The International Placement Year

The International Placement Year is compulsory for students taking Chinese, French, German or Spanish at major level. Please note that there is no placement year for Italian.

What are the advantages of an International Placement Year?

During the International Placement Year students have the opportunity to develop various skills:

  • Improve your language proficiency
  • Broaden your cultural knowledge
  • Enhance your personal development
  • Gain transferable skills that are much valued by employers

What are your options?

Students can currently choose between the following options:

  • Study at a partner university in a EU or non-EU country
  • Teach as an English language assistant with the British Council
  • Work on a placement with a company

How do we support our students?

We aim to offer a range of support, for example:

  • Regular preparation meetings from first week of second year
  • Intensive preparation course in the Summer Term of second year
  • All aspects covered: organisational, financial, social and cultural, health and safety
  • Dedicated International Placement Year Tutors providing individual personalised advice

How do we assess your International Placement Year?

  • Written work related to your experience
  • Partner university marks
  • Counts towards your degree


All study and work abroad placements (i.e. Erasmus+ and non-Erasmus+, EU and non-EU) incur a tuition fee that is currently 15% of the standard fee (2018/19). Of course all students have access to a tuition fee loan to cover this cost and students studying abroad will continue to be eligible for a maintenance loan; grants are also available for those from lower income households, to assist with their living costs for the year.

Under the Erasmus+ scheme students who study or work in Europe get extra funding. This means that all students going abroad in Europe receive a small Erasmus+ grant of about €300 a month for their study and work. Students on language assistantships are also paid for their work. This is often the case with work placements.

Following the UK-EU phase one agreement on the 15 December 2017, the UK will be able to participate in Erasmus+ until the end of the programme in 2020, providing there is a final exit deal agreed upon. This should allow staff and students to complete mobility periods, and receive funding, through the Erasmus+ programme until the end of the academic year 2020/21. Find out more about Erasmus+ and Brexit.