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 enhance your employability skills, strengthen your academic performance and give you a practical insight into the graduate job market.
Open to undergraduates and integrated Masters students, our Placement Year is designed to build your confidence and self-awareness. You'll develop your skills during, and through the reflection of, a minimum of nine months experience in a work-based context.
My placement year has been a great way to start my career and has been my best decision to date! I have gained an insight into a very fast-growing business channel within Amazon and have had some brilliant opportunities – including attending a summit in Prague. This was a fantastic chance for me to learn new skills, interact with people that I don’t usually work with, and hear about the work they are focusing on and their journeys to and throughout Amazon.
Finance Intern, Amazon, BSc Economics and Finance
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.
What our students say
Our blog is full of stories from different students sharing their experiences of being on a work placement.
My Year in Industry: First Steps – Getting a placement
Posted by Kimberley on 14 October 2020
Decisions, Decisions I knew I wanted to do a year in industry even before I had chosen to study at York. Hearing about the…
A Pfantastic Year! Highlights and Learnings of My Placement Year at Pfizer
Posted by Morgan on 15 June 2020
The process of getting a placement can be really tough. There can be more stages of an application process than you thought were possible…
My Year in Industry at AstraZeneca!
Posted by Chloe on 15 June 2020
Hi everyone! My name is Chloe and I am a Biochemistry undergraduate student. I’ve spent my year in industry at AstraZeneca within the Oncology…
Taking a placement year – best bits and top tips!
Posted by Morgan on 13 March 2020
Trying to get a placement was a tricky part of my second year at university. Thankfully, that’s not true for everyone. Whilst some found…
Preparing to finish my Management placement: They think it’s all over, it is now…
Posted by Katy on 27 June 2019
Hey everyone! Welcome to what is probably the final instalment of my Management placement journey. Well done if you’ve kept up with it all…
Spending a year as a Game Designer at Criterion Games
Posted by Jade on 26 June 2019
Hi, I’m Jade, an Interactive Media student here at York. I’m currently doing a Placement Year working as an Intern Game Designer at Criterion…
Internships and work experience can 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.
Past internships have included developing a marketing strategy for Castle Howard, or 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
Study, work, or volunteer abroad
We have links with top academic institutions and employers all over the world. Expand your horizons and prepare for a career in a global job market.
This global experience does not necessarily have to take place abroad, there are also ways to get involved here in York.
Part-time paid work
You might want a part-time job to gain more experience, learn new skills and strengthen your CV, or to contribute towards your study costs.
There are opportunities that directly compliment your degree, such as assisting or participating in University research, but be open-minded when you are looking for a part-time job. You might think that working in shops, bars or restaurants won’t be valued by graduate employers, but this isn't true.
Employers look 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. 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.
As a student, you will have access to Handshake, the number one digital platform designed to support your future employability. We use Handshake to advertise part-time and temporary job vacancies received from employers as well as paid temporary work at the University.
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.