KMS Undergraduate Placements

For students enrolling on Keele Management School undergraduate programmes there is the opportunity to boost your employability by applying for a four year degree with a work Placement.

What is a Placement Year?

A placement, or “sandwich year” as it is sometimes called, enables you to spend a paid year in industry between year two and three of your degree course. Here, you gain valuable work experience before returning to your final year to complete your studies. It gives you the opportunity to link theory and practice together for a greater understanding of the business environment, and develop a whole host of key, transferable skills employers are actively recruiting for.

A placement year must:

  • Have a duration of at least 30 weeks on a full time basis
  • Be paid at least the National Minimum Wage
  • Be located with an employer (Placement Provider) who complies with all current Health & Safety legislation

What are the benefits?

Finishing your studies with a good academic result is important, but a great way to stand out from the crowd is work experience. Extensive research highlights the vast majority of employers prefer to recruit graduates who have undertaken a placement as part of their studies, with many employers using placement students as a talent pipeline for their graduate roles.

Other benefits include:

  • Practical experience in the industry you wish to work in
  • Improved job opportunities, and professional networks
  • Increased confidence when searching, and applying for graduate level roles
  • Experience of teamwork and the development of interpersonal skills
  • Awareness of current developments in your chosen sector
  • Potential to achieve higher grades and a better degree classification
  • Opportunity to earn a salary

How to find a Placement and who can help?

Students are supported throughout the entire process by Keele Management School, the School's Student Placement Officer, Keele Careers and Employability Team, and various other departments across the institution.

Students are responsible for securing their own placement to enable complete flexibility when and where the placement is conducted, taking into consideration potential living and travel expenses which may be incurred, for which the student is responsible.

Students will receive continuous support throughout their search for a placement, including;

  • Hints and tips on where to search and apply for placement opportunities
  • Job application and interview preparation support
  • Important announcements about workshops; employer events/visits and placement fairs

The Student Placement Officer will network with a range of employers in order to source eligible placement opportunities that will be available to apply for, which can be found here.

There are specific modules in Year 1 and Year 2 designed to prepare students for a placement, including support in preparing CVs, covering letters and guidance on how to find a placement.

The Careers and Employability Team have a range of support available including:

  • One to one appointments to help students identify the type of placement they are looking for
  • Suite of online support around searching and applying for placement opportunities
  • CV and application reviews

What support is available during the placement?

During the Placement, the student will have a designated supervisor/line manager, and will also be in regular communication with the Student Placement Officer via email, telephone and also where possible a placement visit to the workplace.

Placement students are still registered students at Keele University, and so have access to a whole host of student support services, including access to the Student Placement Officer, Student Services Centre, Careers and Employability Team, and Keele University Students’ Union.

Placement activities will be work based and agreed between the employer, the student and an academic tutor. During the Placement the student will carry out work-based learning and reflection and will be expected to complete two portfolio assessments to successfully complete the Placement.

Tuition Fees

Students will pay a reduced fee whilst undertaking a work placement year as part of their course. For information about tuition fees please contact the Student Placement Officer, Sharon Farrow

Students can also apply for financial help, whether they’re studying in the UK or abroad. However the funding may be reduced due to placement earnings. Please visit the Student Services Centre, or Student Finance England for more information.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for the placement Year, students must have a good University attendance record and have passed all Year 1 and Year 2 Semester 1 modules with an overall average mark of more than 60%. 

What next?

If you are interested in undertaking a placement year, or have any specific questions about undergraduate placements please contact Sharon Farrow, Student Placement Officer on email at, or telephone on 01782 733089.

Placement case studies

George Llewelyn, Management student

George Llewellyn

George undertook a short placement during the summer at Barclays Investment Bank, Canary Wharf, London. Read about his work experience here.

Ryan Coffey, Finance Student

Cody Thomas, Human Resource Management Student