MPlan Planning with Professional Placement

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Professional Practice and Placement

Course unit fact file
Unit code PLAN40470
Credit rating 15
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Planning and Environmental Management
Available as a free choice unit? No


The placement is intended to provide structured work experience in planning, environmental impact assessment and management or real estate at a professional level.  The placement will be supervised academically by the School, and normally managed by the provider such as a professional consultancy, development or investment company, local authority or non-governmental organisation.  The placement can be undertaken outside the UK;  all placement organisations are subject to formal approval by the course tutors.

It is recognised that, for 2020-21, the placement may be undertaken remotely, if the organisation is following a ‘work from home’ policy.

The specification for each student’s placement is to include:

1.         Initial liaison between the student and potential placement provider organisation(s);

2.         A written placement specification to be agreed with the Placement Coordinator, Placement Provider and the student (see Annex 1) BEFORE the placement commences;

3.         A placement timetable, clarifying location, dates and total hours to be worked; placement presentation with feedback; final review report and feedback.



To allow students to experience real-world professional practice in the field of planning, environmental assessment and management or real estate;

To allow students the opportunity to undertake an extended period of reflective practice.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the Placement, a student will be able to:

Undertake a professional standard of work on an individual basis in the field of planning, environmental assessment and management or real estate;

Demonstrate effective knowledge of working in a typical professional environment in these practice areas;

Communicate effectively in professional/client and employer/employee relationships;

Demonstrate originality, effectiveness and resourcefulness in developing and undertaking professional tasks and responsibilities.


4th November - ‘Finding a placement, expectations and the assignment’. General introduction followed by specific sessions with the relevant placement coordinator

16th December - Progress review with academic coordinators

17th February 2021 - Finalising the arrangements for an assessed placement

17th March 2021 - Presentation workshop (assessed) Groups, timing and location to be confirmed late February. Presentation slides should be uploaded to Blackboard by 08.30 on Wed 17th March

12th May 2021 - Drop-in guidance on the Placement Report

26th May - Submission of report and associated documentation

Teaching and learning methods

The Professional Placement is an advanced form of learning which involves partnership working between the Student, the Placement Provider and the University.  The specific responsibilities of each are outlined below:

a)    The Student

It is the responsibility of the student to investigate potential placement opportunities, make contact with the Placement Provider organisation(s) and make the specific arrangements for the timing and conduct of the placement(s).

Your status on the Placement will usually be that of an unpaid employee or volunteer although it may be appropriate to use experience gained through your regular employment for this course unit.  You will normally be available for work for a minimum of 15 full days (you can do additional days if you wish: 15 days is a minimum requirement). There is some flexibility over when you carry out your placement (e.g. 1-2 days per week during the teaching semester and/or more concentrated periods over the Christmas or Easter vacations). You are expected to comply with all reasonable requirements of the Placement Organisation especially those relating to health and safety, working hours, dress code and external relations.  The placement may be undertaken with more than one organisation.

Your formal responsibilities to the School with regard to the course are spelt out below in the Assessment section.  On the informal side please remember that you are an ambassador from the School and the University - your performance will reflect on both and will affect both your own future employment prospects and the chances of placing future students in your placement organisation.

b)    The Placement Provider

The Placement Provider will specify and supervise your work on a day-to-day basis in accordance with the Placement Specification (Annex 1).  On completion of the placement (early May at the latest), the Placement Review Form (Annex 2) should be completed by your Placement Provider Supervisor The Placement Provider is not required to remunerate the student (though they can do so if they want to!) but travel expenses may be covered (including travel to and from your place of work).

c)    Department of Planning and Environmental Management

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Report 85%
Oral assessment/presentation 15%

Feedback methods

Written feedback 

Recommended reading

It is not appropriate to specify any generic required reading for this unit.  However, you should refer back to reading lists from any relevant course unit(s), and consult the relevant member of staff over possible sources you could use.

It is recommended that you read the guide to critical reflection on BB and you may find it useful to read some of the recommended references on this.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Work based learning 100
Independent study hours
Independent study 50

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Mark Baker Unit coordinator
Selma Carson Unit coordinator

Additional notes

The 15 day minimum requirement might, for example, equate to around 2 days per week during the second semester period up to the Easter vacation (approximately 7 weeks). Alternative work patterns (e.g. one day per week, starting before semester two and/or extending through and/or beyond the Easter vacation) may be possible subject to the agreement of both the Placement Coordinator and Placement Provider. Alternatively, you might wish to organise your placement into more intensive (e.g. full-time) periods during University vacation periods or the exam period in late January (subject, of course, to allowing sufficient time to complete your assessed work for other course units!) Irrespective of how the actual placement is structured, students should work for a minimum of 15 days.

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