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Work experience and placements

Starting your job search
Health and safety on placement
Employer handbook
Support grant

Placements lead to graduate jobs

Without a placement, 52% of graduate employers rate your chances of receiving a graduate job offer as ‘not very likely’. Up to 71% of graduate jobs at an organisation may be filled by students who have completed a placement there (RateMyPlacement 2014).

The 2015 High Fliers Report highlighted that although the graduate labour market is improving, employers are selecting those with skills gained from placements and work experience as well as their degree. Now, more than ever, it is critical to undertake a placement, internship or work experience within your chosen industry.

Not convinced? What about the opportunity to:

  • Forge links with potential employers.
  • Gain relevant professional experience and knowledge of a particular industry.
  • Boost your confidence and experience of work environments.
  • Improve your academic grades.
  • Develop your transferable skills.

What is a placement?

As far as the University is concerned a placement is a period of assessed learning in a work-place included in a unit, and you have to work in a field relevant to your course. This is because a placement aims to bridge the gap between academic study and vocational experience through practical and professional work experience.

If you are doing a placement, we highly recommend that you use the placement app on the Portal to upload important documents and communicate with your employer and lecturer. Find out more by watching the video below.

When looking for opportunities to gain a placement, companies may use different terminology and advertise a work experience opportunity, placement or internship! All offer a period of work experience at a company that may last several weeks, months or even up to one year and can be counted as a placement.  

The main similarity between a placement and internship is that it’s all about making you employable in the future.

Staff handbook

Your tutor will approve the placement on the Placement App.

Do you already work part time?

Your part-time work is a valuable experience and sometimes may be approved by your unit leader to be counted as a placement.  If your course includes a placement or a work-based learning unit, have a look at the placement handbook explaining much of the useful information you will need to know.

Email to find out more or drop in to the Solent Futures Centre (RM001) every weekday from 10am - 4pm.

Starting to look for placements

It is your responsibility to secure a placement. However, help and great resources are available from Solent Futures and course teams. 

Some general websites to get you started are:

If you feel that you may face additional challenges or potential discrimination when seeking a placement, the equality and employment Portal pages contain a range of resources you may find useful. 

Health and safety

As part of its “Duty of care” to students, the University aims to ensure your health and safety during placement. Employers are required to sign an agreement confirming their responsibilities to you whilst you are on placement, and this will include ensuring your health and safety.

You should expect to receive health and safety information from your placement provider as part of your induction training. However if you ever have any concerns about your health, safety or well-being while on a placement, you should contact your tutor immediately.

It is important that you fully understand the duties you will be completing and the environment you will be working in. The risk profile section of the Placement App will help you to identify any potential health and safety issues you may need to consider when undertaking your work placement. 

Placements abroad: If you have found a placement outside the UK, there will be additional factors to consider. Please discuss details with your tutor or with a member of Solent Futures staff (located in RM001).


All UK employers are required to proved employers' liability insurance. Requirements outside the UK may differ. If you are on an overseas placement you will need to discuss employers' liability insurance with your tutor.

The University’s travel insurance policy provides comprehensive travel and emergency medical assistance for students undertaking overseas placements of up to one year. You must notify the Insurance Office in advance if your placement is longer than six months in duration ( ). For work placements in excess of one year, you will need to purchase your own independent cover.  

This is just a summary of insurance details. Please see your placement handbook and the insurance pages on the Portal for more detailed information.

Handbook for employers

If your prospective employer wants to find out more about what is involved in providing a placement, they can download Solent's Guide to Placements for Employers.

Support Grant

The Support Grant is a non-repayable grant for students who are in financial hardship. Students can use this funding to help fund their placement.

Page last updated on Thursday 6 February 2020 at 2.09pm.


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