Module Title:Professional Work Placement
Language of Instruction:English
Credits: 20
NFQ Level:7
Module Delivered In No Programmes
Teaching & Learning Strategies: The professional placement module is of 24 week duration which will be undertaken in two x 12 week placements (or the possibility of a single 24 week placement). One of these will be undertaken with a registered Host Farmer and the other either with a registered agribusiness or a registered farm building construction firm. All placements must be approved by IT Carlow. In September of the academic year learners will commence discussion of their placement requirements with the Work Placement Co- Ordinator in IT Carlow, who will assist in the choice of a suitable location. They will also be supported in the preparation of CV’s, Interview Skills and letters of Application. Where the learner is required to undertake placement, they must complete the placement with a Host Farmer, agribusiness or farm construction firm. This term is used to define a farmer and/or agribusiness/farm construction firm having undergone a selection process which includes a Safety Audit of the farm/agribusiness/farm construction firm facilities.
Module Aim: Placement is central to the programme. The placement provides opportunities for progressive, professional development where the learner can reflect on, analyse and evaluate professional practice. Placement also offers the learner opportunities for putting into practice, theories, ideas and activities generated in the taught elements of the programme. In this way, placements provide experience and examples that can be used to link theory and practice in teaching methodologies such as problem-based learning. It is a 24 week long Professional Work Placement which will be undertaken in two x 12 week placements or the possibility of a single 24 week placement at a suitable location such as a farm, an agribusiness or a farm building contracting business. The aim of the placement will be to develop the managerial and skills based expertise to run a farm or an agri-business successfully and sustainably, nationally or internationally.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:
LO1 Demonstrate competencies that characterise modern farming, agribusiness or farm building practice.
LO2 Demonstrate development of skills of analysis, critical thinking, problem solving and reflective practice
LO3 Participate fully under supervision in the day to day running of the farm, agribusiness or farm construction firm.
LO4 Carry out farm tasks in a safe and environmentally friendly manner, with due regard for animal welfare
LO5 Develop personal confidence, communications and team working skills in a practical working farm, agribusiness or farm construction firm environment
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is recommended before enrolment in this module.

No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed.
No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Support for the learner:
When the student has identified a placement on a farm, agribusiness or agricultural building contracting firm, the College Tutor in charge of student placement will contact the host farmer/company to discuss the placement in detail. The key person taking responsibility for supervising the student is nominated and given a copy of the Professional Placement Manual. At the beginning of the placement the student and the placement tutor meet to ensure the student is fully aware of the supports available to him/her and has a full understanding of both their academic and work obligations in respect of the Placement. During the placement the student is visited by his/her academic supervisor to report on the progress of the placement and to address any problems that may have arisen. The professional placement module has been specifically designed to allow learners in Sustainable Farm Management and Agribusiness, companies and organisations to develop and enhance their capabilities in terms of marketing and research in a very cost-effective manner while at the same time enabling learners of the IT Carlow to acquire professional experience early in their careers. The professional placement module is of 24 week duration which will be undertaken in two x 12 week placements (or the possibility of a single 24 week placement on a suitable farm/agribusiness) one of which must be on a farm and the other either with a construction firm working on farms or with an agri-business. In circumstances where placement restrictions apply owing to personal limitations, or when unfavourable economic conditions exist, alternative educational and practical programmes will be arranged for the benefit of learners. This would be seen as a most exceptional situation and every effort will be made to ensure that learners avail of the Professional Placement Programme. It is hoped that the college will be able to place learners in organisations such as: • The Department of the Environment • The EPA • Selected master-farmers • Agribusinesses including the following companies:  Cooney Furlong Grain Company  Breen Agricultural Services  Bolger Agri  Connolly’s Red Mills, Goresbridge, Co. Kilkenny  O’Sullivan Agricultural Services  Glanbia  Slaney Foods  Irish Country Meats  Volac (Ireland) Ltd  Galavan Supplements  Pat Denn Agriculture
Work Placements Abroad
Opportunities will be explored to provide opportunities for professional work placements in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and on farms and agribusinesses in France, The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. The aim of this will be to broaden the learner’s knowledge of different farming systems and environments. Master Farmers and Agribusinesses for Professional Work Placements and for On-Farm Visits will be selected under the following criteria: • They will be outstanding farmers in their chosen category, i.e. dairying, crop production, suckling, sheep farming, pig production, Conservation Agriculture, users of precision farming techniques, artisan food producers, organic farmers and farms using innovative techniques such as anaerobic digestion of slurry, robotic milking machines and other advanced but sustainable farming techniques. • They will have demonstrated an interest in assisting learners in the most modern farming , agribusiness and agricultural construction technologies • Farmers will be subscribers to and approved by Teagasc as suitable for the on-farm training of learners from this programme • They will have had prior experience in hosting agriculture students and Apprentices under the former Farm Apprenticeship Scheme. A Memorandum of Understanding will be prepared between IT Carlow and the Irish Farmers Association to govern the terms and conditions of Professional Placements and on-farm visits. Learners will be informed that high standards of work will be expected of them during their Professional Work Placement so that both they and the farm/agribusiness achieves maximum benefit from the Placement. Should the learner fail to meet the stated standards he/she will fail this module. Despite the fact that all farms and agribusinesses have different characteristics, every effort will be made by the Institute staff to ensure consistency of the learning experience for each learner. This will be achieved by arranging informal meetings of learners during their placements so that they can learn from each other and ensure that each learner will meet the QQI standard and the IT Carlow Quality Assurance Standard for the Work Placement. IT Carlow already has built up a considerable body of experience in managing Professional Work Placements for its Business programmes and this experience, plus the close cooperation with Teagasc and the Irish Farmers Association will be utilized in ensuring the consistency of this module.
Assessment Breakdown%
Continuous Assessment100.00%
Continuous Assessment
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Other Employer Rating: Employers must complete an Employer Feedback Form at the end of the work placement. 1,2,3,4,5 20.00 n/a
Reflective Journal Record of learning 1,2,3,4,5 30.00 n/a
Project Project in the form of an agri -business report on the farm/business This could take the form of one report on a 24 week placement or two mini report 1,2,3,4,5 50.00 n/a
No Project
No Practical
No End of Module Formal Examination

ITCarlow reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Contact Hours Every Week 0.25
Total Hours 0.25