University of Bath
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Hi everyone!

I am a current third year student at the University of Bath and am now on my placement. I have started this thread so people interested in applying to, or currently studying at Bath, can ask questions about the placements programme at Bath.

What is a placement?
A placement is done in the third year of your degree. You take a year out of studying to go into industry. This could be working full-time and earning a full salary to doing top-quality research.

Why Bath?
The placements scheme at Bath is one of the most (if note THE most) established of all UK universities. We have top industry links (some exclusive to University of Bath) such as Rolls-Royce, Unilever, Pfizer, Cancer Research UK and L'Oreal.

Our placements teams are also incredibly supportive, guiding you through the entire process and advising you when needed.

Why do a placement?
Not only is a placement a pleasant break from studying, but it gives you valuable work experience that most students won't have. This massively boosts your graduate employability, and placement employers may even offer you a graduate job. On top of this, the experience gained from applying to placement positions (i.e. CVs, interviews, skills assessments) prepare you for applying for graduate jobs.

Another huge benefit is that a placement allows you to try a job and help you decide what you want to do as a career once you graduate.

You can find more information about our placements here, but if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask and I will answer as soon as I can. I will also be posting more to this thread about my placement, how I got it etc.

Jessica, a third year Natural Sciences student
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How hard is getting a placement with a mid-high 2:2 (57%) in first year?
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(Original post by Anonymous)
How hard is getting a placement with a mid-high 2:2 (57%) in first year?
Hi there,

It isn't hard per se, but it is easier to get a placement if you have better grades. While your grades in first year don't count towards your final degree grade, they do help with getting a placement.

Many placements will only let you apply if you got above a certain grade in first year (usually a 2:1 or a first), so getting better grades leaves you with more placements to ultimately choose from. Having better grades will obviously also make you a more employable candidate, as employers would usually rather hire someone with better grades.

This being said, TONNES of students get a 2:2 in first year and still get amazing placements that are just as good as the placements obtained by students with a 2:1 or a first. So, while having a 2:1 or higher in first year gives you more options for placements, and makes it slightly easier to get one, it definitely isn't hard nor impossible to get a placement with a 2:2.

If you're worried, I'd suggest getting some bits of work experience. Showing you are passionate and dedicated about the field can often compensate for a slightly lower grade, as many employers would rather have someone who may do marginally worse in an exam but is passionate about the job than someone who gets good grades but lacks the passion, presumably because someone with passion will put more effort and time into the job.

I hope this has helped,
Jessica, a third year Natural Sciences student
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(Original post by University of Bath)
Hi everyone!

I am a current third year student at the University of Bath and am now on my placement. I have started this thread so people interested in applying to, or currently studying at Bath, can ask questions about the placements programme at Bath.

What is a placement?
A placement is done in the third year of your degree. You take a year out of studying to go into industry. This could be working full-time and earning a full salary to doing top-quality research.

Why Bath?
The placements scheme at Bath is one of the most (if note THE most) established of all UK universities. We have top industry links (some exclusive to University of Bath) such as Rolls-Royce, Unilever, Pfizer, Cancer Research UK and L'Oreal.

Our placements teams are also incredibly supportive, guiding you through the entire process and advising you when needed.

Why do a placement?
Not only is a placement a pleasant break from studying, but it gives you valuable work experience that most students won't have. This massively boosts your graduate employability, and placement employers may even offer you a graduate job. On top of this, the experience gained from applying to placement positions (i.e. CVs, interviews, skills assessments) prepare you for applying for graduate jobs.

Another huge benefit is that a placement allows you to try a job and help you decide what you want to do as a career once you graduate.

You can find more information about our placements here, but if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask and I will answer as soon as I can. I will also be posting more to this thread about my placement, how I got it etc.

Jessica, a third year Natural Sciences student
GETTING A PLACEMENT
How does the placements programme work?
In your first year of uni, you will attend regular placement development sessions. These teach you what placements are available, how to apply, how to write a CV or ace a job interview....essentially they teach you everything you need to obtain a placement. The placement's team do practice job interviews and help you write a 10/10 CV as well.

Over the summer between first and second year, you finalise your CV with the placements team by sending in drafts and applying their corrections to it.

When you come back for second year, you start applying for placements. Some people get their placements really quickly by January, while others only get a placement in July. It really varies on the type of placements, but new placements keep coming out over the whole year so you don't necessarily want to rush.
How do you go about getting a placement?
There are 2 ways most students get their placements:

  • Applying like a job - Uni of Bath uses the e-learning platform Moodle to upload lectures, assignments etc. You have a different Moodle page/group for different subjects/modules. You'll also have a Moodle page for your placements. On this page, you can find hundreds of placement advertisements that are being advertised to students on your course - it's just like going onto a job application website like Indeed. There will be a description of the placement, the requirements, how to apply and the application deadline. You apply just like you would for a regular job, i.e. by submitting a CV. Some placements will require a cover letter, interview (in person or over Skype), skills assessment days or other criteria. However, you will receive tutoring and practice in all of this throughout your first year as mentioned above. You then sign a contract and start working for them for the year. This is the most common way, and essentially 99% of students do it like this.
  • Finding it yourself - This is far less common and very few students do it this way, but this is actually how I found my placement. If you want to do something or work somewhere specific, then you can seek out that employer and ask to work for them. You will usually still have to go through a sort of job application process (i.e. CV, interview) but not always. It really just depends. The placements team will then write up a contract and both parties sign it. This option is less common as most students find a placement they like in the Moodle advertisements, and because it is usually easier to just apply via Moodle than to seek out something independently. However if you have a specific role or employer in mind, this is a good option.

Since you apply for a placement like you would a real job, it's amazing practice for once you graduate and need to start applying for jobs.

I hope this post has been informative, and please let me know if you have any questions.
Jessica, a third year NatSci student
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University of Bath
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(Original post by University of Bath)
Hi everyone!

I am a current third year student at the University of Bath and am now on my placement. I have started this thread so people interested in applying to, or currently studying at Bath, can ask questions about the placements programme at Bath.

What is a placement?
A placement is done in the third year of your degree. You take a year out of studying to go into industry. This could be working full-time and earning a full salary to doing top-quality research.

Why Bath?
The placements scheme at Bath is one of the most (if note THE most) established of all UK universities. We have top industry links (some exclusive to University of Bath) such as Rolls-Royce, Unilever, Pfizer, Cancer Research UK and L'Oreal.

Our placements teams are also incredibly supportive, guiding you through the entire process and advising you when needed.

Why do a placement?
Not only is a placement a pleasant break from studying, but it gives you valuable work experience that most students won't have. This massively boosts your graduate employability, and placement employers may even offer you a graduate job. On top of this, the experience gained from applying to placement positions (i.e. CVs, interviews, skills assessments) prepare you for applying for graduate jobs.

Another huge benefit is that a placement allows you to try a job and help you decide what you want to do as a career once you graduate.

You can find more information about our placements here, but if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask and I will answer as soon as I can. I will also be posting more to this thread about my placement, how I got it etc.

Jessica, a third year Natural Sciences student
MY PLACEMENT
I am currently on placement doing research at the University of Bristol. A lot of students (especially for biosciences degrees) do research placements. It is a great opportunity to do some work that will make a difference (i.e. in cancer research or drug development research placements) and get some experience that will help you decide if a career in research is for you. It is also an amazing placement to have as a STEM student as being a contributor on a published piece of research will make you massively more employable, as the majority of graduates won't have this on their CV.
What does my research entail?
I am doing research on the use of fly puparial cases in determining time of death. For me this is perfect, as I want to pursue a career in forensic science when I graduate.
What are the hours like?
My hours are incredibly flexible. So long as I do my work, I can come and go when I like. For example, last week I went in for 4 hours on Monday, 2 hours on Tuesday, worked form home Wednesday and Thursday, then for 5 hours on Friday. This week I went in for 3 hours on Monday, and am working from home every day apart from Thursday. This is great, so long as you don't get lazy and actually get your work done.

In some research placements, you have a flexible 9-5. This means that the guideline hours are 9-5 like a normal job, but you could come in later so long as you compensate later (i.e. by staying an hour later). Other research placements may have strict 9-5 hours like a regular job. It all really depends on where the research is (i.e. a company or a university), and what your supervisor is like. I'm lucky in that mine is at a university and my supervisor is very relaxed, which means my hours are very flexible.
Is it paid?
My placement is unpaid, but this isn't the case for all research placements. Some research placements (i.e. in bigger companies) are paid a full salary. Other research placements may not be paid, but you might get a little bit of money (i.e. a couple hundred to a few thousand pounds, but not a full salary). Others are completely unpaid.

However, if you are on an unpaid placement you can sometimes still get your maintenance loan. It depends on where your research is - in most unpaid research placements, you can get some but not the maximum amount of maintenance loan. If your placement is in a hospital or university, you can get the maximum maintenance loan.

Since my hours are so flexible, I have a part time job alongside my placement (since I have very minimal "office" hours so to speak) to earn a bit of extra money on top of my maintenance loan. I definitely wouldn't get put off of doing a placement just because it's unpaid, as there are tonnes of options to help you financially.

I hope this has given some useful insight into the types of placements available, and let me know if you have any more questions
Jessica, a third year Natural Sciences student
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