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Q&A-Work Placement

For students registered in specific degree programmes, work placement provides you with an opportunity for personal and professional development. It is a 3-way partnership between the student, the employer and the universityFor more information on the work placement process and to find information about the Work Placement Managers please click here.

The Work Placement Manager’s role is to support students through the work placement process. They do this by facilitating the development of your employability skills, providing career advice and guidance and delivering career related workshops. Work Placement Managers liaise with industry partners to provide students with opportunities that will enhance their academic learning and provide opportunities for personal and professional development. Click here to learn more about the Work Placement Managers.

Your Work Placement Manager will support you through the work placement process. In addition to their support, you can find a range of useful tools and resources ranging from C.V. writing guidance to interview tips and techniques on UCC’s Career Services webpage. Please click here to access the toolkit.

Yes, students are able to source their own work placement. However, it is essential that you communicate with your work placement manager to get advice and make sure the work placement you source will meet the criteria set out by your academic programme. You will find more information and advice on sourcing your own work placement here.

Your work placement is an academic module and as such the assessment of the module lies in the domain of your academic department. Depending on what degree you are studying, the requirements will vary so, if you are unsure of what is expected of you, you need to confirm that with your academic mentor and/or academic department.  

Please note that every work placement is appointed an academic mentor or supervisor. You can always confirm that detail with your Work Placement Manager. 

There is a wide range of companies, organisations and industries that are engaged with Work Placement Managers across the spectrum of all the work placement programmes that we manage in UCC Career Services. Each individual Work Placement Manager will be able to give you an overview of the types of companies that have engaged with your particular programme in the past. This is a useful guide, however, please note that new companies engage with us from year to year, the lists are not static. And, just because a company engaged with your programme previously, it does not mean that your Work Placement Manager can 100% guarantee that company’s engagement in the future.  

Yes, you can, and your Work Placement Manager will support you if that is something you want to explore. You should contact your Work Placement Manager to discuss this further.

If you have to relocate for work placement, the responsibility for finding accommodation lies with you, the student.

The ‘first offer’ rule is standard for all work placement programmes that are managed by Work Placement Managers based in UCC’s Career Services. This rule exists to maintain the momentum of the work placement process, for fairness and equity of opportunities among your classmates and to encourage employers to return interview results efficiently.  

In some circumstances, yes, students’ work placements have led to graduate opportunities, and this is a great outcome for both the student and the employer. However, it is important that you do not view your work placement entirely in this light. Your work placement is an opportunity for personal and professional development, for you to put theory into practice and for you to develop networks. Your work placement has many benefits and the experience itself will better equip you for life post-graduation! 

Every student who secures a work placement will be allocated either an academic mentor or an academic supervisor. This person will be your first point of contact while you are out on work placement. Your Work Placement Manager will also remain a source of support for you while you are out on work placement if you are unable to make contact with your appointed academic mentor.  

In addition, you remain a registered UCC student while out on work placement, so you remain entitled to medical support, counselling or the support of any other UCC student service. 

The work placement process can be stressful for many students. The real-life recruitment process requires great patience and resilience in many cases. If you are struggling and feeling overwhelmed, we have created tools and resources to support you. Please click here to access these supports.

If you do not secure a work placement you must check the alternatives that exist for you and your specific programme with your work placement manager or with your academic department.  

All the work placement opportunities that are sourced and advertised by the Work Placement Managers represent excellent and valuable opportunities for your personal and professional development. If you secure a work placement in an industry or with a company that was not your first choice, you should still give it 100% effort - the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. And, every work placement is opportunity to enhance your C.V. and further your graduate prospects. 

Yes, as an employee, you are entitled to annual leave or holidays in accordance with every employees' statutory rights. You should check your contract for details. Do not book holidays without checking with your manager/workplace mentor first. 

You are not automatically entitled to study leave. If you need to take leave to sit repeat exams, for example, you need to discuss this with your employer. 

More information on leave entitlements can be found in your Work Placement Handbook, which was provided to you by your Work Placement Manager. 

UCC Career Services

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