Differences between placement and non-placement students: a mixed methods approach

R McGuire-Snieckus, G Markopoulos, M Coombs, D Stevens, A Vitale, E Wainwright

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution


While there is much research to suggest the benefits of placements to the graduate destinations of students in higher education (Lowden et al., 2012; Pegg et al., 2012) there is little literature on the possible differences between students who choose to go on placements compared to those who do not. To this end, a mixed-methods approach was taken to explore these possible differences. Quantitative data included self-reported findings on the Aspiration Scale (O'Brien and Hepner, 1996), Employability skills (Reddy and Moores, 2006), Hope Trait Scale (Snyder et al., 1991) and Self-Perceived Employability Scale (Rothwell et al., 2009). Quantitative data focusing on the differences between placement and non-placement students on said scales were supplemented by qualitative data based on two unstructured focus groups. The qualitative data suggest differences in confidence (placement self-efficacy) and guilt (taking limited placement resources) that might impact on the decision or likelihood of applying for placement. Questions over primary responsibility for securing placements (the individual or the institution) were raised. Implications regarding the heterogeneity of students (especially mature students) were identified suggesting that a 'one size fits all' approach to placements is unlikely to be fruitful.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBPS (British Psychological Society) Mathematical, Statistical and Computing Psychology Section: Scientific Meeting
PublisherBritish Psychological Society
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2014


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