Developing interest in year-long work placements

2016-11-11T12:13:10Z (GMT) by Ami Harty Helena Pimlott-Wilson
This report details the results of a project entitled ‘Developing interest in year-long work placements’ undertaken in the summer of 2016 in the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences at Loughborough University. It was funded by the ASET Exploration and Enhancement Student Bursary 2016. This research used data from eight online questionnaires, compiled using Bristol Online Survey. There were a total of 206 student respondents made up of first year, second year, placement year students and recent graduates of the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences at Loughborough University. The report details students’ motivations to (not) undertake year-long work placements; how to encourage take up; how to promote year-long work placements to students; students concerns; and the support they require to complete year-long work placements. The key findings suggest that although students are already aware of work placements before they begin their course at Loughborough University, they want information about placement opportunities early in their University career. They particularly favour face-to-face methods of communication, rather than emails and social media and value subject-specific resources, including a dedicated School-based Placement Officer. Students appreciate hearing about the experiences of their peers who have already completed a work placement. In a School where students tend to have a variety of career options available to them and develop a strong set of transferable skills to support this broad range of occupational choices, participants were keen to have the relevance of their degree, and the relevance of placement opportunities to their degree, clearly articulated.