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Industrial Experience option - Information for Employers

The industrial experience year is an option offered to students studying for any of the bachelors or full time taught postgraduate (masters) degrees we offer in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science. This offers the student a chance to spend a year working with an employer in a role related to their degree subject, and offers you, as an employer, the chance to gain a talented, motivated employee for a year to help deliver, for example, a new project.

The aim for students is to:

  • Make an effective contribution to the workplace and apply their technical skills to real life business problems
  • Demonstrate the ability to reflect on their experience and to evaluate their performance
  • Identify, reflect on and plan for their own personal and professional development needs
  • Develop and improve their technical, transferable and interpersonal skills.

What are the potential benefits for employers? 

As well as providing students with valuable opportunities to enhance their employability skills, there are also clear benefits to the organisation in employing a placement student, including:

  • Gaining access to talented and motivated people who can bring new ideas and enthusiasm
  • Providing a cost effective skilled staff resource to work on new projects/business initiatives
  • Allowing you to ‘test-drive’ a student’s potential for permanent, future employment with your organisation
  • We have an incredibly diverse student body so, as well as their technical skills, your business could also benefit from the international experiences, culture and language skills that many of our students bring.

Frequently asked questions


How do the placements work for undergraduate (bachelors) students?

Students apply for placements during the second year of their course and take up the post in the Summer following their second year exams (June-September).
Their placement finishes by September of the following year, when they return to University to complete the final year of their degree.
From start to finish, a placement for an undergraduate must last for a minimum of 10 months.

How do the placements work for postgraduate (masters) students?

A taught masters programme usually lasts one year – the industrial experience option extends this to two years. Students begin applying for placements any time after starting their first year (from Autumn time) and take up the post after teaching ends that academic year (in June). Their placement finishes by June the following year, when they return to University for three months to complete their final project.
From start to finish, a placement for a postgraduate must last for a minimum of 8 months and maximum of 11 months.

What are the particular benefits of employing an undergraduate student?

  • Our undergraduate students study a broad range of subjects during the first two years of their degree so will come to you with a range of technical skills
  • They’ll also bring a wealth of enthusiasm to learn and gain the from the experience
  • You may find that, as few will have much experience in a business like yours, they will quickly adapt to ‘your way’ of doing things rather than having ingrained ways of working.

What are the particular benefits of employing a postgraduate student?

  • Our postgraduate students study a range of specialised topics from Big Data Science to Sound and Music Computing – so you gain someone with advanced knowledge in a specialised field
  • Many postgraduates already have prior work experience as well as their previous qualifications so come with a range of soft skills as well as advanced technical skills.

What support does the University provide?

The University will provide support throughout the entire placement process.
We will:

  • Advertise your vacancy and assist with the recruitment process as required (at no cost)
  • Ensure that the student is fully aware of the requirements of the placement year
  • Ensure that you are aware of any requirements and responsibilities you have to the student before beginning the placement
  • Be in regular contact with the student and visit them in their place of work during the placement year to ensure everything is going well
  • Be available for you to contact (through our dedicated industrial placement manager) at any time during the placement with any queries or concerns you may have.

How much does it cost to employ a student?

We do expect our students to receive a fair salary for the year’s work and the rate of pay varies widely according to the sector and role. Over the past few years salaries have ranged from £12K to £36K per annum.

Do I have any long term employment obligations?

No. You decide the precise length of the contract (within the limitations set out above) and following this, have no further employment obligations.
This makes the scheme an ideal option if you want to fill a skills gap or complete a fixed project without the long term commitment of a permanent employee.
In practice, however, we often see employers so impressed with our students that they decide to offer them a permanent position after they’ve completed their degree.

How about visas for international students?

As the work placement is an integral part of their degree programme, overseas students doing a placement do not need additional work visas or paperwork from you as the employer.


 

Some of our industrial experience students


Student on Industrial Experience

VJ didn’t think his industrial experience year
working for UVD, a digital agency, would
involve working out on a rowing machine, but when he took a lead role in designing software for British Rowing, that’s just what he ended up doing. The product he worked on is being piloted before a potential roll-out across a nationwide gym company.

Student on industrial experience

Milka completed her industrial experience year at ITRS Group. She impressed them so much during the programme that she was sent to represent the company in New York at a client site visit and they’ve kept her on part-time as she completes her final year back at university.


 
 

If you would like to advertise a vacancy or ask any questions about employing one of our students please contact:
Claire Revell
Industrial Placement Manager
c.revell@qmul.ac.uk
W: 020 7882 8532
M: 07500 993810

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