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Photograph of Westminster across the river against a blue sky

Peter Stockdale initially applied for a three-year programme in Politics and Economics, but switched to a four-year programme in the second year once he had a placement offer.

Here Peter shares some of his experiences on the Government Economic Service Placement Scheme.

Where did you do your placement and what were you responsible for?

"I worked as a student economist at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) as part of the Government Economic Service Placement Scheme.

"My main responsibilities were to answer parliamentary questions tabled to the Department by MPs regarding the NHS workforce. I was also involved in briefing ministers for topical health debates and the Prime Minister's weekly pack for Prime Minister's Questions.

"Additionally I got the chance to be involved in a number of projects, such as the Department's contribution to the Migration Advisory Committee regarding the new points-based immigration system, the doctors' and dentists' pay reviews, and providing figures for the daily COVID-19 briefings in March."

How was the overall placement experience?

"It was a major learning experience for me as it was my first paid work experience. I developed both soft and technical skills such as communication, time keeping, excel, and R coding skills."

Did your placement complement your course?

"The placement and my course definitely helped each other. I'm a Politics and Economics student, so seeing how parliament works day to day, how ministers prepare for debates, and how MPs ask the government questions really developed my understanding."

What kind of placement support did you receive from the University and the Department of Politics and International Relations?

"The University did a session with some returning placement students when I was in second year. That session was helpful and I took away lots of tips on how to apply and what to expect.

"The Department was very supportive whilst I was on placement. As well as receiving regular emails asking how I was getting on, I received a visit from Dr David Marshall, the Placement module convenor, about halfway through my placement.

"This regular contact meant I felt I could report any issues I had if I ever needed to."

Have you been offered a graduate role by your placement provider?

"At the end of my placement I was offered the chance to sit the Economics Assessment Centre (EAC). It was the same EAC that economics fast streamers and main streamers have to pass.

"Having passed the EAC, I was offered a role as a government economist, subject to certain conditions.

"I'm currently applying to the fast stream graduate scheme, as it's a set out graduate route rather than a single job offer, however should I not progress through the stages of the fast stream application I plan to accept the placement role."

Find out more about BA Politics and Economics With a Placement Year

Learn more about undergraduate study


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