Get help finding a placement
Finding a placement
Top tips from UWE Bristol students on how to find a placement.
When to start looking
You can begin looking for a placement from September onwards. It’s a competitive process so start your search early. Bear in mind that some larger employers recruit up to a year in advance.
Other organisations may advertise from January onwards but it makes sense to start as soon as possible as you may need to make several applications.
You must confirm your placement with the University before September. This allows time to get your placement approved and start work by September. Most placements are confirmed in spring or summer.
You can use this helpful checklist to help you with your placement journey.
How many credits you need to be able to undertake a sandwich placement
You need to pass a minimum of 210 credits to be eligible to go on a sandwich placement.
Please note credits must be achieved in years 1 and 2. Foundation year credits are not considered.
What kind of roles to apply for
The placement should be relevant to your programme of study and enable you to meet the learning objectives of your placement module. Details about placement requirements are included on the programme and module databases.
Individual roles will vary and should be discussed and agreed between you and the employer.
If a role you are applying for is not officially advertised as a sandwich or short term placement, do check with the employer if they are happy for you to use it as a placement. This is important as they will be asked during the placement confirmation process to complete a short risk assessment and Health and Safety Agreement.
If the employer wishes to discuss this with the University they can email the Placement Team at Placements@uwe.ac.uk to find out more or arrange a phone call.
Does the placement need to be paid
Placements are usually (but not always) paid and are assessed by the University as part of the programme of study. For any unpaid or low-paid placements, we take into consideration any expenses you'll be paid, living costs and personal savings.
Please note that all students under the College of Business and Law must undertake a paid placement.
How long is a placement
Placements can take place at different points depending on the requirements of your programme and can vary in length from just a few days to a full academic year.
Sandwich placements vary between programmes but tend to be between 26 and 40 weeks. Please check requirements with your programme or placement module leader. Where offered, sandwich placements generally take place between years 2 and 3 and lead to the award of a sandwich degree.
Where to look for vacancies
Placements are advertised to UWE Bristol students on both Infohub and Handshake. You can also find placement vacancies on:
Prospects ‘What can I do with my degree’ page can give you inspiration for the type of role you may want to work in. Keep your options open and focus your search on finding a role that suits you.
You can also approach an employer speculatively to see if they would recruit you using our speculative letter which can be adapted for your prospective employer. View the list of example placements to see where other students have been placed previously (see 'The Direct Approach').
Below are some other useful resources to help you find and apply for placements:
- The Careers drop-ins and appointments (our Careers Team are here to speak with you, whether you have a quick question, or need more in depth support)
- The Career Toolkit (a resource to assist in writing applications and attending interviews)
- The Careers Essentials workshops and Placement events.
It is your responsibility to secure an appropriate placement but there is plenty of help available.
Help with your CV
We have all the resources you will need to build a great CV. Whether you're on your final draft, or if you've never written a CV before, our CV Cycle document will point you in the direction of the best resources for you
Our CV360 tool provides great artificial intelligence feedback on your CV, as well as a comprehensive report and score. It also gives you the chance to have your CV reviewed by one of our UWE Bristol Career Coaches once you score 75%+ on CV360.
Get further support from our Careers Team at one of our careers drop-ins or appointment services.
Deadline for finding and confirming a placement
You’ll need to have found a placement before term begins in September to allow you time to register with UWE Bristol, get your placement approved and start work by September.
Please note, placement approval can take anywhere between 2-6 weeks, so it’s essential that you notify us as early as possible.
Please talk to the Placement Team if you’ve got any concerns about meeting these deadlines.
When can my placement start from?
You can start your sandwich placement after your second year of study is complete. As a general guide, we recommend starting your sandwich placement after exams in May if your employer can accommodate this (exam dates will depend on your course).
You need to have 210 credits to do a placement year. If you decide to start your placement before you receive your exam results (including resists) and do not achieve 210 credits, you will not be able to do a placement year.
Finding placements abroad
Find placement vacancies abroad and schemes run through UWE Bristol.
All overseas placements are risk assessed on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration the transport, medical and communications infrastructure of a country, as well as the student’s financial circumstances during the placement.
If the student is participating in any activities that are deemed risky, the host organisation will be expected to provide a full risk assessment.
When assessing risk, we review the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCDO) Travel Advice and Drum Cussac risk rating, alongside our own internal risk assessment.
Students can access FCDO information on the gov.uk website and obtain Drum Cussac access to review a country’s risk ratings themselves. Placements abroad will not be approved if any of the following apply to a country:
- FCDO advise ‘no travel’ or ‘all but essential travel’ (also applies to any countries or regions the student will visit or transit though).
- Drum Cussac rate the Conflict/Terrorism/Criminality Risk as ‘High’ or ‘Extreme’.
For countries that have ‘high medical’ risk on Drum Cussac, the student will need to show that any risks can be mitigated.
If you have any questions or need to discuss any of the above please contact the UWE Bristol Placements team via My Questions on Infohub (log in required) or email at Placements@uwe.ac.uk.
Can international students do a placement
Yes. As an international student, you bring a unique set of skills and cultural perspectives, which are valued by many UK employers.
We recommend before you start applying you talk to a UWE Bristol Immigration Adviser so you are clear about what you need to do, as there are some visa requirements. Please read our visa work placements advice.
I've changed my mind about a placement year and want to go into my third year, what do I do?
If you have changed you mind and decided that you don't want to undertake a sandwich placement anymore, please get in touch with a Student Support Adviser to discuss your options.
What to do with your placement offer
You will need to request approval before confirming your placement.Confirming your placement
If you want further help to find a placement please have a look at our drop-ins and careers appointments.
Get help with applications and interviews
We strongly encourage students to use the resources on our Careers Toolkit to help you write your CV or application form. For further help please check out our careers services.
Find placements and internships abroad
Explore the world and get paid to do it. Our careers team can help you find placement opportunities further afield.Placements and interships abroad
You may also be interested in
Confirming your placement
Once you've been offered a placement opportunity you'll need to request approval from UWE Bristol.
Placement costs and finance
Find out what you can expect to be paid for a placement, the costs of a placement and financial support that may be available to you.
Placement drop-ins and events
We organise a wide range of events and drop-ins sessions covering everything you need to know about placements. Take a look at what's coming up.
What to do before you start your placement
Once you have had your placement approved there will be a number of steps to take before starting your placement.