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At University of Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Going on Placement
Work placement is a work based learning module that is embedded in certain programmes in NUI Galway. It enables you to gain valuable work experience for your CV and to learn new skills in the work environment. This helps to improve your employability for the future.
This work-based learning programme is obligatory and failure to complete PEP satisfactorily may delay your graduation.
How does work placement benefit me?
• Provides you with the opportunity to put course theory into practice.
• You learn new knowledge and skills, course-related and personal.
• Gives an insight into working life, develops self-awareness and supports you in making career decisions.
• Builds your CV, highlighting your new skills and achievements.
• Enhances your employability and job prospects after graduation.
• Creates a network of potential contacts for the future.
The Placement Process
The year prior to going on placement you will take part in our Work Placement Bootcamp.
The Employability Bootcamp for Work Based Learning is a suite of employability workshops underpinned by Universal Design for Learning which seeks to better prepare students for the placement process. It consists of three parts.
- Advisory session: The Advisory part of the Bootcamp workshop includes interactive engagement with Academics, Career Advisers, Placement Officers and connected students with Employers and final year students. An online audience interactive tool is used to capture students’ needs and assess their understanding.
- CV workshop: The CV workshop is an interactive workshop that is conducted in a PC lab where a cohort of students have a draft of their CV completed. They upload it onto the PC and each section of the CV is explained piece by piece in an interactive way.
- One to one CV review: Each student completes the final version of their CV after completing the CV workshop. They then bring this to a one on one CV review appointment where each CV is reviewed to ensure it is the best it can be. Appointments can be booked on Careers Connect.
When you return for semester one you will be given a work placement kick off presentation. This will give details in relation to the online Placement Application (PA). You will also receive an interview skills workshop that will help you prepare for interviews.
The PA is the online system that we use to manage the entire placement process. Once you are registered on the course you will be given access to the system. This will allow you to upload your CV and apply for any placements advertised. The entire placement process from application stage to offer stage is managed on the PA.
Questions and Answers
If you have a query at any stage in the placement process you can contact us in the first instance. The Placement Officer is also available to meet you if required.
In the meantime, here are some of the most frequently asked questions
Yes, you can source your own placement if you wish.
This needs to be done prior to commencing the placement process on the PA.
We ask all students to have this finalised prior to commencing the placement process so that there is no conflict in contacting companies or in interviewing schedules. This helps the placement process to run smoothly.
Careers Connect: Search for internships. Update your profile to get weekly emails in your sectors of interest.
Recruitment Fairs: before your placement year attend our Graduate Jobs Fair (Oct) or Internship Fair (Jan)
Check Careers Connect for upcoming events and company presentations.
Gradireland: Pick up a copy of gradireland directory and Ireland's 100 from Careers.
Research companies: Browse Enterprise Ireland's company directories or the IDA's industry profiles and company listings for companies in your targeted sector. Check out sites that profile companies such as the Inside Buzz and Glassdoor.ie
LinkedIn: Join relevant discussion boards and follow companies that interest you.
Other social media: most companies have a presence on social media. Use the one(s) that suit your chosen profession best to follow companies in that sector and get their latest updates and job announcements.
See all our job search tips at Find a Job
If you source a placement we will need an email sent directly from your company contact to Placement
The email will need to contain as much of the following information as possible
- Name and address of company
- Company website
- Title of Position
- Start Date / End Date
- Job description
- Company contact with respect to the position
- Any Terms with the post e.g.
hours of work
We will then send the company contact a company assessment form to complete. Based on the information received the Placement Officer and PEP Academic Coordinator will make a decision as to whether or not the placement is suitable.
There are a limited number of foreign work placements available. You are also free to try and source your own foreign placement.
Funding for work placements in the EU is available via Erasmus +. This is managed by the International Affairs Office and full details are available from https://www.nuigalway.ie/erasmus-programme/outgoingstudents/
It is your responsibility to ensure that you the appropriate visa if required for the work placement.
Not all placements are paid. It depends on course and industry sector.
Where they are paid, the expectation for payment is at a minimum the minimum wage.
The exact remuneration is up to the discretion of the employer.
Each programme that has a work placement assesses the work placement in their individual way. The assessment is designed to ensure that the learning outcomes of the work placement are achieved.
The academic PEP coordinator communicates the assessment deliverable directly to each student and assigns you with a PEP academic supervisor.
The majority of students get placement.
If you have not been placed before the start date of the placement and
- have made a reasonable effort in trying to secure a placement through the placement process
- and tried unsuccessfully to source your own placement
Then you may be accommodated with a research project on campus. This is up to the discretion of the discipline.
No. We have placements available in Galway but the number of placements is limited.
You will need to make yourself available for placements nationally in order to get placed.
Supporting students with disabilities
Going on work placement should be an exciting and enjoyable experience, providing opportunities for new challenges and personal development. While the process may seem daunting, the good news is that the Career Development Centre works closely with the University of Galway Disability Support Service to ensure students with disabilities, ongoing physical or mental health conditions, or specific learning difficulties are supported throughout.
While disclosure is a personal decision, we recommend that if you are registered with the DSS, you share this information with your Placement Officer so that they can use this knowledge to assist you to realise your full potential and provide the necessary support. This information is classified as “sensitive personal” data and will never be communicated outside of the University without your consent.
For details on how to register with the Disability Support Service click HERE
Academic transcripts of results do not include any details of disability supports/reasonable accommodations you have received.
DSS Placement Supports
Before going on placement, if you are registered with the Disability Support Service, we advise that you have a confidential Placement Planning Meeting with a DSS Disability Advisor. At this meeting, you will have the opportunity to discuss supports you may require while preparing for placement, reasonable accommodations needed and if you would like to discuss disclosing a disability, ongoing physical or mental health condition, or specific learning difficulty to your placement site.
If you choose to disclose to your placement site, a Placement Planning Report may be completed in collaboration with the Disability Support Service and your Placement Officer. The report will only ever be shared with your placement site with your permission.
For more information on disclosure, what to expect at a Placement Planning Meeting and completing a Placement Planning Report, please visit: DSS Placement Planning Support
Alternatively, if you are registered with the DSS and would like to request a confidential Placement Planning Meeting please complete the following Placement Planning Meeting Request Form
Make the most of your placement
Be professional - Behave in a professional manner while on placement. Work in accordance with the policies and procedure of the organisation that is hosting you.
Dress appropriately - First impressions count, so make a consistent effort to dress appropriate to the work environment. On your first day find out what to wear, either from HR or take a note of what staff are wearing when you go for your interview.
Be Engaged - Research the company before you start and show interest and enthusiasm for what you are doing. Be aware that as an intern you are likely to be given a range of tasks, varying in difficulty and complexity. Do all set tasks to the best of your ability, even more mundane ones. Approach an internship with confidence rather than arrogance.
Network and Socialise - Create and take opportunities to meet as many people as possible and ask questions. Stay in touch with new contacts and be sure to add them to your LinkedIn professional network. Build relationships by taking opportunities to socialise with work colleagues.
Demonstrate initiative - Volunteer yourself for tasks and take up as many opportunities as possible to experience different roles, projects and departments. Make yourself indispensable by offering help wherever possible and avoid becoming idle or bored without anything to do. Consider designing a project for the internship, with the company's approval, to give you something to consistently work on, as well as adding experience to your portfolio or CV.
Maximise the value of the placement - See your internship as a valuable learning opportunity and a way of increasing your employability. Get involved and think about how the skills and experience you have gained from will be useful for increasing your future career.