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.

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 or 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.

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.
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Explore the opportunities available

Work experience at NTU

There are various ways to gain work experience. These will vary from course to course.

  • Placements

    Short placements (non-award bearing) - many students undertake short 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 placement as part of your degree, you’re twice as likely to secure a graduate job within six months of graduating. NTU is eighth in the UK for the number of students taking year-long work placements (latest HESA data 2015/16).

    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.

  • Professional practice placement

    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-related learning

    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. (usually not assessed).

  • Extra-curricular activities

    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.

    Internships – this is high-quality, fixed-term vacation work or work taken after graduation.

    Volunteering – 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.

    Acceler8 Employability Award - can boost your prospects and gives you formal recognition for a wide range of extra-curricular experiences outside of your studies. Find out more about the Acceler8 Employability Award from our Employability Team.

  • Work experience abroad

    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.

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Work Experience at NTU – Harriet’s story

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.

Visit our Employability pages to find out more.

Work experience

Published on 12 October 2017

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418