Placements in Industry

An experience of the workplace, highly valued by employers of engineering graduates.

We encourage all our undergraduate students to consider undertaking at least one placement in an engineering-related industry for a few months during a summer vacation period, normally at the end of Year 2 or 3. You will be supported in finding and applying for such a placement, which can be in an organisation which could range from a local small/medium-sized enterprise to a global blue chip engineering company: but it’s up to you to apply. 

Short placements over the summer months are competitive and usually require applications to be submitted to the companies about 6 months before the summer. Companies often offer summer placements to students who they might consider recruiting as graduates, but they are generally well paid and, although they don’t contribute directly to the degree, they provide invaluable learning and personal development experiences.

Year in Industry

A life-changing experience highly valued by employers.

The Year in Industry can currently be undertaken as a variant of our Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering BEng and MEng programmes, adding a year to the normal 3 or 4 year programme. 

You will be supported in finding and applying for a placement in an organisation which could range from a local small/medium-sized enterprise to a global blue chip engineering company. As with summer placements, it’s up to you. 

Students normally go on their year placement during their third year of study (after successful completion of two years), although for MEng students it can be undertaken after completion of three years of study.

Year in Industry placements must be for a minimum of 40 weeks, and must overlap with the academic year in order that assessments can be managed smoothly. The placement year  includes a variety of assessments including a reflective journal based on engineering competencies associated with the Engineering Council’s professional standards and learning outcomes. Overall, the placement year accounts for 10% of the overall degree classification. As Year in Industry placement students are acting as ambassadors for the University whilst on these paid placements, they must have performed at a high academic level in the year before the placement in order to be considered eligible, otherwise the placement year would have to be taken by suspension of studies and would not contribute towards the degree mark.

The benefits of taking a Year in Industry?

  • Develop the key skills and experiences engineering employers are looking for;
  • Experience first-hand the relationship between academic theory and work-place practice;
  • Understand and clarify your career options;
  • Learn about workplace culture, company organisation and management; and
  • Earn money whilst you study.
  • Year in Industry students are expected to achieve a 1st or 2:1 class degree


During the first two years of study, our students take part in a range of career and employability sessions that will help develop the essential skills needed to succeed in winning a summer or Year-in-Industry placement in the hugely competitive graduate internship market, including researching potential employers, application writing and interview techniques. The sessions also support students to develop the employability skills that are essential in the workplace.

At the start of Year 2, all Year-in-Industry students attend the School of Engineering’s 3-day Year in Industry preparation training course designed in collaboration with the University Careers staff and employers to kick-start the application process during Year 2. It provides advice, guidance and training essential to the process of successfully finding a year placement.  

The School of Engineering also provides support to students whilst on Year-in-Industry placements with regular visits and calls from a dedicated Placement Supervisor.

Source a placement that suits you

With increasing numbers of engineering employers looking for students with work experience, and many now using students on Year in Industry programmes as a way to recruit the best graduates, it can be a good way to enhance the relevant employability skills and work experience that will help you on your way to a graduate job.

Our students have recently undertaken year-long placements in all these organisations:

  • Airbus
  • Rolls Royce
  • Leonardo Helicopters
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Bosch
  • Cadbury
  • Nissan
  • JCB
  • Triumph Motorcycles
  • Pentaxia
  • Caterpillar
  • GE Aviation
  • Balfour Beatty
  • MBDA
  • SP Energy
  • HUSCO International
  • Helical Technology
  • ROC Consulting
  • Transport for London
  • Eaton Electrical
  • As well as other local small to medium sized companies.

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