Industrial year

A person working at a desk with 3 monitors

All our students are encouraged to spend a year working in the computing industry between the second and third taught years of their degree to enhance their employability on graduation.

We offer a variety of degree schemes that include an integrated year in industry, which will form a compulsory and assessed part of your course. These industrial year placements are real paid jobs offered by a range of employers, from very small companies right up to large international corporations, both in the UK and abroad.

Although there are many employers who regularly take our students, we do not actually 'place' or 'allocate' students. Rather, employers provide us with a job description, which we then circulate to our students. The students then apply for the jobs in which they are interested and are interviewed or subjected to other selection procedures according to the employer's usual recruitment practice.

The Department and the University's Careers Service will assist you in finding suitable placements and help you to develop your interview skills and CV. You will also be supported by your academic supervisor while you are out on placement, and if you are based in the UK may receive an in-person visit from your supervisor.

Our Industrial Year students are in demand with prestigious employers such as IBM, HP and Microsoft.

By the end of your second year you will already have enough knowledge and understanding to make a substantial contribution in the workplace. Most students find they return from their industrial year with much improved skills, a greater motivation to learn, a better idea of the areas of computing that particularly interest them, and the career path they would like to pursue following graduation.

Students on non-industrial year degree schemes can take a non-assessed sandwich year through the Year in Employment (YES) scheme, operated by the University's Careers Service; however you will obtain no module credits by choosing this option.

Further information for students and employers may be found on the Department's Industrial Year pages.

Natalia Miller - Industrial Year with 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 1,300 platform partners (eg 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, but 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 at Disney for your IY.

Craig Heptinstall - Industrial Year in 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 at the end of my second year, in a country I knew little of, 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 it's like to begin a ful- 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 employed 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 for 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!

Kit Farmer - Industrial Year with 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!


Helen Harman - Industrial Year at 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 am looking forward to returning to Aberystwyth and completing my degree.

Gideon Jones - Industrial Year with Plymouth Marine Laboratory

I'm Gideon Jones, and 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 and delivery of satellite data for scientists and 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 and an application form, a tool for translating file format conventions from NASA's to our own and 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 and data I have processed for scientists, as well as hugely improved my own skills while not forgetting meeting a wide range of talented and interesting people!

Connor Luke Goddard - Industrial Year with 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.