Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024

Module COMP3986: Computer Science Placement Module

Department: Computer Science

COMP3986: Computer Science Placement Module

Type Tied Level 3 Credits 120 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to G409
Tied to G410


  • Transferral to the BSc or MEng with Placement for the beginning of Level 2 or 3 (if the placement is to be undertaken at the end of Level 2 or 3, respectively), usually at registration or before the beginning of Michaelmas term. To be allowed to transfer, students must be expected to be eligible to enter the next Level (3 or 4) prior to embarking on the placement, as represented by a minimum academic achievement in the current Level (2 or 3). Be eligible to enter the next Level (3 or 4) prior to embarking on the Placement, i.e. have passed Computer Science modules to the value of 120 credits at the current Level (2 or 3) before the Placement begins. Have found a Placement with an approved Placement Provider.


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide the experience of working in a professional environment as complementary to academic study and to contribute to the overall aims of the BSc or MEng degree programmes. This will enable students to develop personally and to acquire transferable skills unlikely to be obtained during the taught levels of the degree.


  • This will be chosen in agreement with the Placement Provider and will depend on the nature of the placement.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Dependent on the Placement Provider and role
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Dependent on the Placement Provider and role
Key Skills:
  • Increased knowledge and understanding of the work environment, as distinct from the academic, and of the hierarchies, routines, pressures, and disciplines of this environment.
  • Increased knowledge of the specific computational techniques and their application involved in the work undertaken with the placement provider.
  • An ability to manage one's affairs and to be appraised within a professional environment.
  • An ability to communicate, both orally and in writing, mathematically and socially in a professional work setting.
  • An enhanced ability to work independently or in a team, as appropriate to the Placement.

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

  • Pre-Placement briefing to prepare the student for the placement.
  • Training and development will depend on the employer, but the following is indicative.
  • Work and training activities with an employer during the placement year. The placement enhances students' perception of the universality of computing, although they practice computing in a novel environment, and are exposed to a different culture.
  • During placement, students will receive correspondence from their Placement Tutor via email and there will be termly contact to help the student assess the on-going value of the placement and the skills acquired.
  • A post-placement report will be sent by the student to the Placement Tutor to help assess the final value of the Placement and the skills acquired.
  • The placement will not be credit-bearing and will not contribute to the classification of the degree. The summative assessment components will be marked on a pass/fail basis and students must pass each of the summative assessment components in order to successfully complete the placement element of their programme and to progress to the next level of this programme and have the placement recognised in their degree title.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Pre-Placement briefing 1 once 1 hour 1
Work and training with placement provider 1198
In-Placement debriefing 1 once 1 hour 1
Total 1200

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Satisfactory completion of the Placement as evidenced by a short report on the Placement (Pass/Fail) 100% No

Formative Assessment:

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