About the placement year - for students

Biomendical Science placement year
Watch our Biomedical Science placement year video
It is an optional, assessed work placement that is available to all undergraduates in Life and Health Sciences. It takes place in Year three of a four-year degree course. 

By opting to take a placement year, you're taking advantage of an exciting opportunity to improve your long-term career prospects and add to your
knowledge and skills. In some subjects, you can even choose to work towards a valuable additional qualification that will increase your employability after graduation - the University Certificate in Personal and Professional Development. This optional qualification will enhance your CV writing and interview skills, help to identify your strengths, weaknesses and career preferences and prepare your placement portfolio.

Find out about the pre-registration year for optometry and pharmacy


How will I benefit?

There are numerous reasons why our students benefit from a placement year. You will:
  • Gain invaluable industry experience, helping you to differentiate yourself from other graduates
  • Have better career prospects on graduation
  • Potentially gain a better degree result in your final year, by increasing your subject knowledge whilst on placement
  • Gain new knowledge and the opportunity to develop transferable skills
  • Put the theory from your degree into practice
  • Increase your understanding of the subject by using it in a real work environment
  • Potentially secure a graduate position as a result of your placement
  • Gain a clearer idea about your preferred career direction.

Where can I expect to work during my placement year?

Placement choices reflect the wide range of career options open to graduates and can be taken in both private and public sector organisations, as well as in academic and research institutions.

How do I prepare for my placement year?

The Life and Health Sciences Placement Team are here to support all students in finding a suitable position within an industry relevant to your course.

We encourage all students to take the pre-placement module in their second year. In this module, you will have the opportunity to identify and assess your own knowledge, skills, aptitudes and interests and gain contextual knowledge of the businesses and organisations in which you may be working.

With the help and guidance of the Careers Centre you will be able to create a CV and covering letter and practice your interview technique. You’ll also be able to meet prospective placement providers and share experiences with previous placement students. Finally, you’ll use reflective practice to prepare your own Personal Development Plan. 

You are expected to find and apply for your own placement, although the pre-placement module will provide you with the support, skills and advice you will need to make a relevant and successful choice.  Some placement providers advertise their opportunities on our Blackboard Site (the University's virtual working environment).

Hear from our students

 Find out how our placement scheme has benefited students studying all aspects of the life and health sciences:

Important information
In some cases, students who undertake placements in the NHS may be required to pay for CRB checks and occupational health checks. Please contact the LHS placements team for more information. 

Can I afford to take a placement year?

Although you may be worried about the financial costs involved in extending your degree, there are ways in which you can make your Placement Year more affordable. Some placement providers offer a competitive salary for successful applicants, while those of you who undertake unpaid placements might be eligible for a bursary or an expense allowance to cover basic costs.  Other options are to take a part-time placement and take on additional work to earn an income.

Bursaries are available to support students with the cost of tuition fees.

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