Resource Database: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Title Work Placements in Environmental Management
Originator Dr Derek Spooner
Department Department of Geography, The University of Hull, UK
Tel. +44(0)1482 465554
Fax. +44(0)1482 466340
Email D.J.Spooner@geo.hull.ac.uk


In 1999 The Department of Geography initiated the development of work placements for Level 3 undergraduates and for MSc students in the field of environmental management. Unusually the placements were project-based and part-time, comprising a full 15 credit module to be completed alongside normal campus-based modules. Arrangements were made for students to work on a clearly defined environmental management problem or issue within a commercial company or public-sector organisation. The precise nature of the project was in each case negotiated between the student, an academic tutor and the company: the projects had to be 'real' and potentially of use to the company as well as having academic merit. In most cases, the student spent a day a week working on the project at the factory or company offices, but arrangements were flexible. The final report produced by the student was evaluated by the company as well as the academic tutor; students also wrote a log reflecting on their experience. In total, eleven students completed placements, many of them to a high standard. Projects included the construction of a product environmental design statement for a major medical company, the evaluation of waste management strategies for a ferry company, in-house resource efficiency and environmental attitudes surveys for a local authority, and the preparation of a display on pig slurry disposal problems for a farming exhibition. This was a highly significant innovation for the Department, providing a genuine opportunity for students to gain experience of the world of work, while at the same time developing their project management and interpersonal skills. The modules ran again in the year 2000, with similar numbers working on a new set of projects.

Keywords:

Environmental management
Part-time work placements
Project-based work placements
Work placements


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Page created 16 October 2000
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