Placement Year Programme

Student in year 2 can be accepted onto this programme from the academic year 2020/21. The placement year will always take place between years 2 and 3.

All students interested in undertaking a placement year should consider the following points:

  • Students on the Placement Year programme spend a year (minimum 30 weeks full-time with an average minimum of 32 hours per week) working in a commercial or non-profit organisation (including government) setting within the broad field of Politics and IR.
  • Placements are to be obtained by the student. The School’s Employability Co-ordinator will support the search for a placement or internship that is outlined in the programme specification, but the requirement lies with the student to secure a placement.
  • Students should contact their Student Finance provider before they consider making a change from a three year to a four year programme as they may have personal circumstances that affect their eligibility to receive further funding.
  • Maintenance funds are normally reduced whilst students are on placement (there are some specific exclusions) so it’s important that they are reassessed as soon as possible to know how much they are entitled to –
  • If a student chooses to move onto the placement year and has already applied for funding for the next academic year against their 3 year course they should make sure that this application is updated as soon as soon as possible.


Having considered the points above, students wishing to undertake a placement should spend weeks 1-17 of their second year searching for and securing a placement. This can be done with the support of the School’s Employability Officer and the Careers and Employability Service. Placements must be secured and confirmed by week 18 of the academic year. Students should declare their interest in moving to the four year POLIR with a Placement year during week 18 of the academic year and should be prepared to show the paperwork securing their placement(s).

The programme director will meet formally with the placement cohort by week 24 of the academic year to outline the requirements of the placement year and what is expected of students whilst they are on placement.

All documentation, including risk assessments, workplace agreements and contracts, should be drawn up and completed no late than 31st May in each academic year. It is therefore important students check their email regularly throughout the Easter vacation, to ensure they are promptly responding to any requests for information.

Once all paperwork has been completed by the University, student and employer the programme director will liaise with the Student Support Manager to have the relevant students formally moved on to the four year programme.

Students will remain on their original programmes until all paperwork is completed. Students who do not complete paperwork by May 31st will not be permitted to undertake a placement.


Assessment of the placement is Pass/Fail, based on passing two components:

  • Confirmation by the workplace manager, evidencing: the student attended and engaged with the placement, the student’s management capability and decision-making skills, the resourcefulness and creativity they have evidenced, their functional/technical skills and knowledge, written and oral communication skills, ability to work in a team and general reliability.
  • Assessment of a 5000-word reflective written report produced by the student for the Placement Year module. This piece will be required for submission no later than two weeks following the end of the student’s placement(s).
  • In order to pass the module overall, both components need to achieve pass marks.

The Programme Director will normally keep in touch on a monthly basis by telephone or Skype to ensure that the student is settled in placement and that preparations are made for the assessment.