Curious about a Year’s Professional Placement?

What is a Placement?

A Placement can be referred to as a Industrial Placement, Professional Placement, Sandwich Year or Year in Industry. It consists of a minimum of 11 months of work in industry, where you experience full-time work in a similar to graduate-level position.

The Placement is a full year that takes place between your penultimate and final years of study (i.e. if you are on a BSc degree, your Placement will take place between your 2nd and 3rd years of study).


Why should I do a Placement?

There are a multitude of reasons to undertake a Placement:

  • You can put the theoretical knowledge gained through your degree to date to practice in day-to-day work
  • You will ‘test drive’ your career, find out what roles you enjoy before you sign up to a 2-to-3-year graduate scheme
  • Get paid for the year (and retain your student status & council tax exemption in the UK)
  • Develop and strengthen both technical and transferable skills
  • Increase your employability
  • Successful Placements could lead to Graduate role offers and/or financial support from the employer
  • Have a break from your formal studies, and learn in a different environment
  • Students tend to return to their studies academically stronger
  • Create and develop your professional network
  • Meet Placement students from other Universities
  • Gain experience of recruitment, with the support from the Global Placements Team


Which courses offer Placements?


Are Placements paid?

While some companies may not provide paid Placements (such as some charities or 3rd sector organisations), the Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences (NMS) will only allow students to undertake paid Placements. Salaries range from £11,000 to £25,000 per annum, and the average Placement salary in 2019/20 was £19,000.


Is a Placement guaranteed?

We do not guarantee students a Placement, as Placements are searched and applied for by the individual student. However, we do guarantee that when a student is actively searching for a Placement, we will be there to support every step of the way.



What support is available to me, while I search for a Placement?

As a Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences student at King’s, you will have access to support from both the central King’s Careers & Employability team (who will support you from your 1st year all the way through to after you’ve graduated), but also the Faculty’s own Placements Coordinator (who sits within the Global Placements Team).

The Global Placements Team offer:

  • Specific Placements sessions and workshops
  • Employer events, where employers who are actively recruiting Placement students are invited to engage with you through a variety of different sessions
  • Bi-weekly Placements newsletters, highlighting open vacancies, events to attend and links to advice for your applications
  • Placement application advice sessions to support your application documentation development (including everything from CVs to cover letters)
  • Bespoke one-to-one advice on any other queries relating to Placements

We also support you whilst you are on your Placement through one visit a year, as well as regular communications and check points, to ensure everything is running smoothly.


Do I have to stay in the UK during Placement?

In a typical year, students are allowed to undertake a Placement either in the UK or overseas. However, this is dependent on any travel restrictions in place, as well as an appropriate Placement being sourced.



Do I have to do just one Placement for the full year?

As an NMS student, your Placement year must consist of a minimum of 11 months of work. This period of time can begin following your assessments at the end of your Penultimate year, and must finish before the start of your final year of studies (approx. 14 months).

However, the 11 months can be made up by 2 shorter Placements (i.e. 2 x 6 month Placements). In the UK Placements are typically 12 months in length, but this allows you flexibility, should you want it.


Is there a tuition fee for the Placement year?

As you will retain your student status for the year, as well as have access to support from the University through both the Faculty Placement Coordinator and Academic Placements Lead for your department in addition to usual support networks at the College, there is still a tuition fee attributed to the Placement year. However, this is a reduced amount in comparison to a ‘normal’ study year.


Do I have to sign up now, or can I switch when I’m studying?

There is the option to ‘transfer’ to a degree programme with a Placement during your studies. However, if you begin your studies on a degree that already includes the Placements offer, then you will ensure that you are included in any Placement-specific communications from the Global Placements Team.


Which companies have NMS students worked for previously?

Some companies that NMS students are currently on Placement with (2020/21 academic year) include:

  • Accenture
  • Bank of America
  • Bank of England
  • Egress
  • Expedia
  • GE Aviation
  • Goldman Sachs
  • GSK
  • IBM
  • Mastercard Vocalink
  • UBS
  • Vodafone


Read more…

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