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The University of Southampton
Careers and Employability ServiceStudents

Year in Employment Placements

Ayodamola Akinyemi, Placement with Mahabis
Ayodamola Akinyemi, Placement with Mahabis

Getting the most out of your degree goes beyond the lecture theatre; it’s about new, hands-on experience too. A Year in Employment Placement is a great way to ensure you are as prepared as possible when you move into the world of work. This means that as well as achieving a great degree, you can develop your professional skills and workplace experience in an industry of your choice. A Year in Employment Placement will extend your degree by a year, with successful students graduating with the Year in Employment on their degree transcript. Please ensure your course is eligible for a Year in Employment before proceeding. 

For a full overview of Year in Employment Placements, please view our online student handbook.

COVID-19 guidance

As we are sure you will appreciate, we are currently in an unprecedented  situation with the outbreak of coronavirus, which has significantly affected the Year in Employment. We appreciate that these circumstances may be giving you cause for concern and we are aiming to do everything possible to support  you. Therefore, we have put together advice and guidance that relates to all Work Experience Programmes which you may find helpful.

Please read our dedicated guidance document HERE


 How could a Year in Employment Placement benefit you?

o   Support and guidance throughout your placement provided by the Work Experience Team

o   Valuable experience to demonstrate to future employers

o   Personal development to enhance your employability

o   The opportunity to work in a chosen field of interest and find out if it's right for you

o   Most placements are paid with average salaries between £15,000 & £18,000


“My Year in Employment Placement has given me time to think about what I enjoy doing and what I want to pursue in the long run. It’s also given me the opportunity to network with entrepreneurs, explore ventures and travel undoubtedly giving me a clearer vision for my future”

o  A Year in Employment Placement is suitable for full-time undergraduate students on eligible courses.

o  Full-time undergraduates on eligible courses studying on a Tier 4 visa can undertake a Year in Employment Placement, but there are significant additional costs associated due to visa requirements. Please contact the Visa and Immigration Student Advice Service for further information and   guidance

o  A student who wishes to transfer to a programme with Year in Employment in the title must progress from the relevant Part at the first attempt in order to proceed onto the Year in Employment module. This means you must pass your second year at the first attempt to be eligible for the Year in Employment. 

o  Placement roles must provide students with the opportunity to fulfil the learning outcomes. Placements must be 9-12 months of full-time work. Students may apply for roles under 9 months but to pass the assessment an additional placement must be undertaken to complete the minimum 9   months of full-time work.

Students are responsible for securing their own placements, however support from the Careers & Employability Service is available throughout this process. All placements are undertaken after the second year of study (this applies to students on both 3 and 4 year degree programmes).  We recommend that you begin considering where you'd like to complete a placement in the summer before your second year as many placement vacancies open in the autumn of your second year.

Year in Employment Placement opportunities are advertised on MyCareer or you can source your own placements elsewhere (see 'Apply here' tab)

If you are considering or searching for a placement, you can contact our Work Experience Advisors for further guidance and support:

The process for the Year in Employment Placements:

Step 1: Find and secure a suitable placement. Please ensure that placements fulfil the learning outcomes, which can be checked by examining the job description. We cannot approve placements that do not offer the opportunity to fulfil these requirements. Contact the Work Experience Team if you are unsure of a role’s suitability 

Step 2: Notify the Work Experience Team of your role, job description and offer letter. You will then be invited to an Induction, where you will be guided through completing a Risk Assessment

Step 3: Once your role is confirmed, the Work Experience Team will notify your Faculty and change your course to include "with a Year in Employment". After this point you will be advised to apply to student finance

Step 4: You begin your placement after your second year semester 2 exams. You must pass these exams at the first attempt to continue with your placement 

During your placement, the University will be in regular contact to ensure everything runs smoothly. In order to successfully complete your Year in Employment Placement, you will need to complete the following:


o   Return an induction checklist to us within your first 2 weeks – this helps us to ensure you have received the appropriate health & safety training for your role

o   Liaise with the Work Experience Team and your placement supervisor to organise your placement visit within the first 3 months

o   Six optional blogs, tracking your progress throughout the year in relation to the learning outcomes 

o   Update us if there are any changes to your placement or personal circumstances

o   Submit a reflective report of up to 3500 words, evidencing your fulfilment of the learning outcomes

o   Complete our feedback forms upon completion of your placement to help improve the programme for future students.

Before your placement:

o   Help finding suitable placements 

o   Support for making successful applications 

o   Access to our Drop-in Service 

o   Year in Employment Placements Support Sessions organised by the Work Experience Team (currently unavailable due to outbreak of coronavirus)


During your placement:

o   As an enrolled student you will be able to access all University services remotely or in person if you remain in Southampton

o   Ongoing contact and support throughout your placement with the Work Experience Team including two check in calls and a visit

o   Additional contact with the University as desired 

o   Help with your Year in Employment Placement assessment through a Blackboard module


After your placement:

o   A reunion event for you to catch up with other students and staff before you return for your next year of studying

o   Continued support and access to opportunities through the Careers & Employability Service

Placement opportunities are listed on MyCareer and you can find additional resources through our Year in Employment Student Guide. You can also source your own placements from elsewhere. Some useful sites are:

Follow the Careers and Employability Service on Facebook and Twitter

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Contact Us

We'd like to hear from you if you are considering a Year in Employment Placement or have any questions. The Work Experience Team will support as required with our contact details below:


Telephone: +44 (0)23 8059 3501


Please inform us as soon as you've been offered a role by 30th June. It is still possible to confirm placements for a Year in Employment after this date with approval from your faculty.

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