A sandwich year option is included in all undergraduate courses at Arts University Plymouth. You can spend this year focusing on working in your chosen industry to complement your studies, before returning the following year to finish your degree.
The sandwich year is optional for all students to undertake; including international students (providing the conditions of visa issue are met).
A sandwich year will usually be taken in the form of a self-negotiated placement or internship, and is subject to agreement and approval by the university. The sandwich year is designed to cover one full academic year, to be taken upon successful completion of your second year (Level 5) and prior to commencement of your final year (Level 6). The length of placement can be between 6 and 12 months. The sandwich year can be based in the UK or worldwide.
Students who successfully complete the sandwich year will have this indicated in their final degree award e.g. BA (Hons) Fashion Design (with Sandwich Year).
The proposed sandwich year must be relevant, safe and useful to you in your career progression.
During the year, you will remain an enrolled student and have access to university resources (library, student support etc). The reduced fee level for the sandwich year will be up to £1,250.
Students in receipt of Student Finance England (SfE) funding will still need to submit an application as usual, but will need to select the ‘Sandwich Year’ version of their course. SfE will consider the type of placement the student is undertaking to assess access to a maintenance loan for the duration of the sandwich year. Evidence of the type of placement you are undertaking will be required as part of the finance application process.
The sandwich year is designed as a one-year stand alone unit that sits at the end of Level 5, to be completed before progression to Level 6. The unit does not have credits attached to it, but includes assessment components that must be completed, and awarded a pass grade, in order that the final degree award includes ‘with Sandwich Year’.
All placement employers will be required to complete an Employer Appraisal; the template for this document is supplied by the university’s Registry team. The completed appraisal is submitted as part of the required coursework by the student.
BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling student Kate Bond (R) on a marketing and design internship with Vitra.
Second Year (Level 5) students are required to apply for their sandwich year by no later than the end of Trimester 1 by putting forward their proposal. This application must be supported by their Course Leader, and should include an assessment of the suitability of the proposed placement.
A panel of key staff will consider the student’s application based upon academic progress and engagement, consideration of any support needs, and the appropriateness of the sandwich year activity that is proposed including company checks where applicable. This will take place by February of the same academic year.
All approvals are subject to successful completion of Level 5 studies that will be confirmed by the Progression and Award Board at the end of June.
It is expected that a placement provider will have in place Public Liability and Employer Liability Insurance, and this should be provided in order for the application to be approved. Where this is not available the university will provide guidance to the student on any insurance requirements (for example providers outside the UK).
The Registry team will be responsible for the monitoring of this process, and the maintenance of all related documentation. The Assistant Dean for Student Experience, Tim Gundry, email@example.com will be the point of contact for students who are considering applying for the sandwich year, and whilst they are away on placement.
Academic support will be provided in the form of tutorials which will take place after the first week and then for a further 5 occasions during the academic year; this will include a tutorial focused on dissertation preparation for Level 6.
Access to online services such as the Library and Learning Support will continue.
In the event that the placement provider ceases to exist or if the student decides to return the university will support that student by discussing whether a further placement can be identified or whether a deferral of studies is appropriate.
Students will need to agree a contract with their placement provider to establish salary, working hours, leave entitlement, pension contributions (if applicable) and personal development periods. If the placement does not include a salary, a contractual agreement defining expectations by both parties will be required.
Upon completion of the placement, the provider is required to complete the ‘Placement Provider Feedback’ form to comment on the student’s performance. This should be returned to the Registry team for processing.