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Industrial placement scheme - School of Chemistry

Industrial placement year

All of our chemistry undergraduate courses give you the chance to do an industrial placement (‘Year in Industry’) as part of your degree.

This could give you the opportunity to work in the pharmaceutical, oil, fine chemicals, colour, polymer or other chemistry-related industries.

What is an industrial placement?

A work experience placement gives you the opportunity to get real industry experience during your degree course. 

During your year in industry, you’d be employed full-time (and earn a salary) by an organisation in the chemical industry, pharmaceutical industry, or similar.

Throughout your placement (which would be the third year of your chemistry course), you’d have an industrial supervisor within the company, and an academic supervisor. 

Where might I do my placement year?

In recent years, Leeds chemistry undergraduate students have gained work experience within some of the biggest and most well-known organisations in the industry, including:

  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Unilever
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • AstraZeneca
  • Shell
  • BP
  • Pfizer
  • Yorkshire Water


Why undertake a work experience placement?

An industrial placement year is a great way to help you decide what kind of chemistry career you might like to follow after university. 

There are lots of graduate jobs in chemistry, and gaining work experience during your degree really helps you to understand what a career in the industry will be like.

Other industrial placement benefits include:

  • Building your team working skills
  • Putting your chemistry knowledge into action in a real-life situation
  • Gaining more independence and life experience


Does the industrial placement year extend the length of my degree course?

Doing a work experience placement might extend the total length of your degree course:

  • If you’re studying a BSc course, the industrial placement year will increase the length of your degree to four years.
  • If you’re studying an MChem course, the length of your degree remains at four years.
  • If you’re studying MChem Chemistry and Mathematics or MNatSci Natural Sciences, the industrial placement year will increase the length of your degree to five years.

Gaining a place on the industrial placement programme is competitive and depends on the grades you achieve. 

Don’t worry, you don’t have to make up your mind whether an industrial placement is right for you until the beginning of your second year at Leeds.