Placements can provide you with a fantastic opportunity to increase your employability, gain an insight into the career that interests you and make contacts for the future. Placements can be undertaken as an integral part of your degree course or separately as a means to enhance your degree.

Placements can take the form of a two week insight into an organisation to a year long contract. Below we have included some details of the more common types of placement we can support you with. 

Undertaking a placement can really put you ahead in the graduate job market as it will allow you to:

  • gain insight into a particular industry or role
  • decide if this is the right career path for you
  • take on real responsibility and increase your confidence
  • develop transferable skills and enhance your employability
  • network and gain valuable references and contacts

Many students find that they are offered a graduate position or further work experience as a result of their placement.

Search our Placement case studies if you want find out more about the types of placements undertaken by students.

Placement year

The University of Sheffield offers two different methods for students to complete a year long placement and are excellent opportunities to spend a year in employment as a recognised part of your degree programme.

Year in Industry / Placement Year Courses, which incorporate a year-long placement, are available in the Faculty of Engineering, Department of Chemistry and Department of Biomedical Sciences,.

If your Department does not offer this option, you can complete a year-long placement by joining the Degree with Employment Experience Programme. This route is open to most students within the University and involves a change of your degree title to recognise this, e.g `BA (Hons) Economics with Employment Experience’.

When should I do a placement year?

A placement year would usually be taken in the penultimate year of study and last a minimum of 38 weeks. You can undertake a placement within the UK or internationally.

Students undertaking a placement year pay a substantially reduced fee.

What should I do when I have secured a placement

If you are interested in undertaking a Degree with Employment Experience you must first discuss this with your personal tutor as your department must give its approval. You will also need to complete a Change of Programme Form and hand this to your Department.

All students securing year-long placements are required to:

  • Submit details of your placement to Career Connect via MUSE as soon as possible.
    Once you are at the Career Connect homepage, click on the Placement tab at the top of the screen, choose Scheme list from the drop down menu and follow the instructions provided to start the process of uploading your placement. This will be the University’s central record of your placement . The University will then vet the placement and address with the employer and/or notify you of any potential risks, as appropriate.
  • Complete the Pre-Placement Briefing before your placement starts

Once the University is satisfied with the arrangements for your placement, you will be notified and can then commence your placement.

You MUST NOT commence your placement until all of these steps have been completed.

Once your placement begins, you will be asked to complete an Induction Checklist which helps us to ensure that you have received adequate information from your employer as part of your Induction.

If you need support you can book a careers appointment or submit an enquiry via Career Connect.

Summer placements

Each year students from the University of Sheffield undertake summer placements across the globe, in a variety of different industries.

  • Summer placements are varied and can be in the UK or overseas, be structured or non-structured and take place over a range of weeks
  • Advertised summer placements are sometimes referred to as internships; these are usually structured 8 - 12 week placements within an organisation, taking place between June and August.
  • Most advertised summer placements are aimed at 2nd year students and penultimate year students, but more organisations are now offering opportunities for 1st years.

Working over the summer can be exciting and perhaps daunting and we want to make sure it’s rewarding for you too.

Finding a summer placement

Many summer placements are advertised on Career Connect available via MUSE as well as the resources mentioned above.

Once you’ve confirmed you have secured a summer placement you should let us know by confirming this to us on the placement database. We’ll then keep you informed about things you should know before you go. We’ll also keep in touch with you over the summer, reminding you how to make the most of your time on placement so that when you return to University you have lots of contacts and can use your experience to distinguish yourself above others. If you need help, while you’re away from University over the summer – we’ll be here to help too.

On Campus placements

On CampUS Placements are coordinated by the Careers Service to help you enhance your employability skills through offering paid, project-based placements with academic and professional services departments withing the University.

Your placement will last for 50 to 100 hours – a maximum of 16 hours per week during term time - and you will be paid at a rate equivalent to £10ph.

By working on an On CampUS Placement you will be contributing to the development of projects around the University whilst learning new and valuable skills which will in turn enhance your CV for future employment.

What does an On CampUS Placement involve?

During your On CampUS Placement you will be required to:

  • Work with your host department to complete the tasks outlined in your job description
  • Commit to working 100 hours for the department
  • Be flexible with your working hours, to ensure that this fits around your studies
  • Hand in two signed time sheets, one at 50 hours and one at 100 hours, in order to receive your payment
  • Produce a placement poster to reflect upon your experience and the skills that you have developed; guidance will be provided by the Placement Team about the requirements for this

When will I start my On CampUS Placement?

Once you have been successfully appointed to a placement, upload your details onto Career Connect available via MUSE

You will then be contacted by careers staff who will arrange to undertake an Eligibility to Work check prior to the start of your placement with the department.

For more information email:

Where can I find On CampUS Placements

On Campus Placements are now being advertised within Career Connect via MUSE. They will be advertised under the vacancy type of “casual/part time work” on Career Connect, under the heading “On CampUS Placements – title of vacancy”. There are a number of opportunities throughout the year.

Further information, including Terms and Conditions.

Where to find placements

Many placements are advertised on Career Connect available via MUSE. You could also try:

Postgraduate Researcher Experience Programme (PREP)

As a researcher, you can gain experience, skills and insight for your wider career development by applying for the Postgraduate Researcher Experience Programme (PREP).

Financial support of between £100 and £1000 is available that can be used to pay for salary, travel, accommodation, fees or resources, but you need to apply now as awards are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Insights Placements Scheme

The Insight Placements Scheme is funded by the Careers Service to provide students with an opportunity to gain work experience with companies that may otherwise be unable to offer paid internships.

What does the Insight Placements Scheme Involve?

The Insight Placements Scheme offers bursaries of up to £1000 to allow students to undertake an internship of 10 to 100 hours.
The placement should;

  • Provide an insight into a specific industry
  • Provide an opportunity to complete a work task/project
  • Be based at the host’s premises
  • Occur within the limitations of your visa, if you are an international student
  • Not be undertaken as part of a credit bearing module or project

Who is eligible for an Insight Placement?

Undergraduate and PGT Students from all faculties are eligible for the Insight Placement scheme as long as the placement is not part of a credit bearing module or project (as mentioned above). PhD and Postgraduate Research students, unfortunately, are not eligible for this programme.

How do I find a placement?

Students are responsible for finding relevant placements and applying for funding through the scheme. If you already have a placement organised you can still apply for funding through the scheme.

Host organisations must be UK based and either;

  • A small commercial firm – this means that they have less than 250 employees and a turnover of no more than 50 million
  • A public sector organisation
  • A charity or social enterprise

The Careers Service advises that students approach an organisation which meets the criteria outlined above in the section and discuss a potential Insight Placement with them.

To help advise your potential placement host, please see our Insight Placements Guidance for Employers. Additionally, the Careers Service are running a short workshop to help support you in your setting up an internship. This session is called ‘Funding for Summer Internships’ and can be found on Career Connect.

Information on finding placements can be found in the ‘Where to find placements’ section above.

How do I apply for The Insight Placements Scheme

Once a placement has been agreed in principle with a host organisation, the student must apply for an Insights Placement bursary before the internship can proceed.

More detailed via information for students

Bursary applications are currently closed and will hopefully open in the next academic year.