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The University of Southampton

ENVS6010 Work-Based Learning

Module Overview

Students undertake a period of work alongside professional environmental practitioners in a named workplace. The experience will provide insight into how the theoretical aspects of environmental science gained from courses within the University can be translated into applied practices within the sector. The timing of the placement is flexible and can be carried out either as a full-time placement consisting of four consecutive weeks, or a combination of weeks or weeks or on a part-time basis of a 20 day minimum.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The need for both a multi-disciplinary and an interdisciplinary approach in advancing knowledge and understanding of Earth systems, drawing, as appropriate, from the natural and the social sciences
  • Methods of acquiring, interpreting and analysing environmental science information with a critical understanding of the appropriate contexts for their use
  • Issues concerning the availability and sustainability of resources, for example, the different value sets relating to the Earth's resources as commodities and/or heritage
  • The contribution of environmental science to debate on environmental issues and how knowledge of these forms the basis for informed concern about the Earth and its people
  • The contribution of environmental science to the development of knowledge of the world we live in
  • The applicability of environmental science to the world of work
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Recognising and using subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles
  • Analysing, synthesising and summarising information critically, including prior research
  • Collecting and integrating several lines of evidence to formulate and test hypotheses
  • Applying knowledge and understanding to complex and multidimensional problems in familiar and unfamiliar contexts
  • Recognising the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciating the need for professional codes of conduct
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Receiving and responding to a variety of information sources (e.g. textual, numerical, verbal, graphical)
  • Identifying and working towards targets for personal, academic and career development
  • Developing an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work
  • Communicating appropriately to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical forms
  • Preparing, processing, interpreting and presenting data, using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques and packages including geographic information systems
  • Solving numerical problems using computer and non-computer-based techniques
  • Using the internet critically as a means of communication and a source of information
  • Identifying individual and collective goals and responsibilities and performing in a manner appropriate to these roles
  • Recognising and respecting the views and opinions of other team members
  • Evaluating performance as an individual and a team member
  • Developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (e.g. working independently, time management and organisation skills)
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Planning, conducting, and reporting on environmental investigations, including the use of secondary data
  • Referencing work in an appropriate manner


This unit does not have a prescribed syllabus. The learning experience is delivered via a student undertaking a period of work alongside professional environmental practitioner in a named workplace. At unit launch, early in semester 2 of year 3, the aims, objectives, principles and expectations of the Work Based Unit will be presented to the entire group. Once complete the Unit Co-ordinator will organise a series of one-to-one seminars with individual students in order to specify a programme of study within the unit appropriate to the needs of the individual. The course will be delivered by the Unit Co-ordinator in close collaboration with a named Supervisor from the organisation in which the student is placed. The programme of work for each placement will be agreed jointly by the Unit Coordinator and the external host prior to commencement of the placement. Self-motivated learning will be encouraged throughout the placement. The student and all staff involved in supervision will be made aware of the remit of the unit and expectations of the student by provision of a detailed course handbook.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This unit will be delivered via personal involvement and time spent in a named work placement. Prior to placement students will attend one-to-one seminar series throughout semester 2 of their 3 rd year. Planning, involving the student and named supervisor representing the placement organisation will centre on: • Assessing student strengths and weaknesses in relation to planned work during the placement. • Defining a series of aims and objectives linked to the work to be undertaken whilst at the placement so as to enable the student to reflect on their personal development. • Planning for the Placement Project, a core component of assessment, by considering aims, objectives, embedding skills and dissemination of results. • Reviewing Risk and preparing a detailed Risk assessment in conjunction with the placement organisation. • Assessing the main components of an effective Curriculum Vitae and the compilation of a Pre-placement CV. • A consideration of appropriate approaches and formats to a job application. • An assessment of work practices, and ethics. • A review of interpersonal skills in the work place. • Reviewing individual presentation skills.

Completion of assessment task7
Work based learning140
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

Pass Mark: Unit pass mark is based on cumulative aggregate mark for combined elements set against programme pass mark. Referral pass mark based on cumulative aggregate mark for combined elements set against programme pass mark.


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Portfolio 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre requisites: ENVS1004 and ENVS1005 and ENVS1006 and ENVS1007 and ENVS2006 and ENVS2007 and GEOG2010 and ENVS6034


To study this module, you will need to also study the following module(s):

ENVS6009Advanced Research Project


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

You will need to provide and wear your own suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source and costs will vary depending on your preference. You will be expected to purchase your own lunch and any additional refreshments. (clothing)

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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