Undergraduate study

two students using equipment

Placement year

The opportunity to take an employability-enhancing "sandwich" year of industrial training between the second and third years of academic study is available on all our BSc and MPhys programmes. Additionally, in the final year of the MPhys programmes there is a 60-credit research project which can be carried out in industry or a research institution.

The vast majority of students taking a sandwich year find it a very valuable experience.  It enhances your studies and can help you in your choice of career - by helping you develop a network of industry contacts, strengthening your CV with hands-on practical experience, boosting your confidence and informing your decisions about the kind of career you want.

In addition, most students earn a salary, and many placements lead to a job offer after graduation.  For the employer, an industrial placement is often a year-long recruitment and selection process.

Many of our industrial placements have been abroad, principally in Western Europe. It is not always necessary to be fluent in the local language, although familiarity with the language is always an advantage and students are encouraged to take the appropriate language modules before they go. Students are responsible for arranging their own industrial placements and may undertake any suitable scientifically oriented employment. The Department has contacts with a wide variety of employers and most students arrange their employment with one of these.  The University's Careers and Employability Centre is there to provide support with finding opportunities and honing your skills at applying for roles and performing well at interviews.

Placements and Careers Fair

Exibitors are invited to campus each year to promote their placement and careers opportunites at a dedicated School of Science fair. Students who have returned from placement also present posters or videos sharing the experience of their year in industry with students thinking about going on a placement. Watch the video below about our annual fair.

School of Science Placements and Careers Fair

The annual fair invites leading employers to campus to promote placement and graduate job opportunities for our students.

Recent placements include

  • Siemens
  • Rolls-Royce
  • IBM
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Network Rail
  • MBDA Missile Systems
  • EADS München (Germany)
  • KFA-IFF Jülich (Germany)
  • Max Planck Institut Stuttgart (Germany)
  • General Electric
  • STFC (Science and Technology Facilities Council)
  • MasterFoods (Australia)
  • Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
  • UBS Global Asset Management
  • QinetiQ
  • Sharp
  • Phillips
  • Reeves Oilfield Services
  • Kodak
  • National Physical Laboratory
  • Thames Water

Watch our placement video

Placement with GL Noble Denton

Taking an industrial placement is definitely a good idea. I would recommend it to anyone. DS, Physics BSc DIS graduate