Page content

The many rewarding placement partnerships we enjoy with local employers add so much to the rich student experience at Ulster University.  We recognise the unprecedented challenges arising from COVID19 across all sectors. As the COVID-19 impact continues to evolve, we understand this will cause disruption to your business and that you may have to prioritise activity to maintain essential functions in the months ahead.

We understand that across a range of sectors employers will be making adjustments to the workplace, leading to difficult decisions and new ways of working.  We hope that our students can continue to make a valuable contribution to your business during these times and as we all move forward and return to a more stable future.

Here you will find answers to some of the questions you may have relating to students who are on a registered placement through Ulster University (Diploma in Professional Practice).  In these uncertain times, you can be assured that we remain committed to connecting employers with skilled students and graduates and to delivering flexible opportunities that can work for companies and our talented students.

Are Ulster students continuing their placement during COVID-19?

Although our students are unable to attend campus due to the current UK government directives and restrictions, the University is not closed. In response to the current unprecedented circumstances, we have repurposed our education provision to maintain teaching through digital channels.

Just as we are making decisions in the best interests of the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students, we know that our placement employers will be making similar appropriate adjustments to business operations.

We appreciate that when companies also take measures to safeguard their employees at this time, those will include our students, as employees.

This may include social distancing in the work environment, working off-site or at home or in some circumstances, bringing the placement to an early conclusion. We respect and support the decisions our placement employer partners may need to make and will provide assurance and support to any impacted students.

Current placement students can access University advice on our Covid-19 site.

I have made a placement offer to a student for the next academic year 2020/21 but I am now unsure if the placement can still go ahead?

We appreciate that business needs are changing at a fast pace and a degree of uncertainty might remain for a period of time.  We encourage you to get in touch with us as soon as possible if you think a placement cannot go ahead, or if you would like to discuss a more flexible approach to the placement position.  We will also be happy to explore with you alternative models of placement/work experience that may work for the business whilst also supporting a student in their studies and career progression.

I can’t make recruitment decisions until later this year; will the University still advertise opportunities for students and graduates?

The recruitment cycle for placement and graduate opportunities is continuous; in the past many vacancies are filled between May and September.  Through the online vacancy portal, Ulster University is applying as much flexibility as possible and being responsive to promoting employer partnerships across all industry sectors.  Actions taken by both employers and the University in response to COVID-19 may mean that recruitment continues beyond September and into the start of 2021, our central information source at will remain the primary information point.

Is there a set pattern for how a placement student can work?

Ulster University placement students work in a wide variety of sectors and organisations, therefore there is wide ranging practice over the number of weekly hours, weeks and months a placement student might be part of your team.  Depending on their placement award, our students will be required to complete a set number of weeks’ placement experience (normally a minimum of 26 weeks), but the University can be flexible in agreeing with employers what will work best in practice and in the current circumstances.

Can the University provide support with recruiting placement students?

We are happy to support any employer who wants to provide a placement opportunity for our students. We can support the recruitment process in a range of ways including recruitment and selection advice, promotional campaigns and student engagement with vacancies.

If you want to advertise a placement opportunity you can directly add this to our online vacancy portal, Recruit and we will bring it to the attention of relevant students.

Can the University provide support with recruiting graduates?

Whether you're continuing with your recruitment plans or having to realign with your business priorities and current operations, we know that COVID-19 will be challenging you in new ways.  We are continuing to work with all employers in these unprecedented times providing expert advice, tailored campaigns and recruitment consultancy.

Whilst the Northern Ireland Graduate Recruitment Fair 2020 has been cancelled due to the current restrictions in place, we are currently working on a programme of virtual events which will run into the Autumn. This means that you don’t need to miss out on connecting with potential candidates in a more personalised setting.  You can keep up to date with future events by registering your interest here

Our team can help you develop a tailored digital campaign adapted in these changing times to connect you with high-quality candidates, at no cost.  We understand flexibility is vital during challenging times and we will be using all of our experience and labour market insight to adapt and to ensure that your campaigns deliver what you need.

Employers can continue to access our graduate Vacancy Portal, Careers Connect to post permanent and contract graduate opportunities free of charge and we will bring it to the attention of relevant finalists.   Additional support is in place for businesses who require help with drafting job advertisements, job descriptions and uploading opportunities.

What other ways can I recruit a student or graduate to support our business requirements?

The world of work is changing, and we want our students and graduates to play a pivotal role in helping local, national and international businesses of all sizes to innovate and grow.  There are a range of work-experience, internship, placement and graduate programmes that we can discuss with you including short-term, year-long, virtual and micro placement options.

I would like to speak to someone

Please email the details of your query to: and other recruitment queries to and someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.