To help you understand our unique Masters degrees and the year-long placement, we have compiled a list of frequently-asked questions.
What is a work placement?
A work placement is a year-long placement in industry during your degree. If you decide to undertake a placement as part of your Masters degree with Nottingham Business School, you will complete two semesters of study here followed by a year in industry, finishing by completing a business research project in the final semester. You will graduate with your Masters degree after you have successfully completed both the year of study and the work placement.
Are work placements open to students on all full-time Masters courses?
No. Unfortunately, due to the timing of employer recruitment cycles, students enrolling on courses which have January starts are not able to undertake a placement. Additionally, 12-month placements are not available on the following courses:
- MSc International Business (single or dual degree)
- MSc Entrepreneurship
- MSc Management and International Publishing
Are placements guaranteed?
Placements are not guaranteed, but we have an Employability Team who will support you in finding a placement. We are one of the largest HE placement providers in the UK, and in recent years have we have had a surplus of placements. However, it is the responsibility of individual students to apply for placements within the timescales and attend interviews.
Can I decide to undertake a placement once I have started the course?
International students requiring a Tier 4 visa must apply for the two-year version of the course with a placement at application stage. It will not be possible to switch to the two-year version if you have started on the 'standard' course of one-year duration. Students holding UK or EU passports may be able to switch once the course has started, but we cannot guarantee this.
Can I do a placement anywhere (or with any company)?
Yes, you can, but there are a few conditions with which you need to comply. If you find your own placement, it will need to be checked and authorised by the University. This is to ensure that the role is appropriate and that you would be completing tasks that would help support your studies.
You must stay within any visa restrictions that may be applicable. For example, non-EU citizens may hold a visa that allows a 12-month placement to take place as part of their degree within the UK, but which will not be applicable outside the UK. International students can do a placement overseas, but they will need to meet the visa criteria for that country.
Are placements in the UK, or overseas?
They are normally based in the UK, but some placements with overseas organisations may be available. Preference for these positions may be given to students on courses which specifically require international experience.
What work will I be expected to do whilst on placement?
The work that you will undertake during your placement will be determined and directed by your employer, but it will be related to your degree course and the skills that you have learnt and acquired during your study period. On occasions you may need to consider a position which will give you a broader experience rather than focusing on one particular area of study, and the work can be as varied as the companies that want to employ our students. Whilst on placement you are expected to comply fully with the terms of your contract of employment and to engage with University supervision.
When should I start my placement?
Placements should commence in June or July. Students may be able to start slightly later (in August or September), although this will affect the period of time after the placement that may be available to write up the Business Research Project.
How long should my placement be for?
It is expected that the placement will last for a minimum of 36 weeks. Often employers wish to contract students to work for 48 weeks or a little longer.
Are placements paid?
We would expect students to earn a salary whilst completing their degree. Average salaries are £12,000 - £18,000, but can be more.
Can I apply for a student loan during my placement?
The UK government has announced its postgraduate loan scheme for Masters degrees, through which you will be able to borrow up to £10,000. Further details can be found at www.gov.uk/funding-for-postgraduate-study.
Will the placement have any effect on my degree result?
No, it is not credit-bearing. Students who complete the minimum 36 weeks of their placement will be eligible for a Placement Diploma in Industrial Experience.
How many positions should I apply for?
We encourage students to apply to as many companies as they can, as long as the positions are related to their degree. Students should also only apply for roles that they are interested in and would be happy to accept if they were offered the role.
What should I do to prepare for an interview?
Firstly you should research the company and ensure you are up to date with their latest news. Make sure that you can clearly demonstrate why you would be able to add value to the company, and prepare some questions to ask. You will receive preparatory classes and support from the School and the Employability Team to help you prepare for applications.
When should I pay my tuition fee?
Tuition for the first year is £9,000 for home and EU students and £12,900 for international students, with payment being due that year. The additional placement fee of £1,350 would be due in the second year, if you have successfully secured a placement.
Which Semester Three Experience Project should I do if I choose the two-year placement option?
Students undertaking a placement will be required to complete the Business Research Project. This is to be submitted at the end of the second year, and will likely be based on (and commence during) the placement. You will receive preparatory classes for the Business Research Project prior to going on placement.
What is the difference if I choose the one-year Masters degree option and seek a work placement after graduation? Won't this be better than waiting for two years to graduate with my Masters degree?
There are no placements available for the one-year Masters degrees following graduation (also, it would not be defined as a placement). The placement is designed to be undertaken during the programme of study and supervised by the University, with an expectation that your major project would be based upon the placement. It is difficult for the University to support placements for graduates (i.e. those no longer registered as students), and there would be additional tax and visa implications.
What would happen if I apply to the two-year option but then fail to find a suitable work placement?
If you are unsuccessful in securing a placement by April of the first year, you will be transferred to the one-year version of the course and you will be able to choose your major project. International students will have their visa amended accordingly.
When do I need to secure a placement by?
If you are unsuccessful in confirming a placement by April of the first academic year, you will be transferred to the one year version of the programme.
What would happen if a student leaves their placement before the end of the contract?
Anyone who through no fault of their own is in an unhappy situation with their employer will be supported by the University to either a) resolve the problem, b) find something else, or c) resume studies as soon as possible. Leaving a placement before the contracted end not only reflects badly on the student concerned, but also on Nottingham Business School, and consequently the University could not support this. In this case, you would not receive your Placement Diploma in Industrial Experience and the exam board may want to take the failure to complete the placement into account. There may also be visa implications. Our advice to any student who thinks they might want to consider leaving a placement, or who is not absolutely committed to working full-time for a minimum of 36 weeks, is to not apply for a placement.
What if I have a problem during my placement?
You will be allocated a placement tutor who will arrange to meet you during the year and who will ensure everything is running smoothly. If you have a problem, you should contact your allocated placement tutor or the Placements Team as soon as you can. We are here to support the placement process and will do all we can to help.
Where can I find further information?
You can find our Employability Team online.
I'm an international student. Where can I get more information?
For further information on visa implications, please visit our International Student Support webpages.