Industrial Year

All students are encouraged to spend a year working in the computing industry between the second and third taught years of their degree scheme. For students on the BEng, MEng, BSc Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence and BSc Computer Science with a European language schemes, the industrial year is an assessed part of the degree. Computer Science, Business Information Technology and Internet Computing students may opt for a scheme with an assessed industrial year or without. It is possible to transfer easily between schemes.

Help is available from the department and the University's Careers Service to find suitable placements and to develop your interview skills and CV. Our Industrial Year students are in demand with prestigious employers such as IBM, HP and Microsoft. By the end of your second year you already have enough knowledge and understanding to make a substantial contribution at work. Most students find they return from their industrial year with much improved skills, more motivated to learn, and having a better idea of what areas of computing interest them.

Detailed information for students and employers may be found on the department's Industrial Year pages [click here].

Natalia Miller IY DisneyNatalia Miller IY Disney

Hi, I’m Natalia Miller, for my IY I have worked as a Junior Software Developer in The Walt Disney Company in Hammersmith, London. I was working in DMD (Disney Media Distribution). DMD is responsible for the international distribution of the company’s branded and non-branded content to all platforms, encompassing television, broadband and mobile outlets. The division distributes more than 30,000 hours of programming to over 1300 platform partners (e.g. BBC) across 240 territories worldwide. My team are responsible for developing an application which manages all of the products, clients, accounting and deals between Disney and the distributors of their content. The work has been tough, lots of fun and very rewarding. I have worked both frontend with JavaScript and backend with Java. Another responsibility I have had is also working as a third line support for current users of the system. The best thing is that I have been treated like a normal member of the team; I have had just as much work and responsibility as all of my colleagues. This is really good as I know that I have made a genuine contribution to the ongoing project. Working here, my technical knowledge has increased dramatically. I have encountered the good, the bad and the ugly of development and now because of it, I am a more confident developer so the thought of a dissertation next year does not scare me as much! I have also become a lot more confident as a person; I have had the chance to make presentations to various colleagues as well as leading a JavaScript study group for Women Who Code London by myself. I have loved every minute of working at Disney for the year, not just because of the job, but because of all of the amazing rewards we get as well. Throughout the year I have attended many preview screenings of the latest Disney films and received many DVDs and toys as freebies. I would recommend to everyone to go and work in Disney for your IY.

Kit Farmer IT IBMKit Farmer IT IBM

"Hi! I'm Kit Farmer and I did my IY in IBM at its site in Hursley. Hursley is a beautiful place to work even though I did spend a lot of my time inside! I worked in the Java Technology Centre, working closely with a team developing diagnostics tools that would be used by customers and fellow IBMers alike. I've also been doing some volunteer work as a part of the placement; I've been teaching IT lessons to pupils at a local school and helped create a fun interactive game for Blue Fusion, an event where students from schools come to compete against each other and learn more about IBM and STEM subjects. I have made some seriously cool friends and met some incredibly talented people and I feel like my own skills have definitely improved over my time here. There's such a wide range of activities and experiences to get involved in that I think it would have been hard to come here and not find some way to improve myself! I'm really hoping I'll be back here as a graduate and I hope that other people come and see just how much they can learn from a placement at IBM!"

Gideon Jones IY Plymouth Marine Laboratory Gideon Jones IY Plymouth Marine Laboratory

I'm Gideon Jones, & I did my industrial year placement at Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML). I worked on the NEODAAS project at PML, which dealt with the processing of near earth observation satellite data, mainly of the sea. I was involved in the processing & delivery of satellite data for scientists & scientific cruises, the latter on a near-real time basis. I got the opportunity to work in plenty of other areas at PML, including the development of a HTML5 image viewing application & an application form, a tool for translating file format conventions from NASA's to our own & upgrading our web server (involving physically moving a few!). I've had a great time at PML, having felt like I've contributed something to the place via my additions to the codebase & data I have processed for scientists, as well as hugely improved my own skills while not forgetting meeting a wide range of talented & interesting people!

Craig Heptinstall IY GermanyCraig Heptinstall IY Germany

While being on the Software Engineering (MEng) course meant it was compulsory to partake in an industrial year, I felt the need to go on one anyway, as a chance to learn what it actually means to work in the industry, get out there, and explore. Luckily for me, that entailed getting a job in Germany at a small company in the state of Bavaria (a famous location for beer). I landed less than a week after leaving Aber from second year, in a country I knew little off, and especially having zero German language skills. Though I think throwing myself in the deep end this year has definitely broadened my view on what Its like to begin a full time job in my chosen area. With the help of some German lessons (that work actually paid for), and countless times of simply giving in and asking people "sprechen Sie Englisch?", I managed to get set up with everything I needed. As for the job, I was entailed as a developer of a JavaEE translation project management application, where I dealt with finding/ fixing bugs, and integrating other translation tools via web services. As an intern, it meant although as time went on I became more independent, there was always somebody on hand to help! Out of work life was great too, as there happens to be a lot of events there, from drinking festivals to the amazing Christmas markets. I've made some friends out there I hope to always keep in touch with too. Bottom line from my IY year to others thinking about it: It’s something I can't recommend doing enough; (at home or abroad) it gives you a chance to see what it's actually like in the real world, meet some great people, and gain invaluable experience!

Helen Harman IY CERNHelen Harman IY CERN

I am studying MEng Software Engineering and have just come to the end of my year in industry. For my year in industry I worked at CERN, in the Industrial Controls & Engineering group. This group develops and supports some of the control systems used at CERN. My job was to work on the quality assurance and testing of the code. We use a programming language called CTRL, and being a proprietary language not many testing tools are readily available. I developed a static code analysis tool and a unit testing tool. Both of these and the graphical user interface testing, automatically run each night. While at CERN I took up the amazing opportunity to go visit some of the underground caverns which hold the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) experiments. I visited CMS, ALICE, ATLAS, LHCb and the beam dump. It was great to learn a little about each of these experiments. As well as learning about CERN I also learnt a lot about different counties and cultures. I lived in France but Switzerland was just a 30 minute walk away, and I worked with people from around the world. When I arrived I did not know any French, and I had to face the challenge of asking for directions and filling in French forms. Over the year I learnt a massive amount about different technologies and cultures. I have met a lot of lovely people and been to some incredible places. I had a wonderful time working at CERN and exploring Switzerland; but I am looking forward to returning to Aberystwyth and completing my degree.

Connor Luke Goddard IY Renishaw PlcConnor Luke Goddard IY Renishaw Plc

For my industrial placement, I worked for 14-months as a software developer for international engineering company Renishaw Plc, based in Gloucestershire, UK. Specialising in high-precision metrology, motion control, spectroscopy and machine manufacturing, Renishaw designs and manufactures products designed to solve complex engineering problems within a vast range of fields including machine tool automation, dentistry, additive manufacturing, Raman spectroscopy (chemical analysis), stereotactic neurosurgery, and large-scale surveying. I spent my placement working within the Internet Development Team, focussing primarily on web and mobile application development. In this role, I worked with a diverse range of technologies, some familiar (Microsoft SQL server, HTML5, CSS3, Javascript and Java), and some new (C#, Apache Cordova and Objective-C). I had the opportunity to work on many interesting (and sometimes challenging) projects including a bespoke content management system, a suite of iOS applications for Renishaw’s global sales teams, and a new mobile application designed to assist customers in setting-up Renishaw probes (built using ‘hybrid’ application technologies). Looking back, I would highly recommend an industrial placement to anyone who is serious about getting a job they want after leaving university. As well as providing you with a unique opportunity to get an early foot on the “career ladder”, it allows you to gain a truly first-hand insight into what a future career in computing really involves, which can prove to be invaluable when making important choices during the final years of your degree.