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Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05

Course Overview

This work-based placement elective offers a professional placement with a government/public, civic or voluntary health and/or development sector organisation. You will undertake a ten-week placement with your host organisation, either within the organisation, remotely from Aberdeen, or using a combination of both. Placements are subject to availability and are offered on a competitive basis.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Heather Morgan

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This is a project-based course, the content and structure of which is largely student-directed. You will contribute work activities for your host organisation (8 hours per week over ten weeks = 80 hours, documented using timesheets) and teaching and learning for this course will also involve a combination of host organisation- and University-facilitated structured education {20 hours, including six compulsory two-hour University training sessions totalling 12 hours (in weeks 25, 26, 27, 29, 32 and 34) and work-related training, plus meetings with your placement host and University supervisor totalling 8 hours)}. You will also spend time on self-study and preparation for assessments (50 hours).


The aims of this course are to:

  • enhance student experience;
  • enhance student employability;
  • enable students to acquire professional knowledge and understanding of the daily work, strategic priorities, objectives and functions of a health and/or development sector organisation;
  • facilitate student application of academic skills in a work environment; and
  • provide students with opportunities to strategically develop a range of transferable skills, as well as our Graduate Attributes.


Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Create SMART action plans to achieve personal, employability and academic goals and objectives through recognition of strengths and areas for further development;
  2. Critically evaluate and describe the work of a health and/or development sector organisation as it is situated within the broader context of everyday life;
  3. Demonstrate evidence of the application of academic skills in the workplace, including collection of relevant data, synthesis, analysis, interpretation and communication of outputs; and
  4. Evaluate achievement of continuing professional development goals.

Teaching includes student-led placements with host organisation/University of Aberdeen co-supervision. You will spend 80 hours actively working for your host organisation over a ten-week period (8 hours per week during weeks 26-35). In addition, you will: participate in six two-hour professional development workshops at the University (weeks 25, 26, 27, 29, 32 and 34); undertake work-related training with your host organisation; have project-focused and self-development focused meetings with your host organisation lead and University supervisor; and will spend 50 hours on self-study and preparation for assessments. NB. A placement applications process will take place during the first sub session (over academic weeks 14-21). It will involve participation in a half-day recruitment fair (held on campus) followed by correspondence (including: expressions of interest and CV; possible interviews; and appointment).

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Alternative Assessment

Workplace profile in the form of a 10-minute pre-recorded video presentation (20%)
Professional development objective setting, appraisal and skills matrices in the form of a 1500-word case study report (40%)
Workplace output(s) in the form of a 2000-word practical report (40%)

Alternative Resit Assessment

If you fail the course (overall course grade of E1 or less), you will be given an opportunity for a resit. The resit does not cover individual assignments, but it will assess your understanding of the learning outcomes of the course.

The method of resit for this course will be an oral examination lasting approximately 30 minutes.
The resits for this course will take place in week 43.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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