Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries

Placements for Students

Between the second and third years of study, most of our students, with the exception of those studying Architecture, have the option to undertake a work placement year.

Students have the following placement year options:

  • Sandwich year placements
  • Placement+ (short-term placements at various companies)
  • Self-employed placement years (running their own business on their own or with a group of students)

Students can also gain valuable work experience through:

  • Summer internships
  • Short-term work experience
  • Freelancing (short-term client projects/briefs)
  • Volunteering
  • Relevant part-time work

Professional/Industry Placements

Over 50% of employers actively recruit graduates who have relevant work experience. So, taking a year-long placement is an excellent way to get ahead in the job hunt. The Creative Careers Centre is dedicated to setting students on the right course professionally.

A placement gives students the chance to:

  • Secure a graduate job – a number of placement students are offered permanent graduate positions and work experience can give students that extra edge in the graduate job market
  • Improve degree classification – placement students often get a better final degree result
  • Put the knowledge gained on a course into practice
  • Improve employability – work experience on a CV makes a difference
  • Enhance students' final year of study and help them choose subject options
  • Enhance soft skills such as time management, problem solving and team work
  • Make contacts who may be able to help students get a job after graduation
  • Gain some real-world experience of your chosen industry so you can make informed decisions about your future career path
  • Earn money (paid placements are available)

"Over a third of recruiters who took part in the research repeated their warnings from previous years – that graduates who have had no previous work experience at all are unlikely to be successful during the selection process and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer for their organisations’ graduate programmes."

– The Graduate Market in 2017 produced by High Fliers

How we can help you

The Creative Careers Centre aims to primarily support first and second year undergraduates in gaining valuable work experience, internships and placement

Every year we help 100s of students gain valuable work experience and learn about career options in the creative industries. We do this by:

  • Sourcing exclusive work experience and placement opportunities for Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries students
  • Advertising 100s of opportunities every year on our vacancy database which is only for students in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
  • Running our “Future You” programme of events which includes industry speakers, career insights, job application skills sessions
  • Providing job search, CV, application, interview advice on a 1-2-1 basis
  • Being accessible to students by offering bookable appointments plus students are welcome to drop-in
  • Providing support and work experience opportunities for students undertaking the Professional Experience unit
  • Being open all year round (apart from public holidays and the university’s Christmas shutdown)
  • Encouraging students to start using our service in their first year so they can start building up their CV
  • Creating and managing a range of online resources to help students during their placement search and whilst in the workplace including our blog, We Love Creative Careers
  • Working closely with the University’s Purple Door Careers service to support students in finding placements or setting up their own business
  • Recruiting Placement Ambassadors (students who have completed a placement year) to share their experience and advice
  • Supporting students throughout their placements

Case Studies

Abbie Smith

Teaser – Abbie Smith

A BA (Hons) Film Industries student working as an intern for NBC Universal.

Read more about Abbie's experiences

Duncan Pastoors

Duncan Pastoors

A BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing student working as an intern for visitBritain.

He has become the 2015 recipient of the SES Intern of the Year Award. Hear what his employers have to say about his work ethic, efficiency, creativity and initiative.

Read more about Duncan's experiences

Charlie O'Connor

Charlie O'Connor

A BSc (Hons) Entertainment Technology student working as an intern for Disney, managing digital assets and helping to organise on-air productions.

What he likes most about his placement? The roles and responsibilities with his position, respect from his employers and overall, working for a company whose products he's known from childhood.

Read more about Charlie's experiences

Alexandra Marin

Alexandra Marin

A BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design student working as a clothing technical assistant for childrenswear at Debenhams.

By taking the plunge and pursuing a placement, she has had the chance to develop her skills in a professional environment, showcase her talents to potential employers and – of course – gain even more knowledge within her chosen area of expertise.

Read more about Alexandra's experiences

Brogan Turner

Brogan Turner

A BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Design student working as part of the design team for Hampshire County Council.

Taking up a placement has exposed her to the rewarding bustle of career life, working as part of an expansive team and assisting in many projects from start to finish.

Read more about Brogan's experiences

Self-employed Placement Year (SPY)


Rather than work for an employer, some of our students decide they would prefer to start-up and run their own business for a year. Our self-employed placement year (SPY) option has been designed to accommodate this need.

Students who choose this option often startup their companies with fellow, like-minded students, working together, as a bona fide operation, in an attempt to build a successful, profitable venture. The Faculty and University provide mentoring and support but success is almost entirely incumbent upon the founders.

Examples of SPY companies have included computer games developers, website development, freelance photography and filmmaking.

The SPY is a deeply transformative learning experience and, even if students decide not to continue the business after the year, the experience gained is hugely impressive to future potential employers.

“Over half the recruiters… repeated their warnings from previous years – that graduates who have had no previous work experience at all are unlikely to be successful during the selection process and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer for their organisations’ graduate programmes.”

– The Graduate Market in 2014 produced by High Fliers

Want to Know More?

  • If you are a current student and want to find out more about applying for a placement please contact the Creative Careers Centre or visit the Creative Careers site in Moodle [current students only]. As well as placement years, we also advertise other types of degree-related work experience including summer internships and short-term placements.
  • If you are an employer looking to recruit a placement student, you can find more information in the employers section.