IOP Institute of Physics

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Year in industry

How about getting some substantial, paid work experience under your belt before you've even graduated? If that sounds appealing, a year in industry could be the option for you.

Students typically join the payroll of a external company for around 30 weeks. This allows them to earn some money whilst at the same time gaining invaluable, real-world work experience for an extended period of time. Due to the lengthy time commitment involved, students take a year's break from studying for their degree. In some cases students are backed by a mentor from their university and a supervisor nominated from within the company.

A year in industry often works in two ways:

Apply from the start

Often you apply to so-called “sandwich” courses through UCAS before you start university, knowing that you'll be spending your third year away from campus. You then return to university to complete your final year.

Apply once you've started

The placement works in the same way, but some universities want you to prove yourself before you put your studies on hold. At some institutions you'll have to have excelled in your 1st and 2nd year in order to apply for an industry placement (or study abroad) scheme.

As every university is different, you should check with the one you are at (or intend to be at)

You can also read the UCAS advice on choosing a course.

last edited: November 17, 2014