Southampton Solent University


Case study:
Employability & Work Placement Skills (CCA507)

Degree: BA (Hons) PR & Communications
Unit Leader:  Sally Holland - Senior Lecturer in Communications


This unit was developed to promote employability skills by preparing students for two, two-week work placements. The unit aimed to support and challenge the students to identify the best work placement opportunities that fulfil their future career objectives.

The unit aimed to build up confidence in students so they could approach suitable organisations, and produce the materials for applications, such as CVs, covering letters and telephone skills. The students would use myPortfolio (Mahara) to showcase and enhance their digital profile.

The sessions were delivered in workshop format to maximise on the opportunity for participation and engagement and consisted of a combination of lecturer-led sessions, Careers Advisory sessions & tutorials, and IT workshops with members of the Learning Technologies team.

Staff involved

In order for this unit to be successful, it needed support from the Learning and Information Service (LIS).

Unit Leader & Lecturer
- Sally Holland

Career Advice

Learning Technologies


Unit guide & assignment

  • Download CCA507 unit guide

    CCA507 unit guide Details

    - Thursday, 12 July 2012 [244.9KB]

    This unit guide was written by Sally and contains all of the learning outcomes for the unit and the assessment details for students. It also contains the marking criteria and a 'contents' list so that students can make sure that they cover everything.

Tools used

There were a variety of tools used during this unit and assessment including


Learning outcomes:

On successful completion of the unit, students should be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding

  • K1 Identify and interpret what an organisation is looking for, in its recruitment of work placement interns
  • K2 Recognise the technical, creative and managerial operations and skills involved in undertaking a work placement.

Cognitive Skills

  • C1 Negotiate a clear set of work placement objectives

Practical and Professional Skills

  • P1 Design and produce an electronic portfolio to support their CV, to provide evidence of their professional experience

Transferable and Key Skills

  • T1 Communicate information and ideas in an accurate, persuasive and creative manner.
  • T2 Demonstrate professional conduct in a work placement setting
  • T3 Develop confidence to ask for help when required

External Examiner's comments

"The modules often have a strong practical focus and the emphasis on current social media tools is strong. The use of the e-portfolio for the employability module is commendable. The encouragement of finding work experience is most helpful for the students’ employability. "

"This course was received for external examination in good time. The student handout is clear. The criteria for the portfolio are very clear."

"The level of assessment was on the whole appropriate. It is good that students are required to do a SWOT analysis on themselves and to feed their weaknesses into their personal development plan"

"This commendable module not only encourages students to prepare for employment but also to develop their technical skills."


Examples of student ePortfolios

Below are a couple of ePortfolios compiled by students on this course:

2012 Students:

2013 Students:


Student feedback:


How did the unit help prepare you for your work placements?

How was it using Mahara?

How can Mahara be improved?

Do you think that this type of unit should be available to students on other courses?

Do you think you'll continue using Mahara during your final year?

Key points from student feedback:

  • Mahara allowed the students to be creative with their presentation
  • Students shared their ePortfolios with their employers who thought they were useful
  • Students felt they could demonstrate their skills as opposed to just saying that they have them.
  • The students are going to use their ePortfolios during their final to keep themselves on track and up-to-date.


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