Oxford Brookes Business School

Working with our students

  • Working with our students

  • As part of Oxford Brookes Business School, the Work and Voluntary Experience Services team (WAVES) aims to develop positive links with employers. Every year we have a new cohort of students eager to take up the opportunity to immerse themselves within the world of business. Through year-long work placements students demonstrate how their theoretical knowledge can bring new, innovative ideas and skills to the workplace.


    Employing a student for work placement

    Every year, employers praise the intelligence, enthusiasm and professionalism of Oxford Brookes Business School work placement students. Organisations have seen real benefits to their business. As well as theoretical knowledge, work placement students bring fresh enthusiasm to your organisation, and they’re eager to learn.


    Key information for taking on a student:

    • Responsibility – the work placement should be of a suitable level of responsibility to add value to a student’s degree and to enable the student to meet the learning outcomes for the module.
    • Duration - the placement must be full time - a minimum of 37.5 hours per week.
    • Remuneration – students must be paid a salary commensurate with the placement role and not less than the minimum wage for the country in which the placement is taking place. Students need to be given an employment contract (no zero hours) and be covered by the company's insurance policy and health and safety regulations.
    • Person/role specification - information detailing the necessary skills, experience and attributes for the placement is required.

    Benefits to you

    • Budgets - you gain an extremely capable employee while keeping your costs down.
    • Languages - approximately 20% of our undergraduate students are international and so offer additional languages and cultural experience from abroad.
    • Recruitment - A cost-effective form of graduate recruitment, as many students are employed by their work placement organisations when they graduate.
    • University - Your organisation gains access to university resources and expertise.
    • Strategy - Enhance your CSR (corporate social responsibility) strategy by providing work placements and boost your employer brand, particularly in the graduate market.
  • A key feature of all our undergraduate programmes is the opportunity to spend a year (minimum of 48 weeks) in industry through our work placement scheme. Our undergraduate students are available for full-time work placements from May/June each year.

    Studying courses in one or more subjects including Accounting, Finance, Economics, Business, Management, Marketing or Events, students gain invaluable transferable skills and attributes such as:

    • commercial awareness
    • an international perspective
    • team working and problem solving
    • effective communications and collaborative working
    • critical thinking

    After one year of taught full-time study, our Postgraduate Marketing & Events students are encouraged to take up the option of a 48-52 week placement starting in early October. There may be some students who would be prepared to start on a part-time basis (up to 20 hours/week) before then and several of our new employers have taken up this option.

    The students bring practical, real-world marketing and events-related skills, with modules in understanding customer behaviour and digital and social media marketing strategy. Their MSc courses include: Marketing, Digital Marketing, Marketing & Brand Management, International Luxury Marketing and International Events Management.

    Benefits to you:

    • Gain a mature, skilled professional wanting to make a serious contribution to your organisation for a highly affordable salary (typically 16-22k)
    • All the students have a first degree (although not all in marketing or events) and the majority have significant levels of previous work experience
    • Many of the students are international, with fluency in other languages of emerging markets (including China and India) and a global perspective
    • You do not have to sponsor an international student while they are on placement as they are eligible to work full time under their Tier 4 student visa.

    The Oxford School of Hospitality Management prides itself on its strong relationships with hospitality, events and tourism organisations. Top employers seek out our graduates and our alumni have highly successful careers.

    The placements team offers advice, informs employers of available students and assists with their preparation for employment.

    The work experience module is optional but strongly recommended for hospitality students who want to develop industry experience. It is a great opportunity to put what they have learnt into practice.

    Our undergraduate students must be placed for a minimum of 40 weeks starting their role in May/June.

    Companies that regularly provide work placement opportunities to our students include:

    • Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
    • BaxterStorey
    • InterContinental Hotels Group
    • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

    Our postgraduate students are required to be in a work placement for a minimum of 48 weeks but with the experience of having already completed a degree (not necessarily in hospitality), they are clearer as to their choice of career and are more likely to have had previous work experience.

    Postgraduate Students - the benefits to you:

    • Gain a mature, skilled professional wanting to make a serious contribution to your organisation for a highly affordable salary (typically 16-22k)
    • Many of the students are international, with fluency in other languages of emerging markets (including China and India) and a global perspective
    • You do not have to sponsor an international student while they are on placement as they are eligible to work full time under their Tier 4 student visa

  • Offering a placement

    If you have a placement opportunity we can assist you in advertising the role(s) to our students. Please contact the Placements team by email waves@brookes.ac.uk, or alternatively give us a call on 01865 485950.

    The Placements team facilitates the interaction between businesses and our students to ensure successful placements by:

    • Promoting the university, its students and graduates to a large and diverse range of employers
    • Offering only placement opportunities that are suitable for all placement students in that field of study and/or experience
    • Working in collaboration with the Careers Service and academics in supporting students in the application process, CV writing and interview skills
    • Advertising work placement opportunities and confirming appropriate placement offers with candidates
    • Providing guidance and support to placement providers on health and safety requirements, risk assessments and the mentoring of students during their placements
    • Maintaining contact with students and placement providers to ensure the placement is going well and any issues can be resolved 

    Should you want to proceed with offering a placement to a student, our interactive CRM portal takes you through the registration process. We require all placement employers to provide the following:

    • Offer letter/email
    • Contract, including confirmation of start and finish date, contractual hours and remuneration
    • Job description
    • Named supervisor/mentor in the organisation
    • Support for their assessment component

    Access the CRM portal to start the process and view our Employer Responsibilities.

    For more information about providing a work placement for a student please contact the Work and Voluntary Experience Services (WAVES) team at: waves@brookes.ac.uk or call 01865 485950.

    If you are not in a position to offer a full work placement opportunity there are other ways you can work with our students:

  • Through our Accounting for Communities: Engaging Students (ACES) scheme there is the opportunity to take on a second or final year Accounting student on a voluntary basis. This scheme is an opportunity for co-operatives, community interest companies, charities and voluntary organisations in Oxford to benefit from a student’s accounting skills. Our students can help with basic book-keeping, setting up systems for book-keeping, claiming Gift Aid, producing management accounts for board meetings, producing end of year statements and independent examinations. Contact careers for more information careers@brookes.ac.uk
    On many of our courses a client project is offered as an alternative to a dissertation. The purpose of a client project is to allow a student to research an issue that has been identified within your organisation and provide a workable and beneficial solution. The client project is entirely voluntary and students have the option of completing a client project with an international organisation.