Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024

Module CSSS3986: Faculty of Social Sciences and Health Placement Year

Department: Placement Year

CSSS3986: Faculty of Social Sciences and Health Placement Year

Type Tied Level 3 Credits 120 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to LF02
Tied to L6L3
Tied to L611
Tied to L612
Tied to B993
Tied to LF02
Tied to F408
Tied to LMVP
Tied to F805
Tied to L706
Tied to L252
Tied to L203
Tied to L373
Tied to L303
Tied to C608
Tied to C609
Tied to F409
Tied to F410
Tied to V402
Tied to X306
Tied to X3F8
Tied to X3L3
Tied to XC81


  • Students must successfully complete Level 2 of their existing programme so as to be eligible to progress to Level 3 of that programme. They must have secured an approved placement year opportunity equivalent to 40 weeks full time work experience. Students must have attended a pre-placement briefing or meeting with their department/Faculty Placement Manager.


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The aim of this module is to enable students to develop transferable and subject level skills in the workplace, which will contribute to broader practical and applied knowledge of their subject and career planning. Students will be responsible for securing an approved placement year opportunity equivalent to 40 weeks full time work experience.
  • The module aims to:
  • Enable students to gain experience and skills in researching, applying for and successfully obtaining a suitable placement opportunity;
  • Enable students to gain a sustained period of work experience which supports their practical and applied knowledge of their subject and future career aspirations;
  • Support students to make more informed decisions with regards to their own career planning;
  • Enhance students understanding of how their academic knowledge, skills and learning can be applied in the workplace;
  • Ensure students can reflect on their actions and develop a sense of agency when working with others; and
  • Develop a range of transferable skills which can be utilised in an acadmeic context as well as in the workplace.


  • Students will complete an approved placement year opportunity equivalent to 40 weeks full time work experience.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
    Subject-specific Skills:
      Key Skills:
      • By the end of the module, students will be able to:
      • Prepare and effectively apply to a placement opportunity, demonstrating an effective CV and/or application relevant to the placement experience;
      • Understand a work environment; how it functions and their contribution to it;
      • Reflect on key skills by undertaking a skills audit at the beginning and on completion of the placement and create identifiable objectives to help develop them;
      • Gain an understanding of how their placement experience will help support career planning;
      • Communicate with a range of audiences and be able to outline their placement experience to a non-specialist audience;
      • Create a poster or Vlog that conveys their placement experience (including key benefits and outcomes) to a non-specialist audience;
      • Demonstrate their ability of how they have used their knowledge, skills and learning from academic work in a work-based learning environment; and
      • Produce an evidence-based account of the acquisition of key professional skills and competencies attained during the professional placement.

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

      • The placement year module is designed to provide a work-based learning opportunity where students will fain a range of transferable personal and professional skills which will support both their academic learning and employability.
      • The focus of the module is the professional level work experience which students undertake as an additional year between Level 2 and Level 3 of their degree programme.
      • Students will receive support prior to, during, and after their placement.
      • Pre-placement workshops will focus upon the identification of skills, the creation of CV's and applications, developing an online presence and securing a placement.
      • Online resources will be available to support students with the reflective assignments and poster presentations. They will also have the option to attend workshops delivered by the Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD)
      • A pre-placement briefing will be provided.
      • During placement, all students will receive correspondence from their Placement Tutor via email or by telephone. A mid-placement visit will also be conducted to create a dialogue between the student, Placement supervisor and Placement Tutor and to allow feedback.
      • Across the placement, students will critically reflect on their experience and create two reflective assignments as part of their summative assessment. Each will be themed to ensure students achieve the module learning objectives.
      • To support their reflection, students will be asked to complete a skills audit at the beginning of their placement, this will be reviewed mid-point and undertaken again at the end of the placement.
      • When students return to Durham they will take part in a post-placement event where they must present to their peers and department representative(s) either via their Vlog or through the presentation of their poster.
      • 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
      Placement 40 weeks The equivalent of 40 weeks (full time) employment with no more than three approved employers 1400

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Reflective Assignment 1 (Pass/Fail) Component Weighting: %
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Reflective Assignment (Must Pass) 500 words %
      Component: Reflective Assignment 2 (Pass/Fail) Component Weighting: %
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Reflective Assignment (Must Pass) 500 words %
      Component: Commentary (Pass/Fail) Component Weighting: %
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      EITHER Poster (Must pass) Produce a large scale (A1 size) poster that explains the key elements of the student's role and their work placement %
      OR Vlog Produce a five minute video which explains the key elements of the student’s role and their work placement %

      Formative Assessment:

      The completion of a skills audit before and after the placement. At the start of the placement, the outcome of the audit will be shared with their work-based Placement Supervisor and they will jointly create a set of objectives to focus their development areas.

      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