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Placements and work experience

Placements as part of your course

Many of the courses at Solent have a work placement as part of a module or as an additional ‘sandwich’ year. Placements are a great way to put the skills you are learning as part of your course into practice in a workplace.

Each course is different, so it is best to speak to your course leader to find out about placement options on your course.

The information on this page will support you with the placement process here at Solent and key information you need, to support your placement search, understand the placement process, and other key placement information.

What is a work placement?

As far as the University is concerned, a placement is a period of assessed learning in a workplace. It is included in a unit, and you must work in a field relevant to your course. This is because a placement aims to bridge the gap between academic study and vocational experience through practical and professional work experience. 

At Solent there are different types of placements and work-based learning, therefore, depending on the course, you will find different placement requirements. Speak to your course team to discover what placements your course offers and when you will need to think about them or select them as an option.

How do I find a placement?

It is your responsibility to secure a placement. Solent Futures are here to support and guide you in the process as are your placement tutors, but you should be actively searching for placements and applying with enough time to find a placement.

Please note that some courses including social work and Nursing have different placement processes and this advice may not be applicable. Please always speak to your placement tutor to confirm.

For more advice on finding a placement check out our placement support pages on SOL. These pages cover:

  • How to find a placement
  • Why do a placement
  • CVs for placements 
  • LinkedIn for placements 
  • Placement interview prep 
  • Placement resources

Some general websites to get you started are:

If you feel you may face additional challenges or potential discrimination when seeking a placement, the equality and employment section contains a range of resources you may find useful.

What is the placement process at Solent University?

  1. Your placement tutor will introduce the placement to you. Depending on how many students are signed up for a placement module and what course you are on, this will take various formats and could be via presentations, online resources, email or one-to-one sessions.
  2. You should be clear about who your placement tutor is and the placement requirements – as outlined in the module descriptor – prior to starting your placement search.
  3. Students at Solent source their own placements; however, Solent Futures and your academic team are here to support you. If you are not sure how to start your search, you should check out Solent Futures Online – log in using your Solent email address and password. For more support you can email us via
  4. Once you have found your placement you must add this to the placement app. This can be found via the portal. Placements that are not signed off prior to you starting them may not be counted towards your degree. It is important that your placement tutor has the chance to check your placement before you go.
  5. Once your placement tutor has signed off your placement, an email will go to your placement manager. They must also agree to your placement and confirm to Solent Futures before your placement starts. It is your responsibility to check that this has been completed prior to your start date.

I have been told I need to use a placement app. What is this?

The placement app can be found on the apps page.

The app was created to capture all the relevant information that the University requires for the placement/work-based learning to be approved by the University.

This short YouTube video shows you how to complete the app and talks you through the next steps. 

Please be aware that as part of this process, once your tutor has approved your placement, we will send your employer an email detailing their responsibilities as a placement provider and asking them to approve your placement. We recommend that you get in touch with your employer letting them know that they will get an email about your placement. 

As part of its duty of care for students, Solent University aims to ensure your safety. Please input the details of your placement using the link above. You can only go on placement once it has a status of 'Approved'.

I am receiving an error message when I try and submit my placement on the app

There are a few things it is good to check if you are having placement app issues:

  • Have you checked to see that you have completed all sections of the App? If you have not this, the system will not let you submit until you have completed all sections.  
  • Are you trying to upload a file which is too large to the system, as evidence of your placement? The system will not let you upload a document which is over 3MB or an image.  
  • Are you trying to upload an image? The system will only let you upload PDFs/.docx/.doc. If you have an image you would like to upload, please include this into a word document and upload. 
  • Can you try using a different browser/is your internet connection stable? The app is web based and needs the internet not to drop out while completing the form. If you are taking a while on one section it is advisable to save as draft before continuing.  

If you have tried all of these and the app is still not working, please email with a screenshot and a member of the team can have a look at this for you.

I am completing the placement app form, what is the risk profile?

As part of the placement app form, you will need to fill out a risk profile. It is important you consider this fully and provide enough detail to ensure that your placement tutor is happy to sign off your placement. If you do not provide enough details, your tutor may return your placement form to you via the app and ask you to review your placement details again. You can find out more about the risk profile by checking out the tab called the risk profile and your placement on this SOL page.  

I am going on placement abroad, what do I need to do?

You will need to make sure you have:

Is there funding for work placements abroad?

You could get funding if you work abroad between 4 weeks and 12 months.

  • During term time as part of your course.
  • During your holidays.
  • During your placement year.
  • For up to 12 months after you graduate.

To apply for Turing funding please complete the online application form  and the international office will make an appointment so we can discuss the placement.

Find out more

Am I insured on my placement?

All UK employers are required to proved employers' liability insurance. Requirements outside the UK may differ. If you are on an overseas placement you will need to speak to your employer to check if they cover you while on placement. If they do not provide employers' liability insurance please speak to your tutor to make them aware as soon as possible. 

The University’s travel insurance policy provides comprehensive travel and emergency medical assistance for students undertaking overseas placements of up to one year. You must notify the University's insurance office in advance if your placement is longer than six months in duration. For work placements in excess of one year, you will need to purchase your own independent cover.  

This is just a summary of insurance details. Please see your placement handbook and the insurance pages on the Portal for more detailed information.

Health and safety

As part of its duty of care to students, the University aims to ensure your health and safety during placement. Employers are required to sign an agreement confirming their responsibilities to you while you are on placement - this includes ensuring your health and safety.

You should expect to receive health and safety information from your placement provider as part of your induction training. However if you ever have any concerns about your health, safety or wellbeing while on a placement, you should contact your tutor immediately.

It is important you fully understand the duties you will be completing and the environment you will be working in. The risk profile section of the placement app will help you to identify any potential health and safety issues you may need to consider when undertaking your work placement. 

Placements abroad
If you have found a placement outside the UK, there will be additional factors to consider. Please discuss details with your tutor or with a member of the Solent Futures team.

What happens with my student funding on my year long placement?

If your course placement is a yearlong placement, please note this may change the funding you get and the fees you pay please see this funding document for more information. 

I am on placement, and I need support from Solent. What do I do?

We hope you enjoy your time on placement and would like you to know that the University is still here to support you.

If you have any concerns, please contact your placement tutor as soon as possible. They will be able to provide some support and can direct you to other departments who can also support you further.

You can also contact if you are unable to get hold of your tutor and we can provide advice and put you in touch with the correct team to help you best.

University services such as the Student Hub and the health and wellbeing teams are still available to you, and you can see all the support on offer to you from student services here.

Support available includes:

Student Hub

Wellbeing and counselling

Solent Futures

Find out here what to do if you need help urgently.

I am on a student visa - can I do a work placement?

If the work placement/internship is an integral and assessed part of your course, meaning it is a requirement of your course to complete it:

  • you will be able to engage in a full-time work during that placement. Please note, you must log your placement on the placement app and await approval from your placement tutor and your placement employer before starting the placement.
  • Once your placement is approved by your academic an email will be sent to your employer confirming that that placement forms an assessed part of your course.

As your Student visa sponsor, Solent University is required to notify the Home Office if you will be carrying out a work placement. Therefore, it is essential you log your placement on the University's placement app prior to starting the placement. Failure to do so could result in your breaking the work conditions attached to your visa.

As a Student visa sponsor, the University is required to monitor the attendance of students on a Student visa while undertaking a placement and will receive regular attendance reports from your placement provider. Unexplained absences could result in the University withdrawing your Student visa sponsorship and reporting this to the Home Office, who will cancel your visa. Therefore, if you are unable to attend your placement for any reason, it is essential you let your employer know as soon as possible, and by 1pm at the very latest, on the day of absence.

Students on a Student visa are not permitted to be self-employed or engaged in business activity which includes setting up a business, being employed for a company in which they hold shares of 10 per cent or more, or holding a statutory role, such as a director.

If a placement/internship is not an integral and assessed part of your course, you can still complete it within your permitted working hours:

  • Work part-time during term time.
  • Work full time outside of term time and after your course ended within the last two or four months of your visa.

Please check the working in the UK pages for the most recent information.

If you have any questions, please contact

I am on a student visa can I still do a part time job while I undertake my placement?

Students working on their placement as part of their course, that leads to successful completion of their degree, are considered to be in term time. Therefore, the standard working restrictions apply to any work that in not linked to the placement. The working restrictions are set out by the government and are stated on individuals' BRP cards or visa letters.  

Should I do a paid or unpaid placement? 

It is up to you. Companies are legally allowed to offer unpaid placements. We recommend students consider their placements carefully and ensure that they can afford any placement they sign up to.

Remember, the longer your placement, the harder it may be to not be paid especially if you are working full time.  

There is an unpaid placement support grant, this is considered on a case-by-case basis and will not be able to cover the amount usually paid as a salary. Find out more

Work shadowing opportunities

Work shadowing can be a good opportunity to explore career areas and expand your network. If you are doing work shadowing as part of your course you should keep the following in mind. 

Work shadowing is described as informal activities where a student will spend time on company premises (including shadowing of practitioners in the field) but will have no contract or expectation of making a working contribution; it is an observation opportunity.

Work shadowing must have a proportionate continuation of good practice if the student is undertaking this as part of their course. Rather than using the full placement app process, any work placement that falls into the work shadowing placement definition above can be managed by the below agreements:

Students must:

  1. Confirm the company they are work shadowing with, in advance of the shadowing starting.
  2. Provide evidence to their tutor that the company has public liability insurance – students can use the templated email to ask their provider for this information.
  3. Read/complete the risk profile for work shadowing make any amendments for personal circumstances and confirm to their tutor.
  4. Provide their work shadowing provider with a copy of the Solent work shadowing agreement.

Academics must:

  1. Know when their student is undertaking the work shadowing.
  2. Agree that it is a suitable work shadowing opportunity.
  3. Ensure the student has read/completed the risk profile and adjusted for their own personal situation.
  4. Ensure the company that the student is shadowing has public liability insurance. Students have a template to request from their work shadowing company. We have also provided a template that can be used by tutors to follow up.

Work shadowing providers taking on students must:

  1. Have public liability insurance.
  2. Provide suitable supervision for Solent students undertaking work shadowing.
  3. Provide any health and safety information to Solent students including any health and safety equipment they may need.
  4. Not allow students to undertake any actions outside of the work shadowing definition during the working day.


Solent Futures has created template letters that you and/or your tutor can use when contacting employers regarding work experience. 

We have also provided a risk assessment template.

Download templates here. 

Please contact if you need further information.

How can I get in touch?

Get in touch with Solent Futures about placements:

Email us on 

Visit the advice desk, open Monday to Friday 12.30-3.30pm in JM108, just off the Spark's main atrium.