SECTION 15:  Supervised Work Experience, Work Based Learning, Unpaid Placement Limitations and Unforeseen Placement Termination 


If you are a student who is taking or about to undertake a placement as part of your degree, specifically, as part of a sandwich year or work based learning, you should read the following information fully. It sets out what is expected of you and of us. This regulation is not applicable to allocated placements embedded within your academic programme, such as nursing or teaching placements.

You should seek impartial advice and support from the Students’ Union Advice Centre, or your School Placement Team below if you are unclear, or require support on the information listed within this section of the regulations.


15.1. Placement Expectations

15.1.1 The Placement Provider will: 

  • Provide the Student with a supervisor / mentor who will provide the Student with regular and constructive feedback on the progress of their placement;
  • Assess and record the Student’s progress and consult with the University, if necessary;
  • Report any issues, concerns, non-attendance, accidents/work related illness, or breaches of discipline involving the Student to the University;
  • Comply with the University’s Health and Safety guidance and respond as appropriate to any health and safety issues that arise during the placement, raised by the Student, the Provider or a member of University staff;
  • Issue the Student (if applicable) with written particulars of their employment , including information relating to holiday entitlement, sickness policy and information on disciplinary and grievance procedures.

15.1.2 The University will:

  • Allocate a placement tutor/officer;
  • Provide support to the Student for the duration of the Placement;
  • Have in place a feedback procedure for both the Student and the Provider;
  • Ensure the Student is aware of the intended learning outcomes of the placement and the associated assessment criteria;
  • Prepare the Student for the placement and ensure they are aware of general health and safety aspects. Such preparation is of a general nature and does not include the specific information required for particular activities or workplaces;
  • Give the Student and the Provider opportunity to report to the University any problems experienced with regard to health and safety or performance whilst on placement; and
  • Respond as appropriate to any health and safety issues that arise during the placement, raised by the Student, the Provider or a member of University staff.

15.1.2 The Student will

  • Follow their placement provider's policies and guidelines at all times while on placement and comply with the module specification;
  • Adhere to the agreed work schedule and length of placement;
  • Actively engage and behave in a responsible manner in the workplace;
  • Raise any concerns regarding their placement with their placement supervisor, and university placement unit/tutor.
  • Make every effort to understand the environment, in industrial and commercial terms, of the provider and the roles and responsibilities of its staff;
  • Make every effort to understand their role in the placement provider’s organisation;
  • Submit assessed requirements by agreed timescales in order to meet the learning objectives of their placement module. 


15.2 Unforeseen Placement Termination 

15.2.1 The University has taken into consideration that unforeseen circumstances which may not be within the control of the student may impact your Supervised Work Experience (SWE) or Work-Based Learning (WBL) and may need to be terminated earlier than expected or deemed incomplete. This regulation supports the interests of all parties involved in the placement process and continues its support for your professional development. 

15.2.2 Staff in your School will be responsible for implementing the following regulations in consultation with your placement provider when made aware of issues with completion by either colleagues, students or placement providers.

15.2.3 Due to unforeseen circumstances outside your control, you may not have been able to secure the minimum hours/weeks/days required in employment, as such, the following can be applied if you are still able to meet the module learning outcomes are still able to progress through your course of study. 


15.3 Considerations for Early Placement Termination: Supervised Work Experience (SWE) credits 

15.3.1 For Supervised Work Experience (SWE) credits (i.e. S level credits leading to the award of a degree in the sandwich mode), the Course Assessment Board (CAB) should confirm the award of S level credit if the following conditions are met: 

  • All of the learning outcomes of the module have been met or the University is confident the learning outcomes would have been met, had you completed the full term of the placement;    
  • You have completed a significant element (usually, over 60% of the year) of the SWE in a maximum of 3 placements. In accordance with the awards regulations, of the required 36-48 weeks of SWE, normally, a minimum of 22 weeks would need to be documented as being complete;
  • The employer / placement provider provides proof of termination of the work experience and the reasons for this to the placement unit.

15.3.2 Where the above is not possible, you will normally be advised to interrupt your studies for the remainder of the placement year and return in the subsequent academic session to complete the standard (ie non-Sandwich) award. 


15.4. Considerations for Early Placement Termination: Work Based Learning (WBL) 

15.4.1 For Work-Based Learning (WBL) credits (i.e. F, I or H level credits completed in a work-based environment), the award of credit for a specific module which has already been commenced should be confirmed subject to the above SWE criteria. 

15.4.2 Where significant work-based elements (usually, over 40%) of the course remain outstanding one of the following can be applied: 

  • An alternative means of demonstrating the outcomes for the relevant modules is identified, for example by means of a simulated exercise or reflective assessment.
  • You are supported in transferring to another course with reduced or no requirements for work-based experience.
  • You are offered the opportunity to interrupt their studies until you are able to return to the course and meet the work based requirements of the course, or accept an interim award.
  • Where the placement module is optional, you are permitted to substitute the module for an alternative. 


15.5 Unpaid Placement Limitations 

15.5.1 You are not encouraged to undertake unpaid placements, however, the University recognises that it may be the only way for you to obtain experience in a specialist area. Limited unpaid placements are therefore permitted.

15.5.2 If you are undertaking an unpaid placement as part of your sandwich year, the following criteria apply. 

15.5.3 The unpaid year work placement should be based on an arrangement of a maximum of 25 hours per week or an average of 100 hours over a four-week period and must not exceed 12 months. This is a legal requirement and takes into consideration that certain industries, due to normal operating procedures, may work a varied pattern of hours of long days, rest days etc. Should you choose to work additional hours over and above this requirement, that is at your discretion and is not a requirement for the University. 

  • Students in unpaid placements are expected to work the required number of hours per week and can only do so in one placement at a time for the required number of weeks for the year, in line with their Placement Agreement. Students are limited a maximum of 3 placements over an academic year.
  • All unpaid placements require a job description, a signed placement agreement and evidence that the role meets the learning requirements of their placement module.

15.5.4 If you require any reasonable adjustments to help you in your placement, you must inform the Placements Unit so they can identify if funding is available.

15.5.5 Your minimum holiday entitlement would be pro-rata based upon current working time directives and your holiday would also be unpaid. You should take all holiday to which you are entitled so that you have appropriate time off from the workplace. 

15.5.6 All placements must be agreed in advance. You will not be awarded credit retrospectively.