Psychology placement year

All of our psychology students can opt to take a voluntary placement year, so you do not have to apply for a particular course - but you should let the student finance company know that you will be on a four-year course with a sandwich year.

Placements are unpaid, so you have to be able to support yourself for a year, but they are invaluable in giving you workplace experience and boosting your self confidence as you discover what you can achieve.

The process starts in your second year, with information sessions to help you decide if a placement year is right for you.

You complete a profiling document to outline your reasons for going on placement, and to identify your objectives. Then with the help of your personal tutor, you create a CV that emphasises your strengths and gives you the best chance of getting an interview.

You can then apply to one of the organisations that regularly offer placements to our students, or you can find your own host, perhaps through personal contacts. The host can be anywhere in the world, so some students have taken this chance to volunteer for work overseas.

Your placement will run for between 36 and 46 weeks, depending upon what you and your host arrange. They run between July 1 following your second year, and August 15 the following summer.

July-October: as soon as possible before the placement starts, you complete a Placement Data form and a Learning Agreement, setting out your duties and objectives for the placement.

October-December: arrange for your personal tutor to visit you at your place of work, to meet with you and your supervisor.

Before the end of February you should send your tutor a Placement Progress Report. This is two sides of A4 charting what work has been done so far and what is left to do.

By the third Friday in August ask your workplace supervisor to complete an Employer Assessment for you to upload.

After the placement: submit your Placement Report by October.

When you graduate, you will receive a Certificate of Professional and Industrial Experience as well as your psychology degree.

My placement experience - Ann Merry

I needed to do something to make me stand out

Ann Merry describes her placement experience working in the Clinical Neuropsychology Department at Derriford Hospital (Plymouth)

Meet your Placements team!

What help will you receive from the University?

Plenty! In year two, you have a dedicated ‘pre-placement module’ designed to help you with each stage of securing a placement. We also have a dedicated Careers Service, open five days a week, which can offer a number of services. While on placement you will be allocated a ‘placement tutor’ from your faculty team who will visit you and stay in regular contact.

Lindsey and Andrea are here to support you throughout your placement. You can contact us on or +44 1752 586007. If you are on campus, you can come along to our term-time only drop in sessions. Please visit our HUB page for details.

These are just some of the many places where our students have worked on placements recently:


Dorset HealthCare University Foundation Trust - Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust - The Forensic Liaison Team - Devon and Cornwall Constabulary - HMP Channing Woods - HMP Rye Hill - Bridgewater Forensic Liaison Team - Broadmoor Hospital - Psychology Associates Ltd.


Dartmoor Zoological Park - Drinkmaster Ltd - Intel - National Marine Aquarium - Neurocore - Plymouth City Council - Plymouth University - Southampton University - University of Aveiro - University of Massachusetts - Sussex Mindfulness Centre (NHS) - University of Vienna.


2gether NHS Foundation Trust - Aneurin Bevan University Health Board - Broadreach Action for Change - Cheadle Royal Hospital - Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services - Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust - Frenchay Hospital - Headway Somerset - Livewell Southwest - Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust - Royal Devon & Exeter NHS - SL Volunteers - The Priory Hospital - The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn NHS Foundation Trust - Torbay and South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust - Derriford Hospital - The Zone - Southampton General Hospital.



All Saints Academy Plymouth - Alternative Complementary Education - Christ the King School - Eggbuckland Vale Primary School - Mountjoy School - Plymouth Excellence Cluster - Salway Ash Primary School - Southampton City Council - Tor Bridge High.

Alana Kiss, Dartmoor Zoological Park placement student

“I would say the most challenging aspect of my placement at Dartmoor Zoo was staying organised as there is a lot to do and you’re more in charge of yourself than you are used to. However my favourite memory was watching the meerkats play with their sand enrichment and coming out looking like they had rolled in fake tan.” 

Alana Kiss, 3rd Year BSc (Hons) Psychology

Alana Kiss (left)