A placement year is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills, put your existing knowledge to the test, and even gain a job at the end of your degree. Wanting to find out more about placement years? This is your guide to placement years.
Placement years are usually completed as a year out from your university studies. Many take place during university term times, but others may be more like a full-time job. During and at the end of your placement, you will be assessed and will receive academic credit or grades.
Some courses will pre-arrange placements with outside organisations, so you may find that your placement year is already arranged for you. If you find that your placement hasn’t been arranged for you, you will have to arrange your own. A good source for finding a relevant work placement is your university careers service.
Careers advisers will be able to point you in the right direction. You may find that the careers service has arranged work and placement fairs to help you meet employers face-to-face. Sites such as Prospects.ac.uk are also a great place to find work placements.
When arranging your own work placement, ask for all terms and conditions to be agreed with you beforehand and agreed in writing also, as work placements are not covered by employment legislation. Remember, your careers service is there to help you with all of this.
You may find that applying for a work placement is similar to applying for a job, with the most competitive placements often requiring candidates to go through assessment centres and rounds of interviews.
Each placement is different, but there are some areas in which they are similar. Many placements are year-long for example, though some may only be for a few weeks or months. If you are on a year-long sandwich placement, you can expect to be paid, this could be anywhere between £11,000 and £25,000.
Make sure you agree any payments before you start your placement. You’ll also be assessed at regular intervals, remember that your placement year will go towards your overall grade.