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Industrial Placements @csmcr

This pages summarises key points from the annual Who, Why, What, When, Where and How of Industrial Experience talk by Duncan Hull.

If you're concerned about the potential effects of Brexit on your placement, read the Brexit FAQ from the University of Manchester 🇬🇧🇪🇺.

What is IE?

  • Industrial Experience (IE) is an assessed and formal part of your degree that will appear on your degree certificate when you graduate e.g. "BSc Computer Science with Industrial Experience"

Why bother with IE?

  • Placements are a good way to experiment and find out what you like (and what you’re good at) before committing longer term to a graduate scheme. This is true even if you don't know what you want to do
  • Most students with IE do a better final year. A year in industry validates what you’ve already learnt and can motivate your final year of study
  • Students with IE tend to start their careers on a higher salary.
  • Many graduate jobs are taken by people who have experience before they graduate. If you wait until you graduate to get experience, you might find it harder to get the job you’re after.
  • It's fun, honestly! Ask any final year student who has come back after a placement.

When to do IE?

  • Year long placements typically start between June and September, for a period of 12 months (9 months minimum). Some get extended up to 15 months, and some students do a year long placement followed by a summer internship with a different employer. 
  • Start looking now: Larger multi-national employers tend to stop receiving applications around Christmas time, other employers keep recruiting up until August. If you haven’t found something you like by the end of August, you can easily transfer back on to the ordinary three year degree course.
  • Most employers mandate that a placement year is your penultimate year. So if you’re doing the MEng course, a year long placement needs to be after your third year of study. This is because most employers don’t want to have to wait two years for you to graduate if they want to recruit you. Don’t let that put you off looking now though, there tend to be fewer summer internships than year long (but it depends on the employer)
  • See  the UG off-timetable calendar at for upcoming employer activities (Facebook, Google etc)

Where can I do IE?

  • See where students go (mostly UK and Europe but also further afield e.g. USA) on  (map includes graduate destinations)
  • Computer Science is the ultimate backstage pass, it can get you into any sector, so keep you mind and your eyes open

Who can do IE? What is the salary (and fees)?

  • Whatever degree program you're on now, you'll need to officially be on IE, you can change degree using the change degree form and we can accept transfers onto IE (and off IE) by the end of August on your second year (Bachelors) at the latest
  • Non home/EU students are entitled to work full-time in the UK, provided the work is part of their study (which IE definitely is)
  • Get your CV debugged and checked, at least by your second year tutor. It's a good idea to show your CV to as many people as possible for feedback, don't rely on a single opinion. The more people you can get feedback from, the better.
  • You must get your placement approved by emailing Duncan and Mabel BEFORE signing any contract of employment.
  • Salaries typically range from ~£15k (minimum wage) to ~£50k, know what you are worth, see for example Igor Wodiany's salary survey from 2018. There are big regional variations because London is a much more expensive city to live in than any of the rest of the UK.
  • Fees are £1385 (for Erasmus), £1850 for other Home/EU students. International students pay half what they normally pay, see Loans: you will be entitled to your student loan for the year you are on placement
  • Financial support is availble and awarded based on the level of your household income

How can I find an IE placement or internship?

There are lots of places you can look:

  • We post job vacancies in the Wednesday Waggle every week
  • See the list of other sources at (login required)
  • PASS2 have CV sessions (and access to over 100 students who've returned from placement this year). Mondays at midday in collab
  • There's a bunch of guides outside my office that can help, Times 100, Guardian 300 etc. Help yourselves.
  • Speak to your software engineering mentors for COMP23311 in weeks 3 and 10.
  • ...etc keep an eye on the Monday Mail. Use your network, go to hackathons and events (e.g. & eventbrite etc)  - speak to people! The North West Tech Community has lots of events (often in the evening) that will be of interest to Computer Scientists.

Good luck with your applications! It can be stressful job hunting, especially on top of all your academic work, so if you're struggling, help is available from your personal tutor and the counselling service if you need it. If you have any queries or need help with any of the above, speak to Duncan in LF25, Mabel in LF26 or anyone on the Careers Service (1st floor of University Place).