School of Economics

Professional Training year

Our Professional Training placement programme give students access to the world of work as part of their degree.

Students' frequently asked questions

What will I get out of a Professional Training placement?

You will gain confidence in handling new situations and experience in working with people in a professional business environment. It's a unique opportunity to mature and develop your professional identity. It improves your self-awareness and leaves you better prepared for the future challenge of selecting and pursuing your chosen career path.

How long are Economics Professional Training placements?

Placements must be at least 46 working weeks, starting any time between July and September following the conclusion of your second year of academic study, and finishing the following summer.

Who organises the Professional Training placement?

We provide support and guidance on the process of finding and securing a placement during your second year from the list of hundreds of organisations that work with us. You can apply for any placements that interest you – the School does not assign students to organisations.

You can also arrange your own placement with an employer not featured on our list, but only with prior approval from the School.

What type of Professional Training placement can I do in Economics?

We do not place limits on the size or nature of the organisation you choose to work for, as long as the role itself provides the opportunity to gain experience relevant to your career aims. Nor do we limit the employers you can work for based on your chosen degree programme. This is your opportunity to try things out to see what specific job roles and sectors are really like.

Do I get paid?

We strongly support the principle of paid placements, and would only approve an unpaid placement in very specific circumstances.

Can I do a Professional Training placement abroad?

Yes. A year abroad is an excellent way to aid your personal development and gain new experiences. Previous students have worked in the Brussels, Spain and Budapest.

You can go anywhere, provided the role is suitable, the destination is deemed safe, and a tutor is able to visit you.

Is it a compulsory part of Economics courses? How do I apply for one?

No, the Professional Training placement scheme is optional for all Economics programmes.

If you wish to take a placement year as part of your course you should apply to be enrolled on a four-year programme.

You make the final decision on which route to take toward the end of your second year.

Does the Professional Training placement contribute to the degree?

No.  The placement year does not contribute to your overall degree mark. However while the year is ungraded you do need to pass all required elements to a satisfactory level to complete your year.

Please note that the details of your placement year (the University and or company which you attended) do appear on your transcript.

How will the School support me whilst I'm on Professional Training placement?

You will be assigned an academic tutor for the year, who will be contactable throughout the year to provide guidance and support. You will have three meetings with your tutor during the year.

Charlotte Dendy - Professional Training Bank of England | School of Economics


Professional training placement information for employers

Thousands of companies all over the world have benefited from the University of Surrey’s renowned Professional Training placement programme and the unrivalled opportunities it provides for both employers and students.

Students cite Professional Training as their reason for choosing to study at Surrey and, from the moment they arrive, they are encouraged to undertake paid placement roles in a wide variety of sectors, both in the UK and overseas.

The aims of the placement scheme are to enable students to:

  • Acquire knowledge and experience as it occurs in professional practice
  • Hone their work skills
  • Apply their knowledge

In return, the students apply their enthusiasm, energy and contemporary theoretical knowledge in ways that will help your organisation achieve its goals.

Employers' frequently asked questions

Why offer a one-year Professional Training placement to an Economics student?

  • The opportunity for you to assess the potential of a future graduate and build a relationship with them and the Faculty over an extended period
  • The one year placement can make a real contribution to your company by enabling students to work either independently or alongside existing staff on complex projects
  • It is a cost effective method of identifying and recruiting top students who will already have a good knowledge of your organisation upon graduation
  • Students can offer skills in communications, IT, languages, projects and teamwork alongside technical competence in an academic sphere
  • Students are generally receptive to new ideas and learn easily, becoming productive at an early stage and they are well-motivated to develop and achieve. They can also act as a stimulus to others within your organisation
  • Students can act as excellent ambassadors of your company when returning to university

About our Professional Training placement scheme

  • Placements run for a minimum of 46 working weeks, excluding any time taken as annual leave
  • Placements can start anytime during the summer (July to September)
  • Student’s are provided with a designated workplace supervisor and training throughout the course of the placement
  • On the job training is the norm for SMEs, whilst structured training programmes can be applied where an employer has the means to do so
  • Each individual is supported by an academic tutor during their placement. There are 2 on-site tutor visits
  • Online advertising of your placement opportunity to all 2nd year students
  • Competitive, open recruitment process – YOU choose, from willing applicants
  • Students have completed two years undergraduate study and a preparatory programme and have good underpinning knowledge of their subject area
  • A tripartite agreement is signed between the university, student and employer outlining the responsibilities of all parties and detailing Health and Safety information.

How to find the right student for your company

Most students start looking for placements in October, but please feel free to contact us at any time as we are aware that industry sectors vary in their planning timetables.

We will be happy to advertise any paid opportunities that meet our scheme requirements to students via our online placement list, so if you feel you have a suitable placement opportunity then please provide us with the following information:

  • Link to your company website or information about the company
  • A job description and/or job advert
  • An overview of your recruitment process and a closing date (if appropriate)

We would also be happy to discuss the arrangement of company presentations and interviews on campus should you require this.