Professional Development Module

Final year module

Contact: Matt Edwards (Placements Team Leader), Roshni Barot (Placements Officer) and Emma Deegan (Placements Administrator)

Module description

The Professional Development Module is an award winning 20-credit module which is optional for students in their final year. The module includes a work placement of at least 40 hours and its aim is to help you bridge the gap between your academic life at Birmingham and your future professional life after graduation. The module has been designed to be flexible so that you can use it to extend your experience into a specific area of work that interests you. This module will help you identify your personal and professional skills and strengths, and reflect on the skills you have developed during your placement. A series of interactive workshops has been carefully designed to support you with your academic learning during the module and to help you to move forward with your career development.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Undertake a critical audit of their skills and capabilities for their professional career
  • Identify the key areas requiring improvement.
  • Articulate a coherent strategy for closing this ‘skills/capabilities gap’.
  • Critically evaluate the relative success of this strategy post-placement


The module is assessed via a 2000-word self-reflective journal (50%) and a 2000-word workplace project (50%). You will not be assessed on your performance during your placement. 

Case Studies

"I do think that it’s important that professional development is taught at university - to nderstand networking, to understand business development, to meet different people in different environments.  If you can be exposed to that at university, I think that would be a fantastic start before you actually go out to the workplace".

Jane Goodwin, Client Relationship Director, Santander

"My experience at LUCIA will enhance my CV and allow me to look at a wider range of career choices. Without the placement I may have not had the chance to develop my skills set until after graduation. By taking the module I feel I am one step ahead".

Joshua Williams, BA Political Science/Philosophy, Placement at LUCIA (a charity supporting NGO’s in Africa). 

Chamber of Commerce - International Relations

Birmingham Children's Hospital - Political Science

Houses of Parliament - Political Economy