Placement Learning

The University is committed to producing high quality global graduates characterised by a set of distinctive Keele Graduate Attributes which foster employability. To meet its objective, the University has developed a comprehensive University-wide approach to student development and employability to enable every student to demonstrate the Keele Graduate Attributes. It aims to increase the number of students undertaking work experience, either as part of their programme of study or as part of the co-curriculum. Building upon existing internships, placement programmes and employment opportunities the University continues to engage with employers, supported by a central advisory unit, to assist Schools in the delivery of effective and efficient student placements.

The University has set out the expectations on placement delivery in the Placement Learning Code of Practice, which integrates external expectations with good practice identified across the University and the sector. The Code covers a broad range of placement activities and aims to support students, staff and placement providers to effectively manage and deliver placement activity and ensure that the student experience is protected throughout.

For further guidance please see the Placement Learning Code of Practice


The Placement Learning Code of Practice provides guidance to those who are involved in managing, arranging or delivering student placements, including those placements which are arranged by Keele University and any appointed agents, either in the UK or overseas. In the UK the Code applies to all student placements other than those arranged with the NHS, for which well-defined procedures are set out.

The Code recognises that each School in the University, offering placement opportunities may have different local procedures for placements, appropriate to the type of placement and the placement provider. The Code therefore outlines the threshold standards required by Schools, Services and Agencies.

Where placements are offered to students studying a Keele award as part of a franchised arrangement at a partner institution, the home institution will be responsible for all aspects of placement provision. Collaborative provision contracts will clearly set out the responsibilities of the partner and the legal obligations of the University for students studying on these programmes.  

Where the Code cannot be applied to certain placements, such as study abroad or short placements of less than a week in a UK setting, approval should be sought from the relevant School Learning and Teaching Committee. A clear rationale on why aspects of the Code cannot be followed and the alternative arrangements should be reflected in the relevant placement documentation, such as handbooks and forms. 


The Placement Learning Code of Practice defines placement learning as all arrangements on which a student pursues a learning opportunity away from the University as part of their academic learning and where the learning opportunity is provided by a body other than Keele.

The following types of placement learning are covered by the Code:

  • Study Abroad: where academic study abroad is a compulsory or optional part of the programme of study.
  • Placement Year/Sandwich Year: where students gain work/industrial experience relevant to their course in the UK or abroad including placements through schemes such as the Year in Industry or ERASMUS programme.
  • Practice Learning Placements: where students develop the practical skills required for practice in a profession or other employment including clinical training and teaching experience in the UK or abroad.
  • External Research Placements: where students undertake research projects in external workplaces as part of their programme in the UK or abroad.
  • Internships: where students are undertaking a placement as part of their undergraduate or postgraduate programme of study, often at an advanced stage, such as the ‘dissertation phase’ in the UK or abroad.
  • Placements: where students undertake a shorter or longer period of time, normally in a work setting. As a rule these take place off campus with external organisations in the UK or abroad and are arranged either by the School or by the student.

The Code does not cover placements or internships which are arranged by or for students outside of their University studies or placements or internships arranged by or for graduates after their University course has finished. 

Further Information for Students & Staff

For students seeking further information on placement opportunities you can find out more on the Placements, Internships and Careers webpages or through individual School webpages.

For Staff all relevant forms are also available through the Code of Practice, these include the risk assessment, placement agreement and placement agreement checklist.

For further information on placement activities please contact the Careers and Employability Team