FAQs

Below are some useful Q&As relating to different aspects of the module. Other questions? Email cdm.union@ncl.ac.uk or sign up for an Information Session in March. Not sure who to ask about what? See our Contacts page, which briefly outlines who is best to ask under what circumstance.

Eligibility and Registering on the Module

If you are a stage 2 or stage 3 student, then you are eligible to do the module, providing your degree programme has an optional module. Check with your Degree Programme Director or School Office if you are unsure.

The Career Development Module sign up is just like your other modules, and registration is open between 17th-28th April 2017. Initial registration is during Module Selection week through the S3P System (April). If this has closed, you can still do it! Just hand in a Module Registration or Change form at your School Office (May onwards). You can find out more details here.

There are 3 routes: Student Tutoring, Student Volunteering and Learn From Work. More details of each can be found on the Careers webpage for CDM.

You will need to sort this out with your School Office, where they will issue you with a Module Change form for you to fill in and return to them.You will also need to inform cdm.union@ncl.ac.uk that you are no longer doing the module. If you had a placement sorted, then you also need to contact these to explain that you will no longer be carrying out your placement with them for the Career Development Module.

You will need to sort this out with your School Office and by filling in the Module Change form. You will also need to inform cdm.union@ncl.ac.uk that you are no longer doing the module. If you had a placement sorted, then you also need to contact these to explain that you will no longer be carrying out your placement with them for the Career Development Module.

If you are not on the module, but would like to join, you should do this before you leave. Spaces may become full the longer you leave it so better safe than sorry. If you are on the module, but have no placement sorted, you should try to get this sorted before you leave. If you are on the module, you should try to regularly access your University email for general updates of the module from September onwards.

Module Requirements

It is a pre-requisite to have a confirmed placement for the module by the start of term

CDM enables students to undertake voluntary work at a placement of their choice for academic credit. This is with a view to developing 4 main graduate skills and improving self-reflection and awareness of these skills for employability purposes. There are also seminars, lecture and study groups as any other module would entail, and development and awareness of your skills is applied by you through assessment for the module.

You are required to complete a minimum of 70 hours volunteering at or for your placement; that is doing direct work that impacts on your placement. This needs to be spread equally over both Semesters, so a minimum of 30 hours in each. This works out at 4 hours volunteering approx. per week. Additional to this would be your teaching time, and any research around the topics you encounter, just like any other academic module you would be anticipated to read around the subject. If you complete more than 70 hours at your placement, this is not a problem: although you will not get extra credit for it, you would experience more, which may help you further in your assessments.

These are 4 graduate skills which the student must demonstrate and develop throughout the module. They are: Plannning and Organising, Team Working, Communication and Personal Enterprise.

More details can be found on Careers webpage for CDM.

All of the assessment will be explained to you in more detail when you begin the module in September/October. If you have specific questions regarding assessment, contact the Curriculum Unit over at the Careers service, who will be able to help you further.

More details can be found on this page http://www.ncl.ac.uk/careers/modules/cdm/assessment/

although all of the assessment will be explained to you in more detail when you begin the module in September/October. If you have specific questions regarding assessment, contact the Curriculum Unit over at the Careers service, who will be able to help you further.

You will be supported throughout the whole module process. At your placement you will have a supervisor who will support you in your voluntary activity, keep track of your hours and take responsibility for 25% of your total module mark based on your performance in the graduate skills whilst at your placement. The Students' Union will support you in finding a placement, and throughout the year with any problems you may have within your placement, be this contacting your supervisor, completing your hours or how to get the most out of your placement. The Curriculum Unit at the Careers Service will assign you a module tutor who will support you in your assessments and how to get the most out of the module from an academic point of view. Although the module is focused on self management and direction, at no point will you just be left to struggle - support is always there for those who request it!

Placement Requirements

The placement needs to provide you with 70 hours volunteering from October - April/May and offer tasks that enable a development of the 4 graduate skills for the module. They need to provide you with a Placement Supervisor, who will supervise you throughout your time there, as well as signing your Record of Activities sheet (time-sheet for logging hours/tasks completed at each visit). The Placement Supervisor will need to be able to meet with you regularly (advised once fortnightly for 5-15 minutes), where you can update and discuss your progress and development of the graduate skills, as well as any problems or concerns you may have. They also complete a Supervisor Evaluation form for you based on a graduate skills framework, which accounts for 25% of the overall module mark. If they require a DBS check, most need to organise this themselves - this should be done in advance so that your volunteering start is not delayed too much.

If you are on the Student Volunteering route: No, you do not. Although we welcome existing volunteers to the module, we have a range of placements available to students who are looking to start volunteering with the module. See our Placements page, to begin looking through the placements available. If you have any questions, email cdm.union@ncl.ac.uk If you are on the Learn From Work route, then you should have an already existing part-time job. Click here. If you are on the Student Tutoring route, this will be allocated to you, unless you have prior connections with a school/college and are able to arrange your own. Click here.

Finding a Placement

Just contact us with details of what your placement/project is and we can go through the details with you. Broadly, the placement needs to allow you to develop graduate skills (i.e. not picking up litter, although this could be a part of your role!) and has the capacity to satisfy a minimum of 70 hours spread from October until around April/May. Email us with details and we can give you more information.

Although we appreciate that people are eager to get work experience at particular placements (e.g. the BBC) or in a particular area (e.g. working with offenders) - we can only directly offer the placements of the charities we have contacted and approved. If you wish to contact another organisation to ask to volunteer there, you would need to explain the concept of the module to them yourself (with our support, let us know and we canhelp). If you have your own contacts in an organisation and are eager to volunteer with them, we would encourage you to contact them directly, although PLEASE contact us first to inform us as we don't want charities bombarded by requests from students if they have already said they couldn't participate

No. The volunteering hours you do needs to be with one placement. This is so that you are able to demonstrate and improve your graduate skills within one organisation, allowing a better development of these skills throughout the progression and pursuit of their organisational goals and task objectives. Splitting this between more than one placement would not be ideal or give the best reflection upon your overall volunteering experience.

No. Only one person should be your allocated Placement Supervisor. This is because they are to fill out the Supervisor Evaluation at the end of your time volunteering there for the module, which counts towards 25% of your overall module grade. It may however, not be possible for the same person to supervise or oversee your work all of the time. In this case, the person with the majority of time spent supervising you should ideally be acting as your Placement Supervisor - This should be the same person with whom you have your Initial Visit, fill out your Health and Safety and Record of Activities form, and have your regular Supervisor meetings with. This same person should fill out the Supervisor Evaluation at the end. The others who supervise you should feed back your tasks to the main Placement Supervisor. r

This depends - we generally only allow Presidents, Secretaries and Treasurers of clubs and societies to undertake the module, to ensure the role is large enough to give 70 hours AND enough responsibility to develop the 4 graduate skills. In general, other roles are NOT eligible (but can be considered on a case by case basis, so please contact us if you wish to use a different role and think it would fit). Within that, we only have a limited amount of space for committee roles on the programme, so if this is your voluntary project of choice it is HIGHLY IMPORTANT you apply for the module early, and register with cdm.union@ncl.ac.uk as a committee member for the module. Once the places are gone, they are gone, so get organised as quickly as possible!

This depends on your route. Most placements, you can simply log in to the NUSU website, browse the Placements page and click the 'I'm Interested!' button beside the one you're keen on. We will email you back the contact details for the placement, so you can ask any questions and then arrange with this supervisor how you apply for the placement - this may be an informal interview, doing an application form or simply meeting them face to face or on the phone. Each individual project has its own recruitment procedure. Please note: It is important that you mention you are wanting to use this voluntary placement for the Career Development Module (Newcastle University), in order to ensure they have a suitable workload and placement supervisor for you. If you apply for a 'HDCP', you need to contact cdm.union@ncl.ac.uk and complete a Student Profile, outlining your experience and suitability for the placement. These will then be decided and assigned accordingly. If you are not successful in gaining a space on any of the HDCP's, we will assist you to gain an alternative placement.

The Careers Service can only reimburse travel expenses for students taking the Student Tutoring route. Unfortunately here at NUSU we cannot reimburse you for any travel or transport costs for your volunteer placement, on any route. You should look into the possibility of student offers/discounts or saver tickets to help with this cost.

If you have a confirmed placement, you should notify cdm.union@ncl.ac.uk, as well as entering these details through the 'Getting Started' tab on BlackBoard when it appears. You will be notified by either the CDM Intern or by Careers Service if and when there are any further actions you need to take at this stage. You can also view a timeline on the website, for a general outline of the deadlines in the various stages involved in the module from a volunteering and placement perspective.

You are only able to start logging your volunteer hours for the module once you have attended the necessary Induction Seminar. This normally takes place in the first week of term, where you will be given appropriate advice and documentation. This includes the Module Handbook for yourself, and the Placement Supervisor Handbook which you will need to hand in at the Initial Visit at the placement. Other questions? Email cdm.union@ncl.ac.uk or sign up for an Information Session in March. Not sure who to ask about what? See our Contacts page, which briefly outlines who is best to ask under what circumstance.

If this is Student Tutoring, you will need to contact Careers Service to check if there are still spaces for you. If this is Student Volunteering: You will need to make this your number one priority as it is a pre-requisite of the module to have a placement sorted before the start of term-time (October). Use the same process as above 'How Are Placements Assigned'. Go to www.nusu.co.uk/cdm and look at the Placements section. It may be a good idea to phone the placement if you need to get it sorted out straight away, rather than wait for an email response.

The CDM Intern holds these details. If you are logged in to the NUSU website with your usual university IT log in, you can request their details direct from the placements page. If you are unable to do this, you can contact cdm.union@ncl.ac.uk, stating your placement interest.

If the placement is still on the Placements tab, then it should still be available. We ask placements to notify us once spaces fill up and they become unavailable, and check this regularly.

Registering and Starting a Placement

You need to arrange this with your allocated Placement Supervisor for the module. It should occur ideally, before any official volunteering hours have begun for the module, as there are certain important elements that need to be covered:- At this first official module meeting you must: • Give them a Placement Supervisor Handbook (issued when module starts) • Complete a Placement Learning Agreement form (in Module Handbook, issued when module starts) • Begin to log your hours in a Record of Activities Form (also in Module Handbook) • Use a Preparation for Placement Form (Module Handbook) to discuss your personal and organisational aims and goals, practical aspects of volunteering, any questions. The Initial Visit Meeting should happen no later than the end of October, in line with the latest time to begin your volunteering hours for the module.

You can begin your volunteering hours! You should also agree a time to meet next with the Placement Supervisor. The meetings need to be regular, advised once every fortnight, for approximately 10-15 minutes.

These should occur once every fortnight, for approximately 10-15 minutes. The purpose of these is to: • Tell the Placement Supervisor what graduate skills you have developed, how and how well these have been developed • Discuss next aims and goals/tasks for the volunteering • Discuss and solve any problems, concerns you have • Ensure you are on track for the minimum required volunteer hours for the module (min. 30 first semester, min 30 second semester) • Get the Record of Activities form signed by the Placement Supervisor This will enable the Placement Supervisor to get a good idea and take notes of how you have been developing the graduate skills for the module – and will ultimately make it easier for them to fill in the Evaluation form for you at the end of the module (25% of your overall module mark)

DBS and Other Expenses

DBS checks (formerly CRB checks) may be required by specific placements, especially if you are working with vulnerable adults or children. If they require a paid for DBS check, this will be required to be covered by the placement itself. If the placement you are wishing to volunteer with requires a DBS check, it is important that you contact them as early as possible to sort out a placement for CDM - this means there is more time for the DBS check to be sorted and returned (can take 4-6 weeks), and therefore you will be able to start your placement within good time and start logging your hours.

Unfortunately here at NUSU we cannot reimburse you for any travel or transport costs for your placement, on any route. You should look into the possibility of student transport offers/discounts or saver tickets to help with this cost.

Most placements that require a DBS check for their volunteers will require this before you start the placement. These can take anywhere up to 6 weeks to come through so it is important that you and the placement sort this out as soon as possible. Ideally, students should be starting their placements by mid-October, after they have attended the Induction Seminar for the module. This is so that you are properly informed of the module and you are issued with the necessary documentation and booklets for your placement that will help with your Initial Visit. If your DBS check is delayed, and you are worried about not making the required hours for the Semester, notify your module tutor of this problem. It is also worth asking your Placement Supervisor if there are any tasks that you can undertake that are not DBS check-reliant, e.g. administration, planning and organising, or preparing correspondence. It is important that you at least have your Initial Visit with them so that you can issue them with the Placement Supervisor Handbook, and that you can both fill out your Placement Learning Agreement Form (as there is a deadline by which this must be returned to the Careers Service.)