Industrial placement year

Industrial placement year

Student with cheetah during industrial placement.

A work placement is a chance to try out an industry you think you might be interested in for the future, or to concentrate on something you’re really passionate about for an extended amount of time. 

  • All our degree courses offer you the opportunity to undertake a placement year as part of your degree.
  • Industrial placements are taken between your second and third year. If you choose to undertake a placement year, this will extend your studies by 12 months.
  • You can choose between a research-based placement or working with the industry in a non-lab based role. 
  • There is an option to complete a combined year of both workplace and study abroad.

Preparing for your future career

An industrial placement will help prepare you for graduate-level employment. The average salary of a paid-placement is around £16-18,000 per annum, although unpaid placements are also an option. 

Where can you work?

Our students have taken work opportunities across a wide range of industries, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology and food industries, biology testing laboratories, research institutes, environment, agriculture, leisure and health. Most students undertake placements in the UK, with some students going to big UK placement providers including:

  • GSK
  • Pfizer
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • AstraZeneca
  • Labcorp Drug Development

We’ve also had some exclusive relationships with places such as:

  • MedImmune
  • Worcester Warriors
  • Rotherham United FC
  • Lotherton Hall (Wildlife World) and Tropical World in Leeds
  • Oxford University Innovation

UK placement testimonials

“The experience I have gained here will be extremely beneficial for my future career... possibly being able to be a second author on a paper and experience presenting at an international conference”

More on Luke Boothman | Research Scientist, University of Birmingham

“I had worked in 3 different lab environments: academic, as part of a start-up and as part of a global industrial company. I learnt a lot of transferable skills and developed myself as a scientist.”

More on Emma Burman | Research Scientist, Puridify

International work placements

We also offer you the opportunity to complete your work placement in a different country, which allows you the chance to travel and work. This year we have students in Australia, Belgium, Belize, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Panama, Singapore, Spain, and USA. Some students have chosen to do two six-month placements over the year. 

We have ongoing exclusive or semi-exclusive relationships with:

  • Mayo Clinic, Florida, USA
  • Novartis, California, USA
  • Griffith University, Queensland, Australia
  • Janssen, Beerse, Belgium
  • P53 Lab, Singapore

International placement testimonials

“A typical day at Cheetah Outreach was to do the morning husbandry that involved the feeding of the dogs. The waters for the animals needed to be cleaned and the handlers would feed the cheetahs.”

More on Ella Hamblin | Cheetah Sanctuary, South Africa Wildlife Foundation

“This [...] experience I simply couldn't get as part of my degree, so I appreciate it immensely. I've also really enjoyed getting to know my co-workers, who were wonderfully friendly from day one."

More on Amy Roe, BSc Microbiology | Research intern, Mayo Clinic, USA

Dedicated support

You will not need to decide on an industrial placement before applying, our Faculty of Biological Sciences employability team are here to provide information and help you make the decision in your second year. We have a comprehensive support programme for students pursuing a 12-month placement, including:

  • A dedicated in-house system that advertises hundreds of roles
  • Lectures
  • Workshops
  • Handbooks and guides

Although you’ll need to apply for placement positions independently, we’ll help you with your CV and application letters. During your placement, you’ll have ongoing contact with us. We also work with your industrial supervisors to make sure you get the most out of this year.