The history of Professional Training

Professional Training (PT) has been an integral part of undergraduate degrees, with well defined learning and assessment outcomes, for over forty years. 

The long history of Professional Training at the University, the strong links with companies and the high level of support provided by the University, mean that Professional Training at the University of Surrey is a highly professional and rewarding experience.

Professional Training, as it is called today at the University of Surrey, has a long history that goes back to the times in which the University was a polytechnic in London.

Battersea Polytechnic was located in south-west London and appeared, along with others at the time, as the response of the great polytechnic movement that sprung from the charities of London trying to:

"promote the education of the poorer inhabitants of the metropolis by technical instruction, secondary education, art education, evening lectures, or otherwise, and generally to improve their physical, social and moral condition." 

Pioneering in Education for the Technologies: The Story of Battersea College of Technology: The Story of Battersea College of Technology by H. Arrowsmith. 1966, pg. 1.

The Battersea Industrial Year Experience was the start of a long era of Professional Training at the University, and it was during this time that academic tutor visits began.

After the move of the University to Guildford, the University of Surrey took part in the Universities Commission for Integrated Sandwich Courses (UCISC) that established a standard for sandwich courses as students were previously given little assistance to find a placement. The code of practice so established by UCISC had the following criteria:

  • Placements were a compulsory part of the course
  • Students had to be paid employees of the host company
  • The university was responsible for securing and approving the placement
  • Students must keep a formal record of the placement
  • Students must be visited at least three times on a full year placement
  • The performance in the placement must be assessed
  • At least 50% of the assessment must arise from an assessment by the employer
  • The assessment must be recognised either by inclusion in the final overall assessment of the degree or by a separate award
  • These criteria have shaped Professional Training at the University of Surrey and similar criteria are still used today

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