When I can do a placement?
After completing your second year. Starting dates vary, but most students commence their placement some time between early June and late-September.
How long does a placement last?
This depends on the contract you have with your employer, but we require all placements to be at least 40 weeks long. Some students work for more than 40 weeks. This is a regulatory requirement of Year in Industry programmes.
Will I be paid?
Yes. It is our policy only to promote placements that offer students at least the minimum wage. Many students earn well above this during their placement year. We are aware that in some industries, such as the music industry and the media, it is common for placement students not to receive a salary. Whilst we do not endorse this, we would not prevent a student from completing an unpaid placement if they want to.
Can I do a placement abroad?
Absolutely! It can be more difficult to find a placement overseas, but the University’s Careers and Employability Service can help and advise you. In the past students have completed placements in China and the USA. Most students complete their placements in the UK, but many have had the opportunity to travel to Europe and beyond in the course of their work.
There are also certain concerns for us regarding overseas placements such as the level of employers liability insurance (or the equivalent) that will need to be confirmed to be at a level equivalent to the UK. We have a duty of care towards you as you are one of our students even though you are employed by the business for the year.
How do I find a placement?
During your first year, you will complete a Placement Preparation Module, which will help you to research various business sectors to find the right one for you, to develop your CV and hone your interview skills. You’ll also have the opportunity to reflect on the transferrable skills that you already have, and to develop them further ready for the workplace. During both the first and second year, you’ll receive support from the University’s Careers and Employability Service to seek out and apply for placements. You’ll need to be motivated and organised, but plenty of support is available! We do not provide placements for students, nor can we guarantee that every student will be successful in finding a placement. These are not gifts that are given out, but prizes to be won.
Somebody that I know has said I can work for them for a year if I do a placement – is that OK?
Possibly – a number of our students have undertaken placements that have come about through their own personal connections. All placements are reviewed by the School’s Director of Placements to ensure that students will be working at a graduate level (comparable to that expected on a graduate training scheme) and that they have the opportunity to engage with a true learning and development experience in their workplace. Provided that your placement opportunity meets these criteria, it should be fine. This is part of a programme of study and as such is regulated by the QAA so we need to ensure that the placement will enable you to meet our exacting standards.
What happens if I don’t get a placement?
Unfortunately, not all students are successful in finding a placement. Others decide that they would prefer to continue with their studies rather than complete an internship. Students in either situation simply transfer to the three year version of the degree programme, and graduate twelve months earlier than planned.
Do I have to achieve a minimum grade to do a placement?
Provided that you successfully complete your first and second years of study, you will be have the opportunity to progress to your placement year and undertake an internship. However, there is strong competition for placements from students right across the UK, and employers can take their pick of academically-strong applicants. It’s therefore important that you work hard to achieve good grades in order to maximise your chance of success.
Does the placement count towards my degree?
Yes, it is worth 10% of your overall degree classification. During the year, you’ll be asked to keep a reflective diary so that you can think about your personal development. We also ask you to complete a reflective essay towards the end of your placement, which draws upon your experiences. In May, all students on placement return to Liverpool for our Placement Conference, at which you will give a short presentation about your internship and what you have learned (overseas students can Skype their presentation).
So I still have to study while I’m on placement?
Yes, there will still be some university work to complete whilst you work, but this has been designed so that it supports your own personal development in the workplace by asking you to reflect on your experiences and to relate this to some of the theory that you learned at University. Some students also take the opportunity to complete professional examinations or courses whilst they are on placement, often funded by their employer. It is the aim of this programme that we develop nuanced and sophisticated practitioners who are able to make an impact on any organisation they work for. Your studies will allow you to develop a more critical stance towards the theory you have been learning at university and learn how to adapt it to your circumstances in a thoughtful and creative fashion. The aim of this part of your studies is to help you develop as a leader.
What contact do I have with the University during my placement?
Every student completing a placement is assigned a supervisor. Your supervisor will visit you at your workplace early in the academic year, and again later in the year. The visits let us know how you’re getting on, and are an opportunity to talk through your experiences, raise any concerns, and provide guidance on the academic side of the placement. If you’re abroad, the visit will probably take the form of a Skype meeting.
What companies do Liverpool students work for?
In 2014-15, students completed placements at a wide range of companies, from small and medium enterprises to major international conglomerations. These included GE Finance, Puma UK, Deloitte, Telefonica, Unilever, Aldi, IBM, Amazon and the Government Economic Service.
Will I get a job at the end of my placement?
Some students have been offered full-time roles with their placement provider upon graduation, others are offered direct entry to the final stages of the interview process for the placement provider’s graduate scheme, it will all depend upon the individual companies recruitment policies. Whether or not they have confirmed employment after completing their placement, all our students agree that the experience and skills that they develop during their placement year give them a real head start in the graduate employment market.
I’d really like to study abroad as well as complete a placement – can I do both?
Yes, but you have to be very organised! A small number of our Year in Industry students have spent a semester studying abroad before undertaking a placement.
Can I do a Year in Industry if I am on a combined degree?
No, these are only open to our single honours programmes.
How many students achieve placements?
60-70% of those who start the 2nd year get a placement. However, this headline figure hides some of the realities of obtaining a placement. It is always surprising, but many of those who don’t get a placement don’t actually make any applications. If you don’t apply, you’re not going to go on placement. Many of those who don’t get placement are those students who don’t build the kind of profile employers are looking for. Getting a work placement is in many ways a test of your employability, and being on a placement helps to further enhance your employability. Employability is being able to display those capabilities that employers are looking for (e.g. confidence, willingness to work outside of your comfort zone, an ability to communicate effectively). The university provides all kinds of opportunities to develop these capabilities from the student societies, opportunities to volunteer, sports, summer internships, and even registers of part-time jobs. Many who obtain a placement make the most of these opportunities and build a personal profile that employer’s desire. If your extra-curricula activity is only clubbing, then you are hindering your chances of getting a placement. That’s not to say don’t have fun, but there are ways of enjoying yourself that count towards building that all-important profile. Join a society, become the entertainment officer, organise an event for the society and you will be surprised to find you are developing all kinds of skills from handling money and budgeting to project management and marketing.
I’m not from the UK – can I still do a placement?
This depends on the terms of your student visa. Some visas allow students to work in the UK if this is a requirement of the degree programme. For further advice about student visas, please see https://www.liv.ac.uk/studentsupport/ist/visas/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org.