Develop skills that are valued by employers by taking a placement year, a summer internship, or through part-time or casual work.
Placements offer you the opportunity to put your skills into practice, build up your professional network, develop your commercial awareness and potentially be fast-tracked to a graduate job.
A placement year is a structured work experience opportunity that can be integrated into your studies and is recognised within your degree title. Many organisations offer placement opportunities, and they are a great way to boost your employability, strengthen your academic performance and demonstrate your strong work ethic to potential employers.
Placement years are open to most undergraduate students, including those on courses with an integrated Masters year. They are designed to build your confidence and self-awareness as well as your insight into the workplace. You'll develop your skills during, and by reflecting on, a minimum of nine months experience in an organisation.
Before starting a placement that forms part of your course, you are likely to be asked by the placement provider to sign a confidentiality agreement. This is to ensure that you do not disclose any information that is confidential to the placement provider.
Year in industry
Some departments offer a year in industry as part of your degree, giving you the chance to gain hands-on industry experience specific to your area of study.
Internships, work experience and virtual internships offer the opportunity to enhance your knowledge and gain insight into a particular job or industry. We offer paid project-based internships with local employers, exclusively for York students, through our York Internships.
Past internships have included developing a marketing strategy for Castle Howard, and working with the National Bee Unit at the Food and Environment Agency.
As I was aiming for a career in finance, I applied to Key Capital Partners predominantly to develop my CV and to gain insight into a sector I knew little about, making me a stronger candidate for future job opportunities.
Not only did the internship offer me countless valuable skills, and insights into the different aspects of UK investment, but the KCP team took time to actively discuss their work with me and advised me on future career paths available. The team also put me in touch with recruiters at larger companies that may be able to offer me graduate opportunities going forwards.
Thomas, MPhys (Hons) Physics with Astrophysics
What our students say
Our blog is full of stories from different students sharing their experiences of being on a work placement.
My Placement in Science Communication – an Industry I Didn’t Know Existed!
Posted by Orla on 4 September 2023
I’m currently completing an industrial placement in science communication at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), part of UKRI (and loving it!). Here…
My summer internship experience
Posted by Kimberly on 17 August 2023
Hi, I’m Kimberly. I’m studying for an MBiol in Biotechnology and Microbiology at the University of York, and I’ve just completed a summer internship…
Computer Science Placement Year at Couchbase
Posted by Stan on 14 August 2023
Hi, I’m Stan, a third year Computer Science student finishing a placement year with Couchbase at their Manchester office. Check out the linked blog…
Reflecting on my placement year experience
Posted by Kaylyn on 9 August 2023
When I heard that I was accepted for the science communication placement I had applied for I had mixed emotions. I was incredibly excited…
Joining the York community: an interview with our students
Posted by Katrina, James and Kabeer on 3 July 2023
What’s it like to settle into the York community? We sat with three of our students to talk ducks, dreams, dinners, and the magic…
5 ways Computer Science students can boost their employability!
Posted by Ben on 22 June 2023
This post is primarily aimed at those looking to study computer science at the University of York. If you’re interested in studying here and…
Study, work, or volunteer abroad
Expand your horizons and prepare for a career in a global job market with our global opportunities.
We have links with top academic institutions and employers all over the world. Opportunities can range from a study placement for a full academic year to a two-week academic and cultural programme at one of our partner universities abroad.
Your global experience does not necessarily have to take place abroad. There are also ways to get involved here in York.
Part-time paid work
Part-time work is a good way to gain experience, expand your skills, earn money and meet new people while studying.
Finding work on and off campus
York offers plenty of opportunities to find work at the University or around the city.
There are opportunities that directly complement your degree. You could:
- assist or participate in university research
- become a paid Student Ambassador
- share your experience of York at Open Days
- engage with our alumni community.
There are also various opportunities on campus in the shops and bars, in catering, in library and administrative support and in cleaning.
The city of York also offers unique and exciting job opportunities: you could join the team of actors at York Dungeon, become a city tour guide, or channel your inner Viking at the JORVIK Viking Centre.
It is easy to think that working in shops, bars or restaurants won’t be valued by graduate employers, but this isn't true. Employers are looking for candidates who thrive in any work situation and value the transferable skills you will develop: customer service, time management and communication skills, plus commercial awareness.
As a student, you will have access to Handshake, our digital careers platform. Here, we advertise all part-time and temporary job vacancies, and internships that we receive notice of, both on campus and in the local area.
Work regulations and/or visa restrictions may apply if you are an international student wanting to work during your studies.
Whatever your situation, our Careers and Placements team will be on hand to offer help and advice: firstname.lastname@example.org
Boost your employability
Discover your strengths
Discover and develop your strengths through our unique employability programme.
Explore options for volunteering
Broaden your leadership and organisational skills and make a difference to other people’s lives.
Meet top employers
Engage with employers at careers fairs, workshops and networking events.