History Work Placement Project (HISM015)

StaffProfessor Henry French - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

Workshops: all students are required to attend an introductory meeting and project workshops, co-ordinated by the Module Convenor. Sessions include: sourcing and selecting work placements; managing relationships with project partners (including initial contacts, letter-writing, CV-writing); project brief design; delivery plan; project evaluation criteria & techniques.


One-to-one consultations: all students will be able to have a consultation with the Module Convenor, in which an appropriate placement will be discussed, and obtain feedback on the assessed project brief.


Seminars: all students will participate in an end-of-placement Presentation detailing the project objectives, main activities, outcomes, challenges & solutions, and lessons learned.


Independent work experience and study: with the assistance of the Module Convenor, students will be required to organise their own placements, including preparing appropriate CVs and cover letters, and to produce, and agree, a project brief with the external partner before the beginning of the placement period. They will work for at least 100 hours in an agreed professional setting and will reflect on that experience within the context of the module's assessment. It is the responsibility of the student to keep the Module Leader informed of progress in the workplace and of problems that have arisen.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. establish connections between the subject-knowledge, interpretation and presentation skills acquired as part of a Master’s degree in History and the skills required in the workplace
  • 2. formulate a project with an external partner organisation, review it in light of feedback, deliver this brief with the partner organisation, and reflect critically on the application of academic skills in the workplace
  • 3. demonstrate an ability to reflect critically on practical experiences gained, and the impact they may have on his/her views and actions

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. demonstrate your skills in the research, selection and evaluation of specific jobs and the structural context of those jobs
  • 5. demonstrate your ability to use discipline-specific critical approaches acquired in Master’s level History degree to deliver an agreed project brief in an employment setting
  • 6. demonstrate an ability to communicate (in writing and in speech) in a manner appropriate to the particular workplace context
  • 7. demonstrate the ability to critically analyse and reflect upon the discipline-specific practices used in delivery of a project with an external partner

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. develop / enhance practical work-based skills and experience
  • 9. negotiate the different types of working relationships with staff within the workplace, and others - directly or indirectly - relevant to the placement;
  • 10. demonstrate the ability to identify and reflect on personal challenges and to learn from their resolution
  • 11. demonstrate the ability to use a range of technologies and applications relevant to the external partner organisation

Syllabus plan

Term 1

Initial meeting between Placement Module Tutor and students, to introduce the module, and to get students to identify non-HEI project partners.

Project Brief Workshops – Workshops with Placement Module Tutor & with non-HEI partner representatives to develop project brief.

Term 2

Project Brief moderated & returned to student; copy sent to non-HEI partner, as the agreed, finalised project description. Project Development Workshop to discuss issues arising from projects; plus one-to-one consultations with Placement Module Tutor.

The main project placement will occur in term 2

Term 3

Project Presentation – 20 min. Individual student presentation detailing the project objectives, activities, outcomes & challenges.

Project Report, 3,000 words – Reflection on how the specific project addressed the methodological issues of working with non-HEI partner, and producing outcomes for non-HEI audiences. Supporting materials will include non-HEI partner’s feedback.

Reflective Commentary, 2,000 words – reflection on personal challenges and lessons learned from project outcomes, 

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
SLT1Tutorial Meeting
GIS189Private study
SLT1Individual Presentation + Feedback

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Project Report5,000 words2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 &11Pro-forma feedback form from non-HEI partner

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
Project Brief101,000 words2, 4, 5 & 9Written/Oral
Project Report505,000 words1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10 & 11Written
Project Presentation2020 mins1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10 & 11Written/Oral
Reflective Commentary202,000 words1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Project BriefProject Brief2, 4, 5 & 93 months
Project ReportProject Report1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10 & 113 months
Project Presentation1,000-word written report project outcomes1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10 & 113 months
Reflective CommentaryReflective Commentary1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 113 months

Re-assessment notes

Reassessment will involve submission of all the written elements of the Work Placement module assessment (Project Brief, Report and Reflective Commentary). A 1,000-word written report on project outcomes will be substituted for the 30-min. Project Presentation.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Black, Graham, The Engaging Museum (Routledge, 2005).

Crooke, Elizabeth, Museums and Community (Routledge, 2007).

Dresser, Madge, ‘Politics, Populism, and Professionalism: Reflections on the Role of the Academic Historian in the Production of Public History’, The Public Historian, 32, 3 (Summer 2010), pp. 39-63.

Durbin, G., ed., Developing Museum Exhibitions for Lifelong Learning (London,1996).

Falk, John H., and Lynn D. Dierking, Learning from Museums (Altamira Press, 2000).

Hooper-Greenhill, Eilean, Museums and Education (Routledge, 2008).

Lord, Barry and Gail Dexter Lord, The Manual of Museum Exhibitions (Altamira, 2002).

Marincola, Paula, ed., What Makes a Great Exhibition? (Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, 2006).

Ravelli, Louise, Museum Texts: Communication Frameworks (Routledge, 2006).

Serrell, Beverly, Exhibit Labels: an interpretive approach (Altamira Press, 1996).

Serrell, Beverly, Judging Exhibitions: a framework for assessing excellence (Left Coast Press, 2006).

Thelen, David, ‘Learning community: lessons in co-creating the civic museum’, in Gerard Corsane, ed., Heritage, Museums and Galleries (Routledge, 2005).

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Web based and electronic resources:

Museum-Ed: http://www.museum-ed.org

Ethics http://www.museumsassociation.org/asset_arena/text/cs/code_of_ethics.pdf

Institute of Historical Research (UK) History and the Public conference, February 2006 http://www.history.ac.uk/resources/history-and-public-conference


The Public Historian (available online 2007 onwards)

Public History Review (online)

International Journal of Heritage Studies (available online)

Museums and Society (open access online)

Open Museum Journal: http://hosting.collectionsaustralia.net/omj/index.html

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Work placement, public history