School of Physics & Astronomy

Industrial experience - introduction for students

While studying towards your physics degree, either a BSc or an MSci, you can enrich your university experience by undertaking an industrial placement. Acquiring industrial experience while you are still a student will not only enhance your physics classroom learning by allowing you to apply it to solve particular business tasks. It will also equip you with professoinal skills and increase your confidence when you go into a professional employment after you graduate.

Benefits: A placement boosts students' employability as well as aids adacemic development by giving the student practitioner skills. Employers tend to hire students who have previously worked for the organisation - there is strong positive relationship between workplace experience and graduate employment.

You can acquire industrial experience in two ways:

1. "Physics with a Year In Industry" BSc and MSci programmes

The "Year in Industry" BSc and MSci programmes allow you to spend your 3rd year out working in a company or a research organisation.

Programme Factsheet

Programme Title

“Physics with a Year in Industry” BSc

“Physics with a Year in Industry” MSci


4 years, 3rd year out

5 years, 3rd year out

Tuition fees

Work placement year in the United Kingdom. Students commencing 2017-18 or later

£1,850 (Home fees)

50% of the relevant international fee

Work placement year outside the United Kingdom. Students commencing 2017-18 or later

£1,385 (Home fees)

50% of the relevant international fee


  1. A reflective log of placement activities on Mahara e-portfolio
  2. A reflective essay at the end of the placement based on the log
  3. An updated CV at the end of the placement to reflect newly acquired competencies
  4. A presentation of your placement experience to the students looking to undertake a placement


The School’s dedicated Placements and Partnerships Development Officer Dr Olga Fernholz  will provide comprehensive support in the process of searching and applying for a placement. The Placement Officer will pay a visit to the student on the placement to make sure that the placement progresses well and that both the student and the company are happy with the placement arrangements.

Careers and Employabilities Service also provides support with preparing CV, cover letters and going through the relevant stages of the placement recruitment process such as assessment centres, psychometric tests and interview. In most cases, applications for a placement involves sending a CV and a cover letter to the company and coming in for an interview.

Note that it is the responsibility of the student to secure a placement. The student will make applications to companies. It is the decision of the company to select candidates and hire placements students. If the student's application is successful, the student essentially becomes an employee of the company for a period of one year.

Click here to view "Physics with a Year in Industry" Handbook 2018


2. Internship

Internship is a short-term industrial experience, typically up to 12 weeks over the summer. Many companies offer summer internships alongside year in idustry placements. Doing a summer internship is as valuable as doing a placement year, although the amount of exposure to the day-to-day work of the company and, by extension, the amount of learning, would differ.


Year in Industry placements and internship opportunities for students are advertised on Moodle . Please go to Physics Community (Physics and Astronomy), Placements/Year in Industry 2018-2019 and research the folders with the advertisements and the strategies how to find and successfully secure a placement or an internship.

A list of companies and research organisations that offer internships relevant to physics students can also be found here.


With any questions and for support, email your Employability and Placements Officer Dr Olga Fernholz.

School of Physics and Astronomy

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD

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