Student placements and professional work experience

We know how important the right work experience is in helping you to secure your first job after you graduate. That’s why at Keele, for our undergraduate courses starting in September 2025, every course* offers you a placement opportunity.

A placement allows you to gain hands-on experience, develop key skills, and get a better understanding of the industry you’re interested in, all helping to boost your employability when you graduate. You’ll also develop important networks and connections, which can be vital for your future career. Organisations Keele students have previously secured placements with include AstraZeneca, Bentley, L'Oréal, NHS and Nintendo. 

Our placement offer

  • Every undergraduate degree* at Keele offers you a placement opportunity.  
  • This includes either a placement year or an integrated clinical or professional placement for every course.  
  • Most also offer a work placement module.  

*excluding Apprenticeships and 'top-up' degrees 

What is a work placement?

From preparing you for the world of work to developing the soft-skills employers value, a work placement will provide you with a unique opportunity to increase your employability and gain real-world experience in your chosen field of study. At Keele, the Placements and Projects Team provides support for students in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Natural Sciences. Placements within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences are administered within the Faculty as these placements are typically compulsory and embedded within the curriculum. 

What are the benefits of a work placement?

A placement will provide you with a variety of ways to kick-start your career, increase your skills and clarify your goals.  

  • Gain practical experience and apply theoretical knowledge in a real-world setting
  • Learn more about various career paths
  • Acquire an understanding of how businesses function
  • Build industry connections
  • Employers use placement opportunities to recruit into their graduate jobs
  • Develop the soft skills employers value including teamwork, decision-making and time management
  • Collaborate with a broader and more varied range of individuals 

"I gained many transferable skills and learned how to market myself to future employers. Thanks to networking at HE fairs and similar events, I made connections in the world of student recruitment and other industries. I also learnt how to plan and create contingency plans in case something falls through and how to improvise! "

Michelle, Placement Year graduate

Placement providers

Some of the organisations our students have undertaken placement years at include:

A.M. London Fashion Ltd
Airbus Defence and Space
Baxter Healthcare Ltd
Bentley Motors
Caudwell  Children
Enterprise Rent-a-Car
GE Aviation Systems Limited

GlaxoSmithKline Services Unlimited
Goodrich Actuation Systems Limited
Greater Manchester Mental Health (NHS)
Institute of Neuroscience of Castilla y León (INCYL) - Universidad de Salamanca
Lockheed Martin UK
Max Plank Institute
Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains
Michelin DC

Office for National Statistics
PwC - Audit Office
Retail Marketing International Ltd
Rolls Royce
Stanley Black & Decker
Toyota (GB) PLC
Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd

Types of work placement

You will have access to a variety of placement opportunities. The type of placements available will depend on the subject you study, but may include: 

Typically lasting between 9 – 12 months (although may be shorter depending on your course), the undergraduate placement year is taken between year 2 and 3 of your studies and will extend your degree by a year. On successful completion of your degree you will graduate ‘with work placement year, on your degree transcript. 

Typically lasts between 1 and 3 months and is linked to your course.  

Typically offers you the opportunity within your course to work in groups on a project brief set by an employer. 

Typically, a live project and could be based within or outside of your course

Typically lasting between 8 weeks to 12 months dependent on course requirements.

These opportunities tend to not form part of your course and can include short term internships, vacation schemes, and insight events. 

Support with your work placement

Our Placements and Projects Team provides each school within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science and Faculty of Natural Sciences with a dedicated Placements and Projects Manager who will help you to secure short and long-term placement opportunities.  
From working with you to perfect that all important placement application, to arranging preplacement preparation workshops, you will gain insight to enhance your position and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. 

Our support offering includes:  

  • One to one bespoke support via appointments online, and face to face 
  • Advice and guidance around placement options 
  • Pre and Post Placement support, offering personalised advice and guidance  
  • Employer events
  • Workshops providing advice and guidance on how to find a placement, application techniques and mock interviews
  • Regular placement bulletins that provide direct access to roles to apply for
  • Connecting you to current and previous placement students for peer support, mentoring, hints and tips to help you secure a placement  
  • Ensuring your placement is a safe and valuable experience by liaising with your placement provider to arrange all the necessary academic, legal and regulatory administration  
  • Full support during your placement, with regular check ins to ensure your placement is running smoothly  
  • Helping you transition back to university with a network of support to help you to make the most of your experience and boost your career including a reunion event, giving you the opportunity to re-connect to the University, staff and friends


A discounted fee of 20% of the normal tuition fee is charged for a placement year. This applies to both home and international students. Please note the discounted fee only applies to situations where the full year is spent on placement. Where only a part of the year is spent on placement, the full tuition fee is payable as normal.