Placement Years

Also frequently known as a sandwich year, work placement, industrial placement or year in industry, a placement year is typically completed between your second and final year of study. As part of your degree, you work in an organisation for an agreed amount of time (usually a minimum of 30 weeks). You'll gain valuable skills and insight into a particular sector, industry, company, or job role.

You may be able to change onto a placement year pathway after starting your studies if you are:

  • Enrolled on an eligible full time undergraduate course
  • Achieving the minimum requirements to progress onto level 5

If you are an international student, you are eligible to complete a placement year if you fit the above criteria. As your placement year will be embedded as part of your degree, the 20 working hours per week restriction will not apply, and your placement position can be full time. You should ensure you check your visa covers the extra year for your placement year. For support with this you can contact the Student Centre, their details can be found on the Get in Touch page.

A student walking down the stairs

Benefits of Doing a Placement Year

  • You'll gain confidence

  • Academic knowledge you've learnt in your first 2 years can be applied to the workplace

  • Improved marks in your final year (not always, but evidence shows that often those who have done placement years see a boost to their grades)

  • Increase skills and competencies sought after by employers

  • Clarification of your career goals - decide what you like or dislike

  • Stand out from the crowd and improve your job prospects after graduating

  • Networking opportunities

  • Some placement year students are offered graduate positions with the company they completed their placement year with

"My placement year with Leicester City Council and Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust is giving me a really good idea of the options open to me when I graduate. I’m keeping a diary so I can record what was involved with the different projects I’ve worked on which will be really useful to look back on when it comes to applying for graduate positions in my final year."

Abbey, Placement Year student on the BSc Wildlife, Ecology and Conservation Science course

More Information

It is your responsibility to find and secure a position for your placement year as the search process will help build skills which will be essential when you look for graduate positions after you finish your course. However, the Careers, Employability, and Enterprise Team are available to support you through the process with:

  • CVs and Cover Letters review.
  • How to approach your placement search.
  • Preparing you for interviews and other selection techniques.
  • We'll also share details of great placement opportunities related to your chosen studies and areas of interest.
  • Encouraging new local organisations to consider offering placements to our students every year.
  • Placement preparation events - connect with our Placement Team and other students also planning to complete a placement year.

If you haven't already done so, please register for a FutureMe account to receive weekly newsletter updates, useful workshops, information sessions, and guidance to support your search. FutureMe is loaded with resources to support you whilst looking for your placement year role, work experience and internships as well as to help you find your first graduate role once you finish your course.


To receive 1:1 support with your placement year you can either:

  • Contact to request an appointment - please let us know your course and year of study
  • Book a 1:1 appointment with your relevant Placement Consultant

If you would like further support with any stage of the placement process or would like to talk about whether a placement year is for you (whether or not you started out with the placement year option on your course), a Placement Consultant can help with this.

Support with preparing for interviews is also available by booking 1:1 appointments with the Placement Consultant or Employability and Careers Consultant aligned to your school.

If you are not already on a placement year course, and you would be eligible to complete a placement year, you need to:

  • Contact to be put in contact with one of the Placement Consultants
  • Email your course team and ask to change onto the degree programme which includes a placement year

You should do this as soon as possible to ensure your Placement Consultant is able to support you through the process of securing a placement position and to allow sufficient time for your placement to be approved. The final deadline for completing these steps varies from school to school between the end of the autumn term in your level 5 (2nd) year right up to 31 July. 

Read full details of the current placement year regulations..

It is important that you keep your Placement Consultant up to date with the progress of your placement year and inform the team as soon as you have secured a position. The team will need to ensure relevant paperwork has been completed before your placement year can be approved.

The University reserves the right to withhold approval of any placement opportunity if there are concerns around the suitability of the placement. You should contact as soon as possible so that Placement Consultants are able to start the approval process.

If you choose to complete a placement year, your tuition fees for the year will be 15% of your usual tuition fee. This may be subject to change, so you should check this with your Placement Consultant.

Many courses offer either optional or mandatory modules that include work experience of up to 100 hours usually during either level 4 or level 5. Placement Consultants can also support you with searching for and preparing for these work placements - email us or book a 1:1 appointment.

  • BA (Hons) Computing (with career paths) [with Professional Placement]
  • BSc (Hons) Wildlife, Ecology and Conservation Science [with Professional Placement]
  • BA (Hons) Business Management (Digital Marketing) [with Professional Placement]
  • BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences [with Professional Placement]
  • BA (Hons) Business Management [with Professional Placement]
  • BA (Hons) Business Management (Digital Entrepreneurship) [with Professional Placement]
  • BA (Hons) Business Management (Digital Innovation) [with Professional Placement]
  • BSc (Hons) Criminology [with Professional Placement]
  • BSc (Hons) Criminology and Sociology [with Professional Placement]
  • BA (Hons) English [with Professional Placement]
  • BA (Hons) English: Literature and Creative Writing [with Professional Placement]
  • BA (Hons) English: Literature and Linguistics [with Professional Placement]
  • BA (Hons) History [with Professional Placement]
  • LLB (Hons) Law [with Professional Placement]
  • LLB (Hons) Law with Criminology [with Professional Placement]
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology [with Professional Placement]
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology and Counselling [with Professional Placement]
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology and Criminology [with Professional Placement]
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology and Sociology [with Professional Placement]
  • BSc (Hons) Sociology [with Professional Placement]

Last updated December 2023