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Support on work experience

Returning to university

Returning to university

Congratulations on completing a placement year! And welcome back to the University of Leeds.

Don’t worry if you feel a little apprehensive about returning to university, you are not alone. We asked previous returners for their tips on settling back in to university life. This is what they said:

Before term starts… 

  • Choose modules and a dissertation topic that fit well with the placement you have completed to give yourself a head start
  • Read through notes from second year to familiarise yourself with what you covered especially for things like referencing
  • Consider taking a project from the company as your final year project or dissertation – it will keep communications open and show the company you are really interested in their work
  • Update your CV with everything you’ve done on placement so you’re ready to start applying for graduate jobs at the start of term

Once you’re back on campus…

  • Don’t panic if you don’t settle back in straight away – don’t put too much pressure on yourself - it takes awhile to get back into the university way of life
  • Get as much help as you need, attend skills@library sessions for academic skills support
  • Ensure you have enough social interaction - get to know your new course mates and members of your dissertation peer group as well as meeting up with other returning placement students
  • Return to, or join, a club or society – just don’t join 50 immediately, it is still your final year!
  • Don’t let the work ethic slip – be organised with your time and set deadlines. Try to keep the 9-5 structure, it really helps and means you can have the weekend off guilt free!
  • You are not getting paid monthly anymore – you need to budget again
  • Keep positive and use the confidence you’ve gained in the workplace
  • You have an advantage!
  • It’s the final push, just go for it and end up where you want to be!

Useful links


Leeds University Union Clubs and Societies

Student Counselling Centre

Leeds for Life   

Next Steps

Completing a placement is a great achievement, and with the number of applications per graduate job continuing to rise (AGR Survey, 2013) it is important that you are able to articulate your experiences and the skills you have developed on your placement to enable you to stand out from the crowd and secure the graduate job you want. The Careers Centre can support you in doing this either through one to one support or check out the events pages for workshops.

On average, graduate recruiters are converting around a third of their placement students into graduate hires (AGR Survey, 2013) so if you would like to continue to work for your placement provider make sure you maintain regular contact with them and make your thoughts known.