DE5011 - Professional Placement

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What will I learn on this module?

You will be guided and prepared for placement applications in a series of sessions delivered by tutors and others. You will further develop your design portfolio in order to give you the best chance in applying for placements in a competitive environment. You will learn how to present your work to an industry collaborator and/or develop a project with suitable impact to communicate suitable to a panel of independent judges.

You will have the opportunity to apply for a number of placement opportunities offered by a wide range of employers and organisations. Securing a placement will significantly develop your skills and abilities and your direct experience of real world design practice, greatly enhancing your awareness of how design is used in practice.

You will write and submit an illustrated reflective placement report – documenting your activity and reflecting upon what you learn/experience. This will also develop your ability to record and communicate your design process to others, it also will encourage you to reflect upon your work and articulate it in written form. This is very good preparation for your Critical Justification and Reflection Report in Level 6.

You will also have the option to undertake a personal live project if you choose not to apply for a placement or you are not successful in securing one. This will require you to complete a design project for an external brand or organisation, acting as if you were designing for them in a consultant role or pursuing an agreed project of your own choice.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be guided and prepared for placement applications in a series of sessions delivered by tutors, placement support team and others where appropriate. You will further develop your design portfolio, application letter and curriculum vitae (CV) in order to give you the best chance in applying for placements in a competitive environment. You will work in teams or as an individual and be guided by tutors in the skills and techniques used in industry or methods of impactful communication.

You will take part in a collaborative project or design competition in in the first part of semester two before the start of placements. Your project/competition will align with your chosen specialism of practice (e.g. product design, service design and or experience design or a combination), This project activity gives you a chance to further develop your design process and skills to add further evidence to your portfolio and prepare you for a placement experience. Where these projects involve an external stakeholder they can often lead to a placement opportunity with them, or to a closely related party (e.g. with a brand, organisation or design consultant).

You may work alone or in a team, learning to negotiate roles and work together towards a goal.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The design project/competition will begin with a briefing to explain the context, aims and expectations of the work, often with external stakeholders involved to give real-life insights into the project where appropriate/possible. Initial sessions will expand the problem space to identify possible approaches or opportunities for design research and exploration.

Regular contact with tutors and peers will give you formative feedback and advice about your practice. You will be expected to show a greater degree of independence, professionalism and autonomy in the pursuit of your work, both as an individual and when working with others.

Placement opportunities are actively sought and facilitated by the placement support team and tutors. Placement roles will be advertised to you, clearly explaining the role and requirements. Applications will be collated and made available to the host for shortlisting and selection. Shortlisted candidates may be invited to an interview (on campus, or at the host location). Tutors and placement team support the interview process, hosts often give a presentation beforehand to the wider student group and then hold interviews.

The placement team ensure that Placement Hosts complete all necessary forms and agreements prior to the placement starting (Duty of Care, Liability Insurance, Health & Safety). Placements must be processed and recognised by the Placement office in order to qualify against this module. Placement hosts support and mentor those placed with them and complete feedback forms at the end of the placement. Placement staff will make contact with the host and the student to support the experience.

If you elect to undertake a personal live project, you will be supported to formulate a suitable project brief that will enable you to demonstrate your competency against the learning outcomes. This will be formatively reviewed for its acceptability prior to commencing. Thereafter you will be responsible for managing your time in completing the project to the required deadline to an acceptable standard.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

MK5.6 - Reflect Critically on their professional skills development in relation to employability and future career options. (PK5.4)

MK5.7 - Recognise the importance of professional and responsible industrial design practice through design placement or project practice. (PK5.4)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

MI5.5 – Demonstrate skill and understanding of professional practice and behaviour in your developing design practice in a professional or equivalent situation. (PI5.5)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

MP5.2 - Operate effectively with staff, peers and other collaborators; apply decision-making and negotiation skills to produce successful collaborative projects. (PP5.2)

MP5.3 - Demonstrate effective employability skills including organisation and project management through design practice. (PP5.3)

How will I be assessed?

The assessment for this module will comprise of the following;

1. Portfolio of design practice including a live project and/or design competition completed in the first part of semester 2 in this module.

2. One of the following, A if placed, B otherwise;

A. Placement Report – documenting your placement activities and reflection upon the learning experience. Report to be laid out in A4 format, illustrated with images minimum 1,000 words over at least 4 pages.

B. Placement Alternative Project. Presentation package laid out in A3 format, illustrated with text/images to demonstrate your design process, criteria and outcomes. Minimum 20 pages A3

Parts 1 and 2 of this module are Pass/Fail.

Pre-requisite(s)

DE5009 Professional Design Practice
DE5010 Professional Design Context

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

You will be guided and prepared for placement applications in a series of sessions delivered by tutors and others. This will include working on a project that may be a live project set by industry and/or a nationally recognised competition brief. You will further develop your design portfolio in order to give you the best chance in applying for placements in a competitive environment.

You will have the opportunity to apply for a number of placement opportunities offered by a wide range of employers and organisations. A placement will further develop your skills and abilities as well as your understanding of professional design practice, greatly enhancing your experience of real design work and your employability.

You will also have the option to undertake a personal project8 if you choose not to apply for a placement or you are not successful in securing a placement. This will require you to complete a design project for an external brand or organisation, acting as if you were designing for them in a consultant role.


You will also have the option to undertake a personal project8 if you choose not to apply for a placement or you are not successful in securing a placement. This will require you to complete a design project for an external brand or organisation, acting as if you were designing for them in a consultant role.

Course info

UCAS Code W240

Credits 60

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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