Module Focus: Developing Personal and Professional Competence

Module Focus: Developing Personal and Professional Competence

Are you looking to gain some work experience while you study? Or do you fancy studying abroad during the summer? Perhaps you’re looking for volunteering or consultancy opportunities but are not sure where to start.

At GCU London, you don’t have to look far. Several of GCU London’s Master programmes include a module called ‘Developing Personal and Professional Competence’ which allows you to gain external experience whilst you study and give you an edge on the competition in the labour market.

Students can choose to undertake an internship or placement, volunteer, study abroad or take part in consultancy as part of your studies.

How it works

At the start of the module we’ll ask you to identify your current skills and identify any gaps that you feel you need to work on. After identifying these gaps you’ll decide whether work experience, volunteering, studying abroad or consultancy would help you to best develop your personal and professional competence (hence the module title!).

We recognise that all of our students come from different backgrounds with different levels of work experience so the module has been designed to suit you. You choose what suits you best.

All students must complete at least 60 hours of external engagement and document their experiences. Once completed, we’ll ask you to reflect again on what you’ve learnt and identify further opportunities for development.

The 60 hours is designed to be flexible as possible, meaning you could either complete a 2 week block or do a few hours every week until you reach 60 hours. Sometimes our students will enjoy their experiences so much that they’ll do more than the 60 hours required!


Previous student Amy particular enjoyed the internship module. She said “For me, the highlight of my course was definitely the opportunity to gain work experience through an External Engagement internship in London as part of my programme coursework.

“Interning for a company also helped me learn how my classroom knowledge applied to real situations and strengthened my resume. It gave me a valuable insight into my future career.”

‘Work experience sounds great but how do I find it?’

We won’t simply give you an internship or a volunteering opportunity but our team are here to help you. Liz Wilkinson, our expert Careers Consultant, has lots of connections within the industry and can help you hone your CV, your application writing and your interview skills. She’ll even help you with your LinkedIn profile so you’ll stand out to potential companies / organisations. Moreover, our External Engagement Coordinator, Thomas Peschken, and your Programme Leaders can also provide you with useful feedback on what might be best option for you and your future career.

Applying for these opportunities gives you a great chance to practice finding a job for when you graduate.

Three reasons why

Students who complete this module have the opportunity to connect with people outside the University and network for future employment. If you impress, some employers may even consider you for a permanent role after graduation.

External engagement is not just about gaining experience. It’s about learning how the real world relates to what you’re learning in the classroom. It helps you apply theory to outside world whilst using your outside world experience to help inform your studies.

Our students who volunteer or take part in consultancy are giving something back to the world. They are using their skills to help others improve. As a University for the Common Good we take this seriously and are always looking for students with a drive to improve local and global communities.