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Unit information: Management Reflection and Development in Practice in 2021/22

Unit name Management Reflection and Development in Practice
Unit code EFIM20031
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Beck
Open unit status Not open

Students choosing this option will need to engage with the Professional Liaison Network to ensure a placement. Attendance and attainment at Level 4 will form part of the entry requirements.


Students will be required to commit to their placement for the duration of TB1 and TB2.

School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This placement unit aims to bridge the gap between academic learning and the ‘real world’ of work. It will do so by focussing on the two key and interrelated concepts of learning and employability. The first half of the unit (TB1) will take a critical look at learning, including different theoretical approaches utilised in academic debates of work-placed learning (from behaviourism and cognitivism to adult and social learning theories); distinctions between formal and informal work-based learning; and provide methodological insights into the ways in which work-based learning has been researched.

In the second part (TB2), the unit will highlight the implications of power relationships at work for learning (structure vs. agency/bounded agency) and consider as well as critique standard and social constructions of employability, before considering the nature of graduate jobs, trends in graduate employability and issues relating to overqualification, underemployment and/or unemployment.

The unit will encourage students to develop a critical understanding of key concepts and offers them a grounding in labour market analysis, differentiating clearly between the supply side orientation of labour market policy and the realities of demand side developments. Although the discussions will be based on broader issues and trends, students will be invited to reflect upon their own employability, considering areas of strength and will support the use of personal development plans that students should already be familiar with to address areas of potential weakness. At the same time, the discussions will allow reflection of the fallacies surrounding ideas of ‘perfect CVs’ and the guarantee of being employable.

Depending on the specific context of their placements, students will be encouraged to engage in dialogue with their placement organisations about the conceptualisations of work and employability. Ideally, this will result in longer-term partnerships between these placement organisations, the School of Management, the Professional Liaison Network, Careers Services, and the University as a whole, thus supporting the ambition of becoming a ‘civic University’ that is tied into a close, local network of a range of public, private and third sector organisations.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. An understanding of key labour market trends and themes and be able to reflect upon how these might apply to their own learning, employability and skill development.
  2. The ability to evaluate and apply relevant critical and social theories of work, employment and employability to a 'real life' context.
  3. The ability to analyse a given work context and identify the transferable skills currently required to function effectively in such an environment.
  4. To reflect upon their own employability, identify potential areas of strength and formulate a strategy to address areas of potential weakness.
  5. The ability to manage an ongoing relationship with an employer or voluntary organisation.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions including lectures, tutorials, drop-in sessions, discussion boards and other online learning opportunities.

Assessment Information

Formative Assessment required for credit

Online Blackboard Blog (ILOs 4 and 5):

Ongoing diary, to be submitted as a blog on the Blackboard site for the unit. Each student will be expected to add a 300-word reflective statement each month, responding to prompts from the unit director which will encourage considerations of their experience of employment / volunteering. This element will be assessed on a pass/fail basis. To pass, a minimum of 6 monthly statements need to be completed.

In case of failure to complete (sufficient) blogs: the unit director will set a reflective essay (1500 words) on an aspect of the unit (e.g. formal vs. informal (work-based) learning or power relationships at work).

Work Placement

Attendance at the work placement will contribute to assessment on a pass/fail basis. A minimum of 80 hours across the year need to be completed. Should the placement fall through due to action on the part of the organisation offering the placement, it will be possible to pass a student on the grounds of extenuating circumstances.

In case of failure to undertake the placement (usually if the student is at fault): the unit director will set an extended essay (3000 words) on a case study organisation (to be determined by the unit director but aimed to be comparable to the intended placement organisation).

Summative assessment: Coursework (2000 words) (100%) (ILOs 1, 2, and 3)

2000 word analysis (100%) of the employability requirements and/or work-based learning strategy for the workplace or volunteering position the student is working in. The analysis will need to draw on the theoretical concepts covered in the unit as well as the reflective blog that the students need to complete as formative assessment. Should the placement fall through due to action on the part of the organisation offering the placement, an alternative, organisation report assignment will be available.

In case of failure: the unit director will set a revised essay question in relation to the placement organisation (or case study organisation if an extended essay was undertaken instead of the placement).


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. EFIM20031).

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.