Student using a Raspberry Pi sensor

March 9, 2018, by Jackie Thompson

What You Need To Know About Postgraduate Placements Nottingham

By Debra Fearnshaw, Placements Delivery Manager

What is Postgraduate Placements Nottingham (PPN)?

PPN is a paid, flexible placement programme for all students and researchers studying masters or PhD courses.  Placements are very flexible and usually consist of a 200-hour project worked to fit around your studies over the course of several months.

What type of placements are available? Are they all local?

We have a huge range of placements available and they change every week.  Placements are usually with small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and Third Sector/charity organisations.  We talk to students and researchers regularly so we try to develop placements which are of interest to them.  If you have an idea for a placement, we are happy to work with you to develop that placement.

Most placements are local but some are further afield. Some placements can happen remotely using Skype, phone and email to keep in touch. Placement hosts can pay for travel if this is required.

Do I need previous experience?

It really depends on what the placement host is looking for. Some are looking for experience, others are looking for specific skills.  We carefully develop the project briefs with the placement host so you can decide if the placement is right for you.

Where do I look for vacancies and how do I apply?

You must register with the portal to apply for placements. Applications are by CV and cover letter.

Is there a best time to look for vacancies?

We operate all year round and advertise placements every week so just keep checking the portal for the latest opportunities.

When would I be working?

Placements are very flexible to suit your study commitments.  It is important to discuss these commitments at interview so the placement host understands what is possible.  Most people on placement work around 12 hours per week.

Will I be paid?

Yes.  All placements are currently paid the rate of £10.30 per hour including holiday pay.

Will I have reviews with my supervisor on placement?

Yes.  Your study will continue as normal while you’re on placement.

Is there a chance of a job at the end of the placement?

Most placements are projects with a clear start and end date.  There have been examples of people then going on to work full-time with their placement host but this is not the aim of the programme.  The main aim is to help people gain and improve their skills while on placement to help inform their future career plans whether within academia or elsewhere.

Check out the PPN blog for stories from placement students about their experience.

If you would like to talk to a careers adviser about your future plans after your masters or PhD or how you can develop your employability now, please talk to one our team. You can also visit our postgraduate section for masters students or our PhD and research staff website. If you’re no longer in Nottingham, we can also offer support remotely, email us at

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