Applications are now being considered for Enterprise Placement Year (EPY) 2023/24.  The EPY is suitable for students who wish to set up a company, social enterprise, operate as a sole trader or provide consultancy services on a freelance basis.

Come for a chat with us on your campus - we’re here 10am - 2pm:

  • Belfast: Thursday 8th February​ at BA Foyer​
  • Coleraine: Monday 13th February on The Bridge​
  • Magee: Monday 20th February at MU Foyer​

If you feel your idea is strong consult us at

Apply now

What you can expect from EPY

As a self-employed professional, you have an opportunity to develop your consultancy skills. The EPY Sharepoint has examples of student successes.

View EPY SharePoint

Working remotely, you will have the support from the Enterprise Team, national student societies and access exciting events, initiatives and opportunities.  We'll work closely with you to help you develop your ideas and launch a new venture.  The support you can expect might look like this:

  • Workshop with speaker: Each month on core topics eg: Foundations of Freelancing, Finance, Sales and Marketing.
  • Peer to peer mentoring session: Each month. Driven by participants and planned in advance, facilitated by mentors.
  • MS Teams and EPY Notebook: Your constant points of reference for advice, guidance, events and learning opportunities.
  • Your own self-directed CPD: professional development appropriate to your Diploma in Professional Practice, industry and future career plan.
  • Ad-hoc contacts: advice and support from any member of the team when required.

Enterprise Placement Year (EPY) Essential Information 2023/24

  • What do I need for a successful EPY?

    Self-motivation, enthusiasm, commercial awareness and a drive to start a business or commence self-employment/freelancing opportunities. You are expected to commit to working full time on your business.

  • What would I miss from a regular work-based placement?

    Employment experience, an employer’s reference and perhaps, a reliable income

  • What is the application process for EPY?

    If you are happy that the option could suit your plans please submit an application.  This will be considered by a panel, if successful you will be invited to prepare a short video of up to 3 minutes to showcase your plans for your Enterprise Placement Year using a format and approach that works for communicating your plans.

  • When does EPY start/finish?

    Students are free to take up their EPY as soon as examination period ends in May 2023.  There will be a compulsory EPY on-boarding during September and EPY ends on 1st June 2024.

  • What about money?

    EPY is an unpaid placement, make sure you have researched the impact on your maintenance allowance and any other entitlements so you are in a position to plan ahead.  You will be supported to apply for Scholarships, business competitions and funding during 2023/24.  All applicants will have a business mentor to support applications to opportunities for funding.

  •  What about a part-time job?

    We understand that you need to cover your living expenses but any part-time job must not exceed 16 hours a week or interfere with your proper engagement with all aspects of the EPY scheme. To help you plan, we strongly suggest that you do NOT work on Tuesdays, as this is the core day for EPY activity.

  • Am I sure to be allocated a place?


    There are invariably more applicants than we can properly support, so the number of students on EPY is limited. In addition, students who already have a business or are in the stages of being ready to launch their business will be given priority.

  • Can I work with another student? 

    Yes, we accept business partnerships but only comprising 3 students; no more than 3.

  • Am I on my own with EPY? 

    The success, or otherwise, of your EPY will be very much down to your own efforts. The Enterprise Placement Team will support you with regular catch-ups, information, facilities, opportunities and advice from experienced Business Advisors. However, you will need to be efficient and business-like in all your actions for the duration of EPY; this is not, by any means, a ‘soft option’ for a placement!

  • Can International (outside the EU) students apply?

    Whilst your visa will allow you to study in the UK, it may not include the permission necessary to be on placement or become self-employed so EPY may not be appropriate for you.  We recommend you consult the Compliance Manager at Student Administration based at Coleraine Campus for further information.

What will be expected of you

During your EPY you will be expected to:

  • Devote time, energy and commitment to your business and the programme,
  • Proactively seeking support from Business Advisors when you need it
  • Attend relevant presentations and events including Induction Week, biweekly start-up sessions and monthly coaching sessions and other important events
  • Take part in competitions and initiatives when advised by the Enterprise Team
  • Complete a monthly, and an end of period reflection of your experiences and examples of work undertaken