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Work placements

People working together in a group meeting

We encourage you to undertake a work placement as part of your study programme. This will enable you to engage in the world of work and learn about the professional environment.

It’s an opportunity for you to apply theory to practice, develop skills, learn from industry professionals as well as explore a future career path. This ultimately supports you in developing your employability skills and prepares you for future employment. As part of your degree you’ll have the option to take part in both short and long work placements which are formally recognised on your Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).

Access the transcript for this video.

Your options

  1. Short work placement

    We support our students to undertake shorter work placements throughout the year. You'll have the opportunity to take part in a short work placement connected to our Certificate of Professional Communication. This opportunity will be available to you in your first and second year.
  2. Intercalated year-long work placement

    You'll have the option to spend an intercalated year doing a work placement between your second year and final year. This option would extend the length of your degree by one year.

Short work placement

In your first and second year of study, you'll have the opportunity to complete our Certificate of Professional Communication which includes a work placement.

This certificate aims to develop your professional communication skills and promote your understanding of the working environment. It’s designed to make the link between communication and employability, which is pivotal for your personal and professional growth. Workshops will explore theories and concepts around communication in relation to the world of work. Using this preparation, you’ll undertake a short work placement which concludes the certificate.

Successful completion of the certificate will be added to your HEAR. In addition to this, you'll have an up to date CV citing your work placement and the skills you have developed.

Read the transcript for this video.

Intercalated year-long work placement

As a Warwick student, you'll also have the opportunity to complete a professional work placement in the UK or abroad, as an intercalated (non-credit bearing) year between your second year and final year. By doing so, you'll transfer from a three year degree to a four year 'intercalated' degree. Our Employability and Placement Manager will help you target specific employment opportunities suited to your interests. You'll be required to pass the year by working the specified number of hours and completing a reflective diary.

If you'd like to explore this option, you'll discuss your options thoroughly with our Employability and Placement Manager and/or your personal tutor before making your decision.


We have a dedicated Employability and Placement Manager who’ll provide you with one-to-one careers guidance. They work in collaboration with employers, so you’ll be supported in securing appropriate work placements. You’ll have access to specialist pre-placement advice, guidance and preparation, as well as on-going support during your placement. Alongside this, the job search advisers in the Careers and Skills department will be able to help you with CVs, applications, searching for jobs, interviews, and work experience.

You’ll also have access to the University's Student Opportunity resources (including careers counselling, employment advice, and job fairs).

Hear from our students

Why have you chosen to do a work placement?

"The possibility of doing a work placement alongside studying abroad was interesting to me as it'll show me potentially what I want to go into in the future. It'll be useful to have that experience for when I graduate.

I wanted to make the most of my year abroad and I couldn’t decide whether to do a work placement or study abroad, as I wanted to do both of them. The Liberal Arts Department made it possible for me to do both. I’ll be starting at my work placement in Austria first and then studying abroad in Russia during my second year."

What will you be doing during your work placement?

"I'll be working for the Human Rights Institute in Vienna. They mainly collect and analyse data. Recently they’ve been collecting data on the refugee crisis.

For the first month or two I'll be learning how to do everything, and then hopefully working on some of their projects. One of the things I'll be doing when I get there is helping to organise a two to three week summer academy programme for Master's students."

Is your work placement linked to what you'd like to do after graduation?

"At the moment, what I’ll be doing during the work placement is what I want to go into after university. I’m hoping that by seeing if I enjoy it, then I’ll know what to pick in my final year in terms of modules, and then eventually what job to apply for."

Saskia Kaltenbrunner
Liberal Arts alumna

Why have you chosen to do an year-long work placement?

"I've chosen to do a year-long work placement as I feel that a year in industry is invaluable. This is because it provides you with a candid insight into a workplace environment, which you may not be able to gain through a short internship, perhaps only lasting a month or two.

Another reason why I chose to do an intercalated work placement was because it provides you with the opportunity to apply and hone skills which you've have learnt during your education, on a more practical level. It also offers the chance to learn new abilities, which might not be learnt through standard education systems.

Additionally, on a more personal level, I believe that an intercalated work placement will motivate me to stay focused and work hard during my final year.

Finally, I'm not yet certain which particular sector or pathway I want to eventually be employed in, therefore a year-long work placement has the potential to showcase specific areas that either appeal to me, or ones which I will want to avoid."

What do you hope to get out of your work placement?

"I mainly want to improve my employability, hence why I chose to complete a year-long work placement rather than studying abroad, because I believe that it will offer me the opportunity to gain real awareness of how workplaces operate. This is particularly important to me, personally, because I have had little experience of corporate environments. Moreover, when it comes to securing graduate jobs it should separate and denote me from other applicants who have not completed an intercalated work placement."

Is your work placement linked to what you'd like to do after graduation?

"The particular role that I will be fulfilling is titled ‘CSR and sourcing placement’, therefore there is a clear link between the corporate social responsibility aspect and the second year Sustainability Liberal Arts module; especially as in a number of Sustainability classes we focused on the role of CSR and what it actually means.

I'm uncertain as to what exact profession or sector I want to enter after I graduate, but I've always been interested in social roles and improving people’s conditions. Consequently, in that respect this work placement is somewhat linked to something that I can see myself doing after graduation."

Eva Cahill
Liberal Arts alumna

Frequently Asked Questions

Please visit our FAQs page to find out more information about work placements.

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