Are there set timescales for applying to placements?
Local placements are available all year round with summer being the most concentrated period. With each vacancy, please check the closing date for applications and the start and end dates of the placement itself.
Will I be selected for placement vacancies?
Our placement programme is competitive, so you will have to apply as you would for a regular job, and there will be an interview or some form of assessment. The Careers and Employability Service offers support for those attending placement interviews, and some great advice on applications and CV writing.
What if I can’t see the type of placement I want advertised on the school vacancy board?
If we do not have the roles you are looking for, the Careers and Employability Service has its own internship scheme. They also provide plenty of advice and a comprehensive toolkit on how to research/network and target the placements you want. Placement partners change each period, as do the roles, so what is available currently may change later.
I am not a UK national. Will this restrict which placements I can do?
How will I know what vacancies are available?
Our Moodle page (login required) will list all vacancies, and all programmes will be well advertised in advance. When new ad-hoc roles come up, they will also be advertised via email.
Which vacancies are paid and which are unpaid?
The majority of local term-time vacancies on our programme will tend to be unpaid. Some may offer travel expenses. Each vacancy will specify if it is paid or unpaid. The Careers and Employability Service offers information about funding opportunities. My Career will also advertise any paid placement and job opportunities.
I need to work during Easter and summer to earn for my living expenses; how can I fit in a placement?
Many of our placements will be based in Nottingham during term time, and will typically require you to commit eight hours per week, with flexible arrangements between you and your provider. This enables greater participation from students who need to work at other times, and can be undertaken alongside your studies.
Do I need an up to date CV for applications?
An up to date CV really important. You can get guidance from the Careers and Employability Service. Some providers will use a vacancy-specific application form targeted to the sorts of backgrounds and experience they want to attract.
What is the difference between a placement and an internship?
Some organisations use the terms interchangeably. Generally, internships tend to be more structured and usually paid, often taking place during the summer or a year off. Placements tend to be voluntary, and fit around term-time study. Review the placement/internship role details thoroughly before applying. Don't focus too much on the title, but make sure you understand the expectations.
What academic year do I have to be in to apply for placements?
Most providers will want second-year students; those that have a year's study experience, and also those who are not so tied down in dissertation and exams as final-year students. However, there is no reason first, third, masters and final-year students can't also apply. However, make sure you read the vacancy brief to check eligibility criteria.
Is there an accredited placement attached to any of the modules?
Most schools run accredited placement opportunities and work related modules. Keep an eye on the module enrolment options and fairs to see which modules include a placement. That way you gain credits for your degree and work experience.
What support will I have while on placement?
For each placement there will be a dedicated mentor within the provider organisation who you can contact for advice, questions and support. The school and faculty placement team, school Student Support Officer and Careers and Employability Service will also be available if you have any queries.
How do I know that I’ll do real work on my placement?
Each placement vacancy will have been assessed to ensure it 'adds value' as a suitable position. The role and responsibilities and what you will get out of the experience will have been pre-assessed. Risk assessments, employer insurance liability and company registration details will all be in place before a placement is accepted. There is also a feedback questionnaire at the end of the experience which we will use for continuous improvement of the service all year round.
Are there any internships abroad?
These are comparably rare and very competitive but will come up. Again, the Careers and Employability service has some valuable advice for students planning to embark on overseas placements.
I have a small business – is this suitable for the programme?
We work with a range of businesses of varying sizes. The main aims of the programme are to develop the knowledge and skills of our students and provide businesses with experienced interns, giving you the opportunity to recruit the most skilled students when they graduate.
The Faculty of Social Sciences covers seven schools and can provide placement students for virtually any organisation type and size.
How long do placements last?
There are year-long opportunities starting in June. Long-term semester placements are offered part-time from October to December and January to April, lasting around 12 weeks. Summer placements run from June to the end of September.
What support will I have from the university?
Our dedicated placements team will advise you on the best route to securing student talent. This could involve advertising an internship to a targeted student cohort whenever you have a need, through to participating in one of our regular faculty programmes.
Students on year-long placements will be visited by academic tutors and will be in regular contact with them. Students on an accredited module will have weekly contact with their academic supervisors through seminars, workshops and drop-in sessions. All students on a placement programme run via the faculty receive pre and post-placement support from their respective school and our Careers and Employability Service.
How much university work are students expected to undertake during their placement?
Students are expected to act as employees for the duration of their placement. We do not require them to carry out university work during their employment, except for reflective reports which are submitted after they have completed their time with your organisation.
What are my responsibilities as a placement provider?
For paid placements, students should be employed, treated and paid in the same way as a normal employee. Placement students typically earn between £15,000 and £28,000. For voluntary placements, students should have specific and meaningful job roles and responsibilities, and receive the same support and feedback as paid staff.