Imperial College London year in industry

By | 15th June 2017

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Imperial College London year in industry

Year in industry placements

The Internship & Placement Unit uses ‘placement’ to describe a period of time spent away from College in industry that counts towards your degree classification. We see them as different to ‘internships’ which are not part of your course. Placements are a great way to get experience. They tend to be for a longer time period than a summer internship and provide an opportunity for you to get more involved in the work of your host organisation. You should be given projects to complete, similar to that of a graduate in their first year of work. The work should be related to your course. You may even return to College with a graduate job offer!


At Imperial various departments offer industrial placements. The length of the placement varies depending on your course. Some are 12 – 16 weeks, six months or a full ‘Year in Industry’. If your department offers a year in industry, you will need to be registered on the appropriate degree title e.g. ‘Chemistry with a Year in Industry’. It is at your Department’s discretion whether you can take the year in industry option so talk to the member of staff responsible for placements in your department if you are not registered on the correct degree title.

Some Year Abroad placements may include an internship and there are also degrees that include Research Abroad. A full list of these options can be found on the Registry webpage.

Imperial College London year in industry

Year in Industry

Government funding

If you are a Home undergraduate student who is undertaking a year in industry as part of your course you are eligible for partial funding from your government authority.  For more information contact your funding authority directly.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fee information for your year in industry can be found on the fees page 2016-17.

Imperial Bursary

Imperial Bursaries are awarded to Home students based on household income assessments carried out by relevant government funding bodies. For more information please visit the Imperial Bursary webpage.

A typical year in industry placement can pay £1,000 to £1,500 a month, if you are in receipt of the Imperial Bursary you are not entitled to recieve the Imperial Bursary.

If your placement is unpaid, you may be entitled to receive 15% of the assessed Imperial Bursary.

Erasmus +

If you undertake a year in industry within the framework of the Erasmus + scheme you may be eligible for an Erasmus Grant.

For more information please go to our Erasmus webpage.

Imperial College London year in industry

Year in Industry Option


Students have the option to complete a Year in Industry in Year 4 of a 5 year MSci degree programme. 

A year in industry is highly valuable as it provides students with an opportunity to learn about industrial applications of chemistry and to appreciate their academic studies in a wider context.  It also gives students a competitive edge when applying for jobs on graduation.

Other benefits include:

  • reduced tuition fees whilst being paid a salary!
  • trialling graduate level jobs in sectors of interest to enable better informed onward career choices
  • making contacts with potential future employers
  • enhancing employability through increased maturity, learning technical knowledge beyond a normal degree and gaining transferrable professional skills

Further information

Where can I spend a Year in Industry?

A diverse range of industries are able to offer year-long industrial placements.  These include large established companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in:

  • drug discovery
  • plastic electronics
  • oil and gas
  • cheminformatics
  • materials science
  • food, beverage and perfumery
  • catalysis
  • laser technologies

Many placements take place in the UK however students also have the opportunity to travel with some placement providers being based in mainland Europe, Australia and the US.

Imperial College London year in industry

How to find an Industrial Placement?

It is important to get prepared early as some application deadlines are in November. 

Ultimately finding a placement will be your responsibility however help is available.  The Careers Service advertise placement vacancies on JobsLive listed as Placement (4 – 12 months) and students are able to set up profiles to receive details of new vacancies.  For other tips see the Careers Service page on searching for a job.

In addition the department of chemistry has a dedicated Industrial Liaison Officer who will advertise opportunities directly to students and provide support with the application process.

Application procedures will vary from company to company.  They can include CV and cover letter submissions, online tests, skype interviews, technical interviews and assessment centres.


Imperial College London year in industry


  • Will I have support during my placement?

Yes.  You will be connected with an academic supervisor from the Department before your placement starts and will be visited at least twice onsite during your Year in Industry.  The Department also has an Industrial Liaison Officer who will be a decidated point of contact throughout your placement.

  • Do I need to do any course work whilst on a Year Industry?

Students on a Year in Industry degree programme are required to complete a formal research project report .  This is assessed by both your academic and industrial supervisors.  If satisfactory you will be awarded your final degree with ‘A Year in Industry’ and an additional ECTS credits (+60 ECTS).

  • Will I be paid during my placement?

You will be paid by your respective company during your Year in Industry.  Although there is no guaranteed salary this is typically around £17,000.

  • Do I have to pay tuition fees ?

You will continue to pay tuition fees during your Year in Industry however these will be charged at a reduced rate.  Students who have been receiving financial assistance from Student Finance England will continue to do so.  This includes the tuition fee loan and a reduced rate living cost loan.

  • Can I transfer on to a Year in Industry Degree Programme?

Students are able to transfer degree programmes on the condition that they meet the minimum requirements for the programme and have studied the appropriate ancillary subjects.