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All students will have experiences beyond their academic studies

Brunel has always understood the value of work placements to students’ future success, and this remains a key offering. But we also know that there are many different ways in which students can, and already do, experience the world outside their studies. We will therefore recognise a range of different experiences that allow students to get a broader perspective on their university education, including shorter periods of experience locally, nationally or internationally, and support them to reflect on the value of these experiences for their ongoing professional development.

All students will be able to tailor a personalised learning experience by choosing to engage in volunteering, employment, exchange, internship or placement, and we are strengthening our local, national and international partnerships to actively create new opportunities that will ensure an inclusive approach. The combination of a diverse curriculum and experiences give students a solid foundation to question and be critical of sources of knowledge, resulting in socially responsible graduates who can view the world from the perspectives of others.

The drive to ensure our education remains relevant and links learning to life influences our approach to assessment. As we regard assessment to be a critical part of the learning process, we view assessment as not just an opportunity to grade students, but as an opportunity to learn. This is reflected in an assessment philosophy that is grounded in being authentic and integrated, providing students with opportunities to use the competencies they will need to demonstrate in their professional lives. We will build on our existing expertise in programme-level assessment and digital examinations to rethink and redesign assessment. 

Actions and Priorities

What are we trying to achieve?

To improve the outcomes and life chances for all our students, providing a solid foundation on which to build their professional lives as socially responsible graduates.


We know that linking learning to life, and life to learning, is beneficial. Many students have experiences beyond their academic studies (e.g. part-time work, internships, volunteering), but currently we do not support them to recognise the value of these experiences to their education and ongoing professional development. 

Our priorities for 2021/22

  • Start discussions of how a broader range of experiences, particularly those outside of their academic studies, can be recorded       
  • Consider how these experiences can be recognised, either informally through the Brunel+ Award or formally for credit
  • Increase opportunities and financial support for student mobility
  • Increase financial support for unpaid placements and expand opportunities for paid internships