Student Placements for Plymouth University Students – Everything You Need to Know

You will no doubt have questions about your accommodation as a student in Plymouth if you go on a placement year. At Student Rooms 4 U we are here to help you every step of the way so before reading this article give us a call or contact us to ensure your accommodation is sorted. Call 01752 849232 or visit us at

Placement Year – The Basics

A placement year is when you take time out from your course, usually between your second and third year of study, to gain real life experience in a working environment. In the placement year you’ll find a position that’s related to your course where you can put your skills to the test. Not only does it give you a great experience, but it makes you more employable when it comes to graduation. Some students even find full-time employment with the company they did their placement with.

Not up for a Whole Year?

If you like the idea of getting real experience but don’t want to add a whole extra year to your studies, instead consider a mini placement. Work-based learning opportunities usually last for just one module of your usual studies, and can be done at different times during your course.

Mandatory Placements

Some courses require students to complete a placement as part of their course accreditation – if you don’t do one, you won’t pass your course. Courses with compulsory placements include medicine, dentistry, healthcare, education and social work. For these courses, it will be easy for you to find out information as it will all be detailed in your programme specification.

Register an Interest

Your first port of call should be checking your programme specification or speaking to your tutor. Some courses will have standard placements that they recommend and so it will be easy for you to find out information about different opportunities.

If your programme doesn’t offer placement years or mini placements, you might still be able to get the experience. Speak to the Plymouth University Careers and Employability Service who might be able to set up a placement for you, even if your programme doesn’t usually offer them. Bursaries are also available for students who need financial assistance with developing their careers.

Cost and Stipulations

If you’re an International Student, there might be different regulations regarding your placement opportunities. The best thing to do is to contact International Student Advice to get further information.

For both 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 placement years at Plymouth University, the cost is £900 for your tuition fees. Presently, the cost is the same whether you are a local, EU or international student.

Pros and Cons of Doing a Placement Year

There are definitely benefits to doing a placement year, but they have to be weighed up carefully. For some people it just isn’t a viable option, and for others there are various reasons why they mightn’t want to delay their studies. Here are our reasons why doing a placement year is a great option:

  • It increases your employability. Having done a placement shows that you can survive in a professional environment and put your skills to the test. Having had real experience in the workplace will give you the edge over graduates without this experience.
  • Going on placement means you get to meet a whole bunch of new people. If you haven’t really clicked with your housemates or course mates, doing a placement can open new doors to you both socially and professionally. People that you meet on placement might be great networking contacts in the future for when you’re looking for work.
  • Getting experience in the work place can also help you make important decisions later. For example, if you want to get a job in your field of study but aren’t sure exactly which role suits you best, then a placement year will give you the chance to try it out before you graduate and start applying for jobs for real. It can be a really eye-opening experience and something you thought would be the perfect job might not be what you end up wanting to do long term.
  • As well as having a different experience, your placement might require you to move somewhere else. This can be both a pro or a con, depending how much you like where you currently are and how much you want to see somewhere new!

And other things you might need to consider:

  • Missing your friends. If you’re the only one from your peer group who is doing a placement year, then when you study for your final year they’ll have graduated already. Ok, so it might be sad to have to start over and make new friends, but realistically, don’t let this hold you back. At the end of the day, a placement year is about developing your career and your future. Also remember that just because you study together for three years rather than two, it doesn’t mean you’ll keep in contact after graduation! True friends will keep in touch regardless.
  • The application process can be lengthy and off putting. If there are multiple interviews to attend, this will be taking time out of your 2nd year of university studies. In general, lecturers should be happy for you to take time off as your placement is an important part of your programme, but it can certainly be stressful and time consuming, particularly if you’ve applied for a highly competed for position.
  • The cost can be a challenge, but remember that bursaries are available to some students, so look into this option if you can’t afford to prolong your studies.

Making the Most of Your Placement

Once you’re on placement, it’s important to make the most of your experience. Here are a few quick tips:

  • Get stuck in. Whatever you’re doing, show yourself to be willing, hardworking and adaptable.
  • Be inquisitive. Ask questions. Show you have a genuine interest in the work.
  • Network. Branch out and make connections. Even if you’re not a social butterfly, take this opportunity to broaden your social horizons.
  • Set yourself goals and keep a record of your achievements and the things you’ve learnt.
  • Be inspired. Gain experience that will help you excel in your third year of studies, and help you ace working life after graduation with a better job and a better salary.

At Student Rooms 4 U we are here to help you every step of the way so give us a call or contact us to ensure your student accommodation in Plymouth is sorted. Call 01752 849232 or visit us at