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Professional experience

Increase your employability skills and get work experience while studying

Employers look at more than your degree after you graduate, so our courses are packed with opportunities to build your work experience and transferable skills as you study. 

As well as year-long placements on our connected degrees, many of our courses include long or short-term work experience placements, live client projects, and work-based modules to enhance your employability. And if you want to be your own boss, we'll support you to set up your own business.

Getting work experience at university 

Find out about specific work experience opportunities and project for your course on your chosen course page, or explore the kinds of work experience you could take part in below. 


Degree specific work experience

The best place to find out about the work experience you can do on your course is on your chosen course page. 

Find your course

Types of work experience

You'll prepare for your career in many ways throughout your degree — from undertaking paid and unpaid projects to working with clients, volunteering, and networking with professionals. 

Our degrees already include ways to apply your learning and build your experience as part of your studies, and many courses have optional modules and additional opportunities that can benefit you too. 

Some subjects work directly with live clients, while others support you to produce portfolios or websites, or encourage you to volunteer with a local business.

Depending on your subject, you could find a company or cause to work with during your final year project too. Past final projects from students have been put to use in companies like the BBC, the Royal Navy, Portsmouth City Council, Locomatrix, Fort Nelson Museum and the Wildlife Aid Foundation.

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Accounting and finance courses

If you're studying an accounting of finance course, you'll get to work in our Accounting Clinic in your second and final years.

You'll give accounting advice to charities, social enterprises and community interest groups in Hampshire. You'll be supervised by a qualified accountant who specialises in charity audits.

You'll get accounting work experience in areas like independent examinations and annual reviews of internal controls, and potentially visit organisations in their workplace to give them finance training.

As well as direct work experience opportunities, you'll have access to our accounting and finance mentoring scheme, as well as your Women in Economics mentoring programme.  

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Architecture Project Office

The Architecture Project Office is our in-house architectural consultancy based in the School of Architecture.

Led by a team of student architects and designers who provide architecture consultancy and innovative designs for clients, the Project Office gives our students experience working with real clients and supports our architecture research.

Open to undergraduates and postgraduates, joining the Architecture Project Office is an optional extra-curricular activity designed to enhance your architecture skills, boost your CV and help you build a network of contacts.

You'll work on real client projects, and could work with local organisations including charities, local authorities within Hampshire, private clients and the University Estates Department.

The projects you'll work on could be intensive, fast-paced design workshops, or consultancy projects focused on detailed design feasibility studies, production information packages, site inspection and supervision services.

Past projects have included: 

  • Welcoming spaces in St Michael and All Angels Church
  • Community space in Gosport Masonic Hall
  • Reception area at International College Portsmouth
  • Renovation at the Bastion 6 project
  • Reinvigorating Wymering Manor
  • Urban regeneration with Portsmouth City Council
  • Redesigning the interior of Portsmouth Guildhall
  • Making use of unused space in Campi Salentina, Italy
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Business courses

As well as options to work on live clients projects as part of your course, you'll have the chance to take part in our Business and Management mentoring scheme and be paired with working professionals who will support your career journey and share their experiences with you. 

Business Consultancy Project

Work for a client on a real brief in the optional Business Consultancy module. You'll work in teams of 3-4 to bid for a business project from local organisations before working with the organisation to execute the project. 

Clients include small-to-medium sized organisations that could be from the private, public or third sector (such as charities, not-for-profits and community organisations). 

Each project is different but depending on your project and company, you could:

  • Use marketing theory to develop social media strategies
  • Conduct competitor analysis
  • Draft sustainable business plans based on the UN's Sustainable Development Goals
  • Conduct staff interviews
  • Evaluate customer feedback

You’ll give your client regular updates on the project, and get feedback from them, other students and staff as you progress. 

Past students have worked with Santander, local facilities management firm Inovolt, the Instant Kitchen Company startup, Solent Recovery College, and local radio station Express FM.

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Creative courses

On many of our creative courses, you'll work on real client projects. These projects are opportunities to apply the skills and knowledge learned on your degree, and to practice skills such as team working, client liaison and working to a brief.

The experience of working with clients looks great on your CV. And you might develop business contacts to help you find employment when you graduate.

As well as the specific work experience opportunities available on your course, most CCI courses include the optional 'Professional Experience' module where you'll earn credits by taking part in paid and unpaid work, volunteering, research placements, internships and other work-related learning. Previous students have done work experience like TV audience management on Britain’s Got Talent and The Million Pound Drop, Warner Brothers Film Studios operations assistant and freelance sports photography. 

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Dental courses

On our Dental courses, you'll train in practical teams in modern clinical facilities that replicate those in NHS dental practices.

You'll apply your training in our Dental Academy and Dental Clinic where you'll provide dental care and oral health promotions to patients from the University and the local community.

Engineering Project Day, 30th April 2019; 
TEC-0419-Engineering Project Day

Engineering courses

As part of our Engineering courses, you'll build your practical experience in labs that work alongside your lectures.

Our students organise and take part in competitions such as the Drone competition, as well as national competitions like Formula Student, where you'll work in a small team to design, build and race a single-seat racing car.

You can even grow your professional by joining the Students' Union Manufacturing club, where you'll have the chance to explore ideas, share your interests, and experiment with the materials, processes and facilities covered in your course.

Student studying in group with laptop

Marketing courses

With the optional Marketing Consultancy Project module on the BA (Hons) Marketing course, you'll work with an employer to design and create a practical marketing development plan to implement in the business. 

You'll use your degree skills and knowledge, as you work independently to identify key deliverables and define your project plan. 

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Maths courses

In your final year of a Maths course, you can do a 5-day (or 10 half-day) placement in a local school or college, acting as a role-model for school students interested in pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.

This placement develops your confidence in communicating your knowledge of maths, as well as your understanding of teaching methods and adapting to individual student needs. You'll work alongside experienced teachers in an educational environment from your choice of Primary to A Level.

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Law courses

You'll have plenty of chances to build your practical skills as you study, particularly with modules like 'Law in Practice', where you'll apply to work as a legal adviser and support live clients in our Legal Clinic, and the 'Community Lawyer' module — where you'll work with one of our partners in the third sector or private sector.  

You could work with companies including the British Red Cross, Churchers Solicitors, Citizens Advice, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services, Mercatis Law or Portsmouth Mediation Service. 

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If you're considering a career in teaching you'll need classroom experience — and university is an excellent time to start this process.

Our volunteer teaching scheme is a chance to teach first year GCSE students in local secondary schools about topics relating to your degree.

You'll experience teaching first-hand, and graduate with the experience you need to start your teaching journey. 

More opportunities

Placement year degrees

Increase your employment opportunities and strengthen your skills by taking a sandwich year degree with a placement.

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Find out more

Volunteering opportunities

Discover the benefits of volunteering for a charity or not-for-profit whilst at university. Find a role that matches your interests and career ambitions.

Female University of Portsmouth student volunteering
Read more

Student Startup support

Whether you’re looking to freelance, launch a new business or develop an existing one, the Student StartUp Team can support you.

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