Work placement

Work placements are an important part of studying at a university of applied sciences. They are opportunities to learn and apply your skills and knowledge in practice.

You will also network and build contacts with different types of workplace organisations.

At its best, a work placement provides employment and thesis cooperation opportunities.

Placement in the Degree Programme in Social Services

In the Degree Programme in Social Services, the total credit load of work placements is 43 ECTS credits.

Work placements are supervised and goal-oriented practical learning, and they are assessed in the same way as other modules. They include both active work and observing tasks.

During the work placement, you will be supported by the supervising teacher and a workplace supervisor. The teacher provides information about the contents, goals and methods of work placements.

The workplace supervisor works with the student on the specific aims of the work placement, supports your professional growth and organises weekly review discussions.

You will also receive feedback from your supervisor and colleagues in your daily tasks.

Work placements are usually unpaid, unless you complete your work placement under an employment contract.


Forms

All important forms concerning placement are available on the Forms page.

Before the start of the placement period

  • Follow the instructions given by your supervising teacher to book your work placement. When choosing the placement, think about what types of skills you want to practice, how the placement will help you advance your study plan, and what types of workplaces you already have experience of.
  • Contact the workplace organisation: introduce yourself, describe your skills and learning aims and ask about the objectives of the workplace in question. Be prepared to attend an interview before your place is confirmed.
  • Read the field-specific instructions on work placements and familiarise yourself with the work placement path and other documents. They can all be found on these pages.
  • If your work placement involves working with minors, request a background check via the online service portal of the Ministry of Justice and submit the document to the student affairs office before the start of your work placement. You can request the check once your place has been confirmed. You will only need to submit the document to the student affairs office once during your studies, but work placement providers may request it separately for each work placement period. The document is valid for 6 months and free of charge. Further information.

At the start of your work placement

  • Determine your personal learning aims with the placement supervisor, taking into account the relevant study modules and the objectives of the workplace.
  • Submit your learning aims to the supervising teacher. If necessary, you can revise your learning aims with the supervising teacher and the placement supervisor during your placement.
  • You will also draw up a work placement plan with your supervisor. The plan will help you monitor your progress and ensure that the tasks support your learning and goals.
  • Inform your supervisor about any assignments you will have during the placement and how much time you will need for them.
  • Sign the confidentiality agreement, if required by the workplace. In any case, pay attention to the confidentiality obligation. It also applies to social media.
  • Adhere to the working principles of the workplace organisation and work towards your learning aims. Familiarise yourself with the health and safety rules.

During the placement

  • Work towards your learning aims and find your personal way of learning on the job. Work placements are opportunities to both learn and apply what you have already learned.
  • You should be fully focused on the work placement in order to make the most of it. This means that you should avoid other work and studies during the work placement, if possible.
  • If you retake exams during the work placement, contact your supervisor to organise your work hours accordingly. If you have other course commitments during the work placement, discuss with your supervisor how you can make up for any absences.
  • Be active and ask questions. Familiarise yourself with the workplace community, its policies, practices and facilities.
  • Complete the learning assignments on time. If your tasks include a learning diary, update it regularly.
  • If you feel that you need more orientation and guidance, tell your supervisor about your needs. Be specific about what type of guidance you need.
  • Look after yourself and make sure you get enough rest.
  • Notify both your supervisor and the supervising teacher if you are absent due to illness or another reason. Your absences will be recorded in the rota according to the normal procedure. In the case of a longer illness, you should also notify your guidance counsellor. Discuss with your supervising teacher how you can make up for the absence.
  • Remember: your attitude is important! Stick to the agreed schedules and tasks and be proactive. Even tasks that feel insignificant can be useful experiences.
  • If you encounter problems during your work placement or feel that you are not getting enough guidance or that the workplace environment doesn’t support you towards your learning aims, please don’t hesitate to contact your supervising teacher or guidance counsellor. They can get in touch with the placement supervisor and arrange a joint discussion.
  • If you need additional support, contact your supervising teacher or the student welfare team.

At the end of the placement

  • Complete a written self-assessment at the end of your work placement. Honestly evaluate your knowledge and skills, and identify your strengths and areas in need of improvement.
  • Attend the final assessment and the reflection seminar to evaluate your professional development.
  • Give feedback to your supervising teacher, the placement supervisor and the workplace community about the guidance.