Work placements

Gain time, talent, and skills

Is your business buzzing with ideas but needing an injection of time, talent and skills?

Gain fresh thinking and new expertise by offering a work placement to our students. They can help you plan and deliver a specific project and provide specialist skills and knowledge. Essex students are taught to explore, question, challenge and think differently. They can bring fresh ideas to your business, whether for a year's placement or a short-term project.

How it works

What is a placement?

A placement is a period of supervised, professional work experience, assessed as part of a student's course.

Students undertake placements that allow them to apply what they have learnt at university practically in the workplace. A successful placement will:

  1. provide a learning and development opportunity for our students, with tasks that are of a junior professional level
  2. enable our students to assume an appropriate level of responsibility
  3. integrate the student effectively into your project or team


Undergraduate placements can last from a few weeks to a year (for those students taking four year degrees which include a placement year). The timings vary, but those of less than twelve months typically take place during our Christmas, Easter and summer vacations.

Benefits for your business

  • Cost-effective additional resource.
  • High quality resource - students with specific knowledge and skills relevant to your business.
  • Get an injection of new expertise, to assist on a specific project or provide specialist skills and knowledge.
  • Improve your future recruitment by raising your profile among the next generation of graduates.

Employer success stories


Devonshires provide legal services throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They are specialists in Commercial/Corporate, Civil Litigation, Housing, Employment, Real Estate and Projects and Property Development.

“We started recruiting placement year students because we recognise how difficult it is for some students to obtain work experience when they are at or have finished university. We hope that the time the student spends at Devonshires will be a stepping-stone into a successful career in law. The first placement student we took on is now working with us on a full-time permanent contract since finishing her law degree.

We have found the placement students learn quickly; they tend to be keen and willing to learn which are essential attributes. It’s an invaluable opportunity for them to obtain in depth and valuable work experience in a leading city law firm, whilst having the comfort of working in a local office. They can put the skills used during their course at university into practise.

The Placements team are great. They've taken the time to get to know the firm and can therefore send across students that are the right match both for us as a firm and for the student.”

Katy Perry, HR Manager

Greater Anglia

Abellio East Anglia Ltd, trading as Greater Anglia is part of the wider Abellio Group. With a dedicated team of over 2,500, they provide 1,900 train services a week for commuters, airport users, leisure and business travellers between London Liverpool Street to the East of England.

They have hosted placement year students from the University of Essex since 2017.

“We are delighted to support the University of Essex industrial placement scheme. Over the years we have welcomed many students to work in different areas of Greater Anglia and have been impressed by their enthusiasm, hard work and eagerness to learn and progress.

We hope that the experience they have gained with us helps them as they start out on their careers.”

Viktorija Novikova, Talent and Development Projects Coordinator

Basildon Council

A new waste and recycling app was launched by Basildon Council thanks to a collaboration with a University of Essex computer science student.

It was created by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE) graduate Bradley Rex during his final year Capstone Project at Essex. The Our Streets Basildon app is available on android and IOS devices and allows residents to engage with all the ways they can dispose of waste and recycling across their borough. Users can also request services, get notifications for collection day changes and report dumped rubbish.

“This is a great collaboration between bright young minds and our council and is a perfect example of the many ways education and innovation can help Basildon grow.”

David Harrison, Councillor and Chairman of the Neighbourhoods and Public Spaces Committee


Interested in other options? Offer a student or graduate an internship.

Get in touch
Placements and Work-Based Learning Team