CVEN40730 Professional Work Experience

Academic Year 2021/2022

The aim of this module is to give students the opportunity to gain on-the-job construction industry experience in a structured setting, for a period of c. 8 months, beginning in January. Candidates will normally have already completed 3.5 years of engineering education.

The placement is expected to involve work outside UCD on a full-time basis. Students will not normally be able to complete other credit-bearing modules during the placement period.

Work placement opportunities are sourced in civil, structural and environmental engineering design and contracting companies. Students make formal applications for these placements and will typically be interviewed by the placement providers. Students may alternatively recommend a placement provider for approval by the Programme Board. Overseas placements are also permitted.

A member of the academic staff will be appointed as academic supervisor to liaise with the student during the period of their work placement. The placement provider will nominate a sponsor within the organisation to oversee the placement. A programme of work will be agreed between the University and the sponsor, to ensure that students can meet the learning outcomes associated with this module using the opportunities that are available during the scheduled period of placement. The supervisor will maintain contact with the student, and the student's sponsor, during the work placement period. Special arrangements for supervision apply in the case of students on placement overseas.

Attendance requirements are agreed in consultation with the student, supervisor and sponsor and may in certain cases exceed the minimum requirements of the module descriptor.

• Students are required to keep a Diary of their experience, to be shown to the module coordinator or academic supervisor on request.
• Students must complete a Final report, summarising their experiences, with specific reference to the “General Learning”, “Technical Learning” and “Personal Learning” headings.
• An assessment will be sought from an employer or Academic Supervisor commenting on the engagement of the student with the process and highlighting any particular achievements.
• Students may be required to present for Oral Examination on completion of placement.

The module will be assessed on a Pass/Fail basis. Successful completion of the module will result in the award of the credits, with a module grade "P" assigned. This module is grade point neutral and will not contribute directly to the Degree GPA. An unsuccessful attempt at the module will result in the credits not being awarded. Failure to meet the learning outcomes associated with this module represents grounds for failure. Remediation of failure may be discussed with the module co-ordinator.

All aspects of the placement will be managed in accordance with the UCD policy document 'Work Placement / Practice Experience Guidelines & Good Practice', 12th April 2007, Version 1.4.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students will be expected achieve outcomes under three headings:
1) General Learning:
• Understand the need for high ethical standards in the practice of engineering.
• Explain the relationships which exist between members of the design team.
• Outline the benefits accruing from effective management of a construction project.
• Understand the health and safety issues and responsibilities of engineering practice.
• Describe the business organisation and the functions and responsibilities of key elements of the organisation in which they worked.
• Critically reflect on their experiences during the placement.

2) Technical Learning:
• Demonstrate the ability to integrate classroom theory with workplace practice, through the application of academic learning in the workplace.
• Demonstrate an understanding of design processes and methodologies and the ability to apply them.
• Report on how theory developed in lectures is applied in solving engineering problems.

3) Personal Learning:
• Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of workplace culture.
• Demonstrate interpersonal and self-management transferable skills including the ability to manage their time effectively; work independently in unfamiliar situations; work effectively as a team member, respecting the views of others in the team; accept and respond to constructive criticism; account for their actions and decisions.
• Demonstrate improvement in their communication skills.

Indicative Module Content:

In advance of the placement students are supported in preparation for their placement. Workshop sessions are given as follows:
- Introduction to Internship and Professional Working World
- Preparation for your Internship (CV and Cover Letter preparation)
- Interview skills
- Health & Safety
- Making the most of your placement.

Employers provide students with the opportunity to meet the module learning outcomes during their placement.

The module coordinator is the academic supervisor, and acts as the UCD point of contact with the student during their placement.

The academic supervisor will visit the student and the host employer during the placement period (typically during the summer months)

The academic supervisor will liaise with review the assessment submissions.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Placement/Work Experience




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The student will attend workshop sessions in preparation for the placement.

The student will make written application to their chosen participating employers, and will attend interviews as required.

The student is based with the host employer for the c. 8 months duration of the placement.

The student will actively engage in projects which are being undertaken by the host employer. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Student's Report and Employer's Final Report Varies over the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
Repeat (CFP) Within Three Semesters
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided to students for activities undertaken in preparation of their placements. Progress will also be discussed with individual students during site visits of academic supervisors. On their return to UCD, further individual feedback will be provided to students, post-assessment.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

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