Frequently asked questions Business School

The Business School offers the sandwich (or industrial placement) option on all of  its undergraduate degrees and on the MBA International Business degree. Postgraduate students must undertake a placement of 11 months after completing all taught elements of the programme.

Placements are an ideal way for students to obtain valuable employment experience prior to venturing into the graduate job market. The placement is normally 6 to 12 months' full-time paid work, (however, placements  can run for a minimum of nine months and a maximum  of 14 months) and is undertaken between the second and third years of study, for undergraduate students.

The aim of the placement is to enable students to acquire practical experience by applying  the knowledge they have gained at university. Placements also develop key skills, including personal and interpersonal skills, communication, numeracy, problem solving, a positive attitude towards change, values and personal integrity, and an understanding of the world of work.

Undergraduate students may begin their placement as soon as their second-year examinations  have finished (towards the end of May/beginning of June). All undergraduate placements must conclude no later than September of the following year. Postgraduate students can either start in January or September and must undertake a placement of a minimum of 11 months. Where necessary, start dates can be negotiated between the student and employer.

The placement should ideally be related to a particular area of business; this  could be marketing, personnel, accounting or operations, for example. The work itself should offer students the opportunity to develop their own skills, and  hopefully put the theoretical learning from their degree into practice in the  workplace. Most frequently, students will be involved in administrative and/or project-based work, which will evolve and increase in responsibility as the placement year progresses. Postgraduate students must operate in managerial  positions.

Placement opportunities are advertised by the Business School Placements Office (BSPO) on  its dedicated placement intranet site, available to students. All vacancies are then circulated to students via e-mail. Business School students apply for these opportunities with support from the BSPO team. This advertisement service and application support ensures that the recruitment process is straightforward  for the employer. The employer then conducts interviews and selects the right student for the position.

No. The Business School Placements Office does not charge companies in any circumstances  for advertising a vacancy through the office. Employers are welcome to speak to  students and conduct interviews on campus. There is no fee for this service  either.

No. According to guidance issued by the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills, so long as students are registered on a valid sandwich degree, which includes a placement year, they do not require a work permit to be employed in the UK. However, students must hold a valid student visa for the duration of the placement and must not seek full-time permanent employment which is outside the placement year. Students can, however, work full-time during the placement year.

A certain level of supervision will be required. This should include an initial induction, as well as training and monitoring. Ideally, the student should be given regular reviews/appraisals, staff development and even mentoring. During the placement, we allocate an academic member of staff to act as the placement tutor. He or she will visit the student at least once and be on hand to help provide assistance. The BSPO will also lend support and will offer guidance on  recruitment and employment issues if necessary.

The majority of our placements in the UK are paid, with an average salary ranging  from £12,500 to £14,500 per year. However, for some charity organisations or voluntary work, it is possible that the student may be provided with reimbursement of travelling costs (and luncheon vouchers) if a full salary is not available.

The placement is seen as a three-way relationship between the university, the student and yourself. We ask all three parties to agree to a code of good practice, which is designed to help ensure we work in unison.

Students will already have extensive specialist knowledge in a particular subject area (such as  accounting, marketing or public relations). They will also have a range of transferable skills applicable to a variety of roles; these include  presentation skills, analytical and research skills, communication skills, report writing, IT literacy, creativity and, not least, enthusiasm.