A placement year is a chance to put what you have learned on your course into practice. It can provide excellent opportunities to gain real world experience and can also open up doors for your future. Below are some case studies from Department of Mathematics students who took advantage of our placement programme.
My placement year grounded my career aspiration of teaching.
Emma Patterson conducted her placement at Ballyclare High School in Northern Ireland. During this time Emma worked alongside the Mathematics and Physical Education departments within the school, shadowing, assisting and leading in lessons, while also helping with day to day administration and running of the departments.
In July 2016 Emma accompanied students on a two-week school trip to Ethiopia.
Her placement tutor said:
"These outstanding achievements are a testament to her energy, enthusiasm and competence. Additionally, she was highly organised and efficient, as well as highly knowledgeable about aspects of teaching, learning and classroom management."
Her external tutor said towards the end of Emma's placement year: "Emma is an EXCELLENT student - I should say member of staff because she is to all intents just that."
Emma told us: "My placement provided me with the opportunity to work day in day out with pupils in the Maths classroom to the hockey pitch, teaching and encouraging them whilst watching them gain confidence and knowledge. My placement year grounded my career aspiration of teaching. I gained experiences working 1 on 1 with pupils, to taking a group of sixth form to Ethiopia! Making a difference to pupils' studies, and their extra-curricular activities, whilst working alongside and learning from outstanding teachers, who gave me confidence to lead lessons on my own, is something I will be eternally grateful for!"
I valued my placement enormously.
Richard Farley took a placement at HM Revenue and Customs' Knowledge Analysis and Intelligence Unit in Liverpool.
His placement tutor says that Richard excelled in all the tasks assigned to him and that staff in the Unit were highly impressed with his delivery of the projects in which he was involved. They noted that he was able to apply statistical knowledge learnt through his studies to his project work and suggested techniques which could be of use. They also said that he exceeded the expected standard.
Richard says: "I have valued my placement experience enormously. The work I carried out was pertinent to national interests and thoroughly engaging. My managers were very enthusiastic about my development over the year and gave me the opportunities to gain a wide range of skills through formal training courses, including SAS and project management, as well as improving my presentation skills and communication with managers, colleagues and customers through my work. My placement was an immersive introduction and a true reflection of an analytical career in the public sector that I’d like to pursue."