The Student Room Group

Placement Year

I’m about to start uni and am currently on a course with an integrated placement year but I’m not sure now. If anyone has done a placement year please let me know if you thought it was good/worth it, and also how you applied etc and pros and cons.

I was thinking if I did a placment year I would want to do it abroad but I’m not entirely sure how it would work.
Original post by cyberstudent99
I’m about to start uni and am currently on a course with an integrated placement year but I’m not sure now. If anyone has done a placement year please let me know if you thought it was good/worth it, and also how you applied etc and pros and cons.

I was thinking if I did a placment year I would want to do it abroad but I’m not entirely sure how it would work.


Hi @cyberstudent99,

Which course are you studying? What are your pros and cons that you are thinking about for doing a placement?

I finished my placement year and I am now going into my final year. I study Psychology so I did a clinical based one. I did mine working with the NHS. I worked with children with autism, mainly on the diagnostic side. I enjoyed observing assessments and being part of a multi disciplinary team (working with speech and language therapists, doctors and clinical psychologists). I chose to do a placement year because I wanted to explore what a clinical setting would be like to see if I would enjoy it or not. It turns out, while I learned a lot on placement, I actually found a love of research while doing my placement year and I saw a real need for research to be accessible. So even if you come out of it realising you did not enjoy it, it can help you discover what you actually want to do. A lot of people I know decided not to do a placement year as its another year of study which means another year of tuition fees (most universities reduce this for placement) and living costs. Some people find placements closer to home so they can stay at home for a year to reduce those costs.

Deciding whether a placement year is right for you can be very tricky but things to keep in mind is do you think an additional year of work experience help with the career you want to go into (clinical experience is hard to come by so it was a great idea for a lot of psychology students who wanted to go into healthcare settings to do a placement year) and if you need another year to delay figuring out what to do/another year exploring your options and different fields it can be great.

Placement year and studying abroad at my university is different so I would check with your university how it works and if they are different, how are they different to each other? At my uni, studying abroad means you learn while abroad whereas a placement year you get involved with an organisation doing work experience but do some coursework.

Alia
University of Kent Student Rep
Original post by cyberstudent99
I’m about to start uni and am currently on a course with an integrated placement year but I’m not sure now. If anyone has done a placement year please let me know if you thought it was good/worth it, and also how you applied etc and pros and cons.

I was thinking if I did a placment year I would want to do it abroad but I’m not entirely sure how it would work.

Hey there @cyberstudent99 !

I'm currently on my placement year so can give a good answer to this. I applied for my placement through my university's jobs platform, don't get me wrong it was really difficult to find a placement. I must have applied for at least 20 different placements and have faced rejection many times. To go through the process you have to have quite thick skin with it because it will be getting consistently rejected until something sticks, unless uni is sorting your placement out for you. I can honestly say though all the rejection is worth it. I've never had life experience like I have on this placement and I'm not even halfway through it. I've learned so much about my chosen industry and got the experience to back it up. They've helped me through everything and gave me opportunities to try out things in areas that interest me. I pretty much get assigned tasks every week and just complete them and send them off to my boss. It works well because I'm getting the experience and they're getting the work done for them. It's also going to put me a step ahead of other graduates who have no experience on their CV.

I have friends who did theirs abroad and from what I gather if it's part of a programme you might have to pay to do it on top of your flights and accommodation and stuff. There might be some placements that you won't have to but I know a few friends who have done theirs abroad and had to pay a fee on top of accommodation, flights and the tuition fee you still have to pay to your university (you do still get a loan for this). I believe if your placement is abroad you can apply for more student finance. They usually start at the start of September so you'd have to sort your own accommodation out for this. My friends all found theirs by joining student groups in that country on Facebook.

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU
Original post by University of Kent
Hi @cyberstudent99,

Which course are you studying? What are your pros and cons that you are thinking about for doing a placement?

I finished my placement year and I am now going into my final year. I study Psychology so I did a clinical based one. I did mine working with the NHS. I worked with children with autism, mainly on the diagnostic side. I enjoyed observing assessments and being part of a multi disciplinary team (working with speech and language therapists, doctors and clinical psychologists). I chose to do a placement year because I wanted to explore what a clinical setting would be like to see if I would enjoy it or not. It turns out, while I learned a lot on placement, I actually found a love of research while doing my placement year and I saw a real need for research to be accessible. So even if you come out of it realising you did not enjoy it, it can help you discover what you actually want to do. A lot of people I know decided not to do a placement year as its another year of study which means another year of tuition fees (most universities reduce this for placement) and living costs. Some people find placements closer to home so they can stay at home for a year to reduce those costs.

Deciding whether a placement year is right for you can be very tricky but things to keep in mind is do you think an additional year of work experience help with the career you want to go into (clinical experience is hard to come by so it was a great idea for a lot of psychology students who wanted to go into healthcare settings to do a placement year) and if you need another year to delay figuring out what to do/another year exploring your options and different fields it can be great.

Placement year and studying abroad at my university is different so I would check with your university how it works and if they are different, how are they different to each other? At my uni, studying abroad means you learn while abroad whereas a placement year you get involved with an organisation doing work experience but do some coursework.

Alia
University of Kent Student Rep


Hi Alia,

Im currently enrolled on a BSc Computer Science course with an integrated placement year. The pros that I have researched, which I’m guessing are the same for most courses, are gaining an income for that year, getting work experience and finding out what you do/don’t like in the industry. Cons include - working for a year (sounds stupid but obviously it is a full year out of studying at uni), potential costs (relocation or travel etc.). They were what I’d found/thought of so far.

Thank you for your help :smile: I can obviously see with a psych course it would be very helpful to do a placement year.
Original post by hallamstudents
Hey there @cyberstudent99 !

I'm currently on my placement year so can give a good answer to this. I applied for my placement through my university's jobs platform, don't get me wrong it was really difficult to find a placement. I must have applied for at least 20 different placements and have faced rejection many times. To go through the process you have to have quite thick skin with it because it will be getting consistently rejected until something sticks, unless uni is sorting your placement out for you. I can honestly say though all the rejection is worth it. I've never had life experience like I have on this placement and I'm not even halfway through it. I've learned so much about my chosen industry and got the experience to back it up. They've helped me through everything and gave me opportunities to try out things in areas that interest me. I pretty much get assigned tasks every week and just complete them and send them off to my boss. It works well because I'm getting the experience and they're getting the work done for them. It's also going to put me a step ahead of other graduates who have no experience on their CV.

I have friends who did theirs abroad and from what I gather if it's part of a programme you might have to pay to do it on top of your flights and accommodation and stuff. There might be some placements that you won't have to but I know a few friends who have done theirs abroad and had to pay a fee on top of accommodation, flights and the tuition fee you still have to pay to your university (you do still get a loan for this). I believe if your placement is abroad you can apply for more student finance. They usually start at the start of September so you'd have to sort your own accommodation out for this. My friends all found theirs by joining student groups in that country on Facebook.

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU

Hey Lucy,

That’s great thank you so much.

I had also heard that finding a placement can be tricky and that rejection is common and frequent. If you don’t mind me asking what are you studying and what kind of work experience did you do? Was it paid? Was it close to uni or did you find one closer to home? What did you do about accommodation? Did your friends who did it abroad still think that it is worth it or was it too stressful etc doing a placement abroad?


Thanks again
Original post by cyberstudent99
I’m about to start uni and am currently on a course with an integrated placement year but I’m not sure now. If anyone has done a placement year please let me know if you thought it was good/worth it, and also how you applied etc and pros and cons.

I was thinking if I did a placment year I would want to do it abroad but I’m not entirely sure how it would work.

Hi!

I study maths and have just finished my placement year where I worked as a statistician. I relocated to Cardiff for the year where I rented a room in a student house. I didn't really find the expenses any more than any other year of uni as I would have had to pay rent at uni anyway! I loved my placement experience and would definitely recommend one! I have developed lots of skills that I wouldn't have otherwise as well as improved my network! It's also a great opportunity to work out what job you want to go into after you graduate as having the experience helps you learn what you are looking for from a job.

I applied during the first term of 2nd year to about 10 placements. I found most of mine through Rate My Placement or my universities listings. It can be overwhelming as there are so many to apply for and deadlines can be tight but I would suggest going for making fewer really thought out applications over quantity!

I hope this helps, good luck for starting uni! :smile:
Florence (Lancaster University student ambassador)
Original post by Lancaster Student Ambassador
Hi!

I study maths and have just finished my placement year where I worked as a statistician. I relocated to Cardiff for the year where I rented a room in a student house. I didn't really find the expenses any more than any other year of uni as I would have had to pay rent at uni anyway! I loved my placement experience and would definitely recommend one! I have developed lots of skills that I wouldn't have otherwise as well as improved my network! It's also a great opportunity to work out what job you want to go into after you graduate as having the experience helps you learn what you are looking for from a job.

I applied during the first term of 2nd year to about 10 placements. I found most of mine through Rate My Placement or my universities listings. It can be overwhelming as there are so many to apply for and deadlines can be tight but I would suggest going for making fewer really thought out applications over quantity!

I hope this helps, good luck for starting uni! :smile:
Florence (Lancaster University student ambassador)

Hey Florence,

Thank you so much. That’s great to hear :smile:
Original post by cyberstudent99
Hi Alia,

Im currently enrolled on a BSc Computer Science course with an integrated placement year. The pros that I have researched, which I’m guessing are the same for most courses, are gaining an income for that year, getting work experience and finding out what you do/don’t like in the industry. Cons include - working for a year (sounds stupid but obviously it is a full year out of studying at uni), potential costs (relocation or travel etc.). They were what I’d found/thought of so far.

Thank you for your help :smile: I can obviously see with a psych course it would be very helpful to do a placement year.


Hi @cyberstudent99,

Thank you for your response. The year spent doing work experience can be good to see what life would be like in the role you want after graduation so I would try not to be put off by the idea of working. I am finding that I am really excited to go back into studying after a break but having a year out of it and going back is kind of scary because I do feel a bit out of practice! Some things I would suggest would be a few weeks before you go back, get back into the habit of working. It does not have to be uni related work, just something where you sit down for a couple of hours each day and research something you are interested in.

As for the potential costs I would look into potentially relocating where rent is cheaper or seeing if you can stay with someone (family or friends) and contributing to rent. If these are not possible, you can find work experience over the summer and during your degree to get some experience on your CV.

I would suggest talking to others about how valuable work experience is in computer science, as you mentioned, in Psychology it is very valuable. I hope this helps. :smile:

Alia
University of Kent Student Rep
Original post by cyberstudent99
Hey Lucy,

That’s great thank you so much.

I had also heard that finding a placement can be tricky and that rejection is common and frequent. If you don’t mind me asking what are you studying and what kind of work experience did you do? Was it paid? Was it close to uni or did you find one closer to home? What did you do about accommodation? Did your friends who did it abroad still think that it is worth it or was it too stressful etc doing a placement abroad?


Thanks again

Hey there @cyberstudent99 !

I'm studying Media and my placement is in content creation and graphic design which is what I want to do for my career. It's a paid placement which means I get a reduced student loan. I chose to take mine in my university city so that I could still see my friends who are all in their final year now which was a downside to doing one. Because I'm still technically enrolled at the university and paying a tuition fee, I'm still a student so could access student accommodation and apply for student residence so I just went through the normal process. My friends who've done a placement abroad seem to be enjoying themselves. The only downside is they're all unpaid so they're having to work extra to make ends meet. So it's like they work 9-5 unpaid and then have to work after that just to keep things moving. In that sense it gets very tiring but they always see it as getting their experience and they do enjoy what they're doing. It just depends if that's something you could see as manageable.

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU
Original post by hallamstudents
Hey there @cyberstudent99 !

I'm studying Media and my placement is in content creation and graphic design which is what I want to do for my career. It's a paid placement which means I get a reduced student loan. I chose to take mine in my university city so that I could still see my friends who are all in their final year now which was a downside to doing one. Because I'm still technically enrolled at the university and paying a tuition fee, I'm still a student so could access student accommodation and apply for student residence so I just went through the normal process. My friends who've done a placement abroad seem to be enjoying themselves. The only downside is they're all unpaid so they're having to work extra to make ends meet. So it's like they work 9-5 unpaid and then have to work after that just to keep things moving. In that sense it gets very tiring but they always see it as getting their experience and they do enjoy what they're doing. It just depends if that's something you could see as manageable.

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU


Hey Lucy,

That's really interesting thanks for the info.

I was wondering about what you said about your friends doing a placement abroad and was just wondering why it was unpaid? Do you know if it was a choice to take an unpaid placement or just what they were offered?

Thanks again
Original post by cyberstudent99
Hey Lucy,

That's really interesting thanks for the info.

I was wondering about what you said about your friends doing a placement abroad and was just wondering why it was unpaid? Do you know if it was a choice to take an unpaid placement or just what they were offered?

Thanks again

Hiya!

To be completely honest, it's a lot harder to find a placement abroad than it is to get one within the U.K. They kind of had to settle with what they got because they were desperate to do one abroad. That's not to say all placement abroad are unpaid, the majority of ones I was looking at were unpaid abroad ones unfortunately and because they were so settled on doing one abroad they had to take what they could get.

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU

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