About the Professional Development Module

The Professional Development Module (PDM) is an award winning 20-credit module which is optional for students in their final year.

About the PDM

The module includes a work placement of at least 40 hours. It's available on all programmes within the College of Social Sciences where there aren't any other opportunities to undertake a placement as part of your degree.

Why choose the PDM?

The aim of the module is to help you bridge the gap between your academic life at Birmingham and your future professional life after graduation. The module has been designed to be flexible so that you can use it to extend your experience into a specific area of work that interests you.

This module will help you identify your personal and professional skills and strengths, and reflect on the skills you have developed during your placement. A series of interactive workshops has been carefully designed to support you with your academic learning during the module and to help you to move forward with your career development. 

How does the PDM work?

Placements can take place either in the summer vacation or during term time. There are lots of different organisations that you could use for your placement: examples include a summer internship with a major employer, or an unpaid voluntary project at a charity.

Subject to approval, you might want to use some work experience that you have arranged yourself as the basis of the module. If you do not already have a placement, a dedicated Placements Team has been recruited who find a range of bespoke placement opportunities in the public, private and voluntary sectors. These placements – exclusive for students taking the module – are advertised so that you can apply to these employers directly.

Self-employed placements

The Placements Team have set up a self-employment placement pathway in collaboration with Careers Network’s B-Enterprising. Your placement could be an existing initiative that you would like to develop further or a new business idea that you wish to explore with the support of careers professionals. A process will be put in place to plan your activities and log progress through regular meetings with staff. All ideas are welcome! To discuss how a self-employment placement route could work for you, please contact the Placements Team.  

Example pathway:

PDM assessment

The module is assessed via a 2000-word self-reflective journal (50%) and a 2000-word workplace project (50%).

Contact the Placements team

To ask us a question or find out who we are, please visit our meet the placements team page.


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