Student Placements and Communities of Practice: Opportunities and Challenges

  • Melanie Prideaux Leeds
  • Caroline Starkey Leeds


At a time when increasing societal demand for religious literacy is coupled with pressure on UK universities to provide robust ‘employability’ provision for students, this paper will examine the role of placements as part of the academic study of religion. ‘Communities of practice’ (Wenger, 1998) will be used as a framework to support an interrogation of the student journey between the academy and the placement organisation and will open up critical questions about the ethical dimension to the placement opportunity. A practical account of how this is experienced, evidenced and problematized for students will be provided through a case study of the final year ‘External Placement’ module at the University of Leeds which will support the argument that the development of skills, and an awareness of the nature and practice of the student’s expertise, is fundamental to both academic development and to the potential for students to make applied use of their undergraduate studies after graduation.

How to Cite
PRIDEAUX, Melanie; STARKEY, Caroline. Student Placements and Communities of Practice: Opportunities and Challenges. Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religion (JBASR), [S.l.], v. 22, p. 109-121, dec. 2020. ISSN 2516-6379. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 29 mar. 2023. doi: