Hire a placement student

A woman in colourful African top listens to a lecture

In addition to our mainstream 1-year programmes, we offer students Masters degrees with a credit-bearing industry placement built into their programme. Industry placement programmes are popular among students as it allows them to apply academic learning within a work environment and enhance their employability. Industry placements also deepen a student's commercial understanding of their chosen field ahead of graduating.

Our dedicated team of Student Placement Co-ordinators work with employers to ensure all industry placements are beneficial experiences for both the employer and student. Student Placement Co-ordinators can assist throughout the recruitment process and will continue to be on-hand throughout the placement experience itself.

Hiring a Placement Student provides many tangible benefits to your business:

  • A cost-effective, low-risk resourcing solution
  • Opportunity to drive forward a new or existing project
  • Creates a graduate recruitment pipeline
  • Access to emerging talent who can bring fresh ideas into your workplace
  • Increase your company's profile amongst student talent

What our employers say...

"We have found that the intern we employed has been excellent; bringing a fresh set of eyes to the process and has looked at our specific business and the whole area of knowledge transfer. The intern helped us to deliver a number of new ways of working and been able to provide an overview of certain aspects of the business that we hadn't considered.”
Glenmorangie, hired an MSc International Business Management student
The whole process has been very straightforward and a big success, enabling Kenoteq to complete valuable market research, while working with a young and passionate intern student who we would look upon favourably in the future if a job vacancy became available. We would not hesitate to take other internship placements, based on this experience.”
Kenoteq, hired an MSc Construction Project Management student

If you are interested in hearing more or have any questions, please get in touch with us and one of the team will get back to you: Placements@hw.ac.uk


How many hours per week can a placement student work with us?

Students typically work full-time hours whilst on placement, however specific circumstances can be considered in line with meeting your business needs. Please contact us on Placements@hw.ac.uk to discuss this further.

How long do industry placements last?

Typically, placements will last 6 months in line with their course structure.

Which courses at Heriot-Watt can I recruit from for an industry placement?

Students on the following programmes undertake an industry placement as a credit-bearing element of their degree:
  • MSc Civil Engineering with Industry Placement
  • MSc Construction Project Management with Industry Placement
  • MSc Commercial Management & Quantity Surveying with Industry Placement
  • MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering with Industry Placement
  • MSc Global Sustainability Engineering with Industry Placement
  • MSc Robotics with Industry Placement
  • MA Fashion and Textiles Design with Industry Placement

Are placements paid or unpaid?

We prefer industry placement students be paid in line with UK employment standards. In specific circumstances, within certain sectors, we are open to considering unpaid placement opportunities. However, these must be discussed in advance with the Placement team.

When can we take on a placement student?

Students enrolled on programmes from September 2022 onwards will conduct industry placements in their second year in Summer. For course structures and specific timelines across programme disciplines, please contact us at Placements@hw.ac.uk for more information.

How do we ensure we select the right student for our industry placement?

We allow our employers to determine a student's suitability during the candidate selection and shortlisting process. Our Student Placement Co-ordinators can gather applications on your behalf and you can choose to shortlist candidates to undertake interviews, work-based exercises or assessments – it's completely up to you to decide the methods used.

To ensure we are putting the best student talent forwards to employers only students which are deemed “placement-ready” and who have passed all academic elements are eligible to undertake a placement. Students also undertake mandatory placement preparation training to gain a greater awareness and knowledge of workplace practices within the UK.

What information do we need to provide to advertise a placement?

A job description or person specification is usually provided to the Student Placement Coordinator. The proposed role is then sent to the Academic Programme lead for approval where once granted, the placement can be advertised to the relevant eligible students.

What type of roles or projects can placement students undertake?

It is important that students undertake roles or projects which meet the learning outcomes of their programme yet are beneficial to our employers. Our Student Placement Co-ordinators can work with you to ensure the position would be a suitable opportunity. In the first instance, please contact Placements@hw.ac.uk to discuss possible roles or placement opportunities.

How are students and employers supported throughout the placement period by the University?

Heriot-Watt University wants to ensure all approved industry placements remain productive and fulfilling for all parties involved. During the placement, students are allocated two supervisors– a Workplace Supervisor (usually their line manager or main company contact) and an Academic Tutor, who will continue to be responsible for their academic outcomes.

A dedicated Student Placement Coordinator will act as a bridge between the student, employer and academia throughout the placement. Monthly check-ins are to be completed and submitted by students to track their attendance and work-based learning, whilst Workplace Supervisors are required to complete check-ins on a quarterly basis. This allows the University to track the student's progress and provides the employer an avenue to provide us with regular feedback.

Heriot-Watt University is a registered member of the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) and The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS).