Placement year

Thinking about your future? Why not give your graduate career prospects a boost with a placement year in industry?

The opportunity to take an employability-enhancing year of industrial training between the second and third years of academic study is available on all our BSc and MPhys programmes. A placement year is a great way of gaining invaluable experience in a real job with real responsibilities.

We find that the placement year is often a highly rewarding experience for our students.  Not only can you put what you've learned on your course to use in a workplace environment, but your placement can help you develop a network of industry contacts. You will be strengthening your CV with hands-on practical experience, boosting your confidence and helping to inform your decisions about the kind of career you want.

In addition, most students earn a salary, and, in many cases, 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.

Here are just a few of the organisations with which our students have spent their placement year:

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