School of Mathematics, Statistics & Actuarial Science

Placement Year/Year in Industry

Our undergraduate programmes* offer a one year placement between your second and final year.

This Placement Year is also known as the Year in Industry.

* Programmes that do not offer a Year in Industry option are

  • MMath
  • MMathStat
  • Mathematics with Secondary Education (QTS)

Why undertake a Placement Year?

  • You'll be doing a real job and gaining relevant work experience
  • Strengthen your CV: stand out from the crowd
  • Put skills and techniques from your studies into practice in an appropriate environment
  • A chance to try a career and to earn a salary
  • A chance of a graduate job offer at the end of your placement
  • An actuarial placement may count towards the work experience required for Actuarial Profession qualifications
  • You may get a better class of degree after doing a placement

Other Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I find a placement?

Applying for a placement is like applying for a job. You usually have to submit a CV or complete an application form. If you make it onto the short-list the employer will interview you.

The recruitment process might also involve aptitude tests, assessment centres, and other stages. (Find out more about these via the University's Careers and Employability Service.)

Companies usually start advertising placements from September (for the following year). In a few cases opportunities may be available as late as the following April.

Will they pay me a salary?

Yes. We do not recommend or encourage students to take unpaid 'internships'.

Recent students have usually earned salaries in the range of £14,000-£24,000. Your period of paid employment will span 2 different tax years so your tax liability could be low too.

What help is available to secure a placement?

The SMSAS placements team will support you throughout the process. We can, for example

  • help you find opportunities for placements,
  • advise and assist you with CVs and application forms, and
  • help you to practise interview techniques.

The School runs employability sessions throughout Stage 1 and Stage 2. Attending these will help you to optimise your prospects for securing a suitable placement.

The University's Careers and Employability service can also help.

Will my Year in Industry count towards my degree?

Yes. Currently it counts for 10% of your final degree award.

The marks are currently split as follows:

  • Supervisor Evaluation (50% of total module mark)
  • Placement Report (20% of total module mark)
  • Poster and Oral Presentation (20% of total module mark)
  • Continuous Professional Development (CPD) updates (5% of total module mark)
  • Online blogs (5% of total module mark)

Am I still liable for University fees during the placement?

Yes, but at a much lower rate than for a taught year (around 10% of the full fee).

More details of fees.

Are placements just for students with the highest grades?

No. The better your grades the easier it should be to find a placement but all students may apply for placements. Some companies set a quota of UCAS points to "filter" applications. 280-300 is quite common.

Is there a limit to the number of students that go on placement each year?

No. We have no upper limit and in theory all stage 2 students can apply for and accept placements.

How can I improve my chances of securing a placement?

These will give you a better chance of getting to interview stage:

  • Work experience: a part-time job or summer work for example,
  • Good A-level grades, and
  • A 2:1 or better in your Stage 1 exams.

Who can I work for?

Students work for a wide range of employers and in a huge variety of roles. Current and previous students have worked for companies such as:

  • Aviva
  • Friends Life
  • Grant Thornton
  • HMRC
  • KPMG
  • Landrover
  • Lloyds
  • Morgan Stanley
  • NFU Mutual
  • Office for National Statistics
  • Provident
  • Redmayne-Bentley
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Tata Steel

Can MMath or MMathStat students take part in the Year in Industry?

Unfortunately this option is not available. The Year in Industry is also not available to students on the Mathematics with Secondary Education (QTS) programme.

I'd like to find out more. Who do I contact?

Please get in touch with the School's Placements Officer Nikki Ellis.

Among the clients Greg Patten audited during his Year in Industry were Harley Davidson. In this photo he is posing on one of their motorcycles

"...there is no substitute for a whole year's work experience, meaning that even if you don't secure a job offer with the same firm afterwards, your employability will skyrocket."
- G
reg Patten

Greg, pictured above, spent his Year in Industry at a firm of auditors. He worked with a variety of clients during that time including a well-known motorcycle manufacturer.

School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (SMSAS), Sibson Building, Parkwood Road, Canterbury, CT2 7FS

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Last Updated: 22/04/2016