Year in Industry

Put your learning into practice and increase your employment prospects

Year in industry enterprise student Nick Simm

All Leeds University Business School undergraduate courses include the opportunity to apply for a work placement year, giving you the chance to put your learning into real world business practice, adding valuable work experience to your CV.

If you take a placement year, your degree will be extended to a four-year programme with the third year spent on placement. There are two different placement year opportunities:


Year in Industry

The Year in Industry allows you to take a paid work placement for a year within either a small, medium or large employer. This popular option will help you to develop practical workplace and life skills and gain valuable work experience, which may help you decide what kind of job and career path you might like when you graduate.

Taking a Year in Industry also gives you the chance to demonstrate to employers that you are independent, capable and confident of adapting to a work environment and it helps you to forge links with potential employers and possibly gain a job offer for when you graduate. According to the 2018 High Fliers report, work experience schemes have become an integral part of recruiting new graduates.

During the Year in Industry you will be supported by a placement tutor who will visit your work place and provide you with support throughout the year. You will also study a year long module; Training in the Work Place, enabling you to reflect on the skills gained on placement. 

Year in Industry students typically return for their final year of study with greater confidence and increased focus, with many achieving greatly improved academic marks as a result.

Please note:  Currently international (non-EU) students can apply for the Year in Industry in the UK however students will be required to extend their Tier 4 visa. Further details can be found here.  

Finding your placement

We believe that applying for a professional work placement is a valuable part of the Year in Industry experience, developing key skills which will help you to succeed when applying for and working in graduate jobs in the future. That’s why our students apply independently to employers and complete a module during their year out too. 

You decide if you want to undertake a Year in Industry. We help you by offering a structured second year module, From Study to Work, which develops your job hunting and seeking skills. The module includes sessions on: where to look for placement opportunities, writing CVs and applications and how to do well in psychometric testing, interviews and assessment centres. Many of the sessions are delivered by a number of top graduate employers including P&G, IBM, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and the Co-operative Group. Professional bodies such as ICAEW are also involved too. 

Potential employers

Below are just some of the organisations that our students have completed placements with in recent years.

Accenture Apple Airbus
Aston Martin Bank of England BMW
Deloitte Department for Work and Pensions Dyson
Ernst and Young Foreign and Commonwealth Office General Electric
Goldman Sachs Grant Thornton GSK
L’Oréal Johnson & Johnson Mace
Marks & Spencer Microsoft Morgan Stanley
Nestlé Network Rail NHS
Nissan Pfizer Porsche
PwC Rolls Royce Sainsburys
Sony HM Treasury Toyota
TUI Travel UBS Unilever
Volkswagen Walt Disney Company Warner Brothers
Year in Enterprise

If you are interested in starting your own business you could consider the Year in Enterprise. This opportunity allows students with a good business idea and workable business plan to develop their business for a year in between their penultimate and final year, with the support of the University of Leeds Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies. This support includes business advice, office space and a living costs allowance. It also includes the chance to meet with and learn from others who have set up and developed their own businesses too.  Visit the  Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies for more details.

Please note: The Year in Enterprise is not currently open to international (non-EU) students due to UK government visa restrictions.  However, international students can still build their enterprise and entrepreneurship skills whilst at Leeds University Business School.  For example, by completing related academic modules run by CEES, getting involved with the University business start-up team SPARK and attending their workshops which help you to learn how to set up and develop a business or by joining the student-led and run Enterprise Society.

You don't need to decide until the start of your second year whether you would like to apply for a work placement. However, to be eligible for a placement year you need to achieve a minimum average mark of 50 in the first year.

What will it cost?

Tuition fees are substantially reduced for work placement years. Visit the University of Leeds finance page for the latest information. 

If you have any specific questions about the Year in Industry please contact our Employability Officer, Dr Joanne Dickinson at

The highlight of my time at Leeds has been my industrial placement year. It was by far the best experience I have ever had, and I learned so much.

Katy Jacks, United Kingdom
BA Management with Marketing
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Katherine Jacks sitting outside Charles Thackrah building

The four years exceeded my expectations and certainly boosted my confidence and technical capabilities that will contribute to my long-term goal.

Damien Lee, Singapore
BSc Accounting and Finance
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Damien stands out on the Terrace wearing his graduation gown

I gained the knowledge and experience required for working in a corporate environment, and I've now secured a place on a graduate scheme, returning to Nestlé, as an Assistant Brand Manager.

James Quirk, United Kingdom
BA Management with Marketing
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James Quirk in Charles Thackrah foyer working on laptop.