Take a placement

A placement is your chance to gain relevant work experience in preparation for your future career. Depending on the course, it can be mandatory or optional.

Gain vital experience in the workplace

You can benefit greatly from an industry placement during your degree. Find out where our students go, what they get up to, and why they recommend that you should take a placement too.

Your placement questions answered

What is a placement?

A placement is an opportunity for you to gain industry experience with an employer while you are at university. Many of our courses offer you the choice to take a placement year or 'sandwich year' as part of your degree.

Typically, you start a year-long placement between your second and third year. Several courses include compulsory module placements, such as postgraduate teaching and some health courses. Please ask your programme leader for further details. There are also shorter placements you can take, called internships, lasting from 5 days – 6 months which last for a few weeks or months, on either a part-time or full-time basis.

Undergraduate Sandwich Placements

  • Optional Sandwich year between 2nd and 3rd year or between 3rd and 4th year if an integrated masters
  • Minimum 9 months paid placement
  • Full Time – at least 30 hours a week, minimum 3 days in the office
  • Needs to be relevant to your programme of study
  • Placement Fee (£1000)
  • You will still be a student, so you will get all the perks!
  • International students may be eligible for a placement – speak to the international office for visa conditions
  • 'certain roles have citizenship requirement under special prerogatives

Before Applying

  • Inform the placements team (employability@greenwich.ac.uk) that you are looking for a work placement
  • Book an appointment with an Employability Skills Advisor to fine-tune your CV and Covering Letter
  • Use the employability advice on the online careers centre.
  • International students need to check their visa conditions
  • Consider speaking to student finance + Student Finance England

Once you have secured a sandwich placement

  • Your placement must be approved before it can begin (Offer letter and placement contract signed and return to the Placement Officer)
  • You must be academically eligible for a placement.
  • The approval deadline for sandwich placements is the 30th of August of your second year
  • Your Placement Officer will send you the placement handbook and placement contract once the offer letter has been approved.
  • If you are an international student, the Placement Officer will report the details of your placement to the compliance team, which must be conducted before the placement start.
  • You will be allocated an academic mentor in the early Autumn, who will assist you with placement assignments.
  • If your placement does not meet the criteria, or you have missed the approval deadline, it will not be accepted towards UoG’s placement schemes.

How do placements differ from internships?

Internships are a fantastic way to gain short periods of work experience, especially during the summer break. They do not always form part of your course, but some sectors will expect to see an internship on your CV before you will be considered for a role. If you impress during an internship, there is a chance you could be offered a position when you leave university.

Why do a placement?

You will get to apply what you have learned at university in the real world, gain hands-on experience, and make valuable contacts which could lead to a job after you graduate. You will gain an insight into the industry you are thinking of working in and may even discover a career path that you have not thought of before.

What you learn during a placement will give you a head start over other candidates when applying for jobs and you will be able to talk about it in your interview.

  • Gain a better understanding of your chosen career sector
  • Develop your communication and interpersonal skills, as well as good working habits
  • Earn Money - average salary for a sandwich placement is £22,000+
  • Enhance and develop new skills
  • Gain a competitive edge when applying for graduate jobs
  • Research has shown that those who complete a work placement generally gain a higher degree award
  • At the end of a sandwich placement year, students are invited to a celebration reunion

Will I get paid for a placement?

Short, credit-bearing work placements may not be paid, depending on your course. However, sandwich placements are usually paid at the going rate for entry level roles in the relevant industry. We only promote paid placements.

Remember that you'll pay a reduced fee during a sandwich year. This gives you student status and you'll retain full support and access to tutors as usual. However, sandwich placements should be paid the minimum wage.

Do we stay in touch during placements?

Yes – absolutely. You'll still have access to tutors during a placement year. Some students find that their contact with tutors goes up during a placement year because you benefit from their advice and experience in a practice setting.

At the end of a placement year, Business School students are invited to a reunion, where they can share experiences and get back into the swing of student life ahead of the final year.

When should I apply for a placement?

For sandwich placements you should start looking and applying at the start of your second year, you can even start looking at the end of your first year, with larger organisations typically opening earlier and recruiting earlier.

Different businesses recruit at various times, so keep looking all the way through the year, as new opportunities will come up.

It is a good idea to do an internship in your 1st year. Not only will you gain more experience, but this may give you an advantage on your application when applying for a sandwich placements.

  • Look roughly once a week, as placements come and go quickly
  • Start looking as early as possible because most vacancies are released between September and Christmas
  • Use a variety of approaches to maximise your chances of success
  • The more you apply to, the higher chance of success (do not rush applications)
  • We will help as much as possible, but it is the students' responsibility to find and secure a placement! ​

How do I apply for a placement?

This depends on whether the placement is optional or a mandatory part of your course.

If it is optional, it is up to you to look for the placement, with our help of our teams.

There are hundreds of placement opportunities advertised on our Target Connect platform, and our careers team are on hand to help.

If the placement is a mandatory part of your course, our placement teams may arrange this for you. (In education, for example, you will be placed at a partnership school that we trust to support our students.)

Your programme leader will be able to advise you how this works for your course. For further advice, get in touch or come and meet us on campus.

  • Each employer has their own recruitment process, you should ensure you know exactly what is required of you.
  • Processes consist of submitting an application form / CV and covering letter, online psychometric test, Assessment centre, Video, telephone and/or face to face interview.
  • For smaller companies which do not offer a set work placement scheme or internships within their organisation, you can contact them directly to enquire whether there are work experience opportunities available.
  • Research companies you would like to work for and send them a CV and covering letter explaining what interests you about their organisation and what value you would bring.
  • The University also offers a vast range of e-learning resources, which will help you make effective applications. Visit www.gre.ac.uk/careers or email employability@gre.ac.uk.

Where to look for placements

So now you have all the details, where do you look for a placement or internship? See below a list of websites that will help your search:

I would definitely recommend doing a placement. I've managed to network not just with the people in my firm [PwC] but also with the clients I work with as well.

- Harriet Tolhurst, BSc Finance and Investment Banking

Having the opportunity to take a graphic design internship at Charlton Athletic FC not only gave me invaluable experience but I got my dream job out of it too!

- Kashane Smith, BSc Digital Media Technologies

My tutor encouraged me to go and take a placement with the local council. That’s where I developed my interests further.

- Raphael Bobie, BSc Hons Public Health