Professional placements

Are you enrolled on a 4 year programme with a placement year or considering transferring to one? We have some key tips to help you plan your placement adventure before you leave for the summer

If you’re in Part one and about to start to Part two:

Make sure you invest in your career this summer as it could make ALL the difference when you return to second year. Use it to build up experience, skills and confidence, as these are key ingredients vital for placement success. One way of achieving this is partaking in:

  • Part time work
  • A summer job
  • Travelling
  • Volunteer work
  • Observational work experience

Guess what? This experience doesn’t need to be directly related to your subject or chosen career path, as many of the skills you will develop through these experiences are transferable.

Also, don’t be fooled into thinking you can leave applying for placements until after Christmas – most recruiters start advertising earlier, as competition for vacancies can be fierce in certain industries. Brush up on your CV and LinkedIn profile using our careers resources before you come back to campus so you can hit the ground running! We also have some fantastic advice on our professional skills hub to give you that career know-how this summer.

If you’re in Part two and about to start your placement:

A HUGE congratulations, you’re about to embark on an amazing adventure that has endless potential to benefit you and your future career. A placement year will give you a more practical example of how to apply the careers-based skills you have gained over your time at Reading, while giving you critical insight to your chosen profession and invaluable career experience.

Here’s what one of our former politics students who completed a placement at Majestic Wines said;

“By undergoing a placement year I developed key experiences and skills which are really valuable to prospective employers. It made the application process for graduate roles a little easier because I was able to draw on these experiences”. 

Amber McGuigan Politics and International Relations.

Even when you’re off the University site, we’re still here to support you. Don’t hesitate to let us know what you need, and please ensure you stay in regular contact with your dedicated placement coordinator throughout the year. The transition from campus life to corporate life, whatever environment you’re going to, can be difficult to navigate at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it with our help.

If you’re still not sure about securing a placement year, you still have a little window of opportunity. Speak to your placement tutor ASAP as some of your part 3 modules may be capped, therefore limiting your third year options.

Please remember, if you are a Tier 4 student, the placement team will formally be in touch with you at least once a month as this is a mandatory requirement of the University’s Tier 4 monitoring process.

Student finance and placements

If you transfer from a three-year to a four-year (placement year) degree, please make sure to inform Student Finance. They can work out your eligibility for funding and other loan applications during your placement year. The University also offers a placement bursary for students who need extra financial aid. If you fit our criteria, you could be awarded up to £1,000 that could go towards helping with extra living costs and travel expenses.

The placement team is available all summer, so, if you need their guidance, do not hesitate to get in touch. For those of you who are away, the placement coordinators can be reached by email or phone.

N.B.: Before you leave for the holidays, make sure you know who your placement coordinator is.

Best of luck and have an amazing summer whatever you are up to!