// Work Placements | Teacher Training & Education in Wales

Work Placements

University of Wales, Trinity St. David:  Students on the Educational Studies programme take part in placements on each year of their studies on the programme at Swansea Met. The amount of time spent on placement gradually increases over the three year study period, ranging from 1 week in the first year up to 3 weeks in the final year with the intention that the third year placement serves as an opportunity for students completing their individual research project to participate in action research that has direct relevance to their chosen study area. In each year students are asked to complete a reflective log of their experiences on placement and document their observations and evaluations of their chosen placement setting and build essential skills that can be utilised within their degree studies. Students enjoy a wide variety of placement options which not only include school based environments but also include other organisations and one student who has recently graduated has now gained employment with the charity Barnardos Cymru after a successful placement there as part if the Educational Studies programme. We are continuing to expand and strengthen our links with the local community to offer further placement locations for the students and develop this important aspect of the degree for them. The placements are an integral part of the degree scheme in linking theory with practice for the students and whilst on year 1 the placements are voluntary, nearly all students do take the opportunity to participate and find it a highly valuable and rewarding experience that strengthens their beliefs in the exciting and varied career opportunities that exist for Educational Studies graduates.

University of South Wales: Placement modules are at the heart of the Education degree programme with students undertaking one each year. The Placement Supervisor Kris Sobol will support you in securing a relevant placement. Current students have secured placements in local nursery and primary schools, Duffryn Forest School, Integrated Children’s Centres in Cardiff and Cwmbran; with the children's charity Barnados, the children's/young persons ward at the Royal Gwent Hosptital; the fire-service, police school's liaison team and local SureStart initiatives. BA (Hons) Education) student Megan worked alongside Fire Fighters for one day a week as part of her year one placement to help deliver the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service ‘Dragon Programme’. A Placement Log containing evidence of of observation, evaluation and reflection completed by Megan will demonstrate to her tutors the wide range of skills utilised and developed on placement.

Megan says, The placement has helped me to understand and make connections between academic theories and ‘real world practices and highlighted to me how much I enjoyed working with young people.”

Open University: The Open University offers Foundation Degrees in Early Years, Working with Young People, and Sport and Fitness. Our part-time, distance learning approach differs from more conventional provisions since they are aimed at people already working within the sector. This means that placements are not an issue since the student who registers on one of our Foundation Degrees will use the placement they already have to follow the work based learning modules within the course.

Students on OU Foundation Degrees see immediate benefits both to their education and employment since both feed of each other. The employment situation provides the practical context for the study of the module, whilst the content of each module focuses attention on the student’s work practices, and how reflection on such practices can influence and continually improve them.

University of Wales Trinity Saint David: Students on the Early Years Education course are encouraged to complete work experience, in addition to their course, the department works closely with the GO Wales team at Trinity Saint David. Even though the placements are not accredited the student develops important skills   by participating in the GO Wales programme. A work taster can last up to two weeks but students can participate in several work experience opportunities whilst at university.

Recently a first year student went to the Paediatric department of Morriston Hospital. She spent time on the ward observing the work and assisting the professionals. She accompanied a child to the x ray department and the physiotherapy department as well as assisting with the ward rounds and helping in the High Dependancy Unit. She observed play workers and play specialists at work giving her a flavour of the various roles that she could pursue after graduation.
When a student decides that they want to go on a work taster the GO Wales organiser suggests various opportunities and contacts the organisation. Students are monitored whilst on the taster and are often visited in the workplace. Each student keeps a timesheet of their activities and they complete an evaluation of their experience and skills gained. Every student receives a certificate of achievement after completion of a successful work taster.

Cardiff Metropoliton:  Work and study placements are central to the learning and teaching of our programme, time spent with practitioners in real life settings provide valuable opportunties to reflect on the connections between theory and practice and also presents chance for students to self-audit skills they will need to do the job themselves after graduation.  Partnerships with new placement providers continue to be developed at present a range of opportunities exist in both school (primary and secondary) and non-school settings.  We also encourage and support our students to undertake voluntary work relating to their possible career interests.  Students have reported that these experiences have sometimes confirmed their original ideas about career plans while for others it changes their mind completely!  Read what our students have to say:

"Each week I have volunteered at Cardiff Met’s Forest School. It was great to observe how the children’s confidence and self esteem grows over a six week programme. The work inspired me to continue to volunteer each week and even undertake the Forest School Leadership Award (Level 3) – it’s been a huge amount of work to do alongside my degree study, but my tutors have provided heaps of support and by the time I start my PGCE Primary in September I will have another useful qualification already in place! I can’t wait to set up my own Forest School somewhere, watch this space…” Carys

"For my year 2 placement I attended a children’s ward in a hospital where I shadowed play workers and advisory teachers. I enjoyed learning about how children’s individual needs were sensitively provided for, despite the challenges. Since graduating, I have enrolled for a Masters course in play therapy and hope to work in the future supporting children with a range of developmental needs.” Anna

I attended a Steiner Kindergarten for my study placement. It was fascinating to see how the children learn through play and lead the planning of activities. I particularly enjoyed observing how the practitioners worked in partnership with the parents. In the future I hope to open my own private nursery, I’ll be sure to use some of the ideas I have picked up.”  Rhiannon



Glynd?r University University of South Wales Cardiff Metropolitan University Open University
Bangor University Swansea Metropolitan University Trinity University College Aberystwyth University