Enhance your degree by undertaking a year in industry and apply what you have learned at university in the workplace.

A year in industry will help build your confidence and develop your professional skills in an authentic setting. You will develop a network of professional associates and have the opportunity to practice and improve your laboratory skills. All of these skills can improve your chances of success in gaining a graduate role after your degree.

A year in industry is available with all of our undergraduate courses, including integrated Masters. 

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Placement year

As an alternative to a year in industry, you can extend your degree to include a placement year. This is similar to a year in industry as it takes place after your 2nd Year and lasts nine to twelve months, but it offers greater flexibility and does not need to contain a biosciences research element.

The schemes enable students to gain work experience and try out a career path slightly different from their degree. Our students have had placements in environmental consultancy (Middlemarch Environmental), science communication (Science and Technology Facilities Council), education (National STEM Centre) and financial services (PWC) roles.

A year in industry is a placement of nine to twelve months undertaken after your second year. You'll gain research experience in an industrial or research institute laboratory. We have excellent relationships with a wide variety of organisations offering placement opportunities, some of which are exclusive to the Department of Biology. Our students have had placements at organisations such as GSK, Kew Gardens, AstraZeneca, Francis Crick Institute, Sosei Heptares and Wild Planet Trust.

Our Biology Placements Coordinator will contact you towards the end of your first year, asking if you'd like to express an interest in doing a year in industry. You'll then have regular contact with them throughout your second year, learning more about the year in industry, identifying placement opportunities, making applications and attending interviews.

As well as advertising a large number of placements, including exclusive opportunities, we offer extensive support and guidance on applications and interviews. 

We cannot guarantee a placement as many of the placements we offer are competed for nationally. However, our Biology Placements Coordinator guides you through the process of finding and applying for a placement and our Careers and Placements team give you help and support with CV writing and preparation for interviews, which maximises your chances of finding a placement.

Students who are offered a placement receive support from the Department during their year away.

Generally students are paid a salary by the employer during their research placement and others can receive a York Futures scholarship to support unfunded positions. Students pay reduced fees to the University during a placement year.

Both are graduate-level work placements of nine to twelve months. There are two main differences: 

  • A year in industry involves lab or field research and you are assessed through a scientific report.
  • A placement year involves general work (often based in an office rather than a lab) and is assessed through a reflective report.

Yes. We have a number of exclusive relationships with companies and organisations overseas. For example Novartis (California), Mayo Clinic (Florida), Garvan Institute (Sydney), P53 Lab (Singapore), EMBL (Grenoble), UCB (Brussels), Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre (Ontario). It is also possible to source your own overseas placement. 

We have regular virtual drop-ins with students away from the Department. This means you have regular contact from your academic supervisor and our placement coordinator. You also get lots of support from your host and we are in touch with them to make sure everything is running smoothly.

It’s a competitive process and inevitably some people will miss out. However, students with an open mind who try hard will usually succeed!

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