School of Politics and International Relations

Major developments for Politics Placement module

Substantial updates have been made to the Politics Placement module for students starting their third or fourth year this September.

Dr Kyriaki Nanou is now leading the optional module, which can be chosen by third-year students or fourth-year MSci students within the school. Providing opportunities for over 35 students to develop their skills and enhance their employability, the module has been refined following feedback from students and placement providers.

In particular, the school has developed placement partnerships with political organisations across the UK and overseas, with support provided via email and Skype. There are over 50 roles for students to choose from, including opportunities in:

  • London: Electoral Reform Society, BMG Consultancy Research
  • France: Trustworks Conflict Resolution Global
  • Italy: Centre for African studies
  • Europe: Go Digit All

The school has also partnered with one of the University's new research Beacons, the Rights Lab, which focuses on ways to end modern slavery.

Frank Kamau, Director at Mojatu Foundation, which provided placements on development across Africa, commented: "Ruwaida (Rue) started her placement in October and has continued volunteering with us. She was very helpful in identifying and recommending funding, as well as completing information on various funds for internal review. Her excellent knowledge and interest in supporting community work for girls and women played a major role in helping us make and succeed in a number of funding applications, above our usual expectations."

"Another student, Matthew, also joined Mojatu Foundation in October as Project Communications Manager. He developed standard project communications content for Litmed College which was used to launch a partnership program. In this process, he helped reduce our workload and developed a structured engagement process."

The Politics Placement module is semester-long with 10 weeks on placement, supported with workshops and seminars. These hands-on, interactive training and support sessions are delivered by Dr Nanou with support from Steve Vaccarini, Student Services Placements Officer, and Gillian Murchie and Luke Lynch, Careers and Employability Service. Gillian and Luke have reviewed workshop and seminar content and, in conjunction with Dr Nanou, made significant improvements, with a greater emphasis on case studies and group work, presentation skills and reflective practice, and the inclusion of an interactive workshop on interview skills.

Luke said: "This module is exciting for a number of reasons. Firstly, high-quality placements help make students more employable after graduation. Secondly, workshops and speaker events aid career decision-making by enabling students to unpack their unique set of strengths, interests and motivations. That all of this can be achieved within a student's degree programme is, of course, a huge bonus."

Since taking the module, many students have secured places on various graduate schemes, including the Local Government National Graduate Development Programme (following placements at Nottingham City Council).

Posted on Thursday 14th September 2017

School of Politics and International Relations

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University of Nottingham
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