Placement year

EAS Placements - Siu Chang - Tube Lines

What is a paid placement year?

A placement is where the student spends up to one year of a four year degree programme away from the university. This could be working within their chosen field, studying abroad or a mixture of both.  During their placement, students have the opportunity to put into practice the theory learnt through their first two years of study at Aston University and see how this applies to real workplace situations.

A placement year gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learnt on their course whilst gaining valuable professional and paid experience. A placement year enhances students’ graduate employment prospects and can help them make more informed career decisions. Around one in five of our placement students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.


Why do a placement?

A placement in the UK is a fantastic opportunity for students to gain real UK work experience as part of their programme. You will have a much fuller experience of living in the UK and benefit from working with British people as well as people from all over the world.

Having valuable and relevant international work experience will be an enormous advantage when you return home to seek employment.

Read about the experiences of one of our placement students Marcus Begley currently out in Germany, working for the British council - click here to read his blog


Placement Students

Do international students earn a salary?

The average salary for placements in the UK is £15,000. Overseas salaries vary depending on the country. Some organisations pay very high salaries whilst some public sector placements such as local councils and health authorities pay lower salaries. Students may choose to work in the voluntary or charity sector on an unpaid basis. During the placement year the tuition fee is greatly reduced. Tuition fees for the placement year 2014/15 are £2,500.



Aston International students have worked with a large variety of companies for their placement year, below are some examples of where students have worked recently:


Air France



British Gas


Chew Chartered Accountants


Dolby Laboratories

Ernst & Young

Esso UK Limited
GE Medical Systems

Glaxo Smith Kline

HBC Engineering


Lloyds TSB


Pirelli Cables

Renault F1 Team





Tatiana Proshinka

Additional help and support

Aston University Careers and Employability Centre provides a wide range of guidance and resources and to support students organises a placement fair on campus so students can network with employers and find out more about placement opportunities.  Visit the Careers Centre website at for further details.


The application process for a placement is similar to applying for a graduate job, which is excellent experience in itself! Students will be supported throughout the application process, with CV workshops, sample application materials and one-on-one advice sessions. The Careers and Employability Centre and School Placement Offices also offer additional support in the form of presentations and workshops.