Skip to main content
School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences

Year in Industry

We offer a year in industry for the following programmes: Biochemisty, Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience, Psychology, Pharmcology & Innovative Therapies.

This unique opportunity will allow you to spend the third year of your programme on an annual work placement with an employer in a graduate level role relevant to your field of study.

Your degree programme will last four years and after the placement you will come back to university for your final year of study.

Since 2019, SBBS students have gone onto placements with pharmaceutical companies, psychological services in NHS Trusts, mental health charities/social enterprises, social inclusion non-for-profit organisations and schools.  

The annual work placement is implemented in the SBC5001/BMD5555 modules, which include an extended placement in a professional workplace on the "Year in Industry/ with Professional Experience" programmes in the field of Biochemistry, Psychology, Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience and Pharm IT offered by SBBS.

It is a 120-credit bearing module that aims to: 

  • Provide a route to develop genuine and practical skills in a professional context.
  • Enable you to gain a better understanding of your own abilities, aptitudes, attitudes, and employment potential.
  • Help you to apply your subject knowledge in real life settings and adopt a more sophisticated level of understanding to your future studies.


The following requirements should be met for a successful completion of a Year in Industry/ with Professional Experience:

  • The placement should be at least 1,200 hours (900 for Psychology) or 10-12 months; including holidays, and must take place between the end of your second and the start of third year study. It can also be taken abroad.
  • The role should be at graduate level (e.g., shadowing only is not sufficient).
  • You must have a weighted average of 60% across year 1 and 2 and no failed modules.
  • You must successfully complete and academic assignment (largely based on self-reflection) in the end of your placement year (Pass/Fail). 

Most placements you will pursue will be related to your course, but this doesn’t mean you have to limit your search! Fields you could consider are:

  • Mental Health
  • Social Care
  • Youth Work & Restorative Justice
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • Biotechnology
  • Medical Writing
  • Education
  • Marketing & Social Media
  • Human Resources
  • Data Analytics

The decision to offer a placement to a student is made by the employer not the university and the responsibility for securing a placement ultimately lies with you.

To be successful requires time, effort and commitment on your part. Employers expect placement students to apply for jobs in the same way as any other employee so you will need to put aside time to research placement providers, write applications, and prepare for and attend interviews and assessment centres.

However, you are not left to do this by yourself and help and support with all aspects of the placement process will be provided for you by your local Placement Manager and Careers and Enterprise SBBS Consultant who will:

  • Run a series of placement preparation workshops.
  • Offer one-to-one advice sessions on your applications and placement search.
  • Advertise placement vacancies.
  • Organise events with employers.

A year spent on a placement has a number of benefits for participating students, and many return to university with a new sense of purpose, focus and motivation. Benefits include:

  • Improved chances of securing a graduate-level job.
  • Integrate academic theory and practice.
  • Gain and demonstrate transferable skills and competencies.
  • Experience the job application process.
  • Increased confidence, motivation and professionalism.
  • Development of professional network.
  • Insights into the culture of an employing organisation.
  • A clearer understanding of what career you want to do, or don’t want to do.

If you would like to learn more about this placement option, take a look at a few of our student testimonials.

Am I guaranteed a placement?
No, but support in finding one will be provided.

What support is provided?
All programmes in SBBS offer modules (e.g., Essential Skills for Psychology/Biochemistry) in the first year that will give you the foundations of good CV and Cover Letter writing and all the different application stages usually involved in a job application. In the second year, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with a wide-ranging set of activities designed to help you develop a set of desirable transferable skills and enhance your job-hunting strategies. The more you engage with these activities, the more chances you’ll have to find a placement. At all times, you can seek support by your advisor, Placement Manager and Careers and Enterprise team. 

How long can the placement be?
Min. 1,200 (900 for Psychology) working hours, max 13 months.

Will I get paid?

Many placements are paid and we encourage students to pursue those paid roles. However, placements in non-for-profit organisations (including clinical psychology placements) are unpaid, yet they offer an excellent training programme. Always consider the financial implications of your choices.

What if I don’t find a placement?
You can revert back to the three-year version of your course at any time (it won’t impact your studies).

I’m enrolled in a three-year course. Can I add the year in industry later on during my studies?
Yes, you can. However, we encourage you to contact your advisor and Placement Manager by the start of your second year so that you don’t risk missing out on communications, activities and events tailored to the placement year.

Do I have to pay tuition fees? Why?
Yes, but at a significantly reduced rate. During your placement you will still be effectively a QMUL student, meaning that you will have access to all university’s services (such as Advice and Counselling, DDS, Library). Furthermore, the university will support you in case of issues arising in your job or with your line manager: your Placement Manager will always be ready to help if needed. Finally, you will receive guidance pre-, during and post-placement with regards to your applications, career plans and prospects.

Can I only apply for placement schemes?
No! Placements can be called in different ways – “internship”, “sandwich year”, “industrial placement” opportunities are all fine as long they meet the minimum requirement of 900-1,200 working hours and is a graduate level role (e.g., shadowing only is not sufficient). You can also take a normal job with a fixed-term contract.


Are you an employer?

Get in touch with Dr Evi Argyriou ( to discuss how to promote your placement opportunities with the School Biological and Behavioural Science. We can help you advertise your vacancies and recruit the best profiles for your requirements.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the Year in Industry/ with Professional Experience programme at the School of Biological and Behavioural Sciences, please contact Dr Evi Argyriou (, Director of Graduate Opportunities and Employment, and Naomi Hewston (, Careers Consultant. They assist students in finding placements, engage with employers and provide support to those who are out in industry.

Back to top