Placements and work-based learning

What is a placement year?

Simply put, it’s a year spent working after you’ve finished your second year of study. Once completed, you’ll return for the final year of your course. A placement year is a great opportunity to gain real-world experience in your chosen area. And while you’re putting your learning into practice, you’ll also pick up a whole range of employability skills to kick-start your career.

What is work-based learning?

Work-based learning is a mini placement where you gain work experience over one module during your normal studies. Different courses have work-based learning modules in various years, so ask your lecturer or personal tutor if this is an option that is available to you.

Who can do a placement/work-based learning?

Many courses at the University of Plymouth provide the option of a placement or work-based learning. Before looking for opportunities check your programme specification or speak to your personal tutor to find out whether a placement year or work-based learning option is available to you as part of your studies.

If your course doesn't offer a placement or work-based learning, the Careers Service can explore other work experience options with you.

Placements as an accredited part of your course

Where work placements are a compulsory requirement of practice and study, and are integrated into the course structure such as education, medicine, dentistry, healthcare or social work, placements are administered and managed by the relevant schools and different arrangements, processes, time frames and practice will apply from the information provided here. See the relevant course pages for more details.

What is the cost?

The tuition fee for a placement year undertaken in 2018/2019 & 2019/2020 is £900.00

Currently, the placement year tuition fee is the same regardless of your programme or whether you are an Home/EU or international fee paying student.

Contact your Placements team

Our team are here to support you throughout your placement.

You can contact us on or +44 1752 586007.

If you are on campus, you can come along to our term-time only drop in sessions. Please visit our Careers Service for details.

"I completed my placement at The Goring Hotel in London. The experience that I gained was invaluable. The careers team recommended the placement to me and gave me the relevant information and contacts. They supported me in updating and improving my CV and even offered mock interviews, which I found extremely helpful and reassuring, prior to my placement interview. Without the careers team, the process of finding and securing a placement would have been much more stressful."

Melissa Hanson
BSc (Hons) International Tourism Management

Stand out to employers

Hear from recent graduates and current employers on how to stand out as a candidate when looking for a placement or graduate role.

"Go the extra mile. Look for placements even if it’s voluntary or just for a few weeks, it will benefit you in the long term. The more things you can put on your CV the more you stand out."

"Soft skills are the primary differentiating factor between one candidate and another. The ability to articulate clearly and confidently in an interview is important."