Work experience

Getting practical work experience as part of your degree is a great way to help you decide what kind of career you might like when you graduate, giving you insight into what it’s like to work in a particular sector, and preparing you for the world of work while developing your skills.

From a 12-month industrial work placement to a summer internship or volunteering, the opportunities are many and varied. Whatever you choose, work experience looks great on your CV and proves to employers that you're experienced and motivated.

A year in industry

A placement year allows you to gain valuable work experience within the public, private or voluntary sector either in the UK or overseas. Each year our students secure placements in many prestigious organisations such as Goldman Sachs, Opera North, French Connection and Unilever, as well as small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and not-for-profit organisations.

Most of our courses offer the opportunity to do a work placement, and courses in medicine, dentistry and healthcare have clinical or professional placements built in. We can provide advice and guidance to help you secure a placement and throughout the year, you will receive support from the University which will help you to reflect on and evaluate your placement.


Many students undertake shorter periods of work experience either in vacations or part-time during the academic year. The University has developed a range of exclusive internships with employers, such as Unilever, as well as opportunities on campus to undertake work or research activity. We can also provide advice and guidance to help you source and compete for other internship opportunities.


Volunteering is a great way to broaden your life experience, meet new people and develop valuable skills.

The University has over 1,000 opportunities for you to get involved, including our Students into Schools scheme which supports over 350 students to work in local primary and secondary schools as tutors, mentors or supporting students with English as an additional language.

You can volunteer in the local community as well as internationally through our students union societies. From supporting young carers in Leeds to teaching in a rural Cambodian school there will be a volunteering scheme to suit you

Through our Leeds for Life Foundation grants we can help fund you to set up your own project using your energy, passion and commitment to develop your skills whilst also benefiting others. Projects can be local, or based anywhere in the UK or overseas.