Why I chose to do an academic placement

What is an academic placement?

You can carry out academic placements on the majority of the modules available. During an academic placement you go into a place of work and carry out a research project that links to the learning on one of your modules. You then write a placement report that replaces a piece of assessment on your module.

Why carry out an academic placement?

It allows you to replace an assessment on your module so if you have a lot of written assessments on your course it can give you a change of pace. It also allows you to stand out from the crowd on your CV and it gives you an opportunity to see how your modules and studying can be relevant to the working world. It also gives you the chance to complete the Professional Track.

How do you go about completing one?

If you are interested in completing one the first step is to ask your module convener if they are allowed in your module. They should be able to give you some advice as to where to go next for advice. If you want to go into a place of work start sending some e-mails to see what is available to you. You then need to fill in an academic placement form which just asks for a few details about what you plan to do and you’re on your way.

What I did for my placement

I carried out a group placement for my module Restoration to Revolution. In 2018, it was the 300 year anniversary of the publication of the novel Robinson Crusoe so we went to the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) and produced a website from the research we carried out there. We also had to write an individual reflective report about what we learnt and how we could have improved on what we did.

What I gained from my placement

I learnt how to create and format a website which is now publicly accessible so I can use it to demonstrate the skills I gained to a potential employer. I also got to research something that I was really interested in and I learnt how to use the special collections at the University.

If you’re interested and want to find out more, visit The University of Reading website. They have various articles which detail how to carry out a placement, who to contact about taking one and the different types of placements that have already been done by students.

Written by Amelia Dinsdale

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