Department placements service

We recognise the central importance of work experience in the preparation of students for the graduate workforce.

The Department has a long tradition of offering vocational courses as well as Sandwich placements for non-professional degrees. The commitment to work experience and employability is evidenced by the School Placements Service which helps students obtain one year placements during the third year of four year Sandwich degrees and professional programmes.

Where do our students take their placements?

Students work for international organisations, such as major pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, government organisations (such as the Ministry of Defence), non-governmental organisations, environmental groups, universities, and small to medium employers.

Numerous students decide to take their placement year abroad, with many opting for the USA. As a result, the Service offers a number of recurring placements throughout the USA. Students have also opted to take placements in Europe, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand.

Our students regularly make use of the strong links we have forged with other universities and organisations, such as Virginia Commonwealth University; East Carolina University; University of Cincinnati; Sarawak Hospital Malaysia; Bristol Royal Infirmary; North Bristol Trust (Southmead and Frenchay Hospitals); Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and Syngenta Agro Chemicals.

How will it affect a student's degree?

The Placement period is recognised formally within the degree programme and attracts academic credit that contributes towards the degree. A nationally recognised and revolutionary e-portfolio system, developed within the Department, tracks and supports students on placement. This means that students, though away from UWE, continue to be supported by the School.

Students are encouraged to find placements that satisfy their own particular interests and career aspirations and we allow a wide range of types of placement, so students who are not interested in laboratory-bench work can still find work experience in other aspects of science.

The Placement year is optional but students are encouraged to take up this opportunity. Studies have shown that students who have undertaken a placement are more likely to perform better academically, obtain higher degree classifications, obtain experience and references from their placement employers that enhance their chances of employment on graduation.

Find out more

If you are a prospective student or a parent/guardian of a prospective student wanting to find out about our placement opportunities, or if you are an employer wishing to offer a placement or find out more, please e-mail

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