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.

  • Volunteering with the Careers and Employability Service - our roles usually require a regular commitment (the average is four hours per week for a period of three months) To make sure there is something for everyone the Careers and Employability Service have a wide range of roles on offer.

    • You can access these opportunities by either popping in to the Careers and Employability Centre or logging into MyCareer to access the Volunteering Bank.

    • To assist you with your search all the opportunities are broken down into 12 sectors:

      • Adult Social Care

      • Business Support

      • Charity Development and Public Speaking

      • Children and Young People

      • Creative Arts

      • Criminology

      • Customer Service

      • Historical

      • Marketing

      • Science

      • Sport

      • Technological

  • The Students’ Union - At UPSU you can volunteer for one off events, get involved in clubs, take part in reading projects, or work on helping your fellow students. All the current positions available, with more information can be accessed via the 'volunteering' page on the UPSU website.

  • Societies - is a good way to build skills and demonstrate your motivation and interest in this area of work. For example the Maths Cafe or Mooting Society.

  • UP For Sport - The University of Portsmouth's UP For Sport scheme creates pathways for University students to use their sporting skills within the community. Students are recruited and provided with sports coaching qualifications, which are used to help develop sport in the local community.


Where can I get further information and advice?

If you need any further help or guidance the Careers and Employability Service have 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.




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