One of the biggest problems when students graduate from university is that, although academically qualified, they lack experience in the workplace. University courses that include a year in the industry are a brilliant solution to this problem. The Universities of Bath and York offer placement years for many of their courses, alongside other UK universities. A growing number of undergraduate programs now provide a sandwich year in the UK of job experience as an elective. In contrast to conventional internships, which are typically far shorter in duration, a placement year in the UK gives students the opportunity to assume a position of genuine responsibility within an organization.

When making your university choice, it is certainly worth considering a degree with a work placement.

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Usually completed between the second and final year of a degree course, the student works in a relevant industry for up to a year. This placement year (or sandwich year’) can be a valuable insight into the world of work and a way to use your new-found degree knowledge in a practical way.

Benefits of a placement or sandwich year in the UK

  • Relevant and recent work experience on your CV will give you an edge over other graduate job applicants.
  • Many placements come with a bursary that can cover your costs for the duration of your year in the industry. This can be a welcome financial injection for most students.
  • If you do well in your placement, your supervisor may agree to write you a job reference.
  • You will have the chance to network with interesting people in your industry of choice. This may be useful in the future, after graduation, when you are job hunting.
  • You may be able to attend training courses, alongside your new colleagues, giving you even more experience in the world of work.
  • A placement year might give you insight into an industry that you don’t want to work in upon graduation. Not enjoying your placement can also be beneficial, as it may motivate you to go on a completely different path.

The Pros and Cons of a Placement Year

Pros of Placement Year at UK University

Here are some of the top placement years at UK universities:

Boost Your Resume:

The most obvious advantage of completing a placement year in the UK is the boost to your resume. This was a major factor in my final decision to go for it. Having a full year of relevant work experience will put you light years ahead of the competition, as most graduates will have none at all.

    By spending a year working in the field, you can gain both the technical skills and the “soft skills” that are increasingly valued by employers. You’ve already proven that you’re dedicated to your career and can think ahead by staying in school for an extra year. Employers value candidates who show this level of dedication in their work.

    Work Experience

    Spending a year working in the field before starting a full-time graduate job is a great idea. In the best case, you’ll discover a field that you’re passionate about and want to work in for the foreseeable future; in the worst case, you’ll realize that it’s not the right fit for you. Still, even if that were to occur, you would have learned a great deal that is applicable to other situations.

    Build-up Networking

    You may improve as a person by expanding your horizons and making friends with individuals from other walks of life, and the job is a great location to meet people from all walks of life.

      You never know what doors might open up for you in your chosen field as a result of the contacts you build during your year in the industry. Companies are eager to hire recent college graduates, and some may even pay for your final year of school if you do well in your placement year in the UK.

      New Culture

      A placement year offers the opportunity to live in a completely different region of the country, or possibly the entire world. There are many options both domestically and overseas, so go ahead and combine your year in business with the chance to learn about a new culture or way of life.

        Cons of Placement Year at UK University

        Impact of social life

        You may be concerned about missing out on the fun of senior year if your friends are staying at the university to finish their degrees. Be assured, however, that your third year will probably not be characterized by wild evenings out and lazy, hangover days spent watching Netflix on the couch with your housemates. 

          This is because dissertations seriously interfere with your social life. Although it’s true that some of your friends might not be there when you return, others might decide to stay and enroll in master’s programs or even complete a placement year in the UK.

          Long-Term Process

          Finding a placement is the first drawback to taking a placement year in the UK. For larger businesses, the application procedure frequently has several stages and might take months. 

            When you get to the end of the process, which usually entails in-person interviews and assessment centers, you’ll have to travel and might have to miss lessons. Even though this isn’t ideal, instructors are frequently sympathetic and may provide you with the material you will miss if you explain your circumstances. You will perform better since you will have a foundation of experience to draw from when you start applying for graduate jobs after going through similar application procedures for your placement year in the UK.

            Quality Training Courses

            Some people may have a minor issue because their course does not include a placement year in the UK. Don’t rule it out if you can relate to this and think it’s not an option. Ask your course instructor if a year spent working in the sector can be allowed. After all, the course instructor has a vested interest in seeing their students improve their employability.

              Benefits of placement year in the uk | ahz associates
              Benefits of a placement year at uk university 3

              When searching for a UK university that offers a placement year, it is worth seeing whether the university organizes the placement or whether you are expected to find the placement yourself. Some of the top companies in the UK offer placements to university students and may even look to hire them after graduation. Talk to one of AHZ representatives today to discuss your options.


              Is taking a placement year worth it in the UK?

              A placement year in the UK might give you insight into an industry that you don’t want to work in upon graduation. Not enjoying your placement can also be beneficial, as it may motivate you to go on a completely different path.

              Do UK universities offer placements?

              Many British universities now include up to a year of assignments as part of their master’s programs. Students who choose to enroll in these Masters programs with placements in the UK will therefore be qualified to get a student visa for the UK for the duration of the program plus the placement plus an additional four to six months.

              How do I get a placement year in the UK?

              Students who are in a placement year finish a module and get credit for the entire year.

              Can international students do their placement year in the UK?

              You can complete a work experience as part of your studies in the UK if you have a student visa. The placement must: be a graded and significant component of your program. Not more than half of the entire time allotted for your course.

              Which university is best for placements in the UK?

              The best university for placement in the UK-
              1. University of Glasgow
              2. University of Aberdeen
              3. University of Liverpool
              4. Cardiff University
              5. University of Leeds
              6. Robert Gordon University

              Do placement students get paid?

              Due to the fact that the placement is a requirement for a further education study, industry placement students are not entitled to a remuneration. Legally, paying students is neither required nor expected.

              What is an MBA with a placement year in the UK?

              MBA with a year of placement are advanced degrees. With this MBA, you will have the option to complete a one-year placement that will allow you to put your knowledge and abilities to use.