Your Placement Options 

Undertaking a placement in 2023/2024 will mean you have to complete between 30 and 48 weeks of placement experience. This can be made up of one or more of the flexible combinations below: 

  • A whole year (up to 48 weeks) with one organisation or a whole year completing 2 semesters of Study Abroad. 
  • A combination of shorter placements with a minimum duration of five weeks, culminating between 30 and 48 weeks.
  • One semester of Study Abroad and another shorter work placement, culminating between 30 and 48 weeks.  
  • Flexible roles that can include part-time opportunities of a minimum of 16 hours/week. 
  • Enterprise placements (to be approved by BSEEN).

Please note: all placements are subject to meeting placement standards and the placement team's approval.

Placement Approval

Once you have secured your placement(s) you will need to get them approved by the On-Placement Support Team. Approval of your placement forms part of your Placement Year Assessment and without an approved record you will not be able to progress into your final year. 

Step 1

You must upload your documents to MAP for us to approve your placement. Here's a handy breakdown of how to record your placement on MAP

For a work placement, you need to upload: 

  • A copy of a Job Description including a breakdown of key roles and responsibilities, which must be uploaded on letter-headed paper/signed by your placement provider. 
  • A copy of the University's UK Placement Agreement form and a copy of the University's Health & Safety checklist, completed by your employer (UK placements); or a copy of the University’s International Placement Agreement form signed by you and your employer (Overseas placements). 

If you're unsure whether your placement meets the requirements, you can check it against our checklist.  

Step 2

We will need to review and verify your documents. You may be asked to submit further information, or we may need to liaise with your Placement Provider. We will contact you via your Aston University email address. Only once these checks are performed, will your placement be approved. This can take up to 3 weeks during peak times.

While you are waiting on your approval, please update your home address, contact telephone numbers and work email address on MAP, and keep both the On-Placement Support Team and your Placement Tutor (once confirmed) informed of any changes. 

If you are going outside of the UK, please check on visa requirements and processing times at your relevant consulates. Please Overseas Placements webpage for further information.

Step 3

Once your placement is approved you will receive a confirmation email and we request you complete the following:

  • Secure your relevant visa/s (Placements outside of the UK).
  • Book your travel and accommodation (if relevant).
  • Book your first meeting with your Placement Tutor once you have been notified of who they are.
  • Keep an eye on your Aston emails.
  • Download the SafeZone app so we can “check in” with you at your placement location. 
  • Inform us of any changes to your contract (role/supervisor/dates) or personal details. 

Placements outside of the UK  

If you’re undertaking a placement outside of the UK, work or study abroad, click here for your placement approval steps.  

Do note that only once your placement is approved will you be authorised to travel for placement. If you choose to travel before authorisation, you will forfeit any weeks of placement activity carried out before approval.  

Engaging with your Placement Tutor

You will be assigned a Placement Tutor during your first term of placement year. They will act as a source of support and guidance throughout the year.  

It is your responsibility to arrange the first meeting with your Tutor; be proactive and reach out to them once you’ve received their details. You can use this meeting to: 

  • Establish your working relationship. 
  • Clarify assignment briefs. 
  • Discuss aims and outcomes for the placement year. 
  • Confirm how and when you can access their support.  

You will also need to arrange a placement meeting between your tutor and placement provider during your placement year. This meeting will be an opportunity for all parties to reflect on your performance and your progress within the year. This meeting is a mandatory requirement, please look to arrange it as soon as possible with your tutor.

The Placement Assessment

You will have to complete an assessment as part of your placement year. 

There are two parts to the placement assessment: 

  • Part A – Reflective questions about your placement experience (60%) 
  • Part B - A College or department-specific assessment (40%) 

Please check your Blackboard module regularly throughout the year – if you have any questions about your assignment, you might find the answer there.  

Don’t forget that your placement tutor will be supporting and guiding you throughout the assessment.  

Health and Safety and Employment Law

Within your induction your placement provider should make you aware of their Health & Safety policy, this is also an opportunity for you to raise any questions you have with your Line Manager.  

Important Legal Information 

It is strongly advised to have a written contract for every job, including your placement. A contract is an agreement between yourself and your employer that sets out your employment conditions, rights, responsibilities, and duties. It often includes important information about your contracted hours, probation period, annual leave entitlement, notice period, and sick leave entitlement. If you’re unsure of a point in your contract, make sure to do some research and ask questions before signing. 

The UK’s ‘Working Time Directive’ or ‘Working Time Regulations’ specifies that you cannot work more than 48 hours a week on average unless you opt-out. If you are asked to waive your rights to the Working Time Directive, notify us as soon as possible. You can find further guidance on this UK law here.

The UK Equality Act 2010 covers nine protected characteristics that cannot be used as a reason to treat people unfairly. You can also find more guidance on equality, diversity and inclusion on our EDI web pages. If you have any concerns about equal opportunities or feel your rights have been breached, you can find out more about your options through the Equality Advisory and Support Service or on the Citizens’ Advice website. If you are on placement, please contact the On-Placement Support Team in the first instance. 

Within your induction, your placement provider should make you aware of their Health & Safety Policy, including if you are working from home. 

It is your responsibility to behave professionally in the workplace. If the world of work in the UK is new to you, have a look through some of our resources for further guidance here or book a career advice session via Aston Futures.  

Student Route Visa Holder

As a Student Route Visa holder, you will need to ensure your placement has been fully approved through the placements Team or your College before you go on placement. Once your placement is approved, you will be transferred to off-campus engagement monitoring.  

You must maintain regular remote engagement activities to allow you to keep in contact with the University and your studies whilst you are away from campus If you’re unsure of your engagement requirements, please contact to clarify your position and prevent any breaches to your visa conditions.

Returning from Placement

When you return to Aston for your final year, our Careers Consultants would love to see you in order to start thinking about the next stage in your career.

Our outstanding record for graduate employment is partly due to the career support available to Aston students and recent graduates. Our dedicated careers team works throughout the year to provide careers support and guidance via online resources, at workshops and during one-to-one appointments. 

The team can help with:

  • Exploring your options
  • Gaining skills and experience
  • Conducting SMART career planning
  • Meeting employers and networking successfully
  • Finding jobs in the UK and abroad
  • Apply for jobs and postgraduate study
  • Starting your own business
  • Planning out alternative options
  • You can book an appointment with a Careers Consultant on Aston Futures

Think about the skills that you have developed during your placement and how you can convey these to graduate recruiters when making your applications.

Helpful tip: Whilst it’s still fresh in your mind, write down some examples of how you have used skills such as presenting, leading, organising, problem-solving or communication during your placement. If you learn a foreign language, definitely include this in your list – it’s very impressive!

Keeping a log of this information will come in handy when applying for future roles. You will often be required to complete competency-based questions on application forms and at interviews. Your log will help you wow potential employers and save you lots of time trying to remember all the things you’ve done. 

Final Year Accommodation

If you’re hoping to find on-campus (or right by campus) accommodation for your final year, there are several options available to you through Unite Students.

On the website, you’ll be able to book a room, arrange a viewing, and view property details. You will be able to apply online from October/November, and applications will close when the accommodation is fully booked.

They have a great live chat function on their website, so do pop on over there if you have any questions.

Still need to find a placement?

You may still be searching for your placement opportunity, or you may need to secure further weeks to make sure you’re reaching the minimum required weeks. 

If that’s you, here are a few places you can look:

Flexible Placements Team

The first port of call would be for you to contact the Flexible Placements Team. They are a dedicated team that will support students who are still searching for placement or have outstanding weeks on placement.

Aston Futures

Your next stop should be Aston Futures. It is our online platform where you can search and apply for placement roles, graduate jobs, part-time work and voluntary roles, book events, and arrange appointments with the Placements Team. 

External Jobsites

We have lots of useful tips and resources available to help you find your placement.

You could also ask your friends or family if they know of a suitable placement opportunity for you.