Applied Sciences Placement Unit

We are committed to providing a professional learning experience and focus on preparing our students for careers in their chosen disciplines. Our reputation for teaching quality, excellent research facilities and strong links with industry enable us to produce the types of graduates that industry requires.

All of our full time undergraduate courses offer the option of a placement year, except MPharm Pharmacy which has integrated placement days throughout the course. Each year we place students in companies such as AstraZeneca, Mundipharma and Agilent as well as a large number of local and regional businesses.

If you require any information or advice about placements, please contact us.

Linda Meston
The Placement Unit
School of Applied Sciences
Tel: 01484 473867

About Placements

The main objective of your placement is to provide you with an opportunity to apply skills acquired during year one and year two of your degree to practical problems in ‘real-life’ situations. During your ‘sandwich year’ you will gain useful skills which could improve your employment prospects when you graduate.

Employers require people who have developed the ability to be flexible and adaptable, work in teams, communicate with fellow employees, use their initiative, take responsibility and, when necessary, take the lead. Many of these qualities can be learned and developed via a work placement. Just as importantly, work experience helps you to develop your own ideas regarding the career you want and perhaps the kind of work or employers you wish to avoid.

On average placement students perform better in their final year as a result of greater application of knowledge. It can also increase your confidence as well as having real responsibility in your role for the year.

Undertaking a placement can give you some ideas for your dissertation/final project.

If you have a disability this should not prevent you from securing a placement and we encourage all students with a disability to aim to do a placement. We can offer support and advice on overcoming any perceived challenges.

During your placement, you will:

  • gain invaluable skills that will help you to obtain employment at the end of your degree.
  • experience the realities of working, and may apply some of the theories taught at University.
  • develop relationships with employers and employees who may be able to assist you with your degree and job searching.
  • appreciate the operational skills required to make a business successful and have the ability to work as an effective team member.
  • have the opportunity to use and develop further skills you already have.
  • return to University with more experience, theories, strengths and ideas.
  • discover whether you have chosen the right career, or in some cases, the wrong career.
  • have more information to write on your CV.
  • have a break from studying which, hopefully, will make you fresher and more eager for your final year.
  • experience a new way of life, and in some cases to sample a new culture and have the opportunity to learn/improve a foreign language.

On completion of you placement year, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate a level of competence appropriate to the placement.
  • exercise the range of social, practical and technical skills necessary to fulfil the  demands of the placement.
  • have confidence in your ability to apply skills and knowledge to a work situation.
  • understand the organisational context in which you have been employed.
  • be able to undertake an objective critique of your own placement performance by identifying particular areas of strength and weakness.
  • be able to assess the impact of your experiences on your career aspirations.