The majority of undergraduate programmes offered by the schools within the Division of Human and Social Sciences come with the option of doing a year in industry (also known as a placement year) between the second and final year of your degree course. You’ll spend up to 12 months employed and undertaking graduate level tasks and projects within a company and it counts as part of your degree.

Why do a degree with a placement?

A placement is a good way of gaining work experience alongside your degree. It provides insights into the real world, and a chance to use your skills and to develop them further. It gives you a chance to see if you would enjoy a particular job or type of company before committing yourself. Even if you decide that the type of work you did on the placement isn’t for you, you will have gained skills and experience and know more about applying for jobs – often your placement employer will be willing to act as a referee. Unemployment rates for graduates who have done a placement are typically much lower than for graduates who have not.

By applying for placements and going for interviews, you greatly improve your application and interview skills, giving you a distinct advantage in your final year. An added advantage is that placement students often get a better final degree grade, perhaps because of the knowledge they have gained during their year out, or because they have improved their time management and interpersonal skills during the placement.

It’s competitive, but if you work hard during the application process it really can pay off.

A placement year can help you to make decisions about your future career – to discover what you like and dislike about the work, where your strengths and weaknesses lie and what possibilities there are for long-term career development in that field of work. Taking time to reflect on what you have seen and done during your placement, and how you have developed as a result, is an important part of learning through your work experience.

Want to learn more?

If you are in your first year and interested in undertaking a placement year, but not already registered on the placement year programme, please complete this form to be added to our waiting list. If you are in your second year or if you have any questions regarding the placement year, please email the Placements Team: