HA4004 - Work-Based Learning in Law - Professional Development 1

What will I learn on this module?

This module is designed to support you in collating your work based learning (WBL) portfolio and developing and implementing a work based learning (WBL) plan for your individual continuing professional development (CPD). This will underpin your development as an independent and self-directed work-based learner and provide you with the skills, knowledge and understanding required for you to outline and negotiate a detailed WBL plan to be implemented for, through and at work. The focus of your WBL plan should be on developing your knowledge and skills required to operate effectively within your particular sector or organisation with reference to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority, Competence Statement for Solicitors. This could include a range of components including for example: work based training, online modules, work projects, credited CPD programmes, training from your own organisation. The WBL contract will be individually negotiated between yourself and your workplace mentor and individual academic coach.

Through engaging in the workshop sessions and the associated learning activities, you will develop your confidence and self-management as a work based learner, enhancing your personal planning skills and your abilities in transferring learning into improving your professional practice and working with others.

Underpinned by theoretical concepts and models and providing opportunities for skills practice, you will develop your knowledge and skills and demonstrate this through using opportunities within your workplace to develop and evidence your sector specific enhanced professional skills. This module will support you in creating a professional WBL development plan that will extend your sector/organisation knowledge and practice that will provide a foundation to support your future development on the programme.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through tutor facilitated workshops, skills practice, tutor guidance and feedback and independent directed and self-directed learning. Importantly, you will also learn at work, through reflecting on your experiences and applying your knowledge from your individual WBL plan to your practice in the workplace. The workshops will introduce you to theories and concepts and allow you to discuss with the tutors and your peers how these relate to your own work based experiences and practice. You are encouraged to customise your individual WBL plan so that it is directly relevant to what you need to learn. The workplace provides a rich learning environment if you know how to plan, reflect and renew your own knowledge and skills through formal and informal modes of learning practice. Importantly you will be required to review your learning with your workplace mentor and your individual academic coach, and provide evidence of the transfer of your learning into updating the knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes that underpin the development of your professional practice. Therefore, it is the evidence of what you have learned from the planned experience, rather than the experience itself which will demonstrate your competence in this module.

Your learning is supported by a module plan, offering guidance on reading to prepare for workshops and help with the completion of the individual WBL plan and module assessment. Within this plan, there are also suggested learning activities, which guide you in your independent learning. These activities allow you to reflect and evaluate your knowledge and skills in this area.

You will be building a portfolio of evidence that illustrates your development and competence throughout the first year of the programme, which is aligned to the Statement of Solicitor Competence. This portfolio will enable you to demonstrate how you have applied your learning from across all first stage modules into your workplace practice, and will normally include evidence from this module’s WBL plan and assessment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

As part of this or another first stage module, you will be introduced to a range of academic skills, which will support your learning whilst in Higher Education and provide the foundations on which you will build these skills over the next six years.

The module plan will provide a number of prompts and guidance to support you academically. Support will also include opportunities to gain feedback from workshop tutors, peers and your individual academic coach.

Your module is also supported by an e-learning portal, which houses all the module-learning materials, workshop resources, interactive activities, assessment details and various other support facilities, which are provided by the University.

In addition, in order to assist you in developing knowledge, you will have access to the University’s library facilities, including extensive electronic resources, eBooks and electronic academic journal articles.

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:
• Your knowledge of personal work based learning planning, approaches to developing an individual learning contract (ML01)

• Your enhanced sector and or organisational specific knowledge and practice (ML02)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Your ability to engage in continuing professional development (CPD) planning as a means of proactively enhancing your work based knowledge and practice (ML03)

• Your understanding of qualities and transferable skills necessary for enhancing your sector and or organisational knowledge and practice (ML04)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Your ability to identify and understand the cultural and ethical contexts in which you develop your professional practice (ML05)

How will I be assessed?

You will be provided with formative feedback on your proposed individual WBL CPD plan from your individual academic coach.

Your summative assessment will take the form of the following:

1) WBL Contract (50%)
Individual WBL CPD plan outlining the objectives, methods or activities, resources and support, timeline, learning transfer, learning outcomes and/or criteria for measuring achievement,
(2000 words maximum)

(Evidencing ML01, ML03)

2) WBL Digital Personal
Learning Report

An individual video learning log summarising your key personal learning and evidence of your enhanced knowledge and skills emerging from implementation of your WBL plan. (15 minutes equivalent to 1500 words maximum)

(Evidencing module learning outcomes ML02, ML04, ML05)





Module abstract

This is the first in a series of two core modules that run throughout the first two levels of the programme and introduces you to the work based learning (WBL) contract approach to designing and implementing an individual WBL plan. The focus of your WBL plan should be on developing your competence and or knowledge in the context of the specific skills and or knowledge required to operate effectively within your particular sector or organisation. This could include a range of components including for example: work based training, online modules, work projects, credited CPD programmes and training from your own organisation. The WBL contract will be individually negotiated between yourself and your workplace mentor and individual academic coach and will strengthen your capacity as an independent and self-directed, work-based learner.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 6 Years Part Time

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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