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We present a case study of the integration of a work experience component into an undergraduate degree in Creative Digital Media. This is a fully accredited academic module that immerses the student in a professional working environment for most of a semester. The aim is to facilitate the development of digital media skills by applying them within the workplace and to leverage the use of work-based learning in order to produce more competent, confident and employable graduates. Our case study is informed firstly by analysis of, and reflection on, our experiences of running the programme since its inception in 2010. We describe the Creative Digital Media degree and how work experience is integrated into it, and also explain our strategies for securing, managing and assessing placements. Secondly we present the results of a substantial survey of the student experience of the process. We report on student attitudes to work experience and analyze the impact that it has on both undergraduate learning and post- graduation employment. Our findings indicate a strong belief within the graduate cohort that work experience is a valuable addition to the undergraduate programme particularly with respect to future employability. We also find that the effectiveness of the placement is closely linked to the type of organisation in which the student is placed. We conclude with some discussion of the results and some recent changes to the work experience process.
Mc. Cabe, H. (2016) Integrating Work Experience into the Digital Media Curriculum: A Case Study. Higher Education in Transformation Symposium November 2 - 4, 2016 in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.