The University of Southampton

UOSM2038 Year in Employment

Module Overview

Employers appreciate the skills and knowledge that graduates bring to organisations from academic study. However, employers increasingly value graduates who have undertaken a substantial work placement as part of their degree. A structured work placement provides you with the opportunity to develop your employability skills and to gain valuable work experience, and will ensure that you are better prepared for work beyond the University. This module provides you with the opportunity to do a placement year which is fully supported by a dedicated Placement team. The module will be assessed on a range of learning outcomes all based around employability, and will encourage you to consider your future professional development needs and career path.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The Year in Employment will provide you with the opportunity to build employability skills and identify your career development needs. You will also gain valuable work experience and learning opportunities in a commercial context, which should enhance your future employability prospects and provide career inspiration.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Discuss the various aspects of the industry in which they work, including the internal company structure and the wider landscape of their sector.
  • Describe the purpose of their role within the context of the business and the contribution it makes to the organisation as a whole.
  • Identify the skills, attributes and behaviours required for the sector in which they are placed.
  • Evaluate the development of their skills, attributes and behaviours over the course of the Year in Employment.
  • Identify areas for personal, and career development, and how these can be addressed.


Due to the wide variety of experiences gained on a placement, each experience will be different, but the module may include: • Choosing an appropriate placement • Making placement applications • Workload management • Utilising constructive criticism • Developing Commercial Awareness • Ethics and responsibility in the workplace • Collecting relevant material to inform the Reflective Learning report • Post-placement Reflective Seminar In addition, you may also build useful employability skills such as Communication, Negotiation and Problems Solving

Special Features

This module requires you to work in a professional role within an organisation as a placement student. The placement will enable you to gain valuable work experience, while helping you to bridge the gap of understanding between your acquired skills and ‘real world’ practice. Completion of the placement is an essential part of this programme. It is important to note that if you do not pass your placement year, you cannot repeat it, and will be subsequently transferred back to your original degree programme. You will have access to specialist support from the Year in Employment Placement Team, and the Careers and Employability Service to prepare you for your placement year. Advice and guidance on preparing your CV, searching for a placement, making applications and succeeding in the recruitment process will be offered through a series of workshops and face to face support. Interested students should begin their placement preparation in first year, and by early in their second year they should be dedicating a significant amount of time to placement searching and applications. During your placement, you will remain registered as a student and you will be supported by the Placements team. You will have at least two meetings (at least one face-to-face where possible, and a conference call) with the Placements team to check on your progress and to ensure that the placement is running smoothly for both you and your Placement Provider. Students undertaking placements overseas may not have a placement visit but contact will be maintained via skype or video call. During your placement, you can contact the Placements team during standard office hours. In case of emergency, please use the First Support line 02380 597488, or in the evening 02380 592881. When you start your placement, your Placement Provider will be asked to nominate someone to act as your Workplace Supervisor. Workplace supervisors are usually line managers – the person who will be involved on a day to day basis. If you have a specific learning difficulty, or another disability or long-term health condition, please consider disclosing this to the Placements Team so they can better support your needs. They will work with Enabling Services to assess your requirements, and make every effort to support you in finding a suitable placement. If you undertake a Year in Employment in the UK, under the Equality Act 2010, employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to both the recruitment process and the workplace, to help any staff or applicants overcome disadvantage that may result from an impairment. This will also apply to your Placement Provider if based in the UK.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Seminars • Online resources on a monthly basis via Blackboard • Independent study • Mentoring from Workplace Supervisor Learning activities include • Critical reflection on personal workplace performance • Development of employability skills • Advancement of critical thinking through business practice • Enhancement of skills in a professional work environment Blackboard Blog You will be required to produce a Blackboard blog throughout your placement to inform your end of placement report. The blog will support your learning and evidence of it will be a necessary part of your end of placement report. You will be expected to use the e-learning resources from Blackboard to support the writing of your blog and monthly entries should be uploaded via Blackboard. Feedback by the Specialist Practitioner team will be provided at three fixed points throughout your placement. NB. Alternative use of a logbook is permitted if Blackboard is inaccessible. Please discuss in advance with the Year in Employment team.

Total study time1063

Resources & Reading list

Careers and Employability online jobs portal.

Year in Employment Blackboard. Reflective writing resources, blog resources and guidance on completing your end of placement assignment.

Careers and Employability Service resources to support the placement searching process.

Year in Employment Placement team resources.


Assessment Strategy

The Year in Employment will be assessed by the submission of an individual Reflective Learning report.


MethodPercentage contribution
Report  (3500 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Report  (3500 words) 100%


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:


Please bear in mind that you may face additional costs if you decide to undertake a Year in Employment. Examples of these costs include: • Before your placement begins, you may face costs travelling to and from interviews. Many placement providers will reimburse for this but it is always wise to get confirmation beforehand • Expenditure to obtain professional and appropriate work attire • Cost in securing accommodation and costs associated with higher costs of living in some locations • When you secure a placement you may incur commuting expenses to and from your workplace • Additional expenses may include those relating to Occupational Health, DBS checks or vaccinations as an example. It is your responsibility to confirm with your placement provider who will these types of expenses.

Placement Salary

Many placements are paid, and it is expected that a student will receive at least the National Minimum Wage during their placement year. The exact amount that you will be paid is a matter between you and your Placement Provider. The University job site, MyCareer, will only advertise placement opportunities which offer a salary of at least the National Minimum Wage standards. You are strongly advised not to undertake an unpaid placement, but if you are considering this, please seek approval from the Placements Team before proceeding.

Tuition Fees

Students undertaking a Year in Employment will be charged a placement year tuition fee of 20% of your normal annual tuition fee. If you are entitled to student finance, you will still be entitled to a tuition fee loan during your placement year, in addition to a reduced maintenance loan. It is your responsibility to check student finance details with your student loan provider.

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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