Securing your talent pipeline: Master’s student placements

Securing your talent pipeline: Master’s student placements

The Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing at Coventry University have added a ‘work placement’ option* to a range of master’s programmes. They provide industry with a fantastic opportunity to recruit a range of highly skilled postgraduate talent.

The Extended Master’s is designed to be an optional pathway which changes a 12-month master’s to a 24-month master’s.


The majority of current employers we engage with highly value taking on master’s students on professional experience*. There are a range of benefits associated with this, including:

  • Additional resource to complete specialist projects and short-term objectives
  • Access to motivated students with specialist knowledge and ideas
  • A means of identifying potential future employees
  • A low-risk recruitment method for developing internal talent
  • An opportunity to develop closer links with Coventry University

What courses are eligible?

Eligible courses can be found across the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics, the School of Energy, Construction and Environment and the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Automotive Engineering.

Placements must be for at least 30 hours per week, and at least 11 months in duration. Coventry University master’s courses typically run across three intakes (September, January and May). We regularly review our course content to ensure it is relevant and up to date.

The University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via emerging online technologies and methods across all courses. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2020/2021 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.

Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

What are the key dates?

The below table provides an outline of the usual key timeframes for recruiting an Extended Master’s Student.

  September Cohort January Cohort May Cohort
Student work placement offer deadline March July November
Student available to start work placement May September  January 
Student to return to Coventry University to complete final semester May (following year) September (following year) January (following year)

Please note that the timeframes outlined in the table above are subject to vary and change.

How to engage?

Coventry University’s Talent Team are able to provide free advice and guidance to organisations looking to recruit Extended Master’s students upon graduation; this can include:

  • Help with creating effective job adverts
  • Advice on best timelines for attracting students from the most relevant courses, depending on your organisational needs
  • Guidance around average wages, dependent on course and work experience routes
  • Help with initial CV collation

Frequently asked questions

The normal duration for a placement year is 9-12 months. Most companies offer a 12-month contract. The minimum duration for Student Route Visa holders is 11 months in line with the International Compliance Regulations.

A placement must be full-time working hours, with a minimum of 30 hours per week.

The majority of placements are paid positions – guidance can be provided around suitable salaries.

We will use the job description you provide to assess a student’s suitability, in consultation with their course director. This will help to ensure the placement offers the chance to adequately enhance the students’ academic experience.

The place of work must be a registered commercial office. We cannot approve a placement based at a residential address. Student Route Visa holders must be based on site for a minimum of 3 days each week and will be subject to meeting applicable visa requirements.

A placement student undertaking full-time paid work within an organisation should have the same rights as an employee, and would therefore be subject to the same policies and procedures as other staff in your organisation (for example, annual leave entitlement, sickness policy, and code of conduct).


Both the company and the student must sign a contract or offer letter on a company letter headed document. It must include:

  • The full name and address of the company
  • Start and end date of placement
  • Location of role
  • Hours of work
Job Description

This should be a summary of the required duties during the placement.

Master's Internship Agreement

The paperwork associated with taking on a professional placement student is not supposed to be onerous. The Talent Team will prepare a standardised Master’s Internship Agreement - a tripartite agreement between the organisation, student and Coventry University, which all parties should agree and sign before the professional placement starts. This includes health and safety assurances to approve the placement.

Student Route Visa holders Student Policy

Under the University’s Educational Sponsor License, UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) requires us to monitor our overseas students studying on Student Route Visas. This includes when out on professional placement with employers. If the student that you are taking on a professional placement falls into this category, the university is required to obtain updates of attendance from their line manager for each fortnight of the placement. The Talent Team will notify you prior to the start date of the professional placement and discuss this with you if you have any queries.

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