COVID-19 Updates: For advice and updates for staff, students, and applicants who may have concerns about the coronavirus outbreak please visit our Situation Updates page.

Work-based Learning and Placements

Placements and flexible work-based learning at UON

One of the many benefits of studying at the University of Northampton is that many of our academic programmes offer practical work-based learning opportunities to support you as you study with us. Work-based Learning (WBL) gives you the opportunity to experience the world of work, completing module assessments that reflect on your experience as part of your award.

3,500 students undertake WBL every year as part of their course, with high module pass rates (93%).

WBL can include placements, client briefs, internships and paid work. Some of our work placement programmes will also lead to a professional recognition. Optional placement years are available to all joint honours students and these are always paid. This is also open to International students, currently on a Tier 4 visa, or the student visas.  The University of Northampton will be your sponsor for this year and you will be able to earn a full time salary as part of your visa regulations.

We are focused on you. You can access support from the Changemaker Hub, which is available to all confirmed offer holders. So before you even start with the University of Northampton, you can start to think about the skills and knowledge you wish to focus on whilst studying at university which will enhance your employability prospects.

For some of the courses we do ask you to find your own WBL opportunities, but this then allows you to make use of existing work experiences, as well as develop your employability. You will be supported by the Changemaker Hub and your course teams, who will ensure that the right WBL opportunities will give you the depth of experience to meet the requirements of your course and your personal interests.

To find out more about WBL opportunities in the courses you are interested in please go to the course pages, talk to the programme teams at our open days or contact us on 01604 893781.

Already an enrolled student and want more information about WBL opportunities? Please visit our Work-based Learning pages on the Student Hub.

Workbased Learning, Placements and COVID-19

The University of Northampton, through its involvement of our students, is here to positively support business and organisations.

The University of Northampton makes the following promise to the organisations that provide opportunities for our students, and for our students who are required to undertake an experience in the workplace, as part of their academic programme:

We will seek to protect you and your loved ones

The health and safety of students, and the organisations and business’s staff, customers and service users is paramount, and the University of Northampton continues to do our part to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.

We will do this by:

  • enabling students to share their own risks and concerns in relation to their health.  Students, for who the University is required to find a placement for them, are required to complete a self-declaration of health factors.  This information is used to determine where it is most suitable for a students to undertake their placement
  • encouraging all students to be vaccinated for Covid-19.  There is no legal requirement for the University of Northampton to ask, or collect information of a student’s vaccination status.  However, as part of preparing them for placement, we will remind all students that they may be asked to share their own personal information as part of risk assessment processes undertaken by the placement organisations.
  • reminding students that they are to follow the policies and procedures of the placement organisation, as well as remind them to report symptoms or positive covid tests to the placement organisation, and the University via the student hub website. (requires log in)

Workbased Learning, Placements and the GDPR

In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679, (as amended by the UK GDPR and in conjunction with the UK Data Protection Act 2018), The University of Northampton needs to explain which Article 6 condition it is relying on for holding and processing personal data.

The University will process personal data in accordance with the performance of contractual arrangements you as a student have with us (including your obligations to the professional body).  (Art 6 1(b)).

The University of Northampton also has a legitimate interest (as defined by Art 6 1(f)) to share your personal details before and during your programme with the organisations that provide you a placement and work based learning opportunity. You can download a list of placement organisations used by the University of Northampton.

You have the right to make representation to the University and at any time during your enrolment on your programme. Should you have any concerns in relation to sharing your personal data for placement, please contact

European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (Erasmus)

The Erasmus Programme is an EU exchange student programme that will give you the opportunity to study abroad with one of our partner institutions in Europe while gaining credits towards your degree. We have over 40 Erasmus agreements with our partners throughout Europe.

If you want to apply for the Erasmus programme, please email Ann Pillans or phone 01604 892603 to make sure that an Erasmus inter-institutional agreement is in place within your subject area.

Modules under the Erasmus programme usually last for a whole academic year, but if you choose to study for a shorter period of time your credits will be calculated and accredited based on this. All courses are taught in English.

Course Information

Our course webpages provides you with information about what you can expect to study, including details of work-based learning and placements.  To respond to the impact of Covid-19 on some of our students and the placement organisations, it is possible that  alternative activities replace a placement to enable our students to gain the required, valuable skills and knowledge for their modules and courses.  For some courses, professional body and statutory requirements may mean a short term change, or changes to courses at short notice.  The University of Northampton is committed to keeping information on website course information pages and programme handbooks updated, as well as keeping our applicants,  students and placement organisations updated.

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