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Software Engineering BSc(Hons): Work placement year

How you can work in industry during your course

Why take a placement?

Work placements:

  • provide work experience that is relevant to your course and future career;
  • improve your chances of graduating with a higher grade degree;
  • enhance your CV;
  • lead to a graduate job;
  • enable you to earn a year's salary whilst studying (the vast majority of placements are paid); and
  • help you to select your final-year project.

"To be successful, tomorrow's leaders will need to be far more rounded individuals than ever before. They will collaborate in pursuit of shared goals. They will guide, challenge and support...They will have an appetite for change and a hunger for continuous improvement, and they will have an ethos of learning and development..."
Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive, Sky 2010

Nearly all Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing honours students can apply to do a one-year industrial placement between the second and third years of their degree.

"Doing a placement year effectively gives you one foot in the door of a future job and to stand out from the crowd... as well as enhancing my CV... and future interviews. It's a great motivator to be successful in my studies as it only serves to open even more doors and gain more skills."
Placement student at Jagex Games Studios Ltd

  • 81% placement students and 34% non-placement students got a first or 2.1 (Faculty of Computing, Information Systems and Mathematics, 2008).
  • 100% of placement students during 2008 recommend doing a placement (Faculty of Computing, Information Systems and Mathematics, 2008).
  • Many employers offer a graduate job to their successful placement students.

There is a lot of support available for students looking to secure a placement (eg a jobs board with placement vacancies, help with writing CVs, mock interviews). Getting a placement and passing the placement year are ultimately the student's responsibility.

Read about Jake Berry's experiences during his placement as IT Intern for Global Mobile and Personal Telecoms at General Electric.

For further information please contact the Placements Team by telephone 020 8417 2969/2690 or email

Examples of placements

Placements can be with large multinational companies, international companies, local companies and small start ups; offering a diverse range of posts. Here are some examples of employers and roles:

Science-based placement employers Science-based placement roles
Reckitt and Benckiser
Drug Control Centre
Minton Treharne and Davies Ltd
Various local and international hospitals
Bioanalytical sciences
Lab assistant
Pharmacy assistant
Sports coach

Engineering-based placement employers Engineering-based placement roles
BAM Nuttall

Analysis of aircraft structure
Construction resources specialist
Site engineer assistant

Computing and IS based placement employers Computing and IS based placement roles
Sony Music

Database co-ordinator
Software developer
Website developer
App developer

Mathematics-based placement employers Mathematics-based placement roles
Lloyds Banking Group
PAU Education, Spain

Investment solutions
Research analyst
Accounts assistant

Find out about a student's placement

Name: Bhavit Shah
Course: Software Engineering BSc(Hons)
Placement company: Merrill Lynch

"I spent my sandwich placement at Merrill Lynch, working as an analyst developer for 15 months. I delivered a web-based application for the private banking sector of the firm, which automated several processes.

"I'm still in touch with my colleagues and it's great to know that the application I developed is still being used in more than 16 offices across Europe and the Middle East. I achieved a prestigious 'Spotlight Award' for my contribution to the company.

"The placement office at Kingston provided outstanding support when I was preparing for the placement. I still remember knocking on the office door several times a day, either to get my CV checked or to get updates on my job applications!

"Mock interviews also helped me to develop my interview skills. The staff's relentless efforts meant that I secured job offers from companies such as Microsoft as well as Merrill Lynch.

"The placement completely changed my views and learning style. Once I returned to Kingston for my final year, I started thinking about the practical implementation of each subject. My final year project was done for Merrill Lynch, which provided excellent project management skills."

Read more about what Bhavit is doing now in the After you graduate section and his experiences at Kingston in the What our students say section (where you can also read about fellow student Jeyaram Deivachandran's sandwich placement).

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