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Unit information: Work Placement in Anthropology in 2021/22

Unit name Work Placement in Anthropology
Unit code ARCHM0082
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Were
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will provide students with an exciting opportunity to gain practical and professional skills in industry in order to actively engage the anthropological skills obtained throughout the course. Students will undertake an off-campus placement with an external partner such as a media-tech company, start-up, museum, heritage organisation, archive, NGO, local authority or national heritage organisation, gaining first-hand experience of working in a vibrant, innovative and diverse industry. Specifically aimed at enhancing skillset and employability, students will gain valuable work experience, develop a network of contacts in and beyond placement providers and work independently under the supervision of industry professionals. As part of an engaged approach to anthropology that runs throughout the MA course, placements will put into practice the knowledge and skills learned in semester one. In particular, students will utilise and develop anthropological techniques obtained in the unit on anthropological methods, including participant observation, participatory design, cultural heritage management, education and outreach, collections-based research, community engagement and planning. As well as gaining experience of the working environment and behind-the-scenes access and careers advice from professionals, the unit will be strongly linked to anthropological theory and practice through regular group de-brief sessions that include critical reflections on the work experience. This process of reflection - specifically on the relationship between the chosen degree and the workplace - is central to the aims of the unit, and is facilitated by the unique structure and assessment offered. Through this integrated approach, students will become familiar with organisation- and/or industry-specific requirements and standards and will learn about the particular challenges and opportunities for anthropology in industry.

Students will be offered a placement with one of our existing partners in the Bristol area, facilitating engaged learning in a setting that reflects longstanding links between the University, city and wider region. The work carried out during the placement will help students to tailor their CVs for a range of possible career paths as well as to develop a variety of transferrable skills specifically related to anthropology.

Please note that whilst every effort will be made to accommodate students’ preferences regarding placements, a specific hosting organisation cannot always be guaranteed and that this unit will be subject to available placements.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will be able to

1. demonstrate an advanced awareness of how the skills and knowledge that they have developed over the course of their programme to date can be applied in the workplace;

2. reflect critically on the role of anthropology in the workplace and the range of professional contexts in which anthropology skills and expertise is relevant;

3. demonstrate detailed knowledge of a specific workplace environment including key challenges and opportunities in the sector;

4. work competently and confidently within a professional environment, both independently and as part of a team;

5. understand operational aspects of that environment such as risk assessment, ethics, health and safety, etc;

6. demonstrate key employability skills including data recording, analysis and interpretation; different modes of writing and presentation; creativity and problem-solving skills; collaborative work; engagement with the public; and ethical practice;

7. make informed decisions regarding potential career paths and opportunities for employment related to students’ specific postgraduate degree choice.

Teaching Information

1 x 1-hour induction meeting.

4 x 1-hour debrief sessions.

Work placement activities over the duration of the teaching weeks of TB2.

Assessment Information

Summative assessment:

4,000-word report, related to the placement tasks/project (70%) ILOs 1-3, 5

Reflective journal (1000 words), describing the activities undertaken and the skills and knowledge acquired over the course of the placement (30%) ILOs 1, 4-7


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. ARCHM0082).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.