This article will introduce you to the support available at the University to help you find a work experience or a placement opportunity.

Work experience or placement opportunities

Competition for graduate jobs can be fierce and work experience could be the deciding factor to securing a job when finishing university. Undertaking work experience or a placement year is invaluable in developing expertise and the all-important transferable skills, which will help you demonstrate your motivation and commitment to your area of work.

Many courses at the University enable students to undertake a work placement or self-employment placement. These usually last a year and can be a compulsory part of your degree. These provide excellent opportunities to gain high-level experience, an insight into a particular job role and make useful contacts. The experience looks good on your CV and a large number of students get graduate jobs with their placement employer.

There are many different types of work experience or placement opportunities out there and it is important to find out which is right for you, whether it’s paid or unpaid, formal or informal, or dependant on how much time you have to dedicate. Below is a brief introduction to the types of work experience you could get involved in:

Faculty Placements Offices

Your first point of contact for year-long placements is the placement office in your faculty. Visit their websites to find out how they can support you:

Internships, Summer Placements and Vacation work – internships and vacation schemes offer between one to four months paid work. Closing dates are generally around January/March but can be earlier.

Opportunities are advertised on MyCareer and may also be advertised by faculty placement teams.

If you are looking for work experience opportunities in a particular career area you can start by looking at the Careers and Employability Service Careers Guides which include a section on 'getting experience'.

Part-time work – Working part-time alongside your study can help you make some extra money and develop a broad range of employability skills. Visit MyCareer for the latest vacancies.

Voluntary work – Volunteering is a good way to develop skills to build your CV and do something really worthwhile with your time. The Careers and Employability Service promote up to 200 different volunteering opportunities with charities and not-for-profit organisations in the local area. These roles usually require a regular commitment (the average is four hours per week for a period of three months), to allow you to gain substantial amount of work experience to add to your CV, develop your skills and assist your career planning. Certain roles are suitable for short-term course placements, please contact the Volunteering Team for further details.

Where can I get further information and advice?

If you need any further help or guidance, the Careers and Employability Service has a dedicated team of friendly, experienced advisers on hand to talk to you. You can drop-in to the Careers and Employability Centre at any time during our opening hours or call us on +44 (0) 23 9284 2684. You can also access a wide range of information and advice on the Careers and Employability website.

How to Contact us

Visit us at:

Careers and Employability Service

University of Portsmouth

28 Guildhall Walk



Opening hours:

Monday–Thursday: 8.30am–5pm

Friday: 8.30am–4pm


Telephone or Email:

t: +44 (0)23 9284 2684



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