Student Led Projects Through Work Placements
The University offers many internal student placements, both in schools and professional services including departments such as student services, widening participation, and the Centre for Learning and Teaching, and health and safety.

For more information, contact Samantha Welsh - Quality and Standards Officer (Engagement and Information)

What does the scheme entail?

Using the professional department of health and safety as an example, the undergraduate student undertook a project through a 12 month work placement in the professional services department of Occupational Safety and Health Services.

The department have had 5 placements to date which have all produced a student project that has been developed in and for the department.

The placements have concentrated on developing core employment skills for the first term, developed an area or of interest in the second term and realised a project in the third term.

What support do you get from the University?

The University:

- Provide staff time to support/mentor the student

- Offer training where there are spaces on internal courses

- Access staff time to support/mentor the student on placement to facilitate

- Developing a project that was interesting to the student and beneficial to the department.

- Address the steep learning curve where students learn basic employment skills such as learning to answer the phone, time management and business language.

What are the motivations behind the scheme?

- To engage students in departmental projects

- To help equip students for high level employment/research

Key benefits to the student

- To recruit from a wide group of schools and backgrounds

To receive internal training, where there are spaces on courses

Work experience: input into policy and processes

To develop employment skills and continue on to high level employment or research

Opportunity to shadow key job roles that might be of interest

Opportunity of undertaking a university project

Key benefits to the University

- Student led input into university systems

- The students provide a good insight into student engagement and act as ambassadors in their 3rd year

- The students enhanced the university’s ability to deliver on projects

Key benefits to the sector

Taking such a deliberate approach to coordinate various stakeholders and practices that can be broadly considered ‘Student Engagement’ is a model that many other universities could benefit from.

The innovative and strategic nature of this approach drew attention from a range of practitioners at the REACT conference on Twitter.

This practice has been published in the Journal of Education, Innovation, Partnership and Change.