Optional undergraduate work placements

Updated 29 June 2020 at 9am

How long does my placement need to be for 2020-2021?
What is latest date by which I need to have secured a placement?
What is the latest I can start my placement?
I was due to start a work placement in 2020/21, what do I do if it is cancelled?
I was due to start a work placement in 2020/21, what do I do if my start date has been pushed back?
I am a Tier 4 student, can I still complete a placement?
I have already informed Student Finance England I am taking a placement year, what do I now do if my placement has been cancelled?
I changed my programme to one with a Work Placement Year – how do I change it back?
What if my placement is due to start after 21st September, but the employer withdraws the placement before I start?
I’ve applied for a placement year and haven’t had an update on the progress of my application or the organisation has put recruitment on hold.
I was hoping to complete a work placement in 2020/21, but I haven’t found one?
What if I need to work from home as part of my placement?
What about working overseas for a placement?
What if I planned to work in Europe, will I have access to Erasmus+ funding for students planning to study or work in the EU in 2020/21?
I am on an apprenticeship programme, will the placement with my employer be affected?

Contacts

How long does my placement need to be for 2020-2021?

Each school’s placement module details the required tenure and hours, normally these range from a minimum of 9 months to 12 months.

For the 2020-2021 academic year only, the shortest placement period possible is 6 months. This can be a combination of two placements.

However, if you’re on a programme where there are PSRB requirements, or specific Apprenticeship funding rules apply, you may be required to complete a placement of longer than six months.

Please speak to your Employability Team and / or Placement Tutor to support you with this.

What is latest date by which I need to have secured a placement?

You will need to have secured a placement offer and have transferred onto the placement year variant of your degree by 21st September 2020. You don’t need to have started your placement by this date.

If you haven’t secured a placement by 21st September 2020 and you do not have any final-stage interviews in place, you should register for your next academic year as normal. In exceptional circumstances placements may be approved until the 26th October however you must speak to your Employability Team and / or Placement Tutor to discuss this prior to induction week.

If working abroad is a compulsory element of the programme in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, the deadline will be set by your school to enable time to find a study placement should it be required. Please contact LCSemployability@leeds.ac.uk for more information and specific FAQs for your programme.

What is the latest I can start my placement?

This depends on how long your placement needs to be (see above).

You need to ensure your start date provides enough time to complete your placement tenure and return to your next year of study.

If you haven’t secured a placement by 21st September 2020 and you do not have any final-stage interviews in place, you should register for your next academic year as normal.

Speak to your employer if you have concerns about your start date and your Employability Team and / or Placement Tutor regarding your position. Students in School of Languages, Cultures and Societies will need to agree this with their Residence Abroad coordinator. Please contact LCSemployability@leeds.ac.uk for more information.

Placements must not commence until the risk management process is completed and tri-partite agreements are signed by all parties. Your Employability Team and / or Placement Tutor will guide you through this process.

I was due to start a work placement in 2020/21, what do I do if it is cancelled?

If your placement has unfortunately been cancelled, please inform your Employability Team and/or Placement Tutor as soon as possible.

Whilst it can be frustrating and upsetting to have your placement year offer withdrawn after you worked so hard to find one, we would encourage you to maintain positive communications with your placement employer, ask them to bear you in mind for future roles.

The placement employer may be able to offer you a later start date. You can speak with them to explore your options.

If you have completed a Change of Programme form please contact your Student Support Office and or/ and Employability Team to inform them of your change in circumstances.

If you have also applied for Student Finance, again make sure you alert them to a change in your status.

I was due to start a work placement in 2020/21, what do I do if my start date has been pushed back?

Please inform your Employability Team and/or Placement Tutor of the new start date, as whilst for the 2020-2021 academic year the shortest placement period possible is 6 months, if you are on a programme where there are PSRB requirements, or specific Apprenticeship funding rules apply, you may be required to complete a placement of longer than six months. You need to ensure your new start date provides enough time to complete your placement tenure and return to your next year of study.

I am a Tier 4 student, can I still complete a placement?

Yes you can. You will need to contact your Employability Team and/or Placement Tutor and let them know that you have secured a placement. You will need to complete a change of programme form and will then be directed for visa advice before the change is confirmed by your School.

I have already informed Student Finance England I am taking a placement year, what do I now do if my placement has been cancelled?

You should contact Student Finance England (or your equivalent funding provider) to advise them of a change in your circumstance if you are no longer planning on pursuing a placement.

Please also let your Placement Tutor or your Employability Team know as soon as possible so your student record can be adjusted.

Once your university student record has been updated, the University’s Student Funding team will send a ‘Change of Circumstances’ notification to the Student Loans Company to inform them of the change if they haven’t already updated your record.

I changed my programme to one with a Work Placement Year – how do I change it back?

Speak to the team you originally contacted regarding a Change of Programme. This is normally one of the following: School’s Student Support Office, your Placement Tutor or your Employability Team.
If you are a student with a Tier 4 visa, you will need to be referred to an International Student Advisor in the first instance in case the change affects your visa.

What if my placement is due to start after 21st September, but the employer withdraws the placement before I start?

If your placement offer is withdrawn, and you have transferred onto the placement variant of your programme, speak to your Placement Tutor or your Employability Team to discuss your options.

I’ve applied for a placement year and haven’t had an update on the progress of my application or the organisation has put recruitment on hold.

Many organisations are adjusting to managing their recruitment processes online (such as virtual interviews or assessment centres) so it may take them some time for them to get in touch with you about this.

We have prepared advice for employers here and you will see that we are requesting, where possible, they contact placement students as a priority.

If you haven’t heard from your placement host in some time, do make contact and please recognise that this is a difficult time for them as well and highlight that you understand if there is a delay. They are likely to be working with reduced staff and will appreciate your patience.

I was hoping to complete a work placement in 2020/21, but I haven’t found one?

While some organisations have cancelled their placement years, many are still recruiting and we would encourage you to sign up to MyCareer to search for current vacancies and visit these useful websites advertising placement opportunities.

You can also book a 1-to-1 appointment for application and interview help and support via MyCareer.

What if I need to work from home as part of my placement?

Before any placement starts, the University follows a Risk Management Action Plan process. This allows us and you to identify the risks associated with your placement, and ensures you have the appropriate support from your employer.

If you are required to work remotely e.g. from home rather than a company worksite you should check with your employer what equipment they can provide for working from home, and if you have any concerns, please discuss this with your employer or Employability Team and/or Placement Tutor as soon as you can.

The University has produced some working from home guidelines for staff which you may wish to take a look at.

What about working overseas for a placement?

The option to work overseas (including Europe) will be dependent upon a range of conditions including:
I. Lifting of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel ban
II. Lifting of the University’s travel ban
III. Host country is accepting individual’s of the student’s nationality
IV. Host organisation is accepting individuals

You can view the current travel advice, which confirms that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are currently advising against international travel and as such the University is not allowing students to travel to any international destination on University business until 31st July 2020 (at the earliest). This includes work placements and applies to all students.

If you have secured a placement overseas, you will need to speak to your Employability Team and/or Placement Tutor to clarify further detail with them to establish whether you can proceed with your overseas work placement, this will be the case for all students intending to work outside of the UK, regardless of nationality or current location.

What if I planned to work in Europe, will I have access to Erasmus+ funding for students planning to study or work in the EU in 2020/21?

The University has submitted a bid for Erasmus+ funds to support student placements in the 2020/21 academic year. The outcome of the bid is expected in Summer 2020.

If you plan to work in the EU, terms and conditions of employment may vary depending on the country the work placement is in. For more information please check UK Government country-specific guidance.

You will be contacted by the Erasmus Work team if you’re eligible for Erasmus + grant advising you what to do next.

Further information on how the University of Leeds manages Erasmus+ funding.

Read updates and advice from the British Council on Erasmus+.

Please note the Erasmus + grant only applies if you start your placement overseas at the location of the placement. Working from home will unfortunately mean you are not eligible for the grant but this will change as soon as you move to take up your placement overseas.

I am on an apprenticeship programme, will the placement with my Employer be affected?

We are not expecting the year 3 placement to be affected, but please contact your school and employer for further information.