1. Introduction

1.1       Industrial/Professional Placement Degrees

1.2       Language Degrees

2. Aims and Intended Learning Outcomes of the Placement

2.1       Intended Learning Outcomes

3. How to stay on the Programmes

3.1       How to stay on the Industrial/Professional experience programme

3.2       How to stay on the ‘with language’ programme

3.3       Resit examinations due to Mitigating Circumstances

4. Placement Officers

5. Sources of Information

6. Meetings

7. Applying for Placement Positions

7.1       Applying for placements with new organizations

7.1.1    Health and Safety

7.1.2    Research Project

7.1.3   Training and Research Supervision

8. Disabled Students

8.1       Disclosure of disability on Placement

9. Arrangements for Outgoing Students

9.1       Arrangements for Placement Year – Responsibilities

9.2       Your responsibilities

9.3       Our responsibilities

9.4       Start dates

9.5       Health and Safety

9.6       Health & Travel Insurance

9.7       Students Travelling abroad

9.8       International Student Identity Card

9.9       Fees & Funding

9.10     Personal Risk Assessments

9.11     Absence due to Ill Health

9.12     Ending your placement early

10. Arrangement for Visits

11. Complaints Procedure

12. Intellectual Property Rights

13. Report Write-up

14. Confidentiality

15. Plagiarism

16. Successful Completion of the Placement Year

17. Vaccinations


1. Introduction

The Placement Scheme in the School of Biological Sciences conforms to the recommendations set out in the QAA Code of Practice 2007.

All four-year ‘with industrial/professional experience’ and ‘with language’ degrees have been accredited by the Society of Biology. Degree accreditation by the Society recognises academic excellence in the biosciences, and highlights degrees that educate the research and development of leaders and innovators of the future (for more information see www.societyofbiology.org/education/accreditation/degree-accreditation). The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from the programme meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including gaining a substantial period of research experience. Our School has been successful in demonstrating that these programmes meet these criteria.

In recognition of your time spent on industrial/professional, or with language placement, as a graduate of an accredited programme, you can apply for membership of the Society of Biology at Member (MSB) level after just one year of practice, rather than the usual three years. This will allow you to attain the qualifications of Chartered Biologist or Chartered Scientist two years sooner than graduates from other degree programmes. Further information is available from the Society of Biology at www.societyofbiology.org/membership/table.

1.1 Industrial/Professional Placement Degrees

Industrial/Professional placements must be between nine months and one year. Placements lasting for less than nine months are not considered to have fulfilled the requirements of the placement year. In most cases, a student’s hours of work will be set by the placement company itself, and will generally be 35 hours per work.  In cases where there is some flexibility with working hours, the minimum that a placement students should be working is 4 days per week on placement, or 28 hours.  Any annual leave should be arranged in advance with your placement supervisor, according to the internal regulations of the placement company.  Note that it is a requirement of Erasmus funding that any students who are based in Europe and are in receipt of Erasmus funding must work a minimum of 30 hours per week.

Please note that tuition fees are payable for Industrial/Professional placement students and that maintenance loans may in some cases be considerably lower for the placement year. Further information about fees and funding can be viewed here and here: http://www.studentsupport.manchester.ac.uk/finances/funding-opportunities/all/bursaries-and-scholarships/  Please ensure that you refer to the correct information for your year of entry (so, for example, if you did a foundation year, your year of entry will be earlier that those students that started in Year 1). Please make sure you consider the financial implications of a placement before you apply.

During your second year you will obtain help from the Placement Officer (see Section 4) in obtaining a placement for the third year of your programme. Although as much help as possible will be given, we cannot guarantee all students will find a placement. Placements are obtained on a competitive basis with students applying from Manchester and other institutions. It is normal for companies to produce a short-list on the basis of application forms or curricula vitae, along with references from advisors (which will rely heavily on the performance in the First Year Examinations), and then interview students before making their decisions.

Note: to remain on the with Industrial/Professional Experience degree programme you must meet the requirements stipulated in section 3.1

1.2 Language Degrees

Students registered for the four-year degrees with a language will spend their third year working in a university in a country where their chosen language is the native tongue. These placements will generally be arranged with the Erasmus network of partner Universities or with specified partner Universities in Japan and China. It is up to students to investigate which University they wish to attend, using the Internet and other resources. Students’ choices will be influenced by how their own interests in biological sciences map onto the research programmes of the different Universities with which we have agreements (see below table). Language students are generally not allowed to arrange their own placements outside the agreement as we are not able to validate academic supervision. Students undertaking a placement at an EU university currently receive a small Erasmus grant (but please be aware that EU arrangements may change and this is by no means guaranteed). It is compulsory for all potential Language placement students to attend both of these meetings. Language placements are for 9 months (in Europe) or 10 months (Japan and China).

Note: to remain on the with Language degree programme you must meet the requirements stipulated in section 3.2

SBS Current Bilateral Agreements

We are: UK MANCHES01

Country University Name University Code
Austria Universität Wien A WIEN01
China Fudan University N/A
China Tsinghua University N/A
France Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 F LYON01
France Université Paul Sabatier F TOULOUS03
Germany Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg D FREIBURG01
Germany Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg D HEIDELB01
Germany Universität zu Köln D KOLN01
Italy Università Degli Studi di Firenze I FIRENZE01
Italy Università Degli Studi Roma, Tor Vergata I ROMA02
Japan University of Nagoya N/A
Japan University of Tsukuba N/A
Spain Universidad de Barcelona E BARCELO01
Spain Universidad de Sevilla E SEVILLA01
Spain Universidad Autónoma de Madrid E MALDRID04
Spain Universidad de Salamanca E SALAMAN02
Switzerland Université de Génève (French-speaking) N/A
Switzerland Université de Lausanne (French-speaking) N/A

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2. Aims & intended learning outcomes of the placement

The placement year aims to provide students with broad experience of the application of scientific principles, acquisition or enhancement of practical and inter-personal skills, general understanding of the requirements of professional/research establishments and promote independence and self-confidence.Schilder

2.1 Intended Learning Outcomes

After completing the placement years, the student will:

i) be able to appreciate how areas of their academic studies are applicable in an industrial, professional or research environment;
ii) have applied and/or extended their practical competence and knowledge base;
iii) have demonstrated competence in documenting results, fully appreciating their significance and writing reports in a concise manner;
iv) have improved written, oral and presentational skills;
v) appreciate the concept of employee welfare, in particular occupational health and safety requirements and procedures;
vi) have adjusted to the requirements of industry or other professional workplaces in terms of work ethic, meeting deadlines and accepting responsibility;
vii) will fully appreciate the necessity of being able to work effectively as an individual and as part of a team;
viii) be able to demonstrate reliability, honesty, tact and diplomacy;
ix) have sufficient broad-based experience to be able to contribute rapidly and effectively in an industrial, professional or research-based academic career.

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3. How to stay on the programmes

How to stay on the Industrial/Professional experience programme

There are several important hurdles for you to clear to remain registered for the programme

  • You must have attended the meeting for prospective students in May of Semester 2. Details about this meeting were circulated via email early in Semester 2. Information was also published on the Placement Student Area on Blackboard.
  • You must pass all year 1 mandatory units at the first attempt with a mark of at least 40% in both the January and May/June examination and obtain an overall mean mark of at least 60% (including a mark of at least 70% obtained in a tutorial assignment for Writing and Referencing Skills (BIOL10742) that is attached to the tutorial unit (BIOL10000).
  • You must have submitted your CV to the submission area in Blackboard by the first Monday in September.
  • You must attend the meeting for prospective students in Welcome Week of Semester 3.
  • You must obtain a least a pass mark (40%) in each of your Second Year Examinations at the first attempt in both the January and May/June examination periods and in the practical and tutorial units.
  • You must not divulge information about the placements offered to any other students in this School, other Schools/Faculties or other Universities.

If you do not clear any of these progression steps, it will not be possible for you to continue on the “with industrial/professional experience” programme. In addition, you will be expected to attend a session on interview techniques during Semester 3. This will be important in improving your chances of success.

3.2 How to stay on the “with Language” programme

  • You must have attended the meeting for prospective students in May of Semester 2.
  • You must pass all year 1 mandatory units at the first attempt with a mark of at least 40% in both the January and May/June examination and obtain an overall mean mark of at least 60% (including a mark of at least 70% obtained in a tutorial assignment for Writing and Referencing Skills (BIOL10742) that is attached to the tutorial unit (BIOL10000).
  • You must attend the meeting for prospective Language students in Semester 3 (see section 6 for date)
  • You must obtain at least a pass mark (40%) in each of your second year units in both the January and May/June examination periods.

If you do not clear these progression steps, it will not be possible for you to continue on the “with Language” programme.

3.3 Resit examinations due to Mitigating Circumstances

Students who fail to take any second year units due to Mitigating Circumstances will be required to undertake resit examinations during the scheduled resit period (see front of Level 2 student handbook for dates). Under these circumstances, if you have already obtained a placement, you must make arrangements for your placement to start after the resit examinations.

The timetable for resit examinations will be available about 6 weeks before the start of the resit period (you will be notified by the Student Services Centre), however, you must be aware that you may be required to stay in Manchester for the duration of the resit examination period as the School has no control over the scheduling of resit examinations.

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4. Key Contacts

Placement Officer:
Dr Cathy Walton
C.2268 Michael Smith Building
Tel: 0161 275 1533
Catherine.Walton@manchester.ac.uk Placement Placement Administrator:
Jane Thomas
Room G483 Stopford Building
Tel: 0161 275 1540

All Degree Programmes with Industrial/Professional Experience



Placement Officer:
Dr Patrick Gallois
D3515 Michael Smith Building
Tel: 0161 275 3922
Patrick.G.Gallois@manchester.ac.ukPlacement Placement Administrator:
Jane Thomas
Room G483 Stopford Building
Tel: 0161 275 1540

All Degree Programmes with Languages

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5. Sources of information

The Placement Student Area on Blackboard contains placement testimonials written by past placement students. In addition, the following sources of information are available to view in the Student Support Office Reception (G.483 Stopford Building):

  • Student Interview Feedback Questionnaires – forms completed by students shortly after they have attended placement interviews.  This includes information about who conducted the interview, what types of questions were asked and advice for future students attending interviews with the company.  You are encouraged to consult this information and to contribute to it once you have had placement interviews yourself.
  • Student’s perception of the Placement – contains forms completed by past placement students about their experience of their placement.  This is practical information (e.g. information about transport, sports clubs and accommodation) and advice for future placement students.  You are encouraged to complete this form when you receive your first visit whilst on placement.  This information is invaluable for students who are preparing for their placements.Hand completing a multiple choice exam.

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6. Meetings

All meeting locations, dates and times to be announced via email correspondence from the Placement Office.

Language Placement Meeting

(for 2nd year School of Biological Sciences students with Modern Languages)

Welcome Week (TBC)

Speaker: Dr Patrick Gallois


 Placement Meeting

 (for ALL 2nd Year Students planning to do a placement)

Welcome Week (TBC)

Speaker: Dr Donald Ward


Interview Techniques Workshop

(for ALL 2nd year students planning to do an industrial/professional placement)

Week 1 (TBC)


Industrial/Professional & Language Placement Meeting

(for ALL outgoing students)

Week 12 (TBC)

Speaker: Dr Donald Ward

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7. Applying for placement positions

Please note the following:

  • All applications must be made through the Placement Office or online, as specified in the job advert, and it is mandatory to follow the application procedures specified by the Placement Office. You may NOT approach any of the organisations with which we usually have placements directly for placements (see list on Blackboard and on the Intranet).

You must sign and return a copy of the Student Declaration Form (Appendix 1) to be given to you at the Industrial/Placement Meeting (Week 0) to the Placement Office, by 30th September to be eligible to do a placement.

  • You must reply promptly (normally within 2 working days) to requests from the Placement Office or companies with offers of interview dates.
  • You must inform the Placement Office in the event you are invited for interview.
  • Upon being offered a placement position, you must reply to the company as soon as possible.
  • If, upon being offered a placement, you feel you have to decline the offer, you must first discuss it with your Placement Officer. It is normally expected that students will accept the first offer of a placement, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  • Once you have accepted an offer of a placement, you must inform the Placement Office.
  • You must inform the Placement Office of the full details of your placement via the ‘My Placement’ system (further details will be sent by the Placement Office).

Any student who is unable to obtain a placement by the end of the academic year will be transferred to the appropriate three-year programme.

7.1 Applying for placements with new organizations

While we hope that the majority of students will be successful in obtaining placements with our tried and trusted providers, it may be that some students will wish to approach organisations with which the School has not previously dealt. If you choose to do this, you MUST make sure that you follow the guidelines for self-arranging placements which are available on the Blackboard Student Placement Area (Second Year Placement Students Area).

7.1.1 Health and Safety

Your health and safety are our primary concerns – the organisation must have a robust health and safety policy, provide comprehensive risk assessments for all activities you are likely to undertake, and must agree to adhere to the health and safety standards the University set out in its documentation to placement providers (obtainable from the Placement Office).

7.1.2 Research Project

The organisation must be able to provide you with your own area of research – while a certain amount of start-up training and then day-to-day routine work is to be expected, there must be an aspect of the research for which you will be able to take responsibility once fully trained – you will need to write up this aspect in a proper scientific fashion and defend the outcome at an oral examination.

7.1.3 Training and Research Supervision

The organisation must be able to provide training for all the techniques you are expected to master (they and you cannot expect to access facilities, equipment or expertise in the School) and a suitably qualified supervisor must be readily accessible. While short periods of separation are allowable, satisfactory supervision cannot be conducted at a distance – the supervisor should be in regular face-to-face contact with you.

So – if you do check out opportunities with organizations outside our current list of providers DO make completely sure that all of the above are achievable, DO NOT expect our Placement Office to get involved until you are 100% satisfied that this is the case and DO NOT enter into any agreements that imply that your placement will be recognised by the University until you have presented your findings to your Placement Officer. Your placement will NOT be recognised until the necessary health and safety, risk assessments etc have been completed to the satisfaction of the Placement Officer, so you should NOT make any travel arrangements until these have been completed.

Warning – if despite all these efforts, the placement goes awry once it has started, as has very occasionally happened in the past with unfamiliar organisations, and you end up merely getting “work experience” and no proper research project, you will be removed from the “with industrial/professional experience” programme and you will be considered to have interrupted your studies for a year. If this happens, it is however worth remembering that a “work experience” opportunity will significantly improve your employability.

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8. Disabled Students

To discuss a disability in relation to your placement you should contact either your School Disability Co-ordinator (Joanne.R.Jolley@manchester.ac.uk, tel: 0161 275 1525) or the Central Disability Support Office by email dass@manchester.ac.uk. Further help and information can be found on the Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS) website

8.1 Disclosure of disability on Placement

A placement provider is NOT advised of any disability disclosed to the University unless explicit permission is given by a student to do so. It is therefore essential that the issue of disclosure is discussed with either the DASS or the Disability Co-ordinator and then the Placement Office and that the outcome of the discussion is recorded on file in the Placement Office. Disclosure can be a sensitive issue but is critically important in order to ensure that any additional support needs are put in place to help you perform to your full potential while on placement.

If you are currently in receipt of specialist disability-related funding such as a Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) or social services funding, then you are encouraged to inform your funding provider of your placement as soon as possible, in order to confirm the details of your funding for your time away and to check if you are entitled to any extra allowance.
Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS): 2nd Floor, University Place, The University of Manchester, Tel 1016 275 7512/8518, Text 07899 658790, Minicom 0161 275 2794, email dass@manchester.ac.uk

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9. Arrangements for outgoing students

It is vital that you inform us of your address and contact details while you are away. We also need details of your workplace and supervisor. You must complete the questionnaires on ‘My Placement’ (‘Placement Details’ and ‘Supervisor Details’) as soon as you have the relevant information.

We also need to know that both you and your placement supervisor are fully aware of your responsibilities during the placement year. To this end, you are required to sign the agreement given in Appendix 2. This must be signed within two weeks of beginning your placement and returned to the Placement Office.

9.1 Arrangements for Placement Year – Responsibilities

While you are away you will remain a registered student of the University. You will be able to complete online registration from 1 September and will still be able to use your swipe card (and thus student travel etc. cards). If you are a UK student you are also eligible for a student loan but the amount will be affected – please contact the Student Loans Company for further details. Fees are still payable for Industrial/Professional and Language Placement students.Hands
As you will still be a registered student of the University of Manchester, both you and the staff have a number
of responsibilities (formal and informal).

9.2 Your responsibilities

It is absolutely essential that you give us details of your placement. We need a contact address and telephone number, along with details of the type of work you are doing and who you will be supervised by. This information must be recorded by you via the ‘My Placement’ system. In addition, students who are on placement overseas will be required to complete a series of ‘Progress and Wellbeing’ forms, which will be made available to you via ‘My Placement’ (on arrival, in March, and in July).

On the informal side, you are ambassadors from the School and University – your performance will reflect on both, and will affect the chances of placing the future students in the company and your potential future employment prospects. To date the feedback on our students has been excellent – please make sure it continues to be so.

While away from the University on a placement you will normally be an employee of a company. Even if you are not salaried, it is vital that you behave in a professional manner and abide by all the rules and regulations of your employer, including when coming into contact with the general public in the context of your placement. This applies to all aspects of your placement but please pay particular attention to all aspects of Health & Safety, confidentiality agreements and computer use.

Your major formal responsibility as a requirement of your degree is to produce a report at the end of your placement year; this will be marked and contribute approx. 6% towards your final degree classification.  The report and the viva together contribute approx. 9% towards your final degree classification.

9.3 Our responsibilities

As you are a registered student we must make sure that you are adequately supervised during your placement and that you are gaining appropriate experience. We can only do this if you help us. There are several ways, perhaps the most important of which, although least informal, is to remember that we are always happy to receive telephone calls or email messages. If there are any problems at all please ‘phone your Placement Officer, your Academic Advisor, your Placement Advisor, Programme Director, Senior Advisor or the Placement Office.

More formally, your twice per semester ‘meetings’ with your personal advisor will continue (most likely in the form of an email meeting) and you will be allocated a member of academic staff to act as your ‘Placement Advisor’.  Your Placement Advisor will want to hear from you and your supervisor about how you have settled in to the placement and how the work is going. They will conduct two ‘virtual’ (skype or telephone) meetings with you. During the second ‘visit’ you will share a short PowerPoint presentation and enter into a ‘questions and answers’ discussion with your Placement Advisor.

At the end of the placement we will ask your industrial supervisor to complete another report form. This will not be used as part of the School’s formal assessment but please note the areas of the supervisor’s assessment (Appendix 3). It may be that you will want to ask your supervisor to provide you with a reference, so this form indicates the categories of assessment your supervisor may use.

We will also ensure that you are kept informed about what is going on in Manchester and how it might affect you. The Final Year Handbooks will be available via the School intranet. The Handbook for the current year will give some idea of the structure and unit content of your final year. Project information will be sent to you at the same time as to students in Manchester. It is important to ensure that any replies or confirmation of pre-arranged projects are made as quickly as possible, and certainly by the stated deadlines. If your address or phone number(s) change, you must update your details on the ‘Student System’ area of ‘My Manchester’ immediately.

9.4 Start dates

Start dates are by negotiation between you and your placement employer. You may have been given a start date with your contract. Alternatively, the employer may ask when you will be available to start. You are not permitted to start before the end of Semester 4 (which will be mid-June: see University calendar for exact date). Otherwise there are no restrictions from the University’s viewpoint as long as you can fit in 9-12 months on placement (as agreed with your placement employer) returning to University for the beginning of Semester 5 (towards the end of September) for your final year.

9.5 Health and Safety

Companies in the UK operate under the same Health and Safety legislation that operates in the University. You must follow the instructions and guidelines, which should be given to you by the company.

When working overseas in a company or university you must seek advice on local requirements and host country laws – however, you are advised to follow the same general standards which operate in the University.

9.6 Fitness to travel

Students who are travelling outside the UK for their placement are required to complete a ‘Health Declaration Form’. This form is available on Blackboard for information but will be emailed to you once your placement is confirmed. This form should be printed and submitted to the Student Occupational health department plenty in advance of your travel. You will be informed if you are required to attend an appointment with Occupational Health before they are able to issue a ‘fitness to travel’ certificate for you. The Placement Office must have a ‘fitness to travel’ certificate for all students going on placement overseas. If it is not possible for you to attend an appointment with the Student Occupational Health team on campus, you can also obtain a ‘fitness to travel’ certificate from you own GP but please note that you will need to pay for this service. Whether you go to the Student Occupational Health service or your own GP, the Placement Office will need to have a copy of the ‘fitness to travel’ certificate before you go on placement. Many students travelling abroad will require vaccinations. Please see section 16 for further information about vaccinations.

Students who will be based in the UK during their placement year should complete the Self-Assessment Occupational Health form. This will be available on Blackboard for information and will be emailed to you once your placement is confirmed. This does not need to be submitted to the Placement Office but will inform you about whether you should arrange to visit the Occupational Health Service before the start of your placement. If you need to attend an appointment with the Student Occupational Health Service, you must provide a copy of your ‘fitness to travel’ certificate to the Placement Office.

If there are any indications that a student may not be fully fit, mentally and/or physically to undertake a placement the School reserves the right to refer the student to a GP in the Occupational Health Service for medical assessment. If the staff of the Service express any doubt that the student is fully fit, or will be so at the time of the start of the placement, the School will withdraw the student from the placement programme.

9.7 Health & Travel Insurance

If you are going overseas then you will be covered for emergencies by the University insurance but you may still wish to take out additional cover for day to day healthcare. Details of the insurance policy can be found here: http://www.goabroad.manchester.ac.uk/emergencies-and-insurance/. Any queries should be directed to insurance@manchester.ac.uk

Students going abroad for more than one year, or who are aged 75 or over, must obtain prior clearance from the Insurance Office.

If you are going to another EU country, either for a Language or Industrial/Professional placement, there are some items you should obtain in order to access treatment under the same conditions as citizens of the country concerned. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will provide medical insurance for the full period of work abroad providing the student is (a) going to a European country which has a reciprocal health insurance agreement with the United Kingdom and (b) the student is NOT earning a salary whilst out on placement. In other circumstances, eligibility is dependent upon earnings and National Insurance contributions – if a student is earning a salary it may be necessary, in this instance, to take out private medical insurance to cover the length of the placement even if that placement is European based. For further information and advice please go to the Department of Health website: www.dh.gov.uk/travellers.

You will normally be covered by a company’s work place/public liability insurance. However, this is not always the case. If you are not covered by the employer’s insurance, you are unlikely to receive compensation from your employer if you suffer an injury at work, or to be covered against legal action if someone is accidentally injured by you or if you damage someone else’s property during the course of your work. We will request further information about a Placement Provider’s insurance from the Placement Provider themselves. If we are not satisfied that you are sufficiently covered by their insurance, we may not be able to approve your placement. If there are any issues or if we are unable to approve the placement for this reason, you will be informed as soon as possible.

9.8 Students travelling abroad

If you need a visa or a work permit (eg USA or some European destinations for some students) it is YOUR responsibility to obtain forms and information from your employer. We recommend that you check whether you require a visa, as you may be surprised. For example, a non-EU citizen taking a placement in an EU country outside of the UK will most likely require a new visa for the country in which their placement is based. The host placement organisation is responsible for organising work permits and providing all employment information relevant to obtaining the visa/permit etc. This may take a considerable time and may not be the host organisation’s top priority immediately after awarding you your placement position. Please be polite and patient and reply promptly to requests from your host organisation. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD STUDENTS MAKE DEPOSITS OR PURCHASE TICKETS TO THEIR PLACEMENT DESTINATION UNTIL THEY HAVE OBTAINED ALL THE NECESSARY DOCUMENTATION.  Please be aware that the School’s Placement Office is not legally permitted to provide information about visas or work permits.

9.9     Fees & Funding

Tuition fees for the Placement Year are considerably lower than the standard tuition fee.  Further details are available here: http://www.studentsupport.manchester.ac.uk/finances/a-z/placement/  The amount of funding available to you from Student Finance varies depending on where you will be doing on your placement year and on your personal circumstances.  Note that you will need to reapply for student finance for your placement year.

Please make sure you consider the financial implications of a placement before you apply.

The University offers several travel awards that placement students may wish to apply for.  Further information about these awards can be found here: http://www.studentsupport.manchester.ac.uk/finances/funding-opportunities/all/travel-awards/

9.10 International Student Identity Card

If you are going abroad it is a good idea to obtain an International Student Identity Card. You can get this from travel agents such as STA Travel.

9.11 Personal Risk Assessments

All students who will be undertaking non-UK based placements or field-based placements in the UK are required to complete a personal risk awareness questionnaire. You will be sent a copy of this when your placement is confirmed.

9.12 Absence to due Ill Health

Whilst on placement, you must adhere to the Placement Provider’s regulations on absence due to ill health. In addition to this, you MUST inform the Placement Office (placementoffice.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk) if you are absent from your placement for a period of 10 days or more.

9.13 Ending your Placement Early

Occasionally students find that they are unable to complete the required 9 months (minimum) of the placement year.  In these circumstances, students must ensure that they discuss this with their line manager and ensure that they fulfil the terms of their contract with the placement provider (if applicable).  Students who finish their placement early will switch to the three year degree (without ‘industrial experience’) and will be required to apply for an interruption to study in order to return in the final year in the following September.  Please note that students will not be permitted to transfer to a four year MSci programme in these circumstances.

If you find yourself in this situation, please contact the Placement Office (placementoffice.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk) who will guide you through the process.

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10. Your university ‘Placement Advisor’

visitAll students will be allocated a ‘Placement Advisor’. The Placement Advisor will be allocated based on the information that you provide in your ‘SBS: Placement Project Information’ questionnaire (i.e. we will try to match them on research area, as much as possible) – so it is really important that you complete the questionnaire promptly!    You will have two ‘virtual’ (skype or telephone) visits from your Placement Advisor during your placement year (around November and March).  They will also be the first marker for your placement report at the end of the year.  Students will not receive a face-to-face visit unless they are at a new placement site or a ‘higher risk’ placement site or unless one is requested by the student or placement supervisor.

Once staff members have been allocated to you as ‘Placement Advisors’, you will be sent a document listing these allocations and giving contact details of your allocated visitor.

The first ‘virtual’ meeting with your ‘Placement Advisor’ will take place in the early stages of your placement year.  Your Placement Advisor will complete report form to be filled in during discussions with you and your industrial supervisor. This allows for an expansion of the details of your work, comments from you on the placement and comments from your industrial supervisor on your performance. One section of the Supervisor’s Assessment that may not be immediately familiar to you is your “Laboratory book”. This may be a very formal, closely and regularly monitored journal in some organisations, in others you may be expected to know what is required. In case you do not, do ask your supervisor what is expected – usually up-to-date, accurate, orderly records of what you have done, and what results were obtained, any analysis performed, conclusions and notes about refinements/future experiments. As a general rule you should leave work at the end of the day having made a record of what you have done so that someone else could understand what you have done.

Your ‘Placement Advisor’ will try their best to sort out any minor issues or problems raised but will report back to the Placement Officer and the Senior Advisor any major issues raised during the visit. You may also wish to contact your Placement Officer and the Senior Advisor directly if you have any serious difficulties or complaints. Please remember that your line manager at the host organisation is the person with day-to-day responsibility for your placement. He/she should be your first point of contact in case of difficulties.

For the second virtual meeting with your Placement Advisor, you are required to produce a PowerPoint presentation based upon your area(s) of research. This should be closely related to areas to be discussed/written up in your Placement Report. THE POWERPOINT PRESENTATION WILL NOT BE ASSESSED AND IT WILL NOT AFFECT THE FINAL OVERALL MARK OF YOUR WRITTEN PLACEMENT REPORT.

Your Placement Supervisor does not need to be present during the virtual visit but you may need to obtain company approval for the content of your presentation if your work is subject to a confidentiality agreement, so it is best to check it with him/her.

This virtual visit is an opportunity for you to talk through your presentation over the telephone or on skype with the academic member of staff, who will give you feedback which should prove helpful before you finalise your report

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11. Complaints Procedure

Few students experience difficulties with placements and those that do, usually find that they are best resolved by prompt informal action on site. If you are dissatisfied with the decisions made, you should make your line manager/supervisor aware of your discomfort and explain how you think the situation can be resolved. If this does not cure the problem it is far better to contact staff at the University than to attempt to get around your supervisor by going direct to his/her line manager or to the Organisation’s Personnel Department. Your Academic Advisor, Placement Officer, Programme Director or the Senior Advisor will be able to advise on possible actions to address the problem, and a visit can be arranged at short notice if the situation does not resolve itself.

For complaints against staff in the School of Biological Sciences see: here

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12. Intellectual property (IP) rights

Many organisations will expect you to sign contracts and agreements relating to a range of matters including IP and confidentiality, in which case you must ensure that you read them very carefully and understand the implications before signing. If you are not asked to sign anything, you should be aware that the IP rights to the research that you carry out will remain the property of the organisation for which you are working unless you are given explicit (written) permisrightssion to use the material. If you cannot obtain this permission then you may not use any of your results in any publications whatsoever. This includes your placement report so it is very much in your best interests to get written confirmation from your supervisor that he/she is willing to allow you to use the research for the purposes of your report. If publications may arise from any of the work you do, you are advised to discuss authorship with your co-workers and supervisor at an early stage, as there should be no expectation of authorship as a necessary consequence of your input.



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13. Report write up

There are five sets of guidelines about writing up your Placement Report. The guidelines that you will use will depend on the sort of project that you are writing. The three guidelines are for Lab-based placements, Education placement, Science, Media and Communication placements, Business placements and Conservation & Animal Husbandry placements. The guidelines are saved on the Placement Student Area of Blackboard (‘Students on Placement’ folder).

In some cases the company will require you to produce an internal report in a different format – if that is the case we may be able to accept a copy as your report (subject to the agreement of the company) if it is appropriate, rather than making you produce two separate reports. If this is the case you should discuss this with your Placement Advisor or contact the Placement Office first to ensure that the format of the report will be acceptable. Remember that you may be subject to confidentiality arrangements and so you should not release information without consent. Companies normally examine, and need to approve, the report that you submit – make sure you allow time for this!

The report will be assessed by two members of staff (your Placement Advisor and a second member of staff) who will also be responsible for your oral examination (viva). The total mark will contribute approximately 6% towards your final degree classification, split 70:30 for the written report and the oral.

Vivas will normally be completed by the end of Week 7 of semester 5.

If your research results in a publication which is more or less final, or has been submitted or published before you complete your report, there is no need to rewrite this material. It could form part of your report or be included as an Appendix (to which you refer in your report). To avoid unwarranted accusations of plagiarism, you must make it crystal clear that some of your report replicates part or all of a published (or “submitted”, or “in preparation”) paper. Thus, if you are not sole author or contributor to all of the work included in the report, you must make a clear statement at the start of the report which indicates exactly what your role was in the research and writing of the paper, and cite the journal to which the paper has been/will be submitted.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your report is submitted to the University when you return.

Reports should normally be completed and checked with your supervisor before you finish your placement. Your placement report should be submitted online via Blackboard (BIOL40000) no later than 13.00 on the first Tuesday in Week 2 (semester 5 of your final year).  You are not required to submit printed copies of your report UNLESS your report is covered by a confidentiality agreement.  If your report is covered by a confidentiality agreement it must not be submitted online but you should instead submit two printed and bound copies, with cover sheets to the Student Support Office Reception (G.483 Stopford Building) by the same deadline.

Failure to plan ahead is not an acceptable reason for late submission and will be penalised by deduction of 10% for every late day.

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14. Confidentiality

If any procedures, results or names of compounds or organisms are confidential for commercial reasons they may be omitted, but a statement detailing the reason should be given. Take care to observe any confidentiality requirements of your employer and ensure that proper approval is given before the report is submitted to the University. In the case of a confidential report, a special agreement between the University and the organisation should be prepared – the University has created its own agreement for this purpose, but an alternative agreement may be drafted by the employing organisation. This confidentiality agreement guarantees that your report will only be seen by the two Internal Examiners. For further information regarding confidentiality agreements, or to arrange for an agreement to be put in place between the University and your placement company, please contact the Placement Office at placementoffice.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk or by telephoning +44 (0)161 275 1540.confident

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15. Plagiarism

Plagiarism, collusion and other forms of academic malpractice
Plagiarism is a serious offence – it is treated as seriously as cheating in exams.
As a student, you are expected to cooperate in the learning process throughout your programme of study by completing assignments of various kinds that are the product of your own study or research. For most students this does not present a problem, but occasionally, whether unwittingly or otherwise, a student may commit what is known as plagiarism, or some other form of academic malpractice, when carrying out an assignment. This may come about because students have been used to different conventions in their prior educational experience or through general ignorance of what is expected of them or of what constitutes plagiarism. The Academic Malpractice module in the Critical Writing Skills unit should have covered all you need to know, and you can remind yourself of that content via the Teaching Archives on Blackboard (click on Learning Resources in the left hand menu of any unit). This guidance is designed to help you understand what we regard as academic malpractice and hence to help you to avoid committing it. You should read it carefully, because academic malpractice is regarded as a serious offence and students found to have committed it will be penalized. At the very least a mark of only 30% would be awarded for the piece of work in question, but it could be worse; you could be awarded zero (with or without loss of credits), for your placement, be demoted to a lower class of degree, or be excluded from the programme.

Academic malpractice includes plagiarism, collusion, fabricationpen or falsification of results and anything else intended by those committing it to achieve credit that they do not properly deserve. You will be given exercises and guidance on plagiarism/academic malpractice in tutorials and if you are unsure about any aspect of this you should ask your Academic Advisor for advice. In addition, further guidance is available on the intranet which includes helpful exercises and explanations relating to plagiarism and referencing on the web.

The University uses electronic systems for the purposes of detecting plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice and for marking. Such systems include TurnitinUK, the plagiarism detection service used by the Uiversity.

Different types of academic malpractice are explained over the next few pages.

Plagiarism is presenting the ideas, work or words of other people without proper, clear and unambiguous acknowledgement. The most obvious examples of plagiarism would be to copy another student’s work, or to copy text from a book or website. Even if you acknowledge the source in a citation, you must put the ideas or concepts into your own words, unless you are using a direct quote. It also includes ‘self-plagiarism’ (which occurs where, for example, you submit work that you have presented for assessment on a previous occasion), and the submission of material from ‘essay banks’ (even if the authors of such material appear to be giving you permission to use it in this way). It is as serious to use material from the internet or from a computer based encyclopaedia or literature archive as it is to use material from a printed source.

Paraphrasing, when the original statement is still identifiable and has no acknowledgement, is plagiarism. Taking a piece of text, from whatever source, and substituting words or phrases with other words or phrases is plagiarism. It is not acceptable to put together unacknowledged passages from the same or from different sources linking these together with a few words or sentences of your own and changing a few words from the original text; this is regarded as over-dependence on other sources, which is a form of plagiarism.

It is essential to make clear in your assignments the distinction between the ideas and work of other people that you may have quite legitimately used and developed, and the ideas or material that you have personally contributed.

To assist you, here are a few important do’s and don’ts:

Do get lots of background information on subjects you are writing about to help you form your own view of the subject. The information could be from electronic journals, technical reports, unpublished dissertations, etc. Make a note of the source of every piece of information at the time you record it, even if it is just one sentence. Consider writing skeletal notes of your own rather than storing original text.

Don’t construct a piece of work by cutting and pasting or copying material written by other people, or by you for any other purpose, into something you are submitting as your own work. Sometimes you may need to quote someone else’s exact form of words in order to analyse or criticize them, in which case the quotation must be enclosed in quotation marks to show that it is a direct quote, and it must have the source properly acknowledged at that point. Any omissions from a quotation must be indicated by an ellipsis (…) and any additions for clarity must be enclosed in square brackets, e.g. “[These] results suggest… that the hypothesis is correct.” It may also be appropriate to reproduce a diagram from someone else’s work, but again the source must be explicitly and fully acknowledged there. However, constructing large chunks of documents from a string of quotes, even if they are acknowledged, is another form of plagiarism.

Do attribute all ideas to their original authors. Written ‘ideas’ are the product that authors produce. You would not appreciate it if other people passed off your ideas as their own, and that is what plagiarism rules are intended to prevent. A good rule of thumb is that each idea or statement that you write should be attributed to a source unless it is your personal idea or it is common knowledge. (If you are unsure if something is common knowledge, ask other students: if they don’t know what you are talking about, then it is not common knowledge!)
As you can see, it is most important that you understand what is expected of you when you prepare and produce assignments and that you always observe proper academic conventions for referencing and acknowledgement, whether working by yourself or as part of a team. In practice, there are a number of acceptable styles of referencing depending, for example, on the particular discipline you are studying, so if you are not certain what is appropriate, ask your Advisor or the course unit coordinator for advice. This should ensure that you do not lay yourself open to a charge of plagiarism inadvertently, or through ignorance of what is expected. It is also important to remember that you do not absolve yourself from a charge of plagiarism simply by including a reference to a source in a reference list that you have included with your assignment; you should always be scrupulous about indicating precisely where and to what extent you have made use of such a source.

So far, plagiarism has been described as using the words or work of someone else (without proper attribution). However, it could also include a close paraphrase of their words, or a minimally adapted version of a computer program, a diagram, a graph, an illustration, etc., taken from a variety of sources without proper acknowledgement. These could be lectures, printed material, the Internet or other electronic/AV sources.

Remember: no matter what pressure you may be under to complete an assignment, you should never succumb to the temptation to take a ‘short cut’ and use someone else’s material inappropriately. No amount of mitigating circumstances will get you off the hook, and if you persuade other students to let you copy their work, they will be disciplined as well.

Collusion is any agreement to hide someone else’s individual input to collaborative work with the intention of securing a mark higher than either you or another student might deserve. Where proved, it will be subject to penalties similar to those for plagiarism. Similarly, it is also collusion to allow someone to copy your work when you know that they intend to submit it as though it were their own and that will lay both you and the other student open to a charge of academic malpractice.

Collaboration, on the other hand, is a perfectly legitimate academic activity in which students are required to work in groups as part of their programme of research or in the preparation of projects and similar assignments. If you are asked to carry out such group work and to collaborate in specified activities, it will always be made clear how your individual input to the joint work is to be assessed and graded. Sometimes, for example, all members of a team may receive the same mark for a joint piece of work, whereas on other occasions, team members will receive individual marks that reflect their individual input. If it is not clear on what basis your work is to be assessed, to avoid any risk of unwitting collusion you should always ask for clarification before submitting your report.

Fabrication or falsification of results
For many students, a major part of their studies involves laboratory or other forms of practical work, and they often find themselves undertaking such activity without close academic supervision. If you are in this situation, you are expected to behave in a responsible manner, as in other aspects of your academic life, and to show proper integrity in the reporting of results or other data. Hence you should ensure that you always document clearly and fully any research programme or survey that you undertake, whether working by yourself or as part of a group. Results or data that you or your group submit must be capable of verification, so that those assessing the work can follow the processes by which you obtained them. Under no circumstances should you seek to present results or data that were not properly obtained and documented as part of your practical learning experience. Otherwise, you lay yourself open to the charge of fabrication or falsification of results.

If you commit any form of academic malpractice, teaching staff will not be able to assess your individual abilities objectively or accurately. Any short-term gain you might have hoped to achieve will be cancelled out by the loss of proper feedback you might have received, and in the long run such behaviour is likely to damage your overall intellectual development, to say nothing of your self-esteem. You are the one who loses.

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16. Successful Completion of Placement Year

You must satisfactorily complete the placement year to obtain a degree of ‘BSc… with Industrial/Professional Experience’ or ‘With Language’. In some cases, a student may fail to complete their placement year satisfactorily. This may be as a result of poor performance during the year away. Very rarely, it may also arise as a result of dismissal of the student from employment by the company, either for unsatisfactory performance, or serious misconduct. This situation also arises if a student withdraws unilaterally (i.e. resigns) from a placement. As failure to complete would normally result in a mark of zero for the placement report it is essential that you act promptly to alert us to any problems that may arise – we are here to help.

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17. Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required for placements in some countries, for example, The Gambia. In cases such as this, where vaccinations are a requirement for a student’s authorised placement, the School will pay for vaccinations to be given by the University’s Occupational Health department based in Waterloo Place if the student is in receipt of the full Manchester Bursary and if their family income is £25,000 or lower. Eligible students must complete the ‘Placement Student Vaccination Cost Waiver’ form, available on the Student Placement Avaccinesrea of Blackboard and submit it to the Placement Office well in advance of the appointment with Occupational Health. If eligible, students will be issued with a ‘Vaccination Cost Waiver Confirmation Form’ to take with them to their Occupational Health appointment. All other students must cover the

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The University of Manchester- School of Biological Sciences 

‘With Industrial Experience’/’With a Modern Language’ Placements – Student Declaration

  • I wish to be considered for an industrial/professional placement commencing in 2018-2019.


  • I have submitted my basic curriculum vitae to the Placement Office but accept that I should consider making updates and changes appropriate to each application.


  • I will regularly check my email and respond as soon as practically possible to messages from the Placement Office, the Placement Officer and potential employers.


  • If I approach personal contacts or employers not on the School’s list I will notify my Placement Officer BEFORE accepting an offer of a placement.


  • I will inform the Placement Office of ALL correspondence from potential employers, about ALL interviews and of ALL offers of employment.


  • I will make every effort to attend all interviews offered to me. If there are exceptional circumstances stopping me doing so, I will contact the Placement Office immediately, and as far in advance of the interview time as possible.


  • I will accept an offer of employment as soon as practically possible. If I have serious reservations I will discuss the situation with the Placement Office before declining.


  • I will respond to correspondence from Placement Providers in a polite, professional and prompt manner (normally within 2 working days).


  • If I decide not to continue to seek a placement I will inform the Placement Office immediately.


  • If I break any of the above conditions I understand that I will immediately be transferred to the three-year degree.


  • If I am removed from the placement programme due to breaking any of the above conditions, I will not be permitted to transfer to an MSci programme.


  • I consent to sharing my email and location (if placed) with other placement students (if you have concerns about this, please inform the Placement Office).


  • I consent to the Placement Officer contacting my Academic Advisor for an academic reference which will be used during the application process for certain placements.


  • Declaration of consent*: I consent to the processing and transfer of my personal data as detailed below in order to facilitate, manage and support my placement. This will include CVs, covering letters, contact details and academic references.


Name:…………………………..……………….         Date:……………………………..    Signature:……………………………………..


Please sign and return one copy to the Placement Office by Sept 30th 2018 and keep one for your information.  You cannot be considered for a placement unless you do so.

*Consent to Share Data: Within The University of Manchester, the personal data held about you is processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. In the course of organising your placement the University and you will normally need to pass personal data (including personal sensitive data) to the relevant host organisation.  In circumstances in which the host organisation is based outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland it will not be subject to the same data protection requirements and standards as The University of Manchester but will instead be subject to whatever privacy legislation applies in the host country. Further information on data protection can be obtained from the University’s Records Manager, Alan Carter (alan.carter@manchester.ac.uk; 0161 275 8111.


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School of Biological Sciences


This agreement relates specifically to the placement year which forms an integrated part of the degree programmes ‘with industrial/professional experience’ in the School of Biological Sciences at The University of Manchester.

The objective of the placement is to extend the experience of the student and to provide an opportunity for the application of learning.

The responsibilities of the University, Placement Organisation and Student are detailed overleaf. By signing this agreement, respective parties undertake to abide by these requirements.

This agreement must be returned to the Placement Office (placementoffice.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk) no later than 2 weeks after the start of the placement.


For the University:

Name in Capitals:


Signature and Date:Position:


School: Biological Sciences


For the Placement Organisation:

Name in capitals:


Placement Organisation:Position:

Signature and Date:

Address of Placement Organisation:


The Student:

Name in capitals:

Signature and Date:Degree programme:





Towards the student:

·        To appoint a visiting tutor who will normally visit once within the placement period.

·        To appoint a ‘virtual visitor’ who will conduct a visit with the student via skype or telephone.

·        To undertake ‘personal advisee meetings’ between the student and their personal advisor at the University. These will normally be via email or telephone.

·        The visitors will monitor the student’s general performance and progress towards their final report.

·        Subject to satisfactory completion of the placement, to allow the student to resume their degree course.

Towards the placement organisation:

·        The visiting tutor will meet with the student’s placement supervisor to discuss the progress of the placement student.




·        To provide the student with a placement for a minimum of nine months and a maximum of twelve months.

·        To provide the student with an opportunity to conduct an in-depth research project which they can write up as a report for The University.

·        To treat the student as an employee on short term contact in accordance with the organisation’s normal policies.

·        To provide a named supervisor within the company who will conduct or make arrangements for the day-today supervision of the student.

·        To provide an induction to the organisation and its working practices, policies etc.

·        To ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, a safe working environment, in conformity with Health and Safety legislation.

·        To provide the same level of liability and other insurance cover provided for comparable employees.

·        To facilitate access to the student for the visit by the visiting tutor from the University.

·        Under the guidance of the University School/Department and in accordance with the student’s Programme Regulations as they relate to professional training, to facilitate and participate in the assessment of the student.

·        In cases of serious breaches of discipline to advise and consult with the Deputy Associate Dean.




Towards the placement organisation:

·        To abide by all company rules regarding hours of work, health and safety regulations and other practices and procedures.

·        To maintain confidentiality whilst on placement.

·        To carry out the work programme specified by the placement organisation under the supervision of the specified supervisor(s).


Towards the University:

·        Complete all reports and records for the University as specified in the student handbook.

·        Consult with the University prior to seeking any changes in the terms and duration of the placement.

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University of Manchester
School of Biological Sciences
Industrial/Professional Placement & Language Students
Report by Placement Advisor


Student: Degree Programme:
Organisation: Industrial Supervisor:
Department/Location: Supervisor’s Position:


Date: Visiting Advisor:
Time spent with student/supervisor:


Description of Work include techniques, equipment etc.

Routine work (e.g. screening, assays as a service):



Project work:



Estimate breakdown of time:

For completion by Visiting Advisor in discussion with Supervisor
Amount of contact between supervisor and student:
Other people responsible for supervision:
Is very close supervision required or is the student fairly independent?
Size of Group:
Is student asking for help in writing report:
Supervisor’s Assessment of Student
Excellent Poor Comments
Time-keeping 1 2 3 4 5
Reliability 1 2 3 4 5
Technical competence 1 2 3 4 5
Laboratory book 1 2 3 4 5
Understanding 1 2 3 4 5
Co-operation 1 2 3 4 5
Concentration 1 2 3 4 5
General comments:
Advisor’s comments
Areas for improvement:


Please return the form to Placement Office, Room G483 Stopford




Student’s perception of placement
The student should complete this page
This section of the form will be given to any student interested in your placement organisation next year, to inform/help prepare them, so please be as truthful as you can be. If you have information which you think would have been useful to know before you arrived at your placement please could you include it so that future students benefit from your experience.
Supervision/help give (comment on frequency, availability of supervisor or other advisor):




Do you have the chance to make an individual contribution to the development of the project?




What are you learning (e.g. techniques, other working skills)



What are your working hours? (and maybe how does your standard day go?)



What are the sports/socials/activities/clubs which are organised by the organisation?



Did you receive any support in finding accommodation?



What is transport like?




Other local facilities (e.g. are there shops/restaurants/bars/bus stops/train stations nearby?




Advice for future students (include anything you wish you had know before you applied/started work)


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Industrial/Professional Placement & Language Students

Second (Virtual) Visit Report

Student’s Name:



Working Title of Placement ReportDegree Programme:Organisation:



Date of Virtual Visit:



Comments on Presentation



Is student confident that his/her Report is proceeding well?



Is student receiving guidance in writing up the Report?



Areas for concern:



Any areas for improvement identified by first visitor discussed with the student:






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