A placement year is a structured work experience opportunity that can be integrated into your studies, giving you a substantial amount of work experience that is recognised within your degree title. Many organisations offer placement opportunities and they are a great way of developing your employability skills whilst getting a flavour of a particular working environment. Placement years generally last between 9-12 months and are often aimed at penultimate year undergraduates. Graduate employers are looking for students with work experience, so it's a great way to gain substantive experience to talk about in your future job applications - see the advice of Nicole Ell, Graduate and Placement Recruitment Co-ordinator at Nissan on why you should consider doing a placement.
Benefits of a placement year
See our Placement Year YouTube channel to hear about placements from current students at York.
“Over 90% of students who take a placement year with us secure a spot on one of our graduate schemes. They enter their final year of university with a graduate job, and many of them skip the first year of the graduate programme when they return to PwC” - PwC, number one Times Top 100 Graduate Employer
The Placement Year is managed by Careers and Placements and is open to undergraduate and integrated masters students. It offers you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience at a challenging level that will help prepare you for graduate jobs.
You would take the Placement Year between your 2nd and 3rd year, extending your time at York by one year. Whilst you are on your placement you will retain your student status; benefitting from all the existing support services available to you and receiving recognition of your placement year within your degree title.
Key features to be aware of:
Before applying for roles, please read the Placement Criteria in the Handbook. We will need to approve your placement before your department will approve your transfer onto the Placement Year programme
During the year you can choose to do one placement of 9-12 months or two shorter placements that total 9-12 months of experience. You will need to undertake a minimum of 9 months work experience over the course of the academic year in order to fulfil the programme requirements, e.g. if your first placement lasts 6 months, you would need to find a second placement of 3 – 6 months duration during the academic year
At York, UK and international placement years are available through either a Department Year In Industry programme or the Placement Year programme within Careers and Placements. There are existing Year In Industry options within some departments so it's worth discussing with your department or the Careers and Placements team to decide what is the best route for you.
Placement Year deadlines
See 'The Process' section below
Before you are approved onto the programme, we will need to confirm:
1) That you have secured a placement in line with the Placement Criteria
2) That you have completed the required Placement Year documentation
3) That your placement provider has completed the required documentation
4) That you have attended the Pre-Placement Briefing
You will gain official approval of transfer onto the Placement Year programme once we have confirmed these actions. This approval will be confirmed to you in writing. Careers and Placements reserves the right not to approve a placement and not to recognise a placement as part of the Placement Year option.
Search online for advertised roles:
The hidden market:
Talk to the Careers and Placements team:
The assessment for the Placement Year will be in the form of a reflective report with a supporting reflective blog. Guidance will be available through Yorkshare and you can see further details in the Placement Year Handbook. Your Placement Supervisor will also offer you guidance on the assessment prior to starting your placement and for the duration of your placement year.
The module will be assessed by the Careers and Placements team and all submissions will be administered through Yorkshare.
See financial information on placements to see how going on a placement affects your tuition fees, Maintenance Loan, bursaries, and more.
What salary can I expect to get for a year placement?
Salaries do vary, however locally, placement year salaries are often between £14K - £18K. More specialist, technical roles often offer a higher salary. Salaries for roles in and around London also vary, however they tend to start at £19K. Please note National Minimum Wage is £7.38 per hour.
Can I undertake unpaid placements?
If you are considering an unpaid placement, please contact email@example.com to discuss the role in more detail.
Who will pay me when I’m on placement?
Payment arrangements will be agreed between you and your placement provider directly.
If I work in London will my salary cover living costs?
It’s worth noting that if you apply for a placement in London, living and travel costs can be high and minimum wage may not always cover these costs, therefore we recommend you think carefully about your finances if looking to work in London.
If you are working in London in an area which is covered by TFL you may be eligible to apply for a student Oyster card. To apply please download and complete this TFL Oyster Card Application (MS Word , 18kb) and bring it with you to your Placement Year Pre-Departure meeting.
Will there be funding available for international placements?
There could be funding available for international placements years, therefore we advise you talk to the Centre For Global Programmes to see what options are available: email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I book accommodation on campus during my Placement Year?
You're able to book a room on campus to live in during your placement year. You can cancel the booking if you are successful in obtaining a placement away from York. The booking system opens in Autumn Term, and we recommend you book earlier to take advantage of a wider range of room choice.
When would I need to cancel my booking by?
If you're successful in getting a placement outside a reasonable commuting distance of York, and can provide evidence of your placement, you have up to the second week of July to cancel your booking. If you don't tell us that you want to cancel your booking, you will still be committed for the full let period of your room.
Can I book accommodation on campus when I return from my Placement Year?
You will be able to book a room on campus for the year you return, when you are on your Placement Year - we will open our booking system during Autumn Term, and you can see more information online.
Who will pay for travel costs to and from my placement?
Employers are not expected to pay for your travel, so you will generally be expected to fund this yourself. You will be need to discuss reimbursements for travel with your placement provider.
Will I get reimbursed for traveling to interviews?
This varies depending on the employer so it’s best to ask them in advance of the interview. The University will not be able to contribute to any travel costs.
What welfare support do I get from the university during my placement?
During the Placement Year you will be assigned a Placement Supervisor from Careers and Placements who will be your main point of contact for any issues during the year. Your department will also keep in touch and are on hand to support with ongoing academic queries.
You will retain your student status and therefore can benefit from the existing welfare provision such as Open Door, etc. Full details of support can be found online here.
Should I disclose my disability?
If you would like to discuss how and when to disclose your disability, book a Careers Advice appointment through Careers Gateway. There is a helpful section on disclosure on the Targetjobs website and we run a termly workshop on disclosing your disability. More info can be found in the Applying for jobs tab on our page for students with disabilities.
What if I want to withdraw from the placement during the Placement Year?
If you are unhappy in your role, or your placement ends unexpectedly, you will either need to find another placement within the year to achieve a minimum of 9 months experience or alternatively you will be advised to apply for a Leave of Absence for the remainder of the academic year and return to your final year of study as planned. If you don't fulfil the 9 month minimum duration, you would fail the Placement Year but not your degree and you would return to your original programme of study.
This registration form is only for current 2nd year students or 3rd year students on an integrated Masters programme. If you are a current 1st year student, please sign up to the Careers and Placements newsletter by including 'Placements' in your mail preferences.
Please note - registering your intent does not guarantee you a placement. If you miss the registration deadline and have secured a placement role, please email email@example.com with the job description attached and we will advise on your options. If you register and aren't successful at securing a placement, you will continue as normal into your final year of study.