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Humanities, education or social sciences placements

Discover the benefits of a placement course

You can boost your studies by taking a placement year on many of our humanities and social science sandwich degree courses. 

When you do a placement year, you'll work for a business, charity or startup company. You can also work self-employed. Our previous students studying humanities or social science subjects have done placements roles such as English language assistant, education assistant, data analyst and forensic accounting assistant.

You'll get valuable experience on your sandwich year placement. You can also grow your professional network, enhance your CV and improve your chances of employment after graduation.

Humanities; Graduation; July 2019

Undertaking a placement year enabled me to gain work experience and increase my employability whilst still a student.

Heading abroad not only gave me the opportunity to travel halfway around the world to learn a second language but also to engage and immerse myself in the local culture and communities, an experience I could only dream about from Portsmouth.

Samuel Bladen-Hovell, Otra Cosa Network, Peru and British Council (Spain) placement student, BA (Hons) International Development

What's it like to take a placement year?

Hear from some of our placement year students - Finlay, who took a placement at NBC Universal, Anastasia, who found a place at St Vincent College, and Charley, who took a role at Castle View Academy.

Find out about their experiences and hear what advice they have to give other students.

Finlay: I've loved every moment of my placement. It's probably one of the most fantastic years I've ever done in my life, probably one of the best things I've ever done.

Emily Parry: The school covers area studies, sociology, history, politics and literature. There are a number of different placement opportunities that are based locally or nationally around the UK, covering lots of different sectors and areas. So there's something there for everybody.

Finlay: Before university, I was always somebody that really didn't want to rush university. I wanted to try a placement year out, which was something that I'd love to do, and here we are today at NBC Universal. I got very, very lucky with it, but it's great.

Emily Parry: One of the misconceptions about placements and work experience for humanities students is that it would be very restricted on the kind of things that they can do.

Finlay: As a politics student, obviously I do love politics, but it's the other interests you have outside of politics. I love my films, I love my TV series, so I work in an environment selling content that I love.

Anastasia: Since about year ten, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. The work placement has definitely put it in perspective that it’s still what I want to do and it means that I don't have to go into a PGCE placement completely unaware of what I have to do. It gives me the experience of what a teacher actually needs to do and what their role is in a college.

Charley: Teaching is something I find quite natural to do. It wasn't really to do with my degree, but I found it was quite easy to interlink the two. So I was able to run a politics club here and it was really quite inspiring to see how enlightened the students were and how knowledgeable they were about current day events, and went from there, really.

Emily Parry: What I love about placements is seeing the students when they come back and you can see the development in them of the confidence that they've built and their ability to communicate and work as part of a team.

Charley: Before, I really struggled with public speaking. So standing in front of an audience is not something I would initially choose to do, and for some people, standing in front of 30 children is even more scary than standing in front of adults.

Finlay: University of Portsmouth really helped me with confidence and the ability to speak, which I've then brought into NBCU where I present in front of my managers once a month.

Charley: Having that sort of exposure was really, really important to me. For students who want to do a placement, I would just say go for it.

Anastasia: It’s a brilliant opportunity to put yourself in a workplace environment with loads and loads of support.

Finlay: Just put everything into it because it really is a year that's really helped me feel a lot more confident going into my final year of university.

Emily Parry: It's the best feeling when a student gets that placement because you know the opportunities that's going to open up for them with their future career.

Placement year job roles

The type of placement role you’ll apply for depends on your interests and career aspirations. 

Some of the roles our students have done during their placement year include:

  • Data analyst
  • Research assistant
  • English language assistant
  • Restorative justice administrator
  • Charity fundraising assistant
  • Event management
  • Fraud analyst internship
  • Victim support caseworker
  • Education assistant
  • Translation assistant
  • Youth worker
  • Marketing, PR, social media
  • Management trainee
  • HR assistant
  • Recruitment assistant
Graduation July 2019

I completed a year-long placement year with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Arson Task Force. This allowed me to put into practise the knowledge I had acquired during my studies, at multiple fire scenes. I also developed personal and practical skills such as public speaking skills when I assisted in providing training for military personnel and firefighters.

Rebecca Slattery, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Arson Task Force placement student, BSc (Hons) Criminology and Forensic Studies

Where you could work during your placement

Placement locations

Male translator in speaking into microphone

I believe this experience has expanded my knowledge and critical thinking when assessing evidence potential at crime scenes and also formulating strategies proportional to the circumstances of each case. The main reason why I chose this placement was to elevate my understanding even further regarding the tasks of a CSI within the Criminal Justice System. I also knew it would enhance my career prospects in a positive way.

Alex Sala, Hampshire Constabulary, Crime Scene Investigation Unit placement student, BSc (Hons) Criminology and Forensic Studies

Browse our courses

Are you ready to increase your employment opportunities and strengthen your skills by doing a sandwich year degree? Browse our placement degree courses now.

Browse our degree courses with work placement

Contact Us

To get in touch, please contact our Faculty placement office.

Phone: +44 (0)23 9284 6179