Industrial placement year

Student on placement at Red Bull Racing

An industrial placement year is a great way to help you decide what kind of career you might like when you graduate. As well as giving you the opportunity to develop your own skills, you’ll gain a real insight into working life in a particular company or sector. More than four-fifths of the country’s top graduate employers are offering paid work experience programmes for students and recent graduates. The number of work experience places available at the UK’s leading graduate employers is expected to increase by 1.8% in 2019 (High Fliers Research, 2018).

All of our degrees allow you to undertake a placement year as part of your degree (either in the third year of the BEng or the third or fourth year of the MEng). Our Employability Team will provide you with a comprehensive work placement support service whilst you’re looking for a placement. This includes:

  • access to placement lectures
  • workshops
  • one-to-one CV appointments
  • mock interviews and assessment centres.

Each week you’ll receive our latest placement vacancies – we advertise hundreds over the year with some of the UK’s leading engineering recruiters.

For our IMechE accredited courses (with the exception of Mechatronics and Robotics), the industrial placement year is approved for EngTech registration, which enables you to become a professionally registered engineering technician before you graduate. This not only demonstrates your engineering skills but should give you a head start when entering the job market.

Whichever organisation you join for your placement year, you’ll be assured of experience relevant to your degree. This will allow you to apply your learning in an industrial context while you develop both personally and professionally. An academic tutor will also visit you during your industrial placement. This tutor will meet with you and your line manager, offer support and guidance, and discuss your re-integration into studies.

If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your degree by 12 months. On successfully completing your placement, you’ll be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title so that you can demonstrate your unique expertise to future employers. Your placement can also count towards the professional experience you’ll be required to show if you wish to become a chartered engineer.

Summer internship scheme

Our research groups offer paid summer internships where you can work on research projects at the end of years two and three. This is a great opportunity for you to:

  • gain experience of research
  • develop project management skills
  • enhance your CV
  • earn some money.

Internships run for eight to 10 weeks through the summer. You’ll be allocated self-contained projects by academic supervisors, spanning a broad range of subjects and feeding directly into current research and teaching activities. Projects are funded through both internal funds and a range of industry sponsors including National Instruments and Marks & Spencer.

Read about Jacob's summer placement at the University of Leeds.