What information is available in the study regulations about the work placement?
Bachelor’s in Educational Science (StO 2018): According to the study regulations, you are required to take the module ‘ERZ-B2-G2: Professional Orientation and Professional Practice’ (12 credits) as part of your major. This module includes a compulsory work placement with a duration of six weeks. The lecture ‘The Theory–Practice Problem in the Field of Pedagogy’ (3 credits) will help you prepare for your work placement and must be taken before you undertake the placement.
The preparation for your work placement includes an introduction to the theory–practice problem and the ways in which you can reflect on this relationship in the coursework you will complete as part of your work placement. The work placement consists of two stages. The first is the practical stage at the respective institution, in which you will learn about the different challenges and problems that pedagogical practice throws up (approx. 180 hours). The second stage takes the form of a theoretical reflection on a selection of the challenges and problems that you experienced during your work placement. This will be realised in the form of a case study, which will be your work placement coursework (12–15 pages) (approx. 60 hours). This coursework will be marked.
Before the work placement, you should find a work placement supervisor in the Education Department. This person will supervise your work placement coursework and can help you to identify a research question. For the work placement and the preparation of the work placement coursework, you will receive a total of 8 credits.
After your work placement, you will take a work placement follow-up course, for which you will receive 1 credit. In this course, you will be able to reflect on your work placement and you will receive further important information about the design and preparation of the work placement coursework. When you attend the follow-up course, you should have identified the problem that you plan to explore in your coursework, formulated the research question and drafted an initial outline. In the best-case scenario, you will have largely completed your coursework and will be able to share your findings with your fellow students.
Who is my contact person?
Your primary contact person is the supervisor who is working with you on your work placement coursework. You can find out who this person is by referring to the course prospectus. In addition, PD Dr. Link is available to advise you on any questions you might have relating to the course.
Will I get credits for previous work placements?
If you have already completed a work placement, you can gain credit for:
- An educational science work placement in another degree programme
- A completed course in a professional field in educational science
- Work as a research assistant or a student research assistant
You will not be able to gain credit for any of the following:
- A voluntary social year (FSJ)
- Work as an au pair
- Voluntary service, alternative service or similar
Please complete the following form to have your work placement recognised:
- Even if you are allowed to gain credits for a work placement that you have already completed, you will still need to do the work placement coursework.
- From the point of view of your academic studies, the focus of the work placement is on the theoretical reflection of the practical work you have experienced.
Can I split the work placement up if I am unable to do six weeks in a single stretch?
You can complete the work placement either weekly alongside your studies or in one go during the part of the year in which you do not have any lectures. If you do not have the opportunity to complete your work placement in one six-week block, then it is possible to split this. It is important that you complete a total of approx. 180 hours (StO 2018) in the practical part of the course. You should plan in approx. 60 hours (StO 2018) for writing the work placement coursework.
How do I find a work placement?
You are responsible for finding your own work placement. The work placement should correspond to your professional interests and be the first opportunity you have to orientate yourself in the profession. At the same time, it is often the case that a work placement can be a stepping stone to a future career and it may even be the case that you may find employment in the organisation in the future. Finding a suitable work placement is thus time-consuming but worthwhile. It is therefore key that you look leave plenty of time to look for a suitable and stimulating position.
The University of Potsdam’s work placement portal provides information on many questions regarding work placements. Here you will also find current job offers for work placements in Berlin, Brandenburg, Germany and the rest of the world, all updated on a daily basis.
In what kind of institutions can I undertake a work placement?
The work placement provider should:
- Be an official organisation of some type (i.e. at least a registered charity or limited company)
- Provide an adequate continuous educational offer for children, young people or adults
- Be able to provide guidance and supervision in the form of a professional member of staff who has completed a relevant university or college course
Where can I find a placement supervisor?
Once you have found a placement, you will need to find your own placement supervisor.
Every member of the Education Department at Potsdam is allowed and required to supervise work placements and evaluate work placement coursework.
When looking for a suitable supervisor, do check what their work and research focus is; your supervisor should be knowledgeable about the particular challenges of your work placement.
Information about all staff members in the Education Department can be found under: ‘Professorships in the Department’.
For your work placement coursework, you need to choose a problem and a research question (the lecture ‘The Theory–Practice Problem in the Field of Pedagogy’ will help you prepare for this). You should discuss the broad idea for this with your supervisor, before the beginning of the work placement, if possible.
Before the first meeting with your supervisor, it would be a good idea to inform yourself about the requirements for the work placement coursework, so that you have a clear sense of what you want to write about and can get the most out of the discussion with your supervisor.
What options do I have if there are problems during the work placement?
The work placement is primarily intended to give you an insight into your professional field. Therefore, it will not be much help if your main task is, say, making the coffee.
At the following link you will find information about what you can expect from a good work placement. If you think that your work placement does not meet the requirements of a good work placement, you can choose to leave early. You should discuss this with your supervisor.
Where do I get the work placement certificate?
You can find the work placement certificate here: Work Placement Certificate BA. It must be signed by the Work Placement Office and then attached to the work placement coursework. After the work placement coursework has been assessed and evaluated, you must then submit the work placement certificate as proof of achievement to Dr. Link, the Subject Lead. He will then enter the grade in PULS. Alternatively, your work placement supervisor can inform PD Dr. Link directly.
Does your work placement institution require proof that you are undertaking a compulsory work placement?
If this is a requirement of your work placement, then you can find the relevant form for this here: Compulsory Work Placement. Please have the form signed by your work placement supervisor.
What are the requirements for the work placement coursework?
The requirements for the work placement coursework can be found at the following link:
The coursework will be marked.
What kind of follow-up is there on the work placement and how will my grades be recorded?
A follow-up seminar is held every semester. You can register for the seminar via PULS. Looking back on your practical experience, the follow-up seminar is intended to help you:
- Assess your strengths and weaknesses with regard to your future professional practice
- Gain insight into the problems that came up in other students’ placements
- Focus your ideas in preparation for writing the work placement coursework
The work placement coursework can be completed before this follow-up seminar, but it does not have to be. However, when you attend the follow-up, you should at least have worked out what the problem you are going to work on is going to be, identified the research question and drafted the outline.
You can register for the work placement/work placement coursework via PULS (using the Examination Administration button). Please choose Dr. Link as the examiner, who, as the Subject Lead, will coordinate recording your grade. The location of the work placement and the focus of the work placement coursework must be agreed in advance with a lecturer in the Education Department (your work placement supervisor). After the assessment and evaluation of the coursework, the lecturer (your work placement supervisor) will confirm that you have successful completed the work placement on the work placement certificate attached to the coursework. This certificate of achievement should be submitted to the Subject Lead so that he can assign your credits.