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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. 

Progress 2021/2022

  • We created new opportunities for undergraduate students, which more than doubled the number engaging in experiences. We financially supported 20 students to complete placements of 24 weeks or longer; 180 students to undertake an 8-week internship; and 84 students to travel abroad. 
  • We have also developed our thinking around how we might formally recognise a range of students’ experiences outside their academic studies, and shared good practice examples of supporting employability skills within the curriculum.   

Achievement: We won the “University Progression Initiative of the Year 2022” for the Professional Mentoring programme

Our Priorities for 2022/2023

Approve an independant study module as a vehicle to recognise a range of experiences and give students opportunity to personalise their studies.