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POL3134 : Public Policy Placement

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Alistair Clark
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 5 student places

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System



The key aim is to provide a workplace-based public policy learning environment that enables students to apply and develop their knowledge and skills acquired at Levels One and Two and to help prepare them for a career in public administration or further study. Under supervision of an academic member of staff, and a line manager in the placement organisation, Newcastle City Council, the student will produce and present a piece of independent research on a topic which is both academically sound and useful for the partner organisation.

Outline Of Syllabus

The research and work placement based nature of this module means that there is no fixed syllabus. Students will participate in an induction lecture in week 1, and will undergo an induction at their host institution, Newcastle City Council. Otherwise, teaching and contact hours revolve around close supervision from the academic supervisor, likely to be the module leader, and their host institution's supervisor. Further details are provided below.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00Presentation of students' research findings at end of module.
Guided Independent StudyProject work198:0098:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork811:0088:00Up to 8 hours per week at host institution, to a pattern arranged with placement supervisor and to fit with other university module commitments..
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision111:0011:00Weekly meetings with academic supervisor, to be arranged
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The contact hours commitment for this module is greater than that for a standard 20 credit module, given the work placement based nature of the module. Students must also attend weekly hour-long meetings with their academic supervisor: dates/times for these meetings will be agreed between the supervisor and the student. Students must attend their host organisation as agreed with their line manager, for up of up to/around eight hours per week in-person, although the exact pattern of that will be agreed with the student’s placement supervisor, taking into account other University module class timings. Students may be required to work across a range of different policy areas and fields during their placement. Students will attend a one hour induction lecture in week 1, and a presentation of their research findings will take place at the end of the module during the assessment period.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Reflective log2M201,000 word reflective log
Research paper2M80A 3,000 word research project on a topic agreed by the student, their supervisor & the line manager in the host institution. The topic must be informed by academic approaches and research, ethically approved and, ideally, of some practical use to the host institution. Topic decided by 4th week
Zero Weighted Pass/Fail Assessments
Description When Set Comment
Reflective logMWeekly formative log - pass/fail
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

1)       1000 word reflective log, which will account for 20% of the final mark.

2)       Project - This contributes 80% of the final mark and takes the form of a 3,000 word submission on a topic to be agreed by the student, his/her supervisor and the line manager in the host institution. The topic must be informed by academic approaches and research, ethically approved and, ideally, of some practical use to the host institution. Decision on the topic will normally be expected by the fourth week of the placement. Assessment of both the Journals and the Project is undertaken solely by academic staff within the School. There will be an opportunity for formative feedback from the host institution during the module, and an opportunity for students to present their findings to their peers and staff. On completion, one copy of the Project will be submitted to the host institution. Copies of both the Project and the reflective log will be submitted by the date of the University’s last written examination in the relevant Semester.

Reading Lists