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Self-Employed Placement Year

Try out your business idea with the support of the Student StartUp Team


What is a Self-Employed Placement Year?

A Self-Employed Placement (SEP) is an alternative option to the traditional placement year in industry. A SEP aims to develop enterprise skills whilst starting and running a business or becoming self-employed. You'll receive support and guidance from the Student Startup team throughout the year and have opportunities to attend networking events and apply for funding.


Self-Employed Placement - Is It For Me? 

Considering a Self-Employed Placement but want to know more? Our "Self-Employed Placement - Is It For Me?" sessions are designed to provide you with all the information you need to make your decision and move forward with your idea. 

Book your place through MyCareer

Wednesday 6 March

Careers and Employability Centre
Book here

Wednesday 10 April

Book here

Thursday 2 May

Careers and Employability Centre
Book here



How to apply for a Self-Employed Placement Year

If you are interested in completing a Self-Employed Placement Year, you should:

  1. speak to a member of the Student StartUp Team or attend a Self-Employed Placement - Is It For Me? session. 

  2. complete our Expression of Interest form - the deadline for submission is Sunday 26 May 11.59pm

  3. present your proposal to the Student StartUp team

  4. complete a risk assessment

You will receive support throughout the application process from the Student StartUp Team. The deadline for completing the application process is Sunday 30 June 11.59pm.


Download the Self-Employed Placement Application Pack



The Self-Employed Placement Year is not available to:

  • students undertaking a degree programme with a compulsory placement

  • international students studying with a Tier 4 Visa - more details can be found on our International Student guide


Support you'll receive during your Self-Employed Placement Year

Our Student StartUp team will give you comprehensive support before, during and after your self-employed placement. They offer:

  • 1-to-1 advice and mentoring 
  • free desk space at an Innovation Connect centre
  • access to meeting rooms, presentation facilities and breakout spaces
  • start-up events and workshops 
  • online toolkits and resources
  • networking opportunities 
  • the chance to talk with our Entrepreneurs in Residence
  • access to competitions and funding opportunities 

To explore the answers, book an appointment with Student StartUp at one of their regular Enterprise Clinics or email 


Further information

Take a look at our frequently asked questions

During the SEP year you are your own boss. The placement is about you
creating your own employment rather than being employed by an organisation.

A full breakdown of the year and how it works can be found here

The placement runs from mid September to the end of June each academic year.

No, it does not have to be related, however you must be able to talk about how your placement year will benefit you in the final year or future career.

The self-employed placement option is not available to international students on a study visa. This is because students on an international student visa are not permitted to engage in any form of business activity as stated by the Home Office.

There is no specific funding linked directly to the SEP, however support is available to help you find alternative funding streams including Santander funding through the Student StartUp team (please note this is not guaranteed). You will also need to be aware of changes to your tuition fees and student loan; please contact Student Finance for more information.

This varies slightly from faculty to faculty, so please check with your placement office for details. Overall, the placement is designed to assess the  development of your enterprise skills through presentations and reports.

Ideally, you will be based in Portsmouth, however, if circumstances require you to be based elsewhere please discuss this with a member of the Student StartUp team. If you are based in Portsmouth, you are eligible for a 100% discount on a desk at one of the University Innovation Connect buildings, Halpern House.



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