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Unit information: Placement (Medieval Studies) in 2018/19

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Unit name Placement (Medieval Studies)
Unit code AFACM0011
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Helen Fulton
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

TB1 core unit Research Skills for Medievalists.

Co-requisites

None

School/department School of Humanities
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

In this unit, we will provide you with an exciting opportunity to undertake an off-campus placement with an external partner in order to acquire key employability skills and valuable work experience in the wider field of Medieval Studies that are relevant both within and, particularly, outside of academia. The unit aims to offer you first-hand experience of working in a vibrant and innovative industry that values the study and research skills developed during your Medieval Studies degree, and which allows you to apply them in practice. As well as developing new skills, you will be able to draw on existing ones and transfer them to new scenarios with a view towards exploring and developing a variety of potential career paths. Examples of important industries that value these skills and provide an ideal context for their application include not only museums, archives, libraries and special collections, but also cultural/heritage/conservation organisations, as well as the tourism industry. Students selecting this optional unit may either arrange their own placement with an external partner of their choice (following consultation with and approval by the MA director) or they will be offered a place with one of the existing partners. The specific tasks and/or project conducted by the students during the placement will be agreed between them and the individual partner organisation (subject to approval by the MA director), and they are expected to reflect the organisation- and/or industry-specific requirements and standards. By encouraging students to work independently under the guidance and supervision of leading industry experts, the unit aims to create a dialogue between the degree and the workplace that enables them to develop a range of key employability skills and make an important investment into potential future careers. Please note that whilst every effort will be made to accommodate students’ preferences regarding placements, a specific hosting organisation cannot always be guaranteed. For international students in particular, the availability of the placement option will be subject to their individual visa requirements/restrictions.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will be able to

  1. demonstrate an advanced knowledge and understanding of the relevance of Medieval Studies to contemporary society and cultural practice outside of Higher Education;
  2. reflect critically on a range of possible applications of Medieval Studies in the modern workplace generally, as well as showing detailed knowledge of a specific workplace environment;
  3. work competently and confidently within a professional environment, both independently and as part of a team;
  4. demonstrate key employability skills including different modes of writing and presentation, creativity and problem-solving skills, collaborative work and engagement with the public;
  5. engage with and present selected content (textual, visual, multimedia, etc.) and communicate it effectively to different audiences, both academic and non-academic;
  6. make informed decisions regarding potential career paths and opportunities for employment related to their degree.

Teaching details

Personal co-supervision by an academic member of staff and the partner contact/organisation.

1 x 1-hour seminar per week plus 1 working day per week in the work placement (during teaching weeks).

In addition, the hosting organisation will be required to provide formative feedback on the student’s performance and his/her achievements during the placement in the form of an end-of-placement report. This report will be collated and communicated to each student individually by the unit director, who will also be available for consultation to discuss and analyse the feedback through one-on-one supervision meetings. To make sure that the content of the report reflects the expectations of both the student and the organisation, a formal memorandum of understanding will be drawn up at the beginning of the placement (to be signed by the student, the organisation and the unit director) to set out mutual expectations and commitments.

Assessment Details

Summative assessment:

3,000 word essay, related to the placement tasks/project (70%)

Reflective journal, related to employability skills and knowledge transfer. The specific content and structure of the journal will depend on the individual placement, and will thus be agreed between the student, the partner contact/organisation and the unit co-ordinator (30%)

Linked to ILOs 1-6

Formative assessment:

In-class presentation, related to the placement tasks/project

Linked to ILOs 1, 2, 4, 5

Reading and References

R. Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country (Cambridge, 1985).

J. De Groot, Consuming History: Historians and Heritage in Contemporary Popular Culture, 2nd Edition (London, 2009).

S. Gherardi, Organizational Knowledge: The Texture of Workplace Learning (Oxford, 2006).

B. McKercher and H. Du Cros, Cultural Tourism: The Partnership between Tourism and Cultural Heritage Management, 2nd Edition (New York, 2015).

N. Thompson, Promoting Workplace Learning (Bristol, 2006).

S. Misiura, Heritage Marketing (Oxford, 2006).

M. Crang, The Production of Spaces for the Past: A Cultural Geography of the Heritage Industry in England (PhD thesis, University of Bristol, 1995).

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