Short Term Placement: Research and Work-based Learning

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Spring & Summer
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 27 June 2025
19 April 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC N43112 International Accounting and Banking,
MSC N21712 Organisational Change Management,
MSC N21724 Organisational Change Management

Module description

This module will allow masters students to do their dissertation through a work-based, research-informed, short-term placement with an organization or community group.

During this placement the student will work on a project defined by the organization in discussion with the student and the module director/supervisor.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To offer students a short-term placement to incorporate work and research into their dissertations in an innovative way with organisation.

  • To provide students with the opportunity to undertake a significant work-based project, involving in-depth investigation at an advanced level of an area or issue of relevance to the provider. 

  • To provide students with the opportunity to develop and apply skills from their master’s degree through research. 

  • To provide students with the opportunity to develop their skills of reflective analysis on their communication and presentation skills. 

  • To strengthen relationships with research partners, local organisations and communities

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Undertake research tasks required by the organisation to a high level of research engagement

  2. Have a critical appreciation of how advanced research skills can be applied to a specific issue or area identified by an organisation, community or group.

  3. Apply advanced knowledge and research skills in order to analyse issues currently being experienced in specific organizational or community context, and to make recommendations on the basis of this analysis.

  4. Produce a significant and substantial piece of written work demonstrating critical analysis of a defined issue in a specific organisational or community context.

  5. Work effectively within an organisation or community, managing their time, activities and relationships with colleagues in order to address a defined project to an agreed schedule and deadline.

  6. Produce a significant and substantial piece of written work at an advanced level.

  7. Demonstrate knowledge of concepts and methods in relation to analysis, and to demonstrate knowledge of sources for research.

  8. Answer organisations and/or community questions and explore organisational and/or community problems and formulate and present arguments using evidence.

  9. Present their findings cogently and with confidence verbally.

Module information

This module seeks to give students the opportunity to undertake some work-based learning and work with an alternative form of organization, such as cooperatives, social enterprises, charities etc. This will enable students to use and develop knowledge and skills acquired during their master's course, applying them in a work-based environment. The placement will lead to the production of a substantive report that will meet both the university's academic requirements for a Master's level project and meet the placement provider's needs.

Students will gain work experience during their masters whilst also completing their academic work.

The placement and the report produced about it must have a meaningful link to one of the disciplines within the business school, depending on the focus of the placement. This can be understood in a broad sense and can include projects which focus on issues such as how organizations are operating, their governance, accounting and accountability, their impact on service users/customers, issues of equality and diversity, among other aspects depending on their needs, the research that could support them and the research that is already on-going with the organization. This is important for demonstrating the way that the research we undertake in the university is important for external impact and organizational learning.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

Research methods from Capstone and research methods from PG level

As a work-based learning, placement-based module, this module's main learning method will be in the engagement with the organisation.

The student will also have supervisory support for their research.

The needs of each student will vary slightly depending on their previous experiences

Learning in practice will be key to this module.

The project will be determined on an individual basis for each student. Students may apply for one of the pre-arranged projects and/or make preliminary enquiries with their own choice of placement organisation. Any independently arranged project will be subject to approval by both the placement provider and the student’s academic supervisor, in order to ensure that the nature and content of the project both meet the provider’s needs and that the student demonstrates the module learning outcomes set out in the previous section of this form. 

A placement agreement signed by the student, the provider and the student’s academic department will be completed for all students undertaking the module. If the project requires the student to acquire new knowledge or skills, this will be identified and plans put in place to support them to do so.

Inclusivity is a key consideration for all placements. All pre-arranged placements will attract a bursary, which students are free to use as they see fit to support their participation in the placement. When discussing a potential independent placement, the Director will explore options for bursary support with the organisation and the department. We will often try to attach these to forms of funding already ongoing within the university.

At the heart of this module will be the requirement that a student undertake an 8 to 12-week part-time placement with an organisation, institution, or a community group. The precise duration of the placement will vary within this range, according to the precise nature of each individual project. The placement will normally take place during the summer term, after the completion of Spring term module assessments, but there is scope for alternative arrangements where appropriate and feasible.

Each student will have both a work-based supervisor appointed by the provider, and an academic supervisor appointed by the Department. All students will also have access to the module director for advice and support.

Students will liaise closely with their work-based supervisor on a regular basis throughout the period of their placement, and as necessary after the placement has ended to allow the student to complete the assessed work for the module.

The academic supervisor will be appointed prior to the student undertaking their placement. The expectation is that the student will receive 8 hours of direct supervision through the duration of the module and will be available via email and phone as necessary during the period the student is on placement.



Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting

Additional coursework information

The coursework comprises:

  • Coursework 1: 75% individual reflection/action logs of 300 words (5 reflections)
  • Coursework 2: 25% for group presentation

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff



External examiner

Dr Claire Paterson-Young
University of Northampton
Research Leader
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Essex Business School

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