MP6039 - Employability Portfolio

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will consider where your strengths lie in the field if journalism (or your chosen post-graduation career path) and thus what profession, activity or further study would suit you. Research and investigation of current practice is at the core of the module. Your work will reflect current contemporary practice in journalism (or your chosen profession) while taking an approach of curiosity, creativity and experimentation, showing understanding of the roles and responsibilities in your chosen field.
This module guides you in the identification and successful completion of a work experience placement. The work placement or portfolio of visits totals a minimum of four weeks (20 days). The intention is that every student will gain experience of work placement in the journalism and/or media industry, learning not only a basic understanding of the production processes at placement organisations but, using skills taught on the course, learn to become part of the placement organisation team, thereby making a meaningful contribution wherever possible to the output. You also gain insight into employability by developing CVs, personal branding skills and job interview techniques via a series of lectures and seminars
You will realise a comprehensive and dynamic exit portfolio of work that demonstrates your capabilities as a professional journalist. You will be encouraged and supported to present your skills and abilities in a manner appealing to a potential employer, highlighting employability and flexibility through your individual project outcomes. Your in-depth research skills will translate into polished final outputs, equipping you with industry-standard knowledge of contemporary practice, technological insight and a professional and employable skill set.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn primarily through independent learning supported by weekly directed workshops and observation while on the placement. Learning and teaching strategies within the journalism programs encourage you to acquire a flexible and imaginative approach to problem solving through enquiry-based learning. You will become an active participant in your learning, integrating journalism practice with academic and intellectual skills. The workshop environment is integral to this process, encouraging individual intellectual freedom and a creative collaborative community. While on placement, learning is conducted by observation of procedures at the individual employer organisation but, wherever possible, you will learn independently by assisting the employment team in the production process.
Traditional, new and emerging technologies are used both in the delivery and realisation of outcomes, and you will present your work and defend your practice using a range of media and communication tools. Students will use dedicated the dedicated newsroom to create digital portfolios and presentations; the TV and radio studio and faculty film cameras / editing software will be encouraged for image-based/multimedia submissions.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

At the beginning of your programme you will be allocated a Guidance Tutor who will be able to provide advice and support in relation to your academic, personal and professional development. Formal guidance tutorials will allow you to reflect on what you have achieved and identify your strengths and weaknesses
Through preliminary lectures you will be introduced to the module by the Module Leader. Studio workshops with module tutors provide advice on the direction of your work and whether you are meeting module learning outcomes. These normally take place during timetabled sessions, in the studio, lab or workshop and will help you to progress your ideas. You are supported in in your search for a placement by the Module Tutor and the Placements and Partnerships department, however where possible you seek the placement yourself as this gives valuable first-hand experience of formally applying for positions.
• Lecturers and technicians with years of practical experience and supporting research will guide you through the module, developing your understanding of industry standard practice.
• All students have induction sessions at the start of each level
• Library support induction sessions introduce students to the support available for Study skills, IT skills, Information skills
• Additional study skills materials and workshops are available through Skills Plus at
• Students are expected to maintain a personal development plan (PDP) and are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning
• English language support is provided for international students
• University student services offer specialist support e.g. financial, disability, mental health, international student support etc.
• Careers support is introduced in Level 4, developed and explored through live projects in Level 5, with individual career guidance in Level 6 in relation to student career aspirations and intentions
• eLP includes all relevant documentation e.g. module guides, lecture material, reading lists together with discussion boards and notices
• Visiting professionals support relevant and current practice.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
Display evidence of critical thinking in the development of your own specialism and practice which has relevance in professional and commercial contexts. (LO1)
Defend/account for your concepts with reasoned judgement through the creation of a portfolio of work. (LO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
Identify and locate your personal practice in relation to the journalism, media and related industries and identify strengths and weaknesses. (LO3)
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness,

Demonstrate Improved employability through first-hand experience. (LO4)
Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Evaluate (or re-valuate) career options in light of experience gained during work placement and portfolio generation and assembly (LO5)
• Develop relevant professional networks with potential employers in your identified area of work .(LO6)

How will I be assessed?

Formative feedback will be provided by tutors and peers during studio and workshop engagement. Feedback will also be received from employers in the placement environment.
Summative assessment is via a 1,500-word location of practice statement (30%); a 1,500-word reflective commentary (30%) and an exit employability portfolio (40%) (MLOs 1-5)
The reflective commentary should include as an appendix a 2-page CV aimed at future employability.
The reflective commentary should include as an appendix a 2-page CVwhich takes into account the feedback from assessment 1 and any relevant skills and experience gained during placement activity.
The exit employability portfolio will be externally facing and should include a balanced selection of outputs which demonstrate to a potential future employer the student’s suitability for the role or career aspirations identified in their location of practice statement. Therefore the location of practice statement will determine the format of the portfolio and the outputs within it. These outputs will be assessed holistically and may include work done during work placements, working for student union media, other freelance work or work created specifically for the portfolio.


None specifically but the chosen medium for the artefact must be one in which you have already had training.



Module abstract

This is a year-long module prepares you for the world of employment by allowing you to research roles and opportunities within journalism and its related industries and your applying for and taking part in a minimum of 20 days work placement at an organisation within the broader media. With guidance from academics and the careers service you will devise a strategy for future professional and personal development. You will reflect on your own learning styles, skills and aspirations and where they would sit well within the industry. You will carry out in-depth research into your chosen sector pinpointing its key characteristics and challenges. You will draw this together in a location of practice statement, placing your skills and work in the relevant professional context. You will conduct your own research in finding a placement(s) while supported by staff in that search. Once at the placement or placements you will initially observe the organisation’s processes but will then be expected to use skills taught elsewhere on the course to become a valuable member of the team, contributing wherever possible to the team’s output.
You will then develop a comprehensive and dynamic exit employability portfolio that presents examples of your work either that showcase your skills and abilities to a potential employer, highlighting employability and flexibility through your individual project outcomes. Your in-depth research skills will translate into polished final outputs, equipping you with industry-standard knowledge of contemporary practice, technological insight and a professional and employable skill set.

Course info

UCAS Code PP35

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.


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