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Year in industry

Four-year degree programmes with a year in industry

An extra year, following the second year, is spent gaining research experience in an industrial or research institute laboratory. This option is available in all our programmes.  We have excellent relationships with a wide variety of organisations and we place students with employers to match their interests, ranging from pharmaceutical companies (such as AstraZeneca, GSK, UCB, RB and Novartis California) and research institutes (The European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Diamond Light Source and The Earlham Institute) to environmental organisations (The Wildlife Trusts, Environment Agency, FERA, Rothamsted Research).

As the placements we offer are competed for nationally, we cannot guarantee a placement. However, our Placements Co-ordinator 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. This maximises your chances of finding a placement.  Students who are offered a placement receive support from the Department during their year away. The majority of placements are 12 months with the minimum placement length being 9 months. Generally, students are paid a salary by the employer during their research placement and others receive a York Futures scholarship to support unfunded positions. If you're on a full-year work placement your tuition fee will be reduced for that year.

Taking a year out in industry has many benefits, including hands-on experience of working in a research environment, and transferable skills, such as teamwork and time management – invaluable for your final year, and highly prized by prospective employers and PhD supervisors.

What our students say

“ I really enjoyed my year in industry. It was a great opportunity to experience what it would be like to go into research after graduating.”

"A superb experience of science in the 'real world'. I thoroughly enjoyed the independence I had in my work, and the freedom and responsibility to manage my own time."

"This is one of the best things that could have happened to my scientific career. It developed my self-confidence, helped me realise my own scientific abilities, and improved my report writing and data analysis."

Placement Year

As an alternative to a Year in Industry, students on all programmes can opt to extend their degree to include a placement year. This is similar to Year in Industry as it takes place after second year and lasts 9 to 12 months in length, but it offers greater flexibility and does not need to contain a biosciences research element. The schemes enables students to gain work experience and try out a career path slightly different from their degree. Current students have been placed in environmental consultancy (Middlemarch environmental), Science communication (Science and Technology Facilities Council), Education (National Stem Centre) and financial services (PWC) roles. The placement year programme is managed by Careers and Placements.