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Unit information: Education in Practice in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Education in Practice
Unit code EDUC20012
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Julia Paulson
Open unit status Not open

Education and Social Change (EDUC10002)



School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


Education in Practice gives you the opportunity to connect your academic learning with the practice of education by conducting a 10-day placement in a setting where education matters. You might chose to spend time in a school or an early years setting, or in a community organisation, charity, or museum, or you might conduct your placement with a business, research group or with a government organisation. We have a number of placement options thanks to our partnerships with schools and organisations around Bristol. However, if you have an idea for a placement, you can also organise this yourself with support from unit tutors. Taught sessions support you to prepare for and make the most of your placement and support you in developing the unit assessment.

The aims of the unit are to:

  • Develop your knowledge of education / psychology in education in practice in a setting of your choice
  • Support the work of your setting, making a positive contribution and developing your skills for employability
  • Explore an education or psychological issue in practice, applying and critiquing theoretical concepts and considering the relationship between research, theory and practice
  • Reflect upon your own learning, professional and academic development

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Contribute professionally towards the daily operations of an education related workplace or other professional setting;
  2. Demonstrate a developing understanding of opportunities, challenges and complexities of working professionally in education / psychology in education;
  3. Reflect critically on the relationship between research, theory and practice in education / psychology in education
  4. Reflect upon their own academic and professional learning

Teaching details

In most weeks, your main contact hours will be in your placement. You will spend a minimum of ten days in your placement setting. The identification and arrangement of placements will be in collaboration with the Faculty Professional Liaison Manager. You will also have 6 x 2 hour taught sessions as part of the unit to support your preparation and reflection.

During your placement, you will stay in touch with your tutors and peers using the placement discussion board.

Assessment Details


Reflective journal: Throughout your placement you will be asked to keep a reflective journal. In particular, you are asked to identify an educational issue of relevance to your setting that you have some experience studying in an academic context on your degree. Your journal should note your observations on how this issue is dealt with in the setting, connecting this to your academic and research-based understandings. In the journal you should also describe the work you are doing in the placement setting and reflect upon what you are learning and how and if the experience is influencing your plans for the future. (ILO 1-4)


Placement attendance report (pass/fail), ILO 1: You will be required to submit an attendance report, signed by your setting, certifying that you have completed a 10-day placement.

Contribution to discussion board (30%) ILO 1-4: Unit tutors will pose fortnightly questions (sometimes accompanied by a short reading) on the discussion board, inviting you to reflect on how key education concepts or pieces of research relate to your placement and to enter into discussion with one another about your placements. All students will be required to produce 1,000 words & minimum of three entries.

Placement report (70%) ILO 1-4: Your placement report (2,500 words) should draw on your reflective journal in order to answer the following questions:

  1. How has your placement enhanced your understanding of a particular educational or psychological issue? (Bring your practical and professional learning in your placement into conversation with your academic studies around this issue)
  2. What have you learned about working in education / psychology in education? How has this contributed to your professional and academic plans?

Reading and References

Bassot, B. (2016). The Reflective Journal. 2nd Edition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cottrell, S. (2015) Skills for Success: Personal Development and Employability. (3rd Edition). London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Fanthome, C. (2004) Work Placements: A Survival Guide for Students. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Hordern, J. and Simon, C. Eds. (2017). Placements and Work-Based Learning in Education Studies: An Introduction for Students, Routledge: Abingdon

Kolb, D. (2014) Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development (2nd Edition). New Jersey: Pearson Education Ltd.