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Role and value of placements

1.3         Role and value of placements

The Way Forward: Education and Students sets out the University’s aim to “ensure all Schools provide opportunities for work or placement based experience and embed skill development within and across the curriculum so that students at all levels appreciate the skills needed for employability” [3].  Colleges and Schools are encouraged to reflect on their provision and increase the range and extent of placement learning offered in their portfolio of programmes where possible.

The University’s commitment to expand provision is based on the understanding that the provision of placement learning within programmes of study can bring significant benefits to students, placement providers, academic Schools and future employers:

“I have come away from my placement more focused on my final year as I am in the habit of working 40 hours/week, am better at balancing projects and feel much more comfortable with my computer skills. It is unequivocally the best decision I have made so far in my university career.”

Placement Student, School of Mathematics/Admiral Group PLC


“Spending my Erasmus year in the small Bavarian city of Passau was by far one of the best experiences of my life. Experiencing first-hand student life, academically and socially, in a different country can be an enlightening experience. Meeting other Erasmus students from all over the world and sharing this experience with them just adds value and depth to what could possibly be a year you will never forget.”

Placement Student, School of European Languages, Translation and Politics

For students, placement learning brings the opportunity to:

There is also research that demonstrates that students who have undertaken a significant period of placement learning demonstrate improved academic performance when they return to university, as manifested in the achievement of a higher degree classification.[4]

Placement students were more likely to be employed six months after graduating and to have higher salaries than the average.

Attainment in Higher Education: Erasmus and Placement Students

For Colleges and Schools, embedding placement learning into programmes provides:

Very little of his work at Redrow has been theoretical – he has genuinely contributed to the success of the business over the last year.

Employer Report on placement year student
School of City and Regional Planning

For placement providers, there are good reasons for offering placements to Cardiff students:

[3] The Way Forward: Education and Students.

[4] Attainment in Higher Education: Erasmus and Placement Students. HEFCE. 2009. ; Mandilaras, A. “Industrial Placement and Degree Performance: Evidence from a British Higher Education Institution”. International Review of Economics Education. 3, 1, 2004.

[5] Industrial Placements Guide. The Higher Education Academy (Engineering Subject Centre). 2005.