Work placement

The Work Placment module provides you with the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills in a professional environment. Support will be provided in selecting an appropriate placement, which can be completed any time between the start of the spring semester and the end of May. This is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable work experience that enhances your knowledge and skills and will help inform your thinking about career aspirations.

It will provide you with a rich opportunity to contribute to the work of a team of practitioners and will encourage you to critically reflect on your skills, knowledge development and your contribution to the team you work with. It will develop your understanding of the connections between your academic studies, `real world´ practices and professional principles and values.

You will spend between 60-180 hours on the placement, which will be supported through tutorials in both groups and one to one with tutors. As well as this there is a 4000 word learning journal to complete, offering a detailed reflective account of the placement. You will demonstrate your understanding of the professional context within which you worked and will reflect on the contributions you made to the work of the team and on your development during the course of the placement.

Students can choose to undertake their placement with a variety of approved placement organisations including primary schools, nurseries, special educational needs schools, CAMHS Services, Sheffield City Council Young People Services, educational theatre groups, educational trusts such as farms, museums, and a number of charities that support children affected by domestic abuse, disadvantaged disaffected young people, exploited and vulnerable children.

What our students say about their work placements

Madawi Alahmad

Suzanne Neale

Photograph of Linda WalmsleyMy work placement was based at City Hearts, a UK charity that has a base in Sheffield. My experience was incredibly mind opening. I cannot give enough credit to how the organisation made me feel so welcome and how friendly all the staff were. What I really appreciated was that they did not treat me as a student, but as another member of their work force. 

My placement was situated within the health and well-being team, which involved planning activity for drop-ins. The staff made sure that I was always introduced to new clients and organisations during the family drop-ins and day trips. My mentor, Lydia, was extremely supportive and informative about the ethos of the organisation and in giving me knowledge that will help me in future career endeavours. It was such a nice working environment and an experience that will definitely stay with me. 

This was the first time that City Hearts have had a student placement from the School of Education, and the organisation deserve a huge credit for the work they do and how they really made me feel part of the team.

Linda Walmsley

Click here to see Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions for the Work Placement Module

When do I undertake my placement?

Your placement takes place in your second year between February and May. You will spend a minimum of 60 hours and a maximum of 180 hours in your placement.

Does the School of Education help with sourcing placements?

The School of Education’s Placement officer sources placements in various settings which include Sheffield primary schools and also other settings that support children and families. These include prevention and early intervention services, CAMHS and dyslexia centres. We have a list of approved placement providers.

Can I choose my own placement setting?

You can choose to find your own alternative provider; it is your responsibility to secure their agreement and identify a named contact. The Placement Officer can advise on self-selecting your placement.

Does my placement have to be in Sheffield?

Placements will normally take place in the Sheffield city region. In exceptional cases placements can be arranged outside the city providing these meet strict criteria.

How do I obtain DBS Clearance?

All students undertaking work placements may require a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, the School of Education will organise and pay for this. You are required to register with our online DBS service provider and present your required ID documentation. Once approved, your DBS will be posted to your home address. International students require non-UK clearance checks where necessary, see Criminal records checks for overseas students.

What is a project placement brief?

The Placement Officer initially meets with the placement provider before you start your placement and devises an individual project brief for the student and setting. The project brief will define a clear role for you to fulfil during your time on placement. Not all placements will require a project brief – it will depend on the nature of the work of your placement setting.

What if I do not have a project placement brief?

Some placements are based more on work shadowing (i.e a placement within Sheffield CYPS). Here you will gain experience in a range of settings and you will be placed within a number of services and will rotate between them. It would be appropriate for you to choose an incident to critically analyse for your assignment.

How do I monitor my hours?

You need to keep a record on a weekly basis of what hours you work on placement and then note these hours at your Monday tutorials. To be fair and consistent, lunch hours are not counted. For example, if you are in placement 9.00am-3.30pm with an hour lunch you would log 5.5 hours.

What support do I have whilst on placement?

The Placement Officer keeps in touch with your mentor on a regular basis and will visit your placement setting again towards the end of your placement. The Placement Tutor holds regular tutorials every fortnight to help you settle into your placements and subsequent tutorials will help with your assessed Reflective Learning Journal. You will also have a mentor from your setting who will provide you with an induction to the organisation and the role you will be carrying out. They will also be aware of the objectives and learning outcomes of the placement.

Do I get feedback on my performance?

Your placement mentor will provide you with feedback on the progress of your placement and will also provide a written feedback report which you will receive at the end of placement.