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Work and research placements

Work and research placements can be invaluable experiences that shape participants' futures.

During work and research placements you can make new friends and useful contacts, gain skills to make your CV stand out, and possibly earn some money for your work.

Preparation for the working world

Many of our degrees, especially those in the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Sciences, Laws and Medical Sciences, include teaching from practising professionals.

These degrees also provide you with work placement and/or sandwich year opportunities, which allow you to experience life in the working world. As a result, you will gain valuable insights into your future career and vital work experience.

Some degrees will also lead to accreditation from a professional body, or lead to chartered status in the case of Engineering degrees.

The Student View


Chloe Thornton, Third Year, Population Health BSc, holding a laptop showing In2ScienceUK's annual report
"I had a summer placement at a charity called In2ScienceUK, that encourages young people from low income backgrounds into STEM careers. The placement came about through the UCL Q Step Programme. It focuses on equipping social science graduates with really good quantitative analysis skills and I’d done modules in quantitative analysis with the programme as part of my degree (Population Health BSc).


"The Q Step Centre prepared and supported me through the entire placement experience, from helping me with a job application and interview preparation, to maintaining contact while I was working at In2ScienceUK.  

"As well as analysing the charity’s data, I helped organise the charity’s annual celebration event at Google DeepMind's offices at King's Cross. It was incredibly fulfilling to speak to both the charity’s volunteers and students to see how my role contributed to their success. I also made a great group of friends. It was fantastic as we achieved so much together over the summer."

Chloe Thornton, Third Year, Population Health BSc

Year in Industry opportunities

The Year in Industry initiative organises relevant work placements for young people to spend a year out before or during their university degree. You will receive a salary, as well as gaining professional skills and an understanding of how your academic studies translate to the workplace.

Many of our departments encourage participation in the scheme and are happy to defer your admission for a year while you participate. 

Find out more about UCL's Year in Industry scheme 


Undergraduate summer research placements

Some UCL departments in the Faculties of Engineering Sciences, Life Sciences, and Mathematical & Physical Sciences offer you undergraduate summer research placements.

These provide a great opportunity for you to discover how research is undertaken in universities and to make a real contribution to a research field. You could also learn more about a topic which could lead to exciting opportunities in your undergraduate research project or a PhD degree.

During the placement you will join a research team working on a specific project in your department over the summer vacation. Bursaries are normally available.

The Student View


Will (Yunpeng) Nie, Third Year, Mathematics BSc, holding laptop showing murmuration of starlings
"My project focused on understanding and visualising complex systems, a relatively new area of mathematics. Making the final 20-minute presentation to students and professionals from the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences was an unforgettable experience! I talked the topic through from the perspective of art and mathematics.


"But the main goal of the summer project was to learn to do research like a researcher – undertaking research in maths is much more than simply doing maths. My supervisor taught me a lot: how to go about defining and distinguishing technical words, the layout and style of a research report, how to design an academic poster. He taught me lot of tricks for the presentation as well. I still remember in the first meeting, he mentioned the motto of the Royal Society: ‘nullius in verba’ which means ‘take nobody’s word for it’ - I will keep this saying as my own motto."

Will (Yunpeng) Nie, Third Year, Mathematics BSc, carried out research in the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences funded by the International Students Dean’s Summer Student Scholarship.

 

Further information