Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module LIBA2001: Arts & Humanities in the Workplace

Department: Liberal Arts

LIBA2001: Arts & Humanities in the Workplace

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Open to students taking Liberal Arts or a Single or Joint Honours programme in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities; entry will be subject to interview


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To help students to improve their employability skills and enhance their awareness of the transferability of the subject knowledge and skills developed through their programme of study.
  • To support and prepare students for the application and recruitment processes for placement years, years abroad and the graduate job market.
  • To help students develop strong organisational and interpersonal skills as well as employability skills such as communicating your subject to a particular audience, negotiating with employers, project management and digital skills.
  • To support those students who want to work in the culture/heritage sector but who cannot afford to take unpaid/low-paid opportunities outside the curriculum.
  • To increase opportunities for schools outreach and contribute to widening participation in higher education.
  • To provide opportunities for students to pursue interests in education and in the creative, museum and heritage industries.


  • •This module supports students in Arts and Humanities in their career development and career readiness by giving them tools to reflect on and develop skills, understanding and attributes relevant for the world of work, and by introducing them to a range of sectors tailored for A&H graduates and thereby helping them to discover and develop their own professional identity.
  • An essential component is the 40-hour work placement which will provide students with work experience and the opportunity to reflect on it. Initially there will be two placement strands, which may in due course be expanded to other sectors:
  • 1) School placements, intended not only as preparation for students intending to pursue a teaching career but also as opportunities to expand communication skills by enabling school students to engage with Arts & Humanities subjects and the nature of university study.
  • 2) Placements in the heritage/cultural sector or creative industries, offering rare insights into working in museums, galleries and cultural organisations. These placements will be a mixture of in-person, local opportunities and online virtual experiences.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of the module, students will have acquired an enhanced understanding of
  • Key aspects of how their discipline-specific knowledge relates to and might be applied in the workplace.
  • How their discipline provides them with tools to solve present-day and future societal challenges.
  • Different career sectors particularly relevant to Arts & Humanities graduates such as the creative industries and the culture and heritage sectors, as well as teaching.
  • Opportunities and options for placements, internships and graduate roles.
  • Application and recruitment processes, including CVs, interviews and assessment centres.
  • Employers’ expectations of the skills, attributes and behaviours of graduates.
  • Their personal interests, strengths, weaknesses, skills and attributes.
  • The responsibilities and appropriate conduct for employees in placement organisations.
  • How to transfer written and oral communication skills to new contexts, such as report writing, to prepare reports on work-relevant issues.
  • The importance of digital capabilities in A&H relevant sectors.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
  • Develop and position themselves intellectually through creative processes in an authentic explorative space. • Make Level 3 module choices appropriately for prospective careers.
  • Critically reflect on the development of employability skills and a professional identity.
  • Become more confident and empowered in moving from academic study into a teaching career or work in the creative industries or similar sectors.
  • Articulate their personal development profile.
  • Evidence to a future employer that they are able to critically analyse their own experience.
  • Show confidence in communicating their discipline to different target audiences.
Key Skills:
  • On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
  • Communicate ideas and arguments in a clear, concise and well-structured way orally, in written work and through digital media (including learning how to use, source and creative digital artefacts and manipulate audio-visual material)
  • Work well both independently in self-directed study/work and collaboratively with colleagues.
  • Manage workload and time commitments and plan projects.
  • Develop solutions and solve problems.
  • Work effectively as part of a group.
  • Organise, prioritise and negotiate.
  • Use their own initiative.
  • Be creative and innovative in a workplace setting.
  • Prepare effective job applications and CVs.
  • Undertake searches for appropriate employment.
  • Prepare for a possible interview situation for further training in the placement sector or other graduate entry employment or training.

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

  • This interdisciplinary module will bring together expertise from various specialist units across the University and will be co-taught through weekly 1-hour seminars in Michaelmas Term by a variety of university staff from Liberal Arts, Careers & Enterprise, DCAD and the Collection Outreach team. Academics will work together with colleagues who have expertise in digital storytelling and reflection to support students to explore their professional identity drawn from a subject- and discipline-specific lens.
  • The Digital Storytelling methodology as a reflexive learning process through narrative imagination is used as a framework for the learning and teaching taking place in the first term in a series of skills-based, dialogic workshops. • In addition, every student will attend one tutorial in term 1 with a designated academic supervisor from their respective department and a staff member from the Careers & Enterprise Centre to prepare for their placement.
  • Guided self-study consists of going independently through resources on the Durham-specific career platforms and on Learn Ultra; conducting an online skills audit; consulting pre-recorded resources on digital storytelling; practising digital skills for video creation; recording mock interviews or practising mock interviews with Careers Advisers or alumni/employers; researching career sectors and searching for placements and graduate jobs.
  • In addition, there will be five talks with alumni covering a range of sectors, of which at least two must be attended.
  • In Epiphany Term there will be no teaching. Instead students will undergo 40 hours of placement work. Independent study will include preparation for placements. Students will submit fortnightly reflective blogs about their placement activities to be monitored by Careers staff.
  • The placement allows the student to develop a range of interpersonal skills and the professional competencies expected in the respective sectors.
  • Student performance will be summatively assessed through a Reflective Online Portfolio, an End of Placement Report, an Oral Presentation and an Assessment by the placement provider.
  • The Portfolio will provide the means for students to reflect on three themes developed in term 1:
  • Digital storytelling
  • Own strengths and weaknesses and performance in mock recruitment process (skills audit, mock interview and mock assessment centre)
  • Outcomes of attending alumni events covering different sectors and of job search strategies
  • The End of Placement Report will allow students to demonstrate their skills of succinct report simulating the demands of the world of work.
  • The Oral Presentation will enable students to give a practical demonstration of their oral communication skills.
  • The Assessment by the Placement Provider is an independent corroboration of progress, including the student's approach and attitude and performance in the placement.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminar 9 9 in Michaelmas 1 hr 9
Tutorial 1 1 hr 1
Placement 1 In Epiphany by arrangement with placement provider 4 hr per week 40
Summative oral presentations 1 Easter term 1 hr 1
Preparation and reading 149
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Reflective Online Portfolio Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Reflective Online Portfolio on self-development 1,500 words 100%
Component: End of placement report Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
End of placement report 1,000 words 100%
Component: Oral Presentation Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Oral presentation on placement experience 10-minute presentation & 5 minutes Q&A 100%
Component: Assessment by Placement Provider Component Weighting: 10%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assessment by Placement Provider 100%

Formative Assessment:

• Skills reflection Formative feedback on students’ reflection on their professional and disciplinary identity / skills. • Presentation skills Students will receive peer feedback in class. • Digital storytelling Students will receive feedback on their digital stories. • Job interview practice Students will receive feedback on their practice interviews either from a Careers Adviser or automated electronic feedback. • Assessment centre group exercise Students will receive peer and assessor feedback on their performance. • 500-word reflection on alumni events Formative feedback on reflection. • Fortnightly reflective blog on placement activities To be submitted to Careers staff. • Report writing Peer review on draft 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