Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Design


“It was an opportunity to gain life experience in a new city, meet new people and form some fantastic relationships.”

Oliver, Graphic and Communication DesignPlacement at Exposure America

Year in Industry


Our Year in Industry programme is one of the highlights of studying in the School of Design. The programme is open to all undergraduate students irrespective of their degree course.

Each year over 100 students between levels 2 and 3 decide to undertake placements in their specialist area. Students chose the company(s) they want to work with and can spend between 6 to 50 weeks with one or more companies in the UK or further afield.


During their time on placement, Year in Industry students learn real-world skills through working with some of the best companies in their specific industry. Thanks to our students’ passion and the University’s relationships, we’ve had placements with Net-a-Porter, ASOS, Burberry, Cohen and Wilks, WGSN, Jasper Conran and nearly 400 other brands, big and small.

For students, the Year in Industry is invaluable. They learn how to create their CV, complete applications and successfully attend interviews to get the placements they want. During the placements they will be working in a fast-paced creative business, they pick up knowledge and networks hard to find elsewhere, as well as gaining better appreciation of commercial objectives. We’re proud to say our students make an impact too: in our 2014 survey, 100% of our placement companies said they’d hire a School of Design student again.

For companies, taking on a placement student might feel like an effort, but with the right individual, it brings extra energy – and resource – to an essential part of the business. Companies can see first-hand the benefit of fresh creative and intellectual skills, as our enthusiastic students apply what they’ve learnt in the studio to live business requirements. Plus, our host companies are able to get a head start in recruiting future design talent, giving them a real competitive edge.

To get more information about the Year in Industry programme download this guide, watch the video or talk to the programme leader, Dr Mark Sumner: m.p.sumner@leeds.ac.uk

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