Not ‘Just a Student’: A Qualitative Exploration of Business, Psychology and Law Students’ Accounts of their Placement Experiences

This seminar investigated the benefits of university students taking a year out of their degrees for work placements.

Abstract: People say that placement students are different when they come back from their year at work for the final year of their degree. Is this true? If so, why? If placements are so good, why don’t more students do them?

This interdisciplinary project looked at students in three different Schools at the University of Westminster. It examined the effect of placements on academic performance and what that might be attributed to, what psychological measures might have caused this transformational effect on performance, what the barriers to placement are, the views of tutors (a little researched area) and the views of work place supervisors. Quantitative data was gathered from Student Records and qualitative data from reflective logs, interviews and four specially constructed questionnaires.

This seminar looked¬†at some of the results so far of this ongoing project, focusing on the effects on performance, the transformational changes and work place supervisors’ views.

Biography: Karen is an Emeritus Fellow at the University of Westminster, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an auditor for the Quality Assurance Agency.

She has lectured for over 30 years in Occupational and Organisational Psychology and Human Resource Management at university business schools on degree and professional membership courses requiring work based learning and projects. Her own degrees include a Masters in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics.

Download Karen Powell-Williams presentation.

Watch the full seminar

Part 1.

Part 2.