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Degree programmes with an integral industrial placement offer students the opportunity to spend the fourth year of their degree in (paid) employment and graduate after five years with an MSci (an undergraduate Masters degree) instead of a BSc.
Placements vary considerably but, in general terms, students are placed in an industrial, commercial or research environment where they will obtain a breadth of practical experience to complement their degree programme.
All medical sciences degree programmes offered by the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition offer the opportunity for students to undertake a year's placement. We currently have links with a number of different companies and have recently placed students in companies such as Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca as well as a number of smaller companies and in research organisations both in the UK and abroad.
Employers now expect an impressive list of skills, knowledge and experience in their graduate recruits. They welcome 'transferable skills' acquired during a work placement, such as communication, numeracy, use of IT, group work and time management. In addition to allowing you to experience workplace culture, completing a work placement makes you a more effective employee following graduation. Increasingly, placements or periods of work experience are being used as a tool by employers for pre-selecting the best students for graduate roles. An industrial placement year may therefore become a passport to employment where employers consider a work placement as a central part of their graduate recruitment processes.
Almost all students who are studying for a medical sciences degree within the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition, and who successfully complete their first three years at a level which will allow them entry into Honours year, and indicates that they are on track for a good upper second or first class degree, are eligible to apply to undertake a year's industrial placement.
The application process for placements starts at the beginning of September of the year prior to the placement commencing. Throughout the application process students receive the full support of the Industrial Placement Co-ordinator and the University Careers Service. Students remain registered with the University during their placement year and continue to receive guidance and advice from a University tutor for the duration of the year in industry. At the end of their placement year students return to the University to complete their final year of study – their 'Honours' year.