The questions we are most often asked about work placements on Cambridge School of Art courses and, more importantly, the answers to them.
All undergraduate students in Cambridge School of Art, except BA (Hons) Fine Art, will be able to choose the ‘Working in the Creative Industries’ module as part of their timetable for Year 3. This module will allow you to seek out and complete a work placement, as well as providing you with a structured means to assess your progress on it.
At Cambridge School of Art we have an extensive professional network built on years of experience in industry and a proven history of students with the skills that business are looking for.
We offer bespoke support, advice and access to a number of resources, including roles to apply for with a number of local organisations who are looking for enthusiastic students to join them.
However, you are also encouraged to actively search for your own placement to find a company and role that appeals to you and your interests. The role should relate to your degree course, and the company must be approved by the University before you can enter into a contract with them.
Like applying for any job, you should be prepared to apply for many different roles to ensure you secure a placement.
No. We know that work placements you initiate yourself are likely to be better suited to your interests and the path you hope to follow after graduating. By finding a placement yourself, you’ll also develop better relationships with your employers and be better able to demonstrate the value of your skills. It will also give you vital experience of how to present yourself and build your professional network when looking for work in the future.
If we offered guaranteed placements they would be the same every year and, whilst still useful as work experience, less likely to lead to life-changing opportunities.
Many of our students work locally to their campus or in London, but you can work anywhere you wish in the UK. UK and EU students can also work internationally but please check this with your placements administrator. You should contact the appropriate bodies in the countries you wish to work in to get more advice. Locations of previous placements include Cambridge, London, Gibraltar, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
We encourage all undergraduate students to take a paid placement, however in some of the creative industries unpaid positions are often the industry standard. For support with finding placement vacancies that meet your circumstances and to discuss the types of role on offer, please contact the speak to your module leader or get in touch with the Careers and Employability Team.
You will need to complete a minimum of 90 hours or three weeks (full-time) over the summer between your second and third year of study. You can complete up to three placements, e.g. you could complete one week-long placement followed by another of two weeks, or just a single placement that lasts for three weeks.
When you return to university in your final year you will complete a reflective piece of writing based on your practical experience during your placement. This will include a workplace diary in which you record the activities you undertake on your placement, and analyse what you have learned from them.
On our Fine Art course, the 3rd year Research Project is highly valued in helping you learn key academic, research-based skills, allowing you to develop a sustained enquiry into your chosen subject over an extended period of time. For this reason, we do not offer optional modules at this level. You will develop these academic skills by producing an extended essay, which requires an in-depth process of critical enquiry and research.
However, we integrate a lot of exhibition and gallery experience into our studio modules, at all levels. This, we see as vital for your career. Many potential career options can emerge from the practical nature of these activities, and we have forged strong relationships with a number of different arts organisations and exhibition venues in Cambridge. Related exhibitions can also often develop out of this, some of which run independently of modules and may be entirely student-led.
Additionally the key transferable skills required for employment are well integrated into our teaching activities, including presentation or debating skills, research skills, and techniques for presenting information publicly.
If you have any more questions about placement opportunities in Cambridge School of Art, please attend the Careers and Employability drop in, Monday - Friday from 12-2pm in HEL 073. They also offer a CV surgery on Tuesdays from 1.30-3.30pm, and Thursdays from 11.30am-1.30pm.