Internships and placements
Work experience in an organisation can be hugely valuable in developing your professional and technical skills and experience, as well as providing an opportunity for you to see how much you enjoy and are suited to a role or industry. This is generally broken down into two categories:
Placements, often referred to as sandwich placements, placement years or industrial placements are usually undertaken during your studies and are related to the subject you are studying, as they are designed to provide practical industry experience. These are usually paid opportunities which last 3-12 months and take place between the second and final year of an undergraduate degree, or at the end of a Masters degree.
Internships are generally shorter, usually taking place over summer and lasting 1-4 months. Employers offering these type of opportunities usually target students in their second year of study as they require a reasonable amount of technical knowledge (however our Summer Experience internships are open to first and second year undergraduates). Like placements, these should always pay at least national minimum wage.
You might also see graduate internships advertised which offer work experience to recent grads but these are generally less defined than undergraduate opportunities and could last anywhere from a week to a year. These type of internships could be unpaid or only pay expenses, so think carefully when applying for these about whether you can afford to live and whether the experience will be worth it overall - we recommend that you should always look for paid opportunities wherever possible. See more on the law on unpaid internships on TARGETjobs.
There are also insight weeks which are usually aimed at first year students as an introduction to a specific role or industry, and may also be targeted to underrepresented groups; these typically take place in Spring.
As a result of the coronavirus lockdown, virtual internships have become more widespread - these might be group sessions delivered on specific dates or an online programme you can do in your own time which give an idea of the tasks and function of a specific role. These do be free to take part in, they vary in length but can be very flexible and often provide really worthwhile opportunities. Examples include the Bright Network and Forage. Have a look at the Guide to Virtual Internships by RateMyPlacement.
Career and Employability Services runs programmes for both undergraduates and recent graduates to gain valuable work experience:
- Summer Experience is our programme of six-week paid projects for first and second year undergraduates.
- The Bradford Graduate Internship programme provides recent graduates with 10-week paid internship projects to improve employability skills, which can often lead on to full-time employment.
- Erasmus+ work experience opportunities in Europe (login required). Speak to our International Opportunities team to find out more.
Internships and placements for International Students
These can be really beneficial in helping you to gain some UK experience in a relevant field, an opportunity to further develop your knowledge and skills, and broaden your professional networks. They could be with large, multinational organisations, public sector bodies, small-medium enterprises or charities and might be in the UK or overseas.
Sometimes called sandwich or industrial placements these are usually between 3 and 12 months long. They often take place in the middle of an undergraduate degree, or can be at the end of a Masters programme. International students are allowed to complete a placement that is an integrated and assessed part of their course. If you are studying at degree level or above at the University of Bradford you are allowed to complete a placement for up to 50% of the total length of your course. For your placement full-time work is allowed, including during term-time.
For some courses, a placement is mandatory and you will be given further support by your Faculty to help you to find something suitable. Whether your placement is compulsory or optional, finding a placement is your responsibility but the Careers & Employability Service can give you lots of support along the way.
Whilst you are doing your placement, you will still be supported by the University and so reduced tuition fees do still apply. For further information please check with your Faculty.
Internships are shorter periods of work experience, usually of up to 3 months and can be paid or unpaid. Whilst still very beneficial, they are optional and not a formal part of your course, therefore they are subject to the normal restrictions around working hours. This means that you cannot complete a full-time internship during term-time. Your term dates may vary depending on the course and level you are studying so please check with your Faculty if you aren’t sure. You can also request an individual letter from My Bradford to confirm these dates.
Think ahead. Think placements. Promoting Placements
University of Bradford Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences undergraduate students passionately share their thoughts on the value of doing a one year placement.
Think ahead. Think placements. Achievements
University of Bradford Faculty of Management, Law and Social Sciences undergraduate students highlighting the personal, interpersonal and professional skills they developed during their one year placement and what they contributed to the organisations they were employed by.
Think ahead. Think placements. | How the placement helped me
Internship & Placement Case Studies
Where to look
Below is a list of websites that feature opportunities for work experience in a range of sectors and work experience types, followed by sites with specific opportunities for each faculty.
- Rate My Placement
- Prospects work experience
- Handshake Career Centre jobs
- Summer Experience – A summer programme with local employers offering work experience to University of Bradford undergraduate students.
- You can also search for placements within Build My Career under the My Jobs tab. (For graduates or if you are using a personal email, use this link.
- Glassdoor (includes some interview questions that organisations commonly use)
- All About Careers
- Indeed (search for sandwich year placements)
- Law Careers (law placements)
- Step – Placements and work experience in smaller businesses
- E Financial Careers
- Going Global (overseas opportunities)
Management, Law and Social Sciences
School of Management and School of Law
- Inside Careers Accounting, Tax, Banking, IT, Insurance and Pensions
- Law Careers
- All About Finance Careers
- All About Law Vacation Schemes Hub
School of Social Sciences
Placements Awards 2022-23
University of Bradford Placement Awards 2022-23
Over the 2022/23 academic year, the University is introducing university-wide Placement Awards. Any student who undertakes a placement of 100 hours or more duration which is part of their programme of learning is eligible to be nominated for an award.
Placement providers are invited to nominate students for a Placement Award where they have delivered outstanding performance whilst on placement.
To recognise the contribution that our employer partners make to student learning, we are also inviting placement students to nominate their placement provider for an Award.
The purpose of the awards is to:
- Recognise outstanding performance of individual students and placement providers
- Celebrate and showcase the achievement of University of Bradford students on placement
- Encourage more students in subsequent years to undertake placement years
- Promote the benefits of taking placement students to employers
- Encourage more employers to consider offering placements to students
The AWARDS are open for nomination from 01 November 2022 to 31 July 2023
A celebratory event will be held to announce Award winners in December 2023 to which all nominators and nominees will be invited.
To participate in the Placement Awards by nomination please see below for links to the guidelines and nomination forms.
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