Before your Sandwich Placement/Industrial

  • Increase employability, gaining many new skills and knowledge
  • Gain experience, which will help you in your final year of study (and look great on your CV)
  • Earn a salary for your year of work
  • Build your network of contacts within your chosen industry
  • Gain an advantage in a competitive graduate job market
  • An opportunity for you to discover whether you prefer to work for a smaller company, or a large, international organisation
  • Find out if you would prefer to commute and work in a city, or walk to work each morning to the offices of a local company
  • You may receive a job offer to remain with the company part-time in your final year or return after you Graduate
  • Potential to improve final year grades and receive a higher degree classification*
    *Research conducted by ASET showed that students on sandwich degrees were more likely to achieve a better grade in their degree than non-placement students.

    Sandwich placements are typically advertised from October for a start date the following summer. 

    It’s a good idea therefore to get your CV and covering letter template completed early in your second year so that you’re ready to apply when you see the right opportunities.

    • Update your CV 

    • Research organisations to target 
    • Speak to your tutors who have many links in the industry 
    • Prepare a portfolio of work (if relevant to your career sector) 
    • If you are an International Student, or wanting to go abroad for your sandwich year, ensure you have discussed this with the International and Immigration Team to ensure you consider all Visa and reporting requirements

    • Competition for placements is very high, therefore it’s likely you will have to make several applications before you are successful.
    • Ask for feedback, as this can help to refine your application for the next opportunity.
    • The placement team and your academic staff will support you to identify and find placements, but it’s ultimately your responsibility to apply and secure one.
    • You must register your placement in good time before you start, it may need to be approved by relevant academic staff.
    • Health and safety checks will need to be satisfactorily undertaken before you start.

    In order to prepare for your sandwich placement, it is important to plan ahead for changes to your income and outgoings.  

    Sandwich placement salary  

    Salaries vary according to role, industry sector, size of employer and location, but generally fall between £15,000 (per annum) and in some industries as much as £18,000+ (per annum).   

    Sandwich fees   

    As a placement year is part of your academic course, you will continue to be supported by the University and you will need to pay a tuition fee for the placement year.  However, the fee is much lower and will not exceed 20% of the standard annual University tuition fee.    

    Contact your student finance company   

    UK and EU students will be able to apply for a tuition fee loan from the Student Loans Company to cover the cost of sandwich placement tuition fees. UK students may also be eligible to apply for a maintenance loan whilst on placement. Please contact Student Money for advice and further detail on the amount of support available to you.   

    Note: - It is also important that you contact your student finance provider as will require support for an additional year (if applicable).  

    Council Tax  

    Another reason why it is important to enroll for your sandwich year as part of your degree is because in most cases you will be exempt from paying Council Tax. Please contact the Advice Zone for an exemption form. 

    For some this may be a straight forward task, but for others who may have to relocate, this may take some careful planning. In all cases it is best to start early to ensure you find the best possible accommodation during your busy sandwich year.   

    Staying at home  

    Looking for a placement near your home is often a good choice financially, but may narrow down your placement options.  

    Living with a friend or relative  

    Another option if you are open to moving away from home, is to stay with a friend or relative. This will widen your placement search and make more opportunities open to you.   

    Finding your own accommodation  

    For those that are open to relocating to an accommodation close to their employer premises, but don't have any family or friends there, it will be necessary to find your own rented accommodation. Try websites such as  www.spareroom.co.uk which will help you to find a suitable place to stay. Another option would be to speak to your placement employer. Your host organisation may have a long history of recruiting for sandwich placements and may be able to help you to find something or put you in touch with other students or staff you could share with.   

    The first step would be to tell the USW work placement team about your placement by submitting a placement details form. Your placement partner can then check your placement with your course team and provide you with the necessary information to help you prepare for your sandwich placement.  Your placement partner will then conduct the health and safety checks with your employer in advance of your placement commencing.

    • You may need to transfer onto the 4 year course. Speak to the Advice Zone for guidance
    • Ensure you have spoken to the Student Money Team in advance, so that you are clear on the Fees for the year, and Student Finance you will be eligible to receive