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Sustainability in Practice (Work Placement)

Module titleSustainability in Practice (Work Placement)
Module codeGEOM433
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Kerry Burton (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

More than ever before business and enterprise needs to engage with sustainability in both their vision and operation. This module will enable students to better understand some of the practical aspects of working within a range of workplaces that benefit from a knowledge of global sustainability solutions. The core of the module is a work placement, with support from guest speakers who are actively working within a range of relevant roles, and access to bespoke careers advice. Within your placement , you will have the opportunity to either develop an original project, or to support ongoing work that will articulate sustainability as a core value. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to enable students who have an interest in working in the environment and sustainability sector to develop transferable skills, through work experience with a relevant organisation, an online skills development programme, and guest speakers from a range of sustainability focussed workplaces. You will have the opportunity to gain experience in the sector and to develop a range of transferable career skills.

In Term 1 students will work through an online programme (approx. 15 hours) aimed at developing knowledge about key practices and skills within the field of sustainability and will have seminar sessions with a range of experts currently working in industry, community development, and consultancy. Alongside this, there will be opportunities to work with specialist university career advisors to enable students to develop their employability prospects and find suitable work placements. Topics introduced may include, key regulatory frameworks, certification models (such a BCorp), circular economy resource management, and place-based transitions.

In Terms 2 and 3, students will be supported to find and undertake a 3-week (or 100 hours) work placement that can be undertaken full-time or part-time any time before the end of term 3.

The module will:

  1. Enable you to gain work experience within a sustainability-oriented role or consultancy project.
  2. Develop your understanding of some of the key regulations, frameworks, and skills being sought by sustainability focussed employers.
  3. Foster knowledge and skills related to project development and management.
  4. Foster the development of employability skills with bespoke support from specialist career advisors.
  5. Promote critical reflection about the practicalities of sustainability in practice.

Foster confidence in communication and networking skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Articulate and evaluate key frameworks and practices that impact sustainability focussed business, enterprise, consultancy, and development settings.
  • 2. Gain work experience within a sustainability focussed setting.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Develop an understanding of how academic debates in global sustainability solutions translate into practical approaches to environmental and social transformation.
  • 4. Identify and reflect upon applied pathways for employing sustainability theories in workplace settings.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Communicate complex ideas, regulatory frameworks, and practical applications of sustainability tools.
  • 6. Develop project management, employability, and career skills to support future job applications.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Term 1 (Weeks 1-11)

Week 1: Module introduction

Weeks 2–11: Work through the Sustainability in Practice  online program independently (approx. 15 hrs).

Weeks 3, 5, 7, 9: Seminars.

Term 2 (Weeks 1 – 11)

Weeks 1, 3, 5: Careers advice drop-in clinics to support finding and initiating work placement (optional).

Week 7: Assessment workshop.

(Individual presentation submissions due in week 11).

Term 3

Week 4: Assessment drop-ins

(Work placement to be completed by the end of week 7)

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities8Lectures and seminars: In class
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities2Workshops: Assessment introduction
Placement105Full-time or part-time work placement
Guided Independent Study15Guided Online Study: Sustainability in Practice online program
Guided Independent Study20Completion of summative assessments


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Successful completion of the online program15 hours independent online engagement 1-6Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual video presentation 3010 minutes1-6Written
Reflective report on work placement703000 words1-6Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Video presentation10 minutes1-6Referral/deferral period
Reflective report on work experience3000 words1-6Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

If you are unable to engage with the work placement or module assessments for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will be assessed via the following assessments, to be submitted for the August deferral period:

• A 10 minute video presentation
• A 3000 reflective essay on skills and debates for sustainability in practice

The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

If you fail the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%), you will be required to submit a video presentation and a 3000 word reflective report on your work placement. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will count for 100% of the final mark and will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading 

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Work placement, environment, sustainability, consultancy

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date