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Placement information for students

Jess Alcock

"Placements prepare you for the workplace and it’s interesting to see all of the things you learn in your university blocks come to life when you are on your work placement.”

Jessica Alcock, Diploma of Higher Education Operating Department Practice, placement at Poole Hospital, 2016

Placements are a vital part of courses within the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences and help you prepare for work in challenging and exciting environments. We understand that you may have questions about undertaking placements in this sector. There is placement information specific to each course on the individual course pages. 

When are you notified about your placement details?

We aim to provide you with details about your placement at least three to four weeks in advance of you starting work. You’ll receive an email from the Placement Support Officer when this information is available for you and you will be given a username and password for Placements on the Web (POW).

We use the POW system to notify you about your placement allocations, and to allow you to complete the mandatory online evaluations after each placement.

Remember that you won’t be able to see your next allocation until you have filled in this online evaluation. 

What else does POW tell you?

In addition to notifying you of your next placement location, and providing the online evaluations, POW may also display information about the required uniform/dress code for each placement, parking, transport links, onsite facilities, available accommodation in the area and working hours.

The information you get through POW will vary from area to area and placement to placement.

Can you do paid work outside of university?

According to the European Working Time Directive, you are not allowed to work more than 48 hours in a week. As your timetabled lessons, self study and placements are expected to take up 37.5 hours a week, this means you can undertake a further 10.5 hours of work per week if you wish to.

What do you do if you’re sick during a placement?

If you are unwell and not able to attend your placement, you need to inform the university’s placement team, as well as your practice placement educator (PPE) and your academic advisor. This is not only so that we can accurately keep track of the hours you’re working, but also so that we know you’re safe.

You will be required to make up any hours you miss due to illness, and you should try to arrange this with your allocated placement within the same academic year, provided you have less than two weeks (75 hours) to make up.

If you have missed more than two weeks of your placement, speak to your academic advisor to find out whether a solid block of placement needs to be organised. If this is the case, you will receive help from your Placement Support Officer. 

Remember that you still need to record any of these hours on the relevant form, get it signed by practice and submit it to the Placements team for processing.

Can you request a particular placement or organise your own work placement?

Typically, you are not allowed to arrange your own work placements, as we carefully select a range of working environments for you to ensure you graduate with the necessary experience in your chosen field.

However, if you have an interest in a particular area of healthcare, you should tell your Placement Support Officer who will try to accommodate your request where possible.

If you are studying Occupational Therapy, there is one block of placement that you are allowed to organise yourself, but you will not be able to request a particular placement at any other point in your course. 

What support is available during each placement?

When you start your course you will be assigned a Placement Support Officer and an Academic Advisor, who should be your first points of contact if you have any problems during one of your placements.

You’ll also have a mentor on each work placement, who will be a healthcare worker in the relevant field who will work with you day to day on your placement.

There is also a team of University Practice Learning Advisors (UPLAs), who act as a liaison between the university and the placement areas. Their role is to help you and your mentor deal with any issues you may have during your placement.