This page contains information for Computer Science, Computer Systems Engineering, Computer and Management Sciences, Computer and Business Studies, and Discrete Mathematics students who are interested in spending a year away from the University (subject to academic performance and UK visa regulations). This can be to either work in industry, or to study at a university overseas. The intercalated year is taken between the 2nd and 3rd years of a degree course. In the case of a 4-year degree course, the year away can alternatively be taken between the 3rd and 4th years.
In the first instance, please discuss the possibility of taking an intercalated year with your personal tutor.
Why take an intercalated year?
- An intercalated year provides an opportunity for you to gain employment experience in your area of interest
- Explore a subject or specialism in more detail and with hands-on experience
- You will enhance your employability by demonstrating to employers you are committed to a career in a specific area
- You will develop essential skills for employment in any sector including; communication skills; team working; problem solving; time management and negotiation skills
- Employers look for evidence of professionalism – the ability to adapt to a professional or business environment. Completing a work placement or year in industry will provide you with the opportunity to acquire and demonstrate these skills at the application and interview stage
- Take a look at these presentation slides for more tips and advice
Things to think about
Choosing to intercalate is a significant decision and there are a few of things to consider before you apply:
- The additional cost of another year at university
- Re-joining your degree a year behind your peers
- Is the company or location right for you?
During your intercalated year, the University charges a reduced fee; further information on the fees is available from the Academic Office website. If you wish to speak to someone about this in more detail, you can visit Student Reception in Senate House or email 'email@example.com'. Students who are supported by their Local Education Authority need to make sure they do not miss the LEA deadline for approval of funding, which may mean that they need to transfer to an Intercalated Year degree during the 1st term of the academic year preceding their year away.
Finding a placement
It is your task to find a job, or a programme of study, for your intercalated year. However, students looking for a job will find the Student Careers helpful, particularly opportunities advertised through myAdvantage. Students wanting to study abroad will benefit from consulting the Study Abroad team in the Office for Global Engagement.
Here is a partial list of companies where our students have spent intercalated years:
- IBM at Warwick, Hursley, Portsmouth
- Barclays Capital
- Goldman Sachs
- PA Consulting
- Asidua at Solihull
- CISCO Systems
- ATOS at London
Some students spend the year away studying at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), with which we have links, or a year out as part of the Study Abroad Programme. For more information about HKUST or the Study Abroad Programme, please contact Abhir Bhalerao.
Approval of placement
Your placement must be approved by the Department. For this, you need to complete the Placement Approval form, available here or from Jen Mills in CS0.05. This form also enables you to transfer to an intercalated year degree course if you have not already done so. This form still needs to be completed and signed if you are planning going on a Study Abroad Year or year at HKUST.
Please note that spending a year studying abroad or working overseas is subject to relevant visa regulations.
Firstly, the purpose of approval is to ensure the placement is appropriate and relevant to your degree course. You can discuss this with the Intercalated Year Coordinator, Gihan Mudilige.
Secondly, we need confirmation your placement will be financially viable. If you are planning to spend the Intercalated Year working, your employment should be full-time, for at least nine months, and with a salary which is not below the legal minimum wage.
Thirdly, as part of the approval process, we shall ask the placement provider to confirm that they will meet their responsibilities for ensuring your health and safety (as summarised in this PDF document). If approved, we shall also provide you with a copy of the Health and Safety guidance notes (available here in PDF), which you must read carefully.
Inform us of your contact details
Please fill out a form with your contact details during your year away, which is available here or from Jen Mills.
Accommodation for the year after
You will need to contact Warwick Accommodation to arrange accommodation for the year after - you will be able to contact them from term 1 during your year out. The deadline for applications is usually in November but check the Warwick Accommodation website in October. The telephone number for the Accommodation Office is +44 (0) 24 76523772.
During your year away
If you have a placement with a company in the UK, we will seek to arrange at least one visit by an academic member of staff from the Department.
Choosing a project
You need to find a project for the year when you come back. You can do this during your year away by browsing the relevant departmental web pages, and contacting the academic staff by e-mail or telephone. In the case of individual projects, you can alternatively find a supervisor and a topic in the year preceding the year away. For further assistance, you can approach the project organisers Jane Sinclair (3rd Year) and Arshad Jhumka (4th Year).
If you experience difficulties during your year away which you would like to discuss with us, you can contact your personal tutor, the Intercalated Year Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, the SU Advice Centre or Student Support.
While you are away, you will be required to complete a questionnaire at four different stages during the year. (Typically October, December, April, July).
You will be sent a link for the questionnaire by email.
1. You need to submit a written report about your intercalated year activities. This needs to arrive at the department by Monday of Week 1, of the Autumn Term following your placement year. It should be approximately 1500 words long, plus appendices if needed and be sent by recorded delivery or by email, to Jen Mills (Taught Programmes Student Experience Co-ordinator).
Your intercalated year report should include details of (a) the work pursued/completed during the year, and (b) how you have benefited from the experience.
- It is not necessary for you to provide a very detailed description of the work; particularly if the work was of a confidential or sensitive nature. However, you should provide sufficient information for the assessors to determine whether the work was relevant to your degree course. For example, the report should describe the area in which you worked, the tasks you had to complete, your responsibilities, the supervision/management arrangements, the level of support provided by the company, if you worked as an individual or as a member of a team, if you were able to apply the knowledge gained from the first two years of your course, if you attended any training course(s), any new technical skills you have learnt, etc.
- How did you personally benefit from the intercalated year? For example, the report should describe if you learnt any new key/personal skills, if the experience was helpful in determining the direction of your future career, if you would consider applying for a graduate level position with the company, if you would recommend an intercalated year to other students, if you participated in any extra-curricular activities (e.g. university student recruitment, company social events), if you enjoyed the year, etc.
The report is intended to be free format and open-ended. Intercalated year placements vary enormously and therefore it is difficult for us to be prescriptive about the content of the report. Some past students have included appendices such as a diary, departmental structure diagram, etc. The choice is very much yours.
2. You also need to give a presentation about your intercalated year. It can be a summary of your written report covering briefly what your role was, what you learnt and how this will help you in the future. These will be scheduled during the Autumn Term, and we will inform you of the date and time. The presentation should be 15 minutes long, plus 5 minutes for questions. The presentations will be open to other students and staff to attend.
3. The member of staff who visited you whilst on placement will provide a short written report.
4. We will also ask your manager, or tutor if you are studying abroad, for a brief report on your work.
These assessment components will be considered by two members of the academic staff, to determine whether you have spent the intercalated year in a manner which is profitable, and relevant to your degree subject. If you pass this assessment, you will be eligible for a degree 'with Intercalated Year'.