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Professional and Industrial Placements

Placements provide benefits for students, industry and the University. Take a look at the diagram showing some of the benefits for your company. All Undergraduate students have the option to undertake a Professional Placement, and science students have the option to take a subject-specific Industrial Placement.


All placements must last a minimum of 40 weeks, although some organisations offer placements for 13 months to allow the incoming undergraduate to be trained by the outgoing student. All opportunities should be paid at the Living Wage or higher. Placements are integrated into the curriculum and are fully supported by the BMEC Placements Team (for students of business, management and economics) or the Placements Team in the Careers and Employability Centre (for the rest of the university), and a School of study Placement Tutor.  The Careers and Employability Centre’s Placements Preparation Programme was runner-up in the Association of Graduate Recruiters ‘Best Preparation for Work’ Award 2015, highlighting its exceptional content, peer learning and one-to-one support.


As a host organisation you would be expected to provide a working environment in which the student can meet their learning outcomes. Some key information for employers is shown in this placement year outline from the School of Business, Management and Economics, this outline is replicated throughout the university.


Placement Examples


The School of Engineering and Informatics is experienced assisting students in securing placements in health and life sciences companies- this case study from Eschmann gives a flavour.

The University has worked with Pfizer on a number of placements for students from a range of disciplines, including Biochemistry, Business and Management, and Medical Neuroscience.

The University has also worked with GlaxoSmithKline- this example features a Psychology student placement.


Funding for shorter internships


The University of Sussex participates in the Santander Universities programme which provides SMEs funding for 50% of a 12-week internship, match funded by the employer. It also provides full funding for 4-week projects. You can register your interest here.

The University also provides full funding for some groups of students and graduates to undertake a 10-week internship, at organisations of any size. If you would like to be added to our mailing list so that we can contact you when funding is available, please register here


Project support for SMEs


The SME Catalyst Programme, developed by the Sussex Innovation Centre, bridges the gap between growing companies needing an additional staffing resource and the pool of students and graduates at the University of Sussex seeking meaningful work. The team members are employed – and intensively trained - by the Innovation Centre and contracted out on short term projects which can be full- or part-time. If are considering employing a graduate or placement student, but do not have a full year’s work or funding, then you might consider this programme.  


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