Commuting to placement : impact on student learning, well-being and finances

McCool, Susan and Cohen, Wendy and Couper, Jennifer and Madden, Jamie (2017) Commuting to placement : impact on student learning, well-being and finances. In: 3rd International Enhancement in Higher Education Conference, 2017-06-06 - 2017-06-08, Radisson Blu Hotel. (

[thumbnail of McCool-etal-IEHEC-2017-commuting-to-placement-impact-on-student-learning-well-being-and-finances]
Text. Filename: McCool_etal_IEHEC_2017_commuting_to_placement_impact_on_student_learning_well_being_and_finances.pdf
Final Published Version

Download (510kB)| Preview


Work placements are becoming an increasingly prominent feature within higher education, in the drive towards enhanced graduate employability and as a pedagogical response to the desire to situate learning within real, practical contexts and applications. Little consideration is given to potential deleterious consequences for students, and the impact on learning and student well-being is under-explored. This project focused on one programme within the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow), where there is extensive student time on placement (the BSc Hons Speech and Language Pathology), as a means of understanding impacts of commuting to placement on students and disseminating that learning. Student interns with ‘lived experience’ of commuting to placement investigated the experiences of student speech and language therapists using a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Findings indicate that commuting to placement, rather than to university, leads to significantly greater impact on academic work, health and well-being and student finances. There are implications for student information and support. Potential detrimental impacts of placements are often over-looked, but to ignore such impacts is perilous within a wider context of teaching excellence, student satisfaction and widening access