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Work experience

Increasingly, employers want to recruit graduates who have real-world work experience. That’s why all of our courses, across every subject area, offer you a work experience opportunity.

Work Experience at NTU


At NTU, work experience is different. Find out more about the types of opportunities we offer.

What is work experience?

Meaningful work experience is one of the main routes to success after you graduate, and we will support you to develop your experience. This can be gained through work experience, a placement embedded into your course, or through extra-curricular activities.

To stand out in today’s competitive jobs market you’ll need more than your degree alone. Most employers look for evidence of work experience. Work experience is the experience of employment, paid or unpaid but typically short term and related to your career aspirations.

Take advantage of the benefits of work experience by exploring the range of opportunities available whilst studying at NTU.

Top 10 University for Work Experience (RateMyPlacement Awards 2023) – this ranking demonstrates our commitment to providing exceptional opportunities for our students in their chosen fields.

Work experience that works for you

Explore the opportunities available at NTU.

Why should you do work experience?

  • To stand out from other students and graduates;
  • To decide on a career path;
  • Put theory into practice;
  • To network and build contacts;
  • To develop your professional attributes and commercial awareness;
  • To potentially earn money.

Work experience opportunities at NTU

There are several ways to gain work experience which vary from course to course.

Short placements (non-award bearing)

Many students undertake short work placements that are embedded as part of their course that normally range from 30 hours to six weeks.

Sandwich placements

If you go on a work placement as part of your degree, you’re twice as likely to secure a graduate job within six months of graduating.

Sandwich placements are assessed, usually paid and done as part of your course. You will need to complete 36 or more weeks to be awarded a Placement Diploma.

Short placements (placement certificate)

Assessed work, often paid and done as an optional extra as part of your course. These typically take place during the vacation period or as part of a split second year. If you complete a minimum of six weeks you’ll gain an extra qualification, a Placement Certificate.

Structured work experience, paid or unpaid, which is part of your course and may be required for you to gain certification from a professional body. The length of time varies and can be paid or unpaid.

Work-based projects

An assessed piece of work working to a live employer’s brief or at their premises. This could be a consultancy project and can be short or long term.

Work shadowing

This helps you to understand a specific job role and its responsibilities by observing an employee in their working environment.

Many extra-curricular activities are also work experience opportunities. Below are just a few of the opportunities NTU are able to support you with:

Part-time work

Work undertaken during term time or vacations, typically to earn money to support study. The Employability team’s JobShop service can help you find something that’s right for you.

Vacation work

Full or part-time work taken to enhance your CV or improve your job prospects.


This is high-quality, fixed-term vacation work or work taken after graduation.


Any type of work you undertake for no payment, usually for a not-for-profit organisation. Nottingham Trent Volunteering delivers a diverse range of high-quality volunteering opportunities for students.

NTU Employability Award

Can boost your prospects and gives you formal recognition for a wide range of extra-curricular experiences outside of your studies. You can gain bronze, silver or gold level awards covering a variety of skills including digital skills, sustainable practice and entrepreneurial skills.

Employability initiatives

Our Employability team run a series of initiatives throughout the year, from improving your digital skills at the Digital Marketing Academy to developing your sales and life skills at the Student Sales Academy. You can also take part in paid opportunities such as Grads4Nottm, where you’ll work on a two-week project with local businesses.

This may be a requirement of your course, or you may choose to challenge yourself independently. Working or studying overseas as part of your degree can provide an exciting and challenging opportunity to develop your language skills and experience a different culture. As well as improving your language skills, the confidence and experience you develop from your international experience will impress future employers.

We can provide all the support you need, to find the one that is right for you. Our study abroad pages can give you more information about international opportunities.

Under the our Erasmus+ programme, you can take part in work placements or language assistantships in a number of EU countries and other partner countries as part of your course and qualify for a maintenance grant. As well as improving your language skills, the confidence and experience you develop will impress future employers. We offer various international opportunities to work and study abroad, plus opportunities to apply for a travel scholarship to help with costs for international work experience further afield.

Work Experience at NTU - Harriet's story

Harriet undertook her dream work placement opportunity at ASOS. Hear about her experience in this video.

How can we support you?

We want our students to have the best experience possible. Our Employability team provide help and support to ensure you make the most of the opportunities on offer.

If you have any questions about finding work experience, you can chat with the team on our live chat.