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.
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.
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.
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
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. However, please be aware that we are not currently advertising individual overseas vacancies owing to the ongoing global pandemic.
We continue to urge caution when considering an overseas placement due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All overseas activity will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, with particular consideration of the transport, medical and communications infrastructure, as well as the financial impact of support that might be required through the duration of your overseas activity. UWE Bristol staff responsible for approving overseas activities in principle will be considering current Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Travel Advice and Drum Cussac risk rating, alongside our own internal risk assessment.
You can find more information on how to complete our overseas travel form and access Drum Cussac advice on InfoHub (log in required). Please be aware that student travel will not normally be approved in principle if any of the following apply:
- FCDO advise against all travel to that country (or to any regions the student would be required to visit or transit though).
- FCDO have included the country on the ‘Red list’ at the point of departure.
- Drum Cussac rate the overall country risk as ‘High’ or ‘Extreme’.
- Drum Cussac rate the country medical risk as ‘High’ or ‘Extreme’.
- Students are required to quarantine or self-isolate either on arrival at the destination/s or on return to the UK.
- Students are unable to meet the entry requirements for that country (e.g. entry permitted to UK nationals).
If you need to discuss any of the above further or have any further questions, please contact the UWE Bristol Placements team via My Questions on Infohub (log in required) or email 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.