with any new potential placement provider in advance of the Learning Agreement being drawn up. 
    The placement providers that we are already working with comprise: 
    • Astley Hall Museum & Gallery (Chorley Borough Council)
    • Lakeland Arts (Blackwell, The Jetty and other sites)
    • Fusilier Museum, Bury
    • Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston
    • Keswick Museum & Art Gallery
    • Lancashire Archives (2 projects)
    • Liverpool City Council
    • National Trust (Sizergh and Gawthorpe Hall)
    • Norton Priory Trust, Runcorn
    • Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust, Carlisle (2 projects)
    • Wigan Archives & Local Studies
    • Museum of Wigan Life
    • Greater Manchester Museums Group

     Projects in the pilot phase include: 

    • Visitor Experience Analysis
    • The Blackwell Project: An Arts and Crafts Story
    • Collection and Learning Resources Development
    • Collections Placement (Numismatics)
    • Picture This!  Curating Two Interactive Digital Albums of Historical Keswick Images
    • Improving Collections Description
    • 75 Years of Record Keeping
    • Heritage and Design 'e' Development
    • Collections Management and Engagement
    • Norton Priory: Monastery to Museum
    • Collections Retrospective Documentation at Museum of Wigan Life and Greater Manchester Museums Group Digital Media Project
    • The Vikings in Cumbria
    • The Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain, 1905-2016
    • Carry on Cleaning: Conserving the Wigan Court of Quarter Sessions Papers, 1837-1880
    • Tales From the Jetty


    3.  Week 20: Review/Debrief: 2 hours
    The review/debrief seminar will provide formative feedback to students on the content and structure of their academic work, especially the portfolio, and further guidance on the reflective report.

Curriculum Design: Single, Combined or Consortial Schemes to which the Module Contributes

  • History; History and Philosophy, History and Religious Studies.

    English Literature and History; French Studies and History; German Studies and History; History and International Relations; History and Politics; History and Music; History, Philosophy and Politics; Spanish Studies and History.

  • 100% Coursework

Assessment: Details of Assessment

  • The module will be assessed through coursework only.  More specifically: 

    • A portfolio due in Week 20 (60 per cent of total)
    • A reflective report (2750 words) due in Week 21 (40 per cent of total)

    Please note that these submission dates are the standard dates which will be used where a placement falls entirely within the Lent term. They may be varied if a placement is taking place earlier or later, to ensure that students are required to submit their work in a timely fashion; any varied dates will be set in line with the administrative demands of the Deparment's processes and in light of the Senate deadline. Where a placement takes place too late for the assesment to meet the Senate deadline the student's work will be assessed for credit and the marks recorded as part of the following year's processes. 

    The portfolio is deliberately flexible, and could take the form of a written report, or an exhibition or oral presentation supported by a short written report. Where an ephemeral product, such as an exhibition or presentation, forms part of the portfolio it will be filmed to allow assessment by the second marker and also to facilitate the External Examiner's role.

    The portfolio will identify the overall aims of the project and the main objectives that were addressed, in light of the Learning Agreement submitted before the placement commenced.  A bibliography should be included that identifies the main sources relevant to the project.  The criteria for assessment will include the structure and format of the portfolio; clarity of placement objectives; knowledge and understanding of the subject matter; degree of critical discussion; and referencing and bibliography.

    The reflective report will offer reflection on the skills developed while on placement.  Students will be encouraged to keep a blog during their placement, with a minimum of three entries, to enable an effective reflective report to be drawn together. It should consider the self-development process in the initial seminars; identify the skills that the student aimed to develop at the start of the placement; and reflect on how successful the student was in developing these skills.  The reflective report will include examples to illustrate how the skills were acquired and applied while on placement.  The criteria for assessment will include identification of skills developed; discussion and analysis of how the skills were developed; and the level of reflection. 

    The strategies for teaching and learning on HIST299, and for assessment, map on to the guidance offered in the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for History (Draft for Consultation June 2014).  Students will have regular formal contact with staff from placement hosting organisations in a variety of structured settings.  These include in the workplace, as well as working independently.  Diversity in assessment is recognised as vital.  Students on HIST299 will undertake coursework of two types – a portfolio and a reflective report.  It is these principles that have determined the strategies for teaching and learning, and the selection of methods of assessment, on HIST299.  Both the portfolio and reflective report will be graded using the normal Departmental marking criteria.

    Given that all students taking HIST299 will also be taking five other modules, several of which may have  examinations it is proposed that HIST299 is not assessed by an exam but by coursework only.  We are keen not to overload students with exams given complaints (including in NSS 2014) about the number of exams at the end of the Second Year.  In any case, it is difficult to see how a work placement could be assessed through an examination.

Educational Aims: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • In subject specific terms, the module aims to:  

    • inculcate the ability to understand, and critically evaluate, the role of 'heritage' and heritage organisations.
    • foster awareness of, and reflection on, career opportunities in the heritage sector and elsewhere.
    • offer insights into the reality of work in the heritage sector, including in the areas of finance and budgeting, human resources, and marketing.
    • provide insights into specific tasks of associated with curating exhibitions, such as cataloguing, repurposing, and contextualising existing resources.
    • give students experience of producing informative literature for exhibitions and installations, drawing on their historical knowledge and skills.
    • offer students the opportunity of independent research, including on specific localities.
    • inculcate awareness of the opportunities and challenges of working with oral history resources.
    • create opportunities to help rebuild the online presence of particular organisations in the heritage sector.
    • create awareness of the needs of organisations in different heritage settings, ranging from large multi-site organisations such as the National Trust, to small independent museums.

Educational Aims: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • In general terms, the module aims to: 

    • offer a work placement that will be integrated into the History degree schemes as an optional module with a quota determined by the number of placements agreed beforehand with providers.

    • offer a range of flexible work placements arrangements (for example, two weeks intensive in the Easter break; one morning a week for 10 weeks; some students working in groups, others alone). 
    • offer benefits for both the placement provider and student.
    • provide students with the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as working as part of a team, working alone under supervision to deliver on specific goals, responding appropriately to formative feedback, time management, communicating in a variety of ways with a range of stakeholders and demonstrating reliability, flexibility and resourcefulness 
    • offer students the opportunity to experience and observe professional roles - usually through a combination of shadowing an employee, attending meetings, getting involved in suitable activities and any relevant training.
    • provide a programme of work that includes the opportunity to gain as full as possible an insight into the daily lives of professional lives of employees in their chosen sector. 
    • give students a clearly defined role, perhaps including an element of choice.
    • give students clear reporting lines.
    • give students the tools they need to complete the tasks
    • make students feel they are part of the team in the workplace, for example being included where possible in team meetings.
    • make students feel that the output of their placement is 'real', that their work is adding value to the organisation.
    • help students to see how their academic studies connect to the world of work.

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to...  

    • Demonstrate the roles they have played in the delivery of the specific project they were working on, in particular through the evidence provided in their portfolio
    • Discuss the progress they have made towards clarifying their career intentions - particualry in their reflective report - and identify relevant skills that would be needed other than the purely academic.
    • Identify routes into employment in the heritage sector (e.g. postgraduate qualifications) and articulate an improved understanding of the challenges of working in this field, especially in light of discussion with members of staff at their placement organisation.
    • Demonstrate in seminars, and in their portfolio and reflective report, that they have developed transferable generic employability skills during their work placement in the heritage sector.
    • Show some awareness of how heritage organisations, including archives, art galleries, and museums, respond to changes in their policy and environment.
    • Demonstrate reflection on how they have been able to apply their knowledge and skills in History to the particular heritage host organisation.
    • Critically reflect on the support provided by their host organisation in the heritage sector.

Learning Outcomes: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to... 

    • Demonstrate, through the portfolio and also the reflective report, that they have experience of understanding and interpreting instructions in the context of carrying out designated tasks, and can compare expected and actual outcomes.
    • Show an ability to analyse problems, identify their cause and solve them.
    • Demonstrate they know when to use their initiative and when to ask for help.
    • Demonstrate they have built their self-confidence and self-assurance.
    • Show they are able to contribute to the recognition of operational problems within the workplace.
    • Demonstrate awareness of managerial and administrative aspects of heritage organisations.
    • Demonstrate they have developed their skills around working with people in groups.
    • Show that they are able to identify some of the characteristics and needs of a variety of stakeholders in heritage organisations, such as visitors, volunteers, customers,  and school pupils, according to the context they are working in.
    • Critically reflect on management styles and skills from observing role models. 

Contact Information

If you encounter any difficulties accessing Online Courses Handbook information please contact the Student Registry:

If you require further details in relation to academic content please contact the appropriate academic department directly.

Related Pages