Explore Your Placement Options

A placement year is a great opportunity to develop your skills, gain an understanding of an industry you’d like to work in, build your professional network, and graduate with highly valuable experience that’ll make you stand out from the crowd.

How you spend it is up to you. You could do a work placement either in the UK or overseas, or you could complete a Study Abroad placement with one of our partner universities. 

Don’t forget, we have a team of friendly Placement Coordinators who are here to support you with your search. They can explore your options with you. 

Work in the UK

Our award-winning Employer Engagement Team work closely with hundreds of companies throughout the country to provide you with exciting opportunities. We work with big companies such as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), IBM, Microsoft, Samsung, Network Rail, Aldi, The Prince’s Trust, and Rolls-Royce, as well as SMEs (small-to-medium-sized enterprises).

Working Overseas

We don’t just work with UK-based employers; our links are international. As an Aston University student, you could get a taste of a global career by doing your placement abroad. 

Exploring a new country, discovering the culture, improving your language skills, and having a fantastic experience – what’s not to enjoy? Students from Aston University have been all over the world, completing placements in countries such as France, Switzerland, USA, Germany, Morocco, Singapore, Australia, and Spain just to name a few. 

You may be eligible for funding during your placement abroad. To find out more, contact our international team.

Study Abroad

We’ve got strong relationships with partner institutions around the world. This enables you to take your studies abroad and experience new languages, new cultures and new places. As well as getting to live overseas and kick-start your international career, you could also find yourself studying new subjects that Aston doesn’t offer. 

You can study for a full year - or even just a term, leaving the rest of the year to find a work placement. Our students have studied abroad in countries like Argentina, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Spain, Sweden and Malaysia, just to name a few. 

Alix Twiggs did a Study Abroad placement in Valencia, Spain. We interviewed her for our From Campus to Careers podcast, and you can hear all about her experience below.

You may be eligible for funding during your placement abroad. To find out more, contact our international team.

Enterprise Placements

Thinking of doing an enterprise placement? If you’re keen to set up your own business, or you’ve already done it, this could be a great option for your placement year. You need to have a viable, well-thought-out business idea, and you need to be determined to make it a success. You’ll have support from the BSEEN team, who help Aston students kick-start new ventures in Birmingham, but this will be your business, so you’ll need to be motivated. 

If you’d like to know more, you can read 7 things you should know about enterprise placements.

We also have a podcast episode you might be interested in listening to if you're considering an enterprise placement. 

Split Placements

If you like the sound of working in the UK and studying abroad, good news – you don’t have to pick just one. Unless your course states that your placement is specific to just one option, you might even go as far as experiencing all three during your placement year. There are lots of work opportunities both in the UK and abroad that are just 3-4 months long, and you can study abroad at one of our partner universities for as little as just one term. You just need to make sure the combination of options meets the minimum number of weeks for your placement.

Flexible Placements

We appreciate that the Covid-19 pandemic might have made it more challenging to secure a placement. To make it easier for you, we’ve introduced some flexible placement options. Where possible, we would still encourage you to try and secure a full year-long placement (48 weeks), if you can. You’ll gain valuable skills and experience that will really give your CV a boost and ensure you’re as employable as possible for when you graduate. 

We’ve put together this handy guide to give you an overview of the flexible placement options, and we also have some FAQs on flexible placements to answer some of the questions you might have.