How the Industrial Placement Scheme works - a guide for students

The 6-month (minimum of 22 weeks) Industrial Placement option is an integrated part of the MEng degree running from April - September in the third year of study.  During this time, the student is employed to work on an industrial project which is directly relevant to their degree of study. The scheme is open to all MEng students including those from outside the EU. This option is part of the degree course so it will not affect your visa status, and a work permit is not required.

Students not taking part in the placement scheme will undertake an industrial-related group project during the Summer term in College. Third year exams will take place in the last two weeks of the Autumn term.  Spring Term modules will be assessed entirely by coursework, to be submitted by the end of term. 

Further information for students

Finding a placement

Students are responsible for finding their placements. Advice and help are available, both in the Department and from the Imperial College Careers Service.  You will also find some information here on how to find placements. Opportunities offered directly to the Department will be advertised to students by email.  

  • To help you understand more about the placement experience, we have asked students to write about their placement experiences to help you in your placement search. These studies can be found on Blackboard.
  • Details of Industrial Placement opportunities offered to Department of Electrical Engineering students can be viewed on InPlace: https://www.inplace.imperial.ac.uk/, Log in using your usual College login.

Getting your placement approved

  •  All placements must be approved by the Department.  This is a list of activities considered suitable placements.
  • Work undertaken during the industrial placement must be relevant to the degree programme being followed. The content must be challenging and allow the student to demonstrate application of engineering knowledge and skills to a technical problem. There is no restriction on the sector of the economy provided the first criteria is met. Thus, work in the voluntary sector (such as Engineers without Borders, e.quinox or RNIB) could qualify. Work in a technical function of the finance industry such as designing databases would qualify, but routine IT support would not. MEng with Management students can work on business studies related topics such as Project Management or Financial Management.
Professional conduct

Please note that declining a placement once accepted is deemed unacceptable and unprofessional behaviour which damages the College's reputation.  Behaviour of this kind will normally result in the student failing the module.

  • When you receive an offer from a company you will need to submit a placement proposal for approval.  You do this using the dedicated inplace website.   You must provide a detailed description of the project you will be doing and the supervision you will receive from the company.  Placements will not be approved without a thorough project description.  It is your responsibility to work with your proposed employer to provide this information.
  • Before your placement will be approved you will need to send your employer the Employer Details form.  This contains important information regarding your supervision and safety whilst on the placement.  It might also be useful to send your employer a copy of the College Placement Learning Policy and to be clear about any contractual and confidentiality arrangements.  
  • When this is completed you must attach all relevant documents to your  inplace website record.   
  • The deadline for approval of your placement is February 2018.  (exact date TBC)

Placement calendar

  • Find a placement and seek approval: September – February    
  • Meet Imperial mentor to agree objectives: 
  • On placement: April – September
  • Return to final year of studies: October

Placement supervision

Industrial placements will be supervised by a member of staff from the company, with additional mentoring from academic staff from Imperial. Imperial staff will be involved in agreeing project objectives and in assessment. In addition, we will arrange contact between mentors and students during the project including a visit from a member of academic staff in July.

Students will be required to keep a weekly engineering log-book of their activity which will be signed off along with the project report at the end of the placement.  Where a log-book is not appropriate some other journal should be recorded. 

Assessment

Please go to Blackboard to view full list of documents and procedures for the placements. 

Employment conditions

Industrial placement students are usually 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 or appointment letter agreed between the company and their employee, i.e. the Student.

It is expected that students on a placement will be able to take “leave” of 15 working days during the 6 months.

Year weightings

From 2017 credit for the industrial placements will be included in third year with marks approved at the September meeting of the Board of Examiners.  Details about year weightings and assessment can be found in the Assessment document - Award of Honours - for your degree programme.  Copies can be found here:   Award of Honours

European Credit Transfer Scheme (ECTS)

ECTS points are allocated on the basis of student effort required to complete task (including classroom time and private study). Each ECTS point should require 25-30 hours of effort. A normal academic year is taken to be 60 ECTS (1,500 to 1,800 hours over 9 months). An industrial placement of 6 months will be allocated 42 ECTS (1050 to 1,260 hours effort).  This gives degree totals of 270 ECTS with the industrial placement, or 246 ECTS with the college-based group project.

Final year abroad and industrial placements

Some of the partner universities in the year abroad scheme begin their academic year in September or even late August i.e. just before a typical 6-month industrial placement would finish. Students wishing to take the Year Abroad route will need to resolve the conflict themselves if it arises by either not taking the industrial placement option, or by choosing a university abroad with a later start. Placements shorter than 22 weeks will not be approved.