Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module BUSI48T60: PLACEMENT (MSc Management)

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI48T60: PLACEMENT (MSc Management)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap None.
Tied to N2P109
Tied to N2P209
Tied to N2P309
Tied to N2P409
Tied to N2P509
Tied to N2P609
Tied to N2P709


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide an alternative to the dissertation, based on a work placement, which must normally be a minimum of 8 weeks full time.
  • To enable students to use a range of critical perspectives to evaluate and apply relevant management and business knowledge to a real challenge posed by the host organisation, with the aim of contributing to their decision-making research-based insights that may improve business and management practice and contribute to organisational performance.
  • To develop appropriate attitudes, skills and behaviours to contribute to employability and enable effective contribution in the workplace or as preparation for further research and study in the area. This includes project management, liaison with stakeholders, and research-based analysis and the generation of viable practical solutions to the problem posed.
  • The placement should be theoretically underpinned and should involve undertaking empirical research.


  • Planning and managing a research project.
  • Planning and managing a placement.
  • The topic is chosen by the student and formally approved by the Board of Examiners. It should be one that is suitable for in-depth investigation via a work-based placement, and relevant to their degree route.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should have:
  • a critical understanding of a relevant topic through utilisation of appropriate techniques of research and analysis
  • a critical appreciation, gained through practical reflection, of the opportunities and limitations faced by managers and employees in trying to solve their real organisational challenges.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • be able to conduct research into business and management issues through research design, use of appropriate methods, data collection, synthesis and reporting;
  • be able to organise, structure and manage a research project effectively at an advanced level;
  • be able to critically evaluate published research and assess its relevance to a chosen research project.
Key Skills:
  • Planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.
  • The ability to think critically and creatively, and to argue coherently and generalise appropriately, based on theory and evidence, for a given situation or organisational problem, including new and unfamiliar circumstances
  • The capacity for sustained independent work and learning at an advanced level, including the ability to manage time effectively over a series of tasks and deadlines
  • The ability to use a toolkit of specialist skills and practices for inquiry into problems, identifying opportunities and implementing change, working with others in projects and communities, and communicating with stakeholders
  • The ability to take responsibility for continuing to learn through reflection on practice and developing their own critical self-awareness, knowledge and skills
  • Written communication of research on a chosen topic to a relevant audience(s).
  • Effective project management to a deadline in a real organisational setting;
  • Effective relationship management in a work setting

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module combines a range of approaches to learning and teaching. Students will have taken the Research Methods module (including lectures and seminars) to provide a foundation for the research element of the placement and also to ensure that they have the option to complete a dissertation (if a placement is not possible).
  • A pre-placement workshop session provides support in preparing for the placement
  • An opportunity to reflect, post-placement, on the experience and learning will be available through their academic supervisor – whom they will normally meet on not more than six occasions - and is incorporated into the final report. In addition students have support from the module team to help them plan for and take part in the placement.
  • The assessment is closely linked to the learning and allows the students to learn from planning, completing and reflecting on the placement.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Preparatory lecture on dissertation research 1 2 hours 2
Workshop (pre-placement) 1 2 hours 2
Supervision 6 0.5 hours 3
Reading, preparation, research, analysis and writing up 313
Placement (minimum 8 weeks) 1 8 weeks 280
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Placement report Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Placement Report, including a business perspective on research findings and reflections on the placement experience 7-10,000 words (maximum) 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

There is no formal formative feedback on the placement report, although students can discuss their research proposal in the supervisory meetings, and receive detailed feedback on one draft chapter/section of their report.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University