Industrial placements

Students in WorkshopA six month industrial placement is an integral part of the four year Design Engineering (MEng) course at the Dyson School. Students undertake their placement from April in their third year when they have the equivalent of BEng graduate level of expertise. When they return for their final year in September, they will have completed a major body of work, putting their developing skills into real-world practice and significantly enhancing their CVs.

Developing experience in the practical application of design engineering is fundamental to the values of the School, and we maintain links with an extensive range of industry partners who are often leaders in their fields through their effective use of design engineering. Our partners also recognise the value of supporting the next generation of designer engineers and innovators. For example by developing links for graduate employment. We work closely with placement partners, supporting the recruitment process and jointly supervising the placement students during their six months with the company.

Placement timeline

October - Adverts are opened to students and recruitment begins
April - Students begin their placements
May - A tutor will visit the student on their placement
End of June - The student gives a report on the placement
September - Final tutor visit and presentation
September - Placement ends
October - Exhibition event at Imperial

Industrial placements key dates and timeline

Further information

Prospective employers

The Design Engineering placements scheme sends our undergraduate students out into industry for six months during their studies, as a compulsory part of their degree programme.

How your company could benefit

The Dyson School of Design Engineering represents some of the top design engineering talent in the UK. Our Industrial Placement programme offers your organisation:

  • An effective vehicle for recruiting our top graduates – recruiting a graduate who has worked with you already reduces your recruitment and training costs and may contribute to higher retention rates.
  • A cost effective way of getting a project done at the highest technical standards.
  • A way to exchange new ideas combined with fresh enthusiasm and knowledge of some of the latest technology.
  • The opportunity to encourage and invest in design engineers of the future.

How to advertise a placement

Once you’ve decided that you want to host a design engineering placement student:

  1. Contact us to discuss the options and finalise details.
  2. Your placement advert will be loaded onto our central database.
  3. Applications will open in October and you will begin to receive enquiries from students looking for placements in the following April.

The recruitment process is at the full discretion of the company, and you will have complete freedom to use internal company procedures to process, interview and select appropriate applicants. If required we can support this with screening and arranging interviews here at Imperial to tailor your recruitment process.

Terms and job description

Placement students are paid for their work, although the College does not stipulate a rate of pay.

Other statutory terms and conditions will also apply, including holiday leave allowance.

These conditions will be part of the contract of employment agreed between the company and their employee (the student). We need to ensure that the type of work the students will be undertaking is relevant to their studies.

Therefore, before we can advertise your placement opportunities, we require a project/ job description to review. The work should be at graduate entry level and must have a strong focus on the application of engineering/design thinking and embodiment.

To find out more please download the Design Engineering Industrial Placements Corporate Document (PDF) and view our Placement Learning Policy.

Current employers

We highly value our links with Industry and aim to ensure that the placement experience is beneficial for all concerned. Once a student is selected and starts their placement, our scheme includes the following elements to establish high quality outcomes and enduring partnerships.

Tutor Visits

In May and September the student’s Tutor and/or the Industrial Liaison Officer will visit the company. During these visits they will hold informal meetings with the student’s line manager and/or mentor to assess the student’s achievements, plus the company’s assessment of the student and the quality of the placement to create a progress report.

Company Assessment

Assessment of the student’s contributions and achievements by a company supervisor during the placement is also desirable. Towards the end of the placement we ask hosts to conduct a performance review meeting with the student where they complete a short form on the student’s performance.

In addition, we ask that hosts facilitate a presentation where the student can tell a panel of company representatives about their contributions.

Academic Assessment

The students will be required to submit two reports during their placement - one at the end of June in the middle of the placement, and one during September at the end of the placement.

These have no strict format or content, and instead we ask the student’s to leverage existing company reporting procedures and documentation formats to describe the scope of their work. The reports will be reviewed by internal College examiners and will be treated as confidential to the company.

Exhibition

When the students return to start their final year of study at Imperial, we will hold an exhibition of the work they have conducted whilst on placement to celebrate their achievements. Placement companies will be invited to attend to see the scope of work produced and meet the students entering their third year who will be looking for placements in the year ahead.

Student information

Dyson School of Design Engineering Industrial Placements provide six months of real-world experience, putting your skills into practice with the opportunity to work with one of an impressive range of businesses we maintain links with.

In addition to the knowledge and skills developed in the first three years of the Design Engineering course, students are supported with securing a placement with a number of components within the course. Current students have access to comprehensive online placement support information.

Career pathway mentoring

As a student you will meet regularly with your tutor group and the Industrial Placement tutors in your third year. You will discuss the various design engineering career pathways in a rapidly expanding field and how your own evolving interests and skills match these opportunities.

Placement company presentation events

During the second and third year of the Design Engineering course, a number of events are held where students can hear from and talk to placement companies to gain first-hand understanding of the range of experience available and what companies are looking for in a placement student.

CVs and Portfolios

For design engineers, portfolios as well as CVs are both essential elements in the early stages of securing top quality placements. The course has structured opportunities for CVs and portfolios to be developed and reviewed through the build up to applying for placements.

Placement FAQs

Whether as a student or a prospective placement company there are a number of frequently asked questions which may not have been answered elsewhere

What kind of companies host placement students?

Companies can be any size from multi-nationals to recent start-ups. Companies don’t necessarily have design engineering as their main business, but will all understand the value of design engineering in a broad sense. Through the discussion with placement tutors we will establish that the placement role fully meets the School’s academic criteria.

How much are students paid?

Placement students are paid for their work, although the College does not stipulate a rate of pay. Other statutory terms and conditions will also apply, including holiday leave allowance. These conditions will be part of the contract of employment agreed between the company and their employee (the student).

What if there is already link between a company and a student for a placement?

There is a shortened process of approval and it is still necessary that the role meets the educational requirements. But we encourage new links for placements whether student or company generated.

Can the placement be overseas?

As long as the educational and college requirements are met, an overseas placement can have many additional benefits. In these cases, tutor visits are likely to be by video conferencing.

Are there restrictions on hiring overseas students?

As the Industrial Placement is a compulsory part of the degree course overseas students do not require a work permit to undertake an Industrial Placement.

How will company confidential information be treated?

We recognise that some projects may contain confidential information. As such, Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) may be put in place between a company and the employee (the student), and the School of Design Engineering.

However the work should not prevent the student from discussing your organisation, the technologies they used or what they have learned from their work experience.