A placement is a fantastic opportunity to gain work experience, develop industry-specific knowledge and skills, and network with potential future employers.
Getting the balance right between theory and practice is a vital part of maximising your future career prospects. We've developed links with industry contacts in the sectors that are relevant to you, and we offer the chance for work experience opportunities during term time and in the vacation periods.
A year in industry
If you're doing a four-year degree, you'll have the opportunity to spend 12 months on a placement year and work with one of our industry partners.
We have strong links with industry employers and an employer database with a diverse mix of companies that offer relevant placements for students. Many are often looking for Reading undergraduates.
Recent students have undertaken their year with Danisco Animal Nutrition (part of DuPont), The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, and Chester and Paignton Zoos.
You will be supported by our advisory services and a dedicated member of staff, who will assist in finding and supporting your year out.
“Working at DuPont has changed the way I work and think while giving me valuable experience. On my first day I was apprehensive about working with senior researchers, but they have treated me as a colleague rather than a student. I help to manage ongoing nutrition-related trials and design new ones. I also produce literature and refined data to support new products and technological applications. My work involves communicating with laboratories and research facilities around the world so my communication skills have really improved. I also wasn't great at statistical modelling before working here, but my understanding and skills grew rapidly in just a few weeks. Undertaking research into areas of business interest and summarising my findings has helped me to develop excellent analytical skills, which I'm sure I'll use in the future. I am really glad I chose to do a placement year as part of my degree.”
On a four-year degree, you also have the opportunity to apply for a six-month placement with the other six months spent studying abroad.
You will have the chance to undertake three months of paid work experience during the summer vacation to gain further insight into the career path you want to pursue, or take up the option to gain a shorter period of work experience through our mini-placement module.
You can also apply for a six-week summer placement linked to research undertaken at the University.
“Taking part in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) scheme during the summer of my second year gave me an insight into what scientific research looks like outside the lab, using just a computer and Excel. This side of research takes up a huge proportion of scientists' work, which was not clear until working in the industry. UROP developed my teamwork skills, pushed me to be more inquisitive in unfamiliar situations and ended up being great practice for my dissertation. I would highly recommend applying.”
Come to an Open Day
Get a real feel for University life and explore our award-winning campus.