Become an entrepreneur at Portsmouth
The only UK uni with a flexible self-employed placement in your 3rd year or after you finish your studies
A self-employed placement on your terms
Portsmouth is the only uni in the UK that gives you Connected Degrees. If you want to take a self-employed placement, take it when it suits you — either during your third year or after you've finished your studies. Not sure if you or when you want to take a placement? You can decide after you've started studying. It's up to you.
On a self-employed placement, you'll break free from the traditional work structure. You'll become your own boss and get entrepreneurial experience. And with University support every step of the way, you can launch your own venture with confidence.
Picture yourself building a startup or social enterprise from the ground up. Or taking your existing side hustle to new heights by going full-time for a year. You could leverage the skills you've learned on your degree as a freelancer, taking on different projects for a range of clients.
Whatever you choose to do on your self-employed placement, and whenever you choose to do it, with our support and guidance, you'll have every opportunity to make it a success.
Whether self-employed or traditional
A Connected Degree is all about choice. Take a self-employed placement, or a choose a more traditional work placement year. There are benefits to both — it all depends on what you want to get out of it. You can decide if and when to take a placement year after you've started - there's no rush.
This is a unique opportunity to set up your own business and test the water of being self-employed — safe in the knowledge that you'll have University support and guidance along the way.
- Set up your own venture, with University support
- Develop your own ways to earn money
- Be your own boss - with every decision and action your responsibility
On a traditional work placement, you'll work for an established business. By nature, this is more predictable — you'll have a salary, and many of your goals and work will be set for you.
- Get support in finding the right work placement for you
- Be paid a salary, rather than developing your own ways of earning money
- Get hands on experience in an established business
Hear from our students
Read more about how Portsmouth entrepreneurs have set up their own exciting venture on their placement year.
Self-employed placement experience: Computer Games Enterprise student sets up her own games studio
Lauren, Computer Games Enterprise student, set up her own games studio on her self-employed placement year.
17 February 2021
5 min read
Self employed placement experience: BA (Hons) Photography - Eliska Svrlanska
1 June 2023
Support when you need it
Whatever you choose to do with your self-employed placement, you’re in control. You own your time, you set your goals and you choose your priorities.
And because you’re still a student, you get full University support. That includes expert advice and guidance from our Student StartUp team, who have insights, tools and facilities to help you make a success of self-employment.
Choose when to take your self-employed placement
Portsmouth is the only UK uni with Connected Degrees. That means you can choose when to do a self-employed placement — either in your third year, or after four years of study.
Introducing Connected Degrees
As well as being able to take a traditional sandwich placement before your third year on most of our undergraduate degrees, you can now take your work placement after your final year.
We call courses with this placement option Connected Degrees.
Upbeat music plays over information about Connected Degrees from the University of Portsmouth.
Self-employed placement questions
Throughout your self-employed placement, you’ll collect evidence of enterprise skills identified by the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE). We’ll review your progress at regular monitoring and development meetings.
Even if you decide not to continue as an entrepreneur or freelancer after you graduate, employers will value what you’ve gained from a self-employed placement.
It’s proof that you’re a self-starter and innovator. It also shows you understand business in a well-rounded way. These capabilities can give you an edge in any recruitment process.
Our Student StartUp team will give you comprehensive support before, during and after your self-employed placement. They offer:
- 1-to-1 advice and mentoring
- free desk space at an Innovation Connect centre
- access to meeting rooms, presentation facilities and breakout spaces
- start-up events and workshops
- online toolkits and resources
- networking opportunities
- the chance to talk with our Entrepreneurs in Residence
- access to competitions and funding opportunities
As you start to consider a self-employed placement, Student StartUp can help you answer big questions, including:
- how do I know if a self-employed placement is right for me?
- how do I set up self-employment for my placement year?
- how can I turn my idea into a business as a student?
Our Careers and Employability Service is another great source of advice and guidance.
You’ll also get self-employed placement support from your placement office.
Self-employed placements are available to home (UK) students, and EU students with settled or pre-settled status, unless their course includes a mandatory employed placement after year two.
International students cannot pursue self-employed placements due to Tier 4 Visa restrictions around business activity. But the Student StartUp team can work with international students to develop business ideas for the future.
Entrepreneurs in Residence
Meet our entrepreneurs and find out what support and business start-up advice they offer our students, alumni and staff to launch or grow their businesses.
Portsmouth is the only UK uni to offer a 3 year course with 4th year placement. Discover more about Connected Degrees.
Undergraduate fees and student finance
Read our guide to undergraduate student finance & learn about tuition fees, student loans, scholarships bursaries, support for disabled students and more.