Employing placement students


Student placements (also known as industrial or sandwich placements) are built into degree programmes to give students practical experience related to their studies.

Thanks to UWE Bristol's real world education focus, UWE Bristol placement students can make a real difference to your business whilst putting their newly gained skills into practice.

Placements at a glance

  • The length of a placement can vary between a few days to a full academic year.
  • Placements are usually, but not always, paid and are assessed by the University as part of the programme of study.
  • In some degree programmes, placements are compulsory; in others they are optional.
  • Students on a sandwich placement can join your team for an academic year, usually between the second and third years of their degree course.
  • Placement students can provide temporary cover, add new skills to your workforce, or offer additional resource to focus on a specific project.
  • Employers are required to provide ongoing support and a mentor for the placement student.
  • If you want to expand into new markets, we have a diverse range of overseas students who can offer relevant language skills and experience of other cultures.

Why choose UWE Bristol students?

Our students are renowned for being workplace ready. Taking on a UWE Bristol placement student is a low risk, cost-effective recruitment solution where you gain high quality staff without making a long-term commitment. The scheme is an ideal way to recruit a motivated, intelligent employee with excellent IT skills and up-to-date sector knowledge.

Employer feedback shows our students work hard during their placements, and can 'hit the ground running' – and it’s a great way to develop relationships with, and assess the performance of, future graduates over an extended period.

Key information

How it works

Like any other job, students apply on a competitive basis so you can use your standard selection process to recruit, eliminating the need for any special practices.


UWE Bristol will help you to recruit placement students for free, though you will need to pay your student a fair wage.

National Minimum Wage (NMW) legislation states that any placement undertaken as part of a course of study is exempt from NMW. However, we recommend that you select a competitive salary to ensure you attract high-calibre candidates.

We suggest you take into account their basic subsistence level requirements and compensate the placement student appropriately. The majority of sandwich placements are paid, and will attract a salary of between £15,000 and £18,000 per annum.

Timing and length of placements

Students do their sandwich placement year between years two and three of their taught programme. Most students will be looking for ten to 12 months of work, although some shorter periods are possible on some courses.

Placements can commence from the end of the academic year, after examinations in June until September. There is no set maximum length but students are expected to return to studies by September the following year.

Other information and FAQs

Is my project or role suitable for a placement student?

In order to provide the student with a meaningful placement and to ensure your business benefits from your recruitment of a placement student, we recommend that any project/role has defined objectives and responsibilities and a designated supervisor or mentor.

Which courses have the option of undertaking a sandwich placement?

Sandwich placement options are available on a wide range of undergraduate courses. If you cannot see the relevant course information to suit your role here, please contact us for further advice. There are many more courses which include a work-based learning element.

How can I attract students to the role?

You should think about what the job seeker will be looking for:

  • A clearly defined role and description of the work they will be doing
  • A feel for what makes the opportunity interesting, exciting and relevant
  • An indication of salary and other benefits
  • A sense of the company values and ethos

We also offer additional services such as targeted direct mailouts to students, employer drop-in events and interview facilities, some of which may incur an administration charge.

How do I advertise to recruit a placement student?

Advertising placements to our students via UWE Careerhub is free.
If you are not already registered, you can sign up to the Careerhub online. It is quick and simple and the system enables you to manage multiple vacancies.

  • Go to Careerhub
  • Register your company and submit for us to approve
  • Select the 'notify a vacancy' option on the left hand menu when you wish to add a vacancy

Recruitment for the following year can start as early as September.

What do I need to do before the sandwich placement starts?

You should ensure appropriate provision for the student’s health and safety is in place. We will arrange for both you and the student to sign a Student Placement and Health and Safety Agreement, as well as providing you both with an information pack prior to the placement start date.

We would also advise that you and the student discuss your aspirations and expectations for the coming year, helping the student to set some objectives and providing on-going feedback during the year.

What happens during the sandwich placement?

Although students on placement are enrolled on an academic module related to their placement, employers are not expected to provide extra time for this academic work to be completed. However, the student and employer should reach an agreement around whether the student will have access to data or departments to support their academic work, ie use of data to complete reports or dissertations.

Employers in the UK may need to host a visit from UWE Bristol to discuss placement progress and towards the end of the academic year, employers will be asked by the University to provide feedback on the student’s performance.

Get in touch

If you have any other questions about recruiting a student please contact us.