Hire a placement student

A woman in colourful African top listens to a lecture

At Heriot-Watt University we offer two-year Masters degrees with a credit-bearing industry placement built into the course. Industry placements allows students to apply their academic knowledge within a real-life work environment and offers them a valuable opportunity to enhance their employability whilst deepening their commercial understanding of their chosen field.

Our dedicated team of Placement Coordinators (part of the Careers and Graduate Futures Service) will work alongside employers to ensure that an industry placement is a mutually beneficial experience for both the employer and student. Placement Coordinators can assist throughout the student recruitment process and will continue to be on-hand to help once the placement has commenced.

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 and strengthen links with industry

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 can work on a full-time or part-time basis depending on your business needs and demands. If placements are unpaid, we would encourage employers to offer them on a part-time basis to allow students to secure additional part-time work alongside their industry placement.
How long do industry placements last?
Typically, placements can last between 8-10 months in line with student’s course timelines. In specific circumstances we may consider placements of less than 8 months, contact us on Placements@hw.ac.uk to discuss further.
Which courses at Heriot-Watt can I recruit from for an industry placement?
Students on the following courses are required to undertake an industry placement as a credit bearing element which counts towards their final degree:
  • MSc International Business Management with Industry Placement
  • MSc Civil Engineering with Industry Placement
  • MSc Construction Project Management with Industry Placement
  • MSc Commercial Management & Quantity Surveying with Industry Placement
  • MA Fashion and Textiles Design with Industry Placement
Are placements paid or unpaid?
A placement opportunity can be paid or unpaid, but we encourage employers to pay students for their time on placement where possible. If a placement is unpaid, we would ask that it is on a part-time basis so that the student can generate a source of income alongside their industry placement.
When can we take on a placement student?
Heriot-Watt has courses with placement periods beginning in Spring and Summer of each year. Please contact us on Placements@hw.ac.uk for more information on placement timelines.
How do we ensure we select the right student for our industry placement?
Employers can determine a student’s suitability for a placement via methods of their own choosing for selecting, shortlisting and interviewing candidates. Our Student Placement Co-ordinators can gather applications (CV and covering letters) on your behalf and you can then shortlist candidates for an interview, a competency-based exercise, or role-related task – it’s completely up to you! To ensure we are offering engaged and motivated placement students which are “placement-ready”, only students who have passed all academic elements of their course are eligible for a placement. Students will also undertake workplace etiquette training to gain awareness and knowledge of UK workplace practices.
What information do we need to provide to advertise a placement?
A job description including details of the nature of the work the student would undertake should be provided to a Placement Coordinator who will then send this to the relevant Academic team for approval. Once approval is granted, the placement can be advertised to Heriot-Watt students.
What type of roles or projects can placement students undertake?
It is important to ensure the student’s intended role or project meets the learning outcomes of their course. Our Student Placement Co-ordinators can work with you to ensure the role or project you have in mind would be a suitable placement opportunity. To find out whether the role you have in mind is suitable for a placement, please contact our placement team on Placements@hw.ac.uk.
How is the student and my business supported throughout the placement period by Heriot-Watt University?
Students are allocated two Supervisors whilst on placement - an Academic Tutor and an Employee Supervisor. The Employer Supervisor is an individual from your business responsible for scoping agreeing the placement project, as well as acting the student’s line manager and point of contact. The Academic Tutor will also scope the placement and is responsible for the student’s academic outcomes. A Student Placement Coordinator will act as a bridge between the student, employer, and Heriot-Watt University. Throughout the placement period, Student Placement Coordinators will conduct monthly check-ins with the Employer Supervisor to track the student’s progress. They will also note feedback to ensure placement are productive and fulfilling for both you and your placement student.

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