Work placement

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The placement year explained

All students from the School of Languages and Social Sciences have the opportunity to spend their placement year in industry - either in the UK or overseas.

A year in industry provides our students with many benefits:
  • The opportunity to gain a realistic preview of your chosen career
  •  A chance to put the skills and knowledge you have learnt on the first two years of your degree programme into practice in a real-life workplace environment
  • If you're a modern language student, you'll have an invaluable opportunity to build-on your language skills
  • Experience team work and business culture and take responsibility for your own contribution
  • Develop your knowledge and find out more about your own strengths
  • Focus on your career objectives and improve your employability.

Most work placements are paid. You may also be eligible for additional funding via the European Commission’s Erasmus Programme.

How do I find a work placement?

Many companies actively seek students from Aston's School of Languages and Social Sciences and send placement offers every year. We advertise these positions via our Aston Futures website.   

You will need to apply to organisations directly following their application procedures.  The process can vary across organisations; some may request a CV with covering letter whilst others will have online application forms.  If successful at the application stage you will be invited to an interview or in some cases an assessment centre. 

The Placements Team runs workshops on putting together a CV, tackling application forms and interview skills. If you're planning to spend your year in industry overseas, we also provide advice and assistance with translating CVs, application forms and letters into the foreign language.

Students selected by the company can normally expect an interview by phone and/or or in person with at least one representative from the company. Interviews are normally held in the UK, but students are occasionally expected to attend interviews overseas. 

View the Placements Team Support webpages for more information on the support services available.

Where will I work?

The School of Languages and Social Sciences has strong links with a wide range of internationally recognised organisations. We have worked with most of these companies for many years and they have all developed well structured  in-house placement programmes.

Organisations in the UK include:

  • The Audit Commission
  • House of Lords
  • Ministry of Defence (MoD)
  • Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC)
  • Airbus
  • Birmingham City Council
  • Morgan and Stanley

Organisations overseas include:

  • In France: Air France, TNS Sofres, Total SA and Sanofi-Aventis
  • In Germany: IBM, DaimlerChrysler, SAP, Siemens and Continental
  • In Austria: LKW Walter
  • Japan: Toyo Gakuen University (University of Tokyo)                                                               

Previous students have been placed with organisations in  Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Senegal and Spain.

Examples of current work placements include:

  • A HR assistant, managing German business apprentices and trainee, at Siemens VDO in Frankfurt, Germany
  • English language instructor for Air France, Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris
  • A translator at Norbert Zaenker & Kollegen in Berlin
  • Marketing assistant at TNS Global in Paris                  
  • Intern at the Audit Commission, London (following 12 month placement programme)
  • Teaching assistant at a behaviour support centre, Birmingham City Council
  • Communications assistant / editor at the Ministry of Defence in London. 

How is the placement year assessed and monitored?

Your placement year will be worth 10% of your final degree result. You will have to submit an essay and two self-evaluation reports detailing  your progress in the company. To ensure you're supported throughout your year in industry, you'll be assigned with a placement tutor. Whether you're in the UK or overseas, they will visit you in your workplace and keep in touch with you throughout the year.

Find out more

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research