Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Undergraduate study


One of the many benefits of undergraduate study in the School of Social Sciences is that students have the opportunity to take a one-year professional placement between their second and third years of study to enhance their employability. All of our degrees can be extended by taking an optional one-year placement. With the approval of the School, students then work towards an additional qualification as part of their placement year – the Diploma in Professional Studies.

Why do a placement?

  • Gain valuable work experience in a position of responsibility and enhance your CV
  • A fantastic opportunity to ‘test-drive’ a career for a year
  • Additional qualification – Diploma in Professional Studies
  • Establish and develop contacts and professional networks through working alongside professionals in the workplace
  • Develop greater self-confidence and a more mature outlook
  • Around a third of students receive graduate job offers from their placement company
  • Many of our students enjoy starting salaries well above the national average
  • Many employers offer extensive training and development to their placement and internship staff

Frequently Asked Questions

What help and support will I get?

Although it will be your responsibility to identify and apply for a suitable placement, support is available both within the Department of Social Sciences and from the University services. These include:

  • A dedicated departmental Placements Director and Placements Officer
  • Comprehensive guidance and support from the University's Careers Network, including tailored advice, career fairs, employer presentations, skills sessions and talks, CV clinics and mock assessment centres
  • During the placement year, all students allocated a Visiting Tutor who will maintain contact, offer advice and support and make at least one visit (likely to be a virtual visit by Skype for students based overseas) to the student in their place of work

How Do I find my placement?

The onus is on students to find and secure their placement with the support of the Department’s Placement Officer and the University’s Careers Network, which has its own extensive vacancy database advertising roles. Students may also find a placement through their own contacts.

Will I get paid for the placement year?

The majority of placements are paid, with a typical salary of around £17,000 per annum.

Can I do a placement abroad?

The majority of our placements are UK based, however if students wish to pursue work abroad then they may be eligible to apply for the British Council Teaching Assistantship scheme which links to the Diploma in International Studies.

Is there a fee for the placement year?

The University currently charges a fee for students on a placement year. For more information, please see the Undergraduate Prospectus.

Why do we have a fee for the placement year?

This fee covers the cost of the extensive support given by the University, the Placements Officer and Visiting Tutor both before, during and after the placement experience.

What other work experience opportunities are available to Social Sciences students?

For students who do not wish to do a one-year placement, the University and Department also offer access to a range of alternative work experience opportunities which can typically include short 1-3 month summer placements, research opportunities, work shadowing, mentoring, and volunteering.