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Placement Year Scheme
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How is the Placement Year structured?
You will take 120 credits in the third year of your three year undergraduate degree programme, and spend a year (the minimum requirement is 24 weeks) working in an industrial or commercial or non-profit creative organisation setting, applying and enhancing the skills and techniques you have developed and studied in Stages 1 and 2 of your degree programme. The work you undertake is entirely under the direction of your Workplace Manager, but support is provided via a your Placement Team within your home school. This support includes ensuring that the work you are being expected to do is such that you can meet the learning outcomes of the Placement Year.
Where can I spend my Placement Year?
You are expected to find appropriate placement(s) but support will be provided while you are seeking and securing the placement from the Placement Team in your home School. You will have also have access to support from the University’s Careers and Employability Service. They provide advice and guidance on CV writing, preparing for interviews and interview skills to name just a few of the services they offer. For more information please visit, http://www.kent.ac.uk/ces/.
Your Placement Year can be taken in the UK or abroad with a wide range of employers in the private, public and third sectors (e.g. charities) in areas including the arts, education and cultural heritage. Placements could be related to your degree subject, however, we will consider employers that are not directly related to your course if you can identity objectives, and how the opportunity will benefit you and your learning. It is essential that the opportunity will be providing you with graduate level skills.
How much will the Placement Year cost?
The year entails a reduced fee from the university and it is eligible for the undergraduate loan scheme for tuition fees and this covers the administrative, management and academic fees associated with the programme. Advice and information about funding for students undertaking a placement year can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/finance-student/funding/sandwich.html.
Are there specific entry requirements?
Successful transfer will be contingent upon:
- The student finding appropriate placement(s) herself or himself.
- The internal application process, including completion of the relevant forms to gain approval.
- A student taking up a placement should be expected to have achieved an average mark in their modules of between 58-62% or above. The final decision rests with each School's Placement Team, and references from the applicants' Stage 2 turors may be sought in the selection process.
The Placement Year programme is also available for students studying the standard programme on a part-time basis; the placement component would, however, require them to re-register as full-time students for the period spent on a placement.
What do I have to do to pass the year?
The placement year is assessed on a pass/fail basis. If you pass then your transcript will have your qualification of study with the added annotation ‘including Placement Year.’
To pass you need to:
- Complete 24 weeks minimum FTE in the placement.
- Have a Performance Evaluation Form completed with your employer at relevant intervals during your placement, submitted to your Placement Team by the agreed methods..
- Complete a 500-word blog, submitted each calendar month to your Plamement Team and held on the Placement Management System (Target Connect).
- Write a reflection in the form of a Personal Development Reflective Report, submitted using Turnitin via the HU504 Moodle page.
This is a part of your academic programme and so you will remain registered with the University and have a contact point through the dedicated Placement Team in your academic School, who will monitor your progress and assess your blogs, evaluations and final report.
Further information on the assessment activities are set out in the handbook for this module, 'Preparing for a Placement Year with the Faculty of Humanities'.
How do I benefit by undertaking the Placement Year?
At the end of the Placement Year, you can use the experience gained on your placement when applying for graduate jobs. Previous placement students have found that the practical application of their studies, and the skills developed during their placement have enhanced their CVs, helped with their final year of study and provided an insight into their career potential. Students undertaking a period of placement sometimes even end up working for their placement provider on graduation.
Here are some further benefits from undertaking the Placement Year:
- Put the knowledge that you have gained at Kent into practice in the real world.
- Experience life in the workplace and gain transferable, organisational, behavioural and management skills that can only be learnt in employment.
- Potential to get paid during your studies. The remuneration can vary from expenses only, to up to £15,000 plus.
- Improve your employment prospects and CV.
- Inform your career choice.
- You may receive a graduate job offer from your placement company.
- Gain first-hand experience of the recruitment and interview process.
- Get a better degree - ASET, the professional body that promotes work-based learning, found that students on placement were more likely to achieve a First, or a 2.1, than those on regular three-year degrees.
- Use the knowledge gained on the Placement Year for your final-year studies.
- Have fun; meet new people and network with experts.
What support is available when I am on Placement Year?
A member of the Placement Team normally makes two visits to the student during the year - the first near the start of the placement to check that integration into the workplace is proceeding and that the work being required of the student is appropriate, the second at a later stage to assist both the student and the organisation with the requirements of the assessment process. However, if the placement year is undertaken abroad, virtual meetings between the student and a member of the Placement Team may take place instead.
Should you find yourself in a difficult position the Placement Team or a member of the Careers and Employability Service will be able talk with your employer, and remove you from the placement if necessary. If it all goes wrong and if you fail it will not affect the work on your original degree, so you can chalk it down to a bad experience but go straight back into the next academic year on your original programme.
Further information regarding support available for students undertaking the Placement Year is available in the Handbook for this module, 'Preparing for a Placement Year with the Faculty of Humanities'.
- "I would highly recommend the Placement Year, you get the experience needed to go along with the knowledge you gained from your degree, you also get the chance to make connections and future pathways for when you finish your degree. I have had to chance to work in a school for a year as a Drama teacher. I get to plan and run lessons, the opportunity to have feedback from other teachers, and be a part of a full-time school workplace - which all looks great on a PGCE application."
- "I chose to undertake the Placement Year because I was eager to challenge myself with new possibilities and gain a wider understanding and knowledge of professional working life in order to prepare myself for after I have graduated. I can honestly say that it was the best decision I have ever made as so many adventures and opportunities have emerged from what is already an incredible placement within a creative arts institution. I have gained a wide knowledge of all areas within the business and opened many doors for future employment. In addition, I was a successful applicant for a creative arts placement in Spain for two weeks which resulted in a job offer abroad as well as taking part in a variety of performance work and charity work. Overall it has been the most rewarding and beneficial year of my academic life so far and has undoubtedly increased my self-confidence and ambition."
If you want to gain some experience while studying to boost your CV but you’re not sure where to start visit the Kent Experiences of Work (KEW) for ways you can get involved in experiences of work while you are studying at Kent.