Dominic Hensman - Placement at Clayesmore School - BA Industrial Design and Technology Student

Dominic Hensman completed a 12-month internship with Clayesmore School, and was nominated for a Loughborough University award in recognition of his achievements.

Kirk Duerden - Placement at Calomax - BA Industrial Design and Technology Student

Kirk joined Calomax Ltd – a Leeds-based SME which designs and manufactures catering water boilers – as a product designer. He was encouraged to be really hands-on, and was involved in each stage of the manufacturing process. This meant that he learned how to manage the full production life-cycle, from concept to prototype.


Placements are a specific period of time students spend in a company gaining professional experience. All of our courses offer the option to undertake a placement during the third year.

  • Enhances CV with real work experience and new skills  
  • Opportunity to put what is learnt in first and second year into practice  
  • Provides insight into possible career options  
  • Can provide focus for final year studies  
  • Could lead to job offers  

In detail

Typically our students do a one-year professional placement with one company, although the placement year can comprise of up to three separate placements either in the UK or overseas. Students who wish to be awarded the Diploma in Professional Studies must complete a minimum of 45 weeks in a suitable design or design related placement.

Doing a placement does not just involve making the tea and coffee! We work closely with placement companies to ensure that you get the most realistic experience possible, however it is clear that each companies needs and requirements do differ.

Usually students spend the first few weeks getting to grips with what the company does and how things work. Then progressively they will work on projects, taking on more responsibility as time goes on. In the past some students have impressed the placement companies greatly, having some of their ideas patented and developed into real life products and services.

A number of students are also offered a permanent job with their placement employer after graduation and some companies also choose to sponsor students in their final year of study. 

Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS)

Students who successfully complete the minimum of 45 weeks in a design or design related placement, along with the submission of a qualifying placement dissertation, appropriate training records and presentation will be awarded a Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS). This will be awarded in addition to their final degree award upon graduation.

A large number of companies approach us directly with placement opportunties, which we share with our students. It is however, ultimately the responsibility of each student to find and apply for their individual placement.

You can find placements advertised widely across a number of job sites and through company websites directly. Some students have also chosen to use family and friends to help them secure placements in the past.

We will provide support throughout the application process and during the placement, including providing advice on CVs and portfolios.

Within the School we have a dedicated member of staff who supports students in finding and applying for your placement. This Placements Officer, along with colleagues within the Careers Network are always available to contact in relation to advice or assistance with placements. Whilst on placement students will also be allocated a placement tutor, who is an experienced member of academic staff from the School. This tutor will arrange visits, or skype meetings if placed abroad, to ensure you are getting the most from your experience.

If you are completing the placement year as part of one of our four year courses you will not be required to pay the full tuition fee for this year.  The current placement year fee for the 2017 - 2018 academic year will be £1800 for UK/EU students and £2900 for international students.  This fee covers the guidance, support and assistance supplied to you across the duration of the application process as well as on placement and the Diploma in Professional studies qualification you will receive upon successful completion. 

For further information regarding this fee, please contact our Careers and Employability Centre directly. 

Current placement company examples: 

  • Lego
  • Vax
  • Walt Disney
  • Princess Yachts
  • Reckitt Benckiser
  • Unilever
  • RGK Wheelchairs
  • Adidas
  • Pavegen
  • IBM
  • Rolls Royce
  • Hornby Hobbies
  • Tesco
  • Diageo
  • Cath Kidson
  • Puma
  • Microsoft
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Bentley
  • Nissan
  • Smallfry
  • Mondelez
  • Telegraph Media Group
  • Triumph Motorcycles