Careers Service

Placement Year

About

Integrating a placement year into your degree is a great way of developing skills and gaining a better understanding of the world of work.

Placement years are degree-based work experience opportunities with an organisation, lasting between 9-12 months. They are sometimes advertised as industrial or sandwich placements.

They tend to be aimed at undergraduate students in their penultimate year of study. Postgraduate and final year undergraduate students are not usually eligible as students are expected to return to their studies after completing the placement.

There are some year long placements available for graduates. ScotGrad offers 12 month paid placements for graduates of any UK University.

Work placements on all undergraduate degrees

If you are considering a placement year, see Who manages my placement year?‌‌ (PDF:196KB) to find out who will be able to offer you support.

Some academic schools run specific placement year programmes. You can contact the relevant school co-ordinator listed to register your interest.

If your school does not run a placement year for your degree programme, you can register your interest in the Careers Service Placement Year.

Benefits of doing a placement year

A placement year can help you:

  • apply your skills and knowledge to real business situations
  • try out a career choice
  • gain confidence and experience of adapting to different environments
  • develop your commercial acumen and occupational awareness
  • make contacts within the sector
  • earn a salary for the work you are doing
  • potentially receive a graduate job offer

Placements can also potentially lead to a higher degree classification. In 2015, 100% of Business School graduates who did a placement achieved either a 1st or 2:1.

When to apply for advertised placements

Applications start to open in September, the year before the placement will take place. They start to close between November and February. This is usually to allow for quite a lengthy application process.

Some companies may accept applications all year round, but it is best to start looking as early as possible.

See CVs and applications for details on how to make an effective CV, covering letter and application form.

Further information

Events to look out for

Recruitment fairs are not just for graduate jobs. Several employers at our events also offer placement years, so go along and find out more about their opportunities.

At our employer presentations you can hear about their placement schemes, build your network and ask questions. They usually take place at lunchtime or after 17.00.

Guides and advice

To find out more about the placements and internships undertaken by Newcastle University students, including case studies and top tips, visit our Be Workplace Ready blog.

The following resources also include advice, case studies and employer profiles:

Careers Service Placement Year

Work experience has never been more important. A placement year is an opportunity to get in depth experience, with continued support from the University.

Undergraduate students have the option to undertake a 9-12 month work placement, managed either by the Careers Service, or your school. This would take place after your penultimate year of study, extending your degree programme by one year.

By undertaking our placement year, you will be signing up to complete a 120 credit, year long module with the Careers Service. You are responsible for finding and securing a placement, but you will be supported by the Careers Service throughout the process. 

Next steps

1. Find out who manages your placement year

If you are in your penultimate year, see Who manages my placement year? (PDF:102KB) to find out if it is the Careers Service or your academic School who will support you. 

If it’s the Careers Service, follow the details below. If it’s your School, contact the relevant co-ordinator listed on the above document to find out what you need to do. 

2. Declare your interest

If your placement is managed through the Careers Service, please click on the button below to register your interest. We will contact you throughout your placement search with information, events and opportunities.

If your placement is managed by someone else, please email them directly using the contact details on the Who Manages My Placement Year document for more information.  

3. Start looking for placements

You can start researching and applying for placements using My Career and finding placements. You can attend our workshops for more help, and you can also use our drop in service.

We also offer a range of employer events for you to speak to recruiters face-to-face.

4. Inform relevant contact if you receive an offer

Once you have a firm offer of employment, you need to inform the relevant contact who will manage your placement.

If your placement is managed through the Careers Service, you can fill in the Placement Approval form. We will consider your form and contact the employer to confirm the details you have submitted and request health and safety information. The length of time this takes will vary depending on the employer.

The 2019/20 deadline for anyone doing an overseas placement is 17 May 2019. The deadline for all students with a placement in the UK is 31 July 2019.

If your placement is managed by someone else, you’ll need to email them directly – the details can be found in Who manages my placement year? (PDF:102KB).

5. Access ongoing support

Once your placement is approved, you will be allocated a placement supervisor who will be there as a guide through your placement year. They can discuss any personal or workplace issues you are facing.

You will also receive information about taking part in the Careers Service Placement Year Module and have contact with your module leader. 

International students

International students are eligible to undertake the Careers Service Placement Year module.

If you are extending your degree programme by one year in order to do the placement, you will need to renew your visa. International students doing their placement year in the UK can now renew their Tier 4 visa from the UK, either before or after their placement.  We would encourage you to apply for the visa before starting the work placement to avoid any potential issues with your employer, or when returning to your studies.

More detailed information can be found on the Visa team’s website. If you are unsure about your visa requirements please contact the visa team.

Types of placements

The type of role or setting you can work in during your placement year is very flexible.

You can choose to do one placement lasting 9-12 months, or you can do two placements which last at least 4.5 months each.

It is also possible to do your placement on a part-time basis. If you have a specific part-time placement in mind, please contact cs.placementyear@ncl.ac.uk with more information.

You can undertake your placement anywhere in the UK and in most countries overseas.

Our Overseas Placements guide covers key factors you will need to consider if you want to do your placement in another country. If you have questions after reading this guide, please contact cs.placementyear@ncl.ac.uk

International students thinking of doing an overseas placement should contact the visa team about how this will impact their current UK visa.  

Finance

The tuition fees for the Careers Service Placement Year depend on your course start date. For students whose course started in the 2016/17 or 2017/18 academic years, the fee is £1025. For students whose course started in the 2018/19 academic year, the fees will be £1385 (fees are subject to change each year). This applies to UK, EU and International students.  

UK/EU students enrolled on the Careers Service Placement Year module should have access to a non-means tested tuition fee loan. UK students should also be able to apply for a reduced rate maintenance loan.

By doing the Careers Service Placement Year module, you continue to be registered as a student and therefore have access to the same student discounts and benefits.

For more information, visit Funding for Placement Years and Placement Year Fee. You can also contact the Student Financial Support Team via the web enquiry form.

Find out more

If you have any questions about the Careers Service Placement Year, visit the Careers Service, or email us

Finding Placements

There are two main ways to finding a placement year: applying for advertised placements, or seeking out hidden opportunities by networking and applying speculatively.

Some academic schools provide support with arranging your placement year. For example, the Business School offers drop-in sessions and a placement bulletin.

Schools sometimes advertise scholarships and competitions which can result in placements. Contact your school to find out if they run similar schemes or have contacts you could approach.

How to get started

Watch our 30 minute presentation on 'How to find a year-long placement', which covers:

  • where to look for a year-long placement
  • how to conduct an effective search
  • where to find additional information and support.

To view the presentation with subtitles, click the cc button in the player below. You can also view a full screen version

Speculative applications

Not all placements are advertised. In fact, many people create work experience opportunities through networking and making contacts, or by developing their own business ideas.

If you have identified a company you would like to work for, you could try approaching them directly about possible opportunities. Send them a tailored CV and covering letter, expressing your enthusiasm for the sector and showing that you have researched the company.

Where possible, identify a contact name to address your covering letter to. Call or email to find out who is responsible for recruitment within the organisation or a key contact in the department you want to work in.

It’s useful to follow up a speculative application with a phone call a few days afterwards to show you are serious and motivated.

TARGETjobs have a useful guide about making a speculative application to find hidden opportunities.

Finding companies

  • Find organisations on My Career - click on ‘search organisations’ under the Vacancies tab.
  • Researching employers – contains sources of company profiles and a list of business directories and databases
  • Sector-specific information – find employer directories for specific sectors
  • LinkedIn – an online networking tool allowing users to connect with professionals across all industries
  • LinkedIn's Find Alumni tool can help you find organisations Newcastle graduates are working in