A year in industry on offer to students
03 March 2017
Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) has developed a new course option that allows students to gain an invaluable year of work experience with high profile employers.
A four year course that includes a year of relevant work placement has been an option for agricultural degree programmes for many years at IBERS.
Following the increased success of students gaining relevant employment after completing work experience, this option is now being made available on all IBERS degree courses from September 2017.
IBERS undergraduate student Jennifer Campbell is in the final year of her Agriculture and Animal Science degree and recently completed a year in industry.
Jennifer said: “The year in industry enabled me to gain valuable first-hand experience of the agricultural industry in areas I was particularly interested in. I started off my placement on an arable farm and from there I spent the winter lambing and then went on to work as an Assistant Trials Officer for Bayer Crop Science in March 2016.”
Jennifer has already secured employment as a Forage Grass Breeding and Trials assistant for DSV Seeds beginning after she graduates this summer, an achievement she attributes largely to the valuable agricultural skills and qualifications she gained during her year in industry.
“I learned a lot on my placement year which has helped give me a better understanding of my third year modules. I found that a year in a work environment also increased my confidence, which has stood me in good stead in interviews for graduate jobs.
“The support from IBERS lecturers throughout placement is excellent. I would recommend a year in industry placement to any student, whether they have previous experience or not; the contacts to be made and the skills you can develop are priceless.”
IBERS offers a range of highly acclaimed courses including Veterinary Bioscience, Equine Studies, and Zoology and in the 2016 National Student Survey (NSS) received 100% student satisfaction for Animal Science, Countryside Conservation and Plant Biology.
IBERS Director of Employability Dr Les Tumilty said: “One of the best ways to develop future employability is to demonstrate competence within the work place. Undertaking work experience as part of a course offers the opportunity for students to shine and to gain work related skills as well as develop technical expertise.”
As well as being able to take advantage of IBERS industry contacts students will be encouraged and given the means to develop their own links with industry and with guidance from staff develop their own placements to meet their own needs and interests.
Director of IBERS Professor Michael Gooding added: “I am delighted that all our degree students will now have the opportunity to dip their toes into the work place and demonstrate their skills to employers. It is important in IBERS that we do not just develop knowledgeable students but also students that have the life skills and confidence to forge successful careers and make a difference in today’s society.”
The year of work experience will include a number of pieces of coursework that count towards the final degree mark. Students will be required to carry out a minimum of 9 months of full time work but can take more if they so wish.
To find out more about IBERS degrees available and their current research projects visit IBERS online.