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The aim of this article was to document a project in work placement in third level design education. Students studying visual merchandising display and design were surveyed on their work experiences, one cohort was in second year and undertook a two week placement, the other were in their third and final year and were undertaking a two day per week placement for the entire academic year. The aim of this project was to research work placement as part of a tertiary design degree to ascertain the benefit for the student cohorts, and whether or not work placement should be considered for other design orientated subjects in the same faculty. The article discusses the learning theories behind work based learning and researches relevant literature. Students were asked to voluntary complete a survey on the validity of their work placements. The feedback from a student questionnaire conducted at the conclusion and during the work placements indicated that opportunities for student groups to work cooperatively with industry, encourages learners to develop, and encourages students to exceed their creative and theoretical learning of the course. The study concludes that work based skills may be an inherent role for all design disciplines. The author acknowledges that the results are from a small survey and a larger study should be conducted on a much longer basis, interviewing the same group of graduates over a period of, possibly, five years.
Meakin, K.: The Benefit of Work Placement in Tertiary Design Education. DIT LTTC Graduate Student Conference. June, 2010.