Cross-institutional study on placements in life sciences

Armstrong, Vanessa, Mello, Luciane V. and Page, Nigel (2019) Cross-institutional study on placements in life sciences. In: Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference : Making Connections and Sharing Pedagogy; 03 - 04 July 2019, Kingston-upon-Thames, U.K.. (Unpublished)


The workplace for life science graduates is rapidly changing and the destinations of recent graduates has never been so diverse. The importance of gaining valuable work experience in order to develop and gain graduate positions is clear, however, not all students undertake such experiences. Determining student motivations and inhibitory factors they may face for undertaking work placements is essential in order to best determine needs and offer support. Most current research is fixed on a single institution but in order to determine whether themes are seen across the sector in 2017, an ethically approved study was performed across three institutions, Newcastle University, Kingston University London and University of Liverpool. A survey including 18 questions and a diverse range of placements were incorporated. Two student interns helped analyse data and ran a focus group in order to gain further insight into undergraduate opinion. A total of 292 students responded to this survey, evenly split across the three institutions. Motivations for undertaking such opportunities were similar with reasons such as improving employability and developing new skills being ranked highly. Interestingly distinct differences across the institutions was seen in the reasons for those not planning to undertake such an opportunity. The majority of those who had undertaken one had had a very positive experience and would recommend to others, although some institutional distinctions in perceived benefits were observed. Further analysis of in-house placement data highlighted some interesting patterns. Combined, these findings will allow improved engagement and support provision for all students to undertake a range of placements and help improve their employability acknowledging and addressing the diversity of the student cohort.

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page