Skip to main content

Placement years

Undertake a 9-12 month work placement to accelerate your career.

What's involved in a placement year?

A placement year can help you:

  • gain experience
  • develop commercial awareness
  • increase your confidence
  • make contacts within the sector

It can also be a great way to try out a career choice and consider if it’s a good fit for you in the future.

Most students can expect to:

  • go out on placement after your penultimate year of study, extending your degree programme by one year
  • continue as a registered student, with access to University services
  • find and apply for the placement yourself, with support from the Careers Service. Most placements are paid, although there are some exceptions
  • complete a 120 credit module while on placement, such as the Careers Service Module
  • be allocated a University contact to discuss any personal or workplace issues with

For placement commitments and responsibilities read: The Undergraduate Placements Charter [PDF:144KB].

Who manages your placement year?

Depending on which course you're studying, there may be some differences around:

  • what is required for your placement year
  • who you need to contact for information

Use our form to find out who will support you: the Careers Service or your academic school.

Careers Service Managed Placement Year

Follow the steps below to get started with a Careers Service placement year:

School Managed Placement Year

Follow the steps below to get started with a School managed placement year.

International Students

 International students can complete placements too. Find out more:

Be inspired

It’s not always easy to decide whether a placement year is right for you or to know which sector or role to apply for.

Use the following resources for inspiration:

Not sure what you want to do?

You may be thinking of taking a placement year, but not sure exactly what you want to do. You can:

  • get started by exploring our advice on career planning. This includes a guide to making career choices.
  • book a guidance appointment via MyCareer. Our careers consultants can help you with exploring your options or planning your career.

When and how to apply for placements

Applications take time and effort. It's more effective to make a few high quality, well-tailored, applications than lots of generic ones.

80% of our current Careers Service placement students applied for between 1-20 placements before they were successful.

When and how you apply can depend on the type of role, company and sector you’re interested in.

Finding Placements

There are two main approaches when looking for placements:

  • searching for advertised opportunities
  • finding 'hidden' opportunities

This section offers resources and information to help you look for both.

Getting started

Our 14 minute presentation on 'How to find a year-long placement' covers:

  • where to look for a year-long placement
  • how to look most effectively
  • where to find additional information and support

You can also use our Preparing to Find a Placement pathway before you begin searching.


In this section, you’ll find information about student fees and finance.

Most of our students undertake paid placements but we’ve also put together resources to help you if you’re considering an unpaid placement.

Further support

You can get help with deciding whether a placement year is right for you and how to search and apply for opportunities. Use MyCareer to book our in-person and online 1:1 appointments, submit a query or book a place at our events.

Careers Service Placement Year Module

Student who are completing a placement year managed by the Careers Service will also undertake the Careers Service Placement Year Module. This is a 120- credit module completed over the course of the placement year (9-12 months). It will count towards your final degree classification.