Undertaking a placement year as part of your degree programme offers you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience alongside your studies.
With an increasing number of paid opportunities on offer to undergraduates, and with stronger links between undergraduate experience and graduate recruitment, there has never been a better time to consider completing a placement year as part of your degree.
Placement Year FAQs
What is a placement year?
One academic year spent in industry. You need to work for a minimum of 1200 hours (approx. 9 months full-time) between the 2nd year and final year of your undergraduate course.
How does it work?
With support from the Careers & Employability Service and your academic department, you find and secure a placement that fits your career aims and objectives. Once you've secured your placement you transfer on to the placement variant of your programme.
Upon successful completion 'Placement Year' is added to your degree title (eg. BA Hons Marketing with Placement Year). Your degree classification is still determined by your academic study (2nd year and final year).
If you're on a three year undergraduate programme this would make your programme of study four years and you would spend a year working between 2nd year and final year.
How much will it cost?
The Placement Year benefits from reduced fees of £900. You may still be entitled to some statutory support while you are away from the University for more details visit the Placement Year Fees and Funding page.
Your placement fee covers support before, during and after your placement, plus continued access to University Support Services whilst on placement.
Will I be paid whilst I'm working?
Advertised opportunities are typically paid £16,000 - £23,000 p.a. We won't advertise opportunities that don't offer a salary however some students may choose to undertake an unpaid placement. Find out more information on work placements as part of your course and the national minimum wage here.
Can all undergraduates undertake a Placement Year?
A Placement Year option is available to all undergraduate students except those studying:
- BA Primary Education with QTS
- BA Social Work
- BSc Sport Rehabilitation
As these courses already include a significant amount of time on placement integrated within the course programme.
Will I get help with finding a Placement Year?
Yes, Careers and Employability and your academic department will help you identify jobs related to your degree, your career aims and objectives and will work with you to identify available opportunities. We will also support you through the whole process with CV, application, assessment centre and interview support available throughout your time at Hope.
Is securing a placement year a competitive process?
Yes, but don't let this put you off applying. Don't forget that applying for any job is a competitive process! Careers and Employability will help you throughout the process and recruiters are advertising insight days, internships and placements as they're keen to offer undergraduates the opportunity to gain experience before they graduate.
Some recruiters will put you through their full graduate recruitment process but this means they're able to offer you a graduate job at the end of the placement year if you've impressed them whilst on placement.
Which employers do you work with?
We work with local, national and international organisations to offer a range of opportunities. Current undergraduates can view opportunities here.
The majority of large graduate recruiters offer paid placement years. For an indication of which employers offer Placement Year opportunities along with reviews of placement experiences visit Rate My Placement.
Can I complete more than one placement?
Yes, at Hope you're able to combine up to two placements in different organisations to fulfil the 1200 hour requirement.
Can I do any job?
You'll need to get your placement year approved by your academic department and Careers and Employability. The role would need to be considered 'graduate level' and would need to fit with your long term career aspirations e.g. if you're hoping to become a Teacher we would approve working as a Teaching Assistant for a year.
If you work in hospitality or retail we couldn't approve extending your part-time job to full-time for a year but would approve a placement year training programme with your employer if they offer a placement year as part of their graduate recruitment programme.
Come and speak to us for specific advice.
When would I need to decide if I'm completing a Placement Year?
Some of our courses offer the option to decide at UCAS application eg. BEng Robotics (with year in industry) but if your course doesn't offer this option at application stage you can transfer onto the placement variant in your 2nd year.
We'd ask that you let Careers and Employability know before 30th November in your 2nd year and you must have a placement confirmed before 15th June in your 2nd year.
What if I express an interest but don't secure a placement?
You'd simply revert onto the three year variant of your undergraduate programme and return to your final year in September/October following your 2nd year.
I'm on a four year Integrated Masters programme, can I still do a Placement Year?
Yes, you'd follow the same process as an undergraduate student, completing the placement after two years of study and then returning for two further years of study at Hope including your integrated masters year.
If I decide not to do a Placement Year can you still help me find work experience?
Yes, we offer exclusive opportunities via our Placement and Internship Programme and via our Service & Leadership Award (SALA) so there's plenty of opportunity to develop skills and gain experience whilst you're studying at Hope.