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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre SouthamptonUndergraduate study

Student placements

Industrial or academic placements and internships can help you secure an exciting career path.

Working for a company during your studies, either over a summer vacation or through a year-long placement, will allow you to use your knowledge on real world projects. This hands-on industrial experience will help you stand out from rival job applicants and may even lead to an offer of sponsorship during your final year and employment on graduation. We encourage our students to take advantage of these opportunities, and our flexible courses are designed to allow such placements.

Hands-on experience

Over the last few years students have completed summer placements with major companies, such as Rio Tinto, Anglo American, BP and Shell, as well as many other organisations and smaller companies involved in the natural resources sector. Geophysics undergraduates can have a summer placement in their second or third year assessed, with the marks contributing to their degree.

Informal arrangements have developed with the Canadian Institute of Ocean Science, Bedford which hosts up to six second year oceanography or marine biology students each summer, and the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science, which offers a full internship and summer course programme. Agencies such as the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology may also be able to offer undergraduate placements.  Your tutor will help you to make contact with suitable sponsoring companies.

Taking a year out

Opportunities exist for you to take a year out between the second, third and final years of your degree. Although these gap years are not formally part of your programme, they can be used to gain experience of working in a relevant field, broadening your scientific knowledge and expertise.

Photo of Katie Sullivan
Between my third and fourth year at the University of Southampton I took part in the Anglo American Student Technical Experience Programme (STEP). This work experience programme lets you see what it is like working for one of the world’s leading mining companies.
Katie SullivanMSci Geology, 2012

In the summer after my first year, I stayed in Southampton to work at the NOCS to help collect data on jellyfish digestion rates and I am continuing this work this forthcoming summer to allow me to widen and develop my practical skills as much as possible.

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