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The Micro-Placements Programme

The Micro-Placements Programme is an exciting social-mobility initiative from City, University of London which aims to place select students, many of whom are from under-represented backgrounds, into short-term career-exploration projects during the summer (from 1st June 2020 and lasting 3-5 weeks). Due to the success of last year’s Programme, we have been able to expand our offering to cover 35 courses across all of City’s five Schools. The Programme is currently a non-credit bearing module in the curriculum and will appear on the student’s degree transcript.

If you would like to offer a Micro-Placement project this year, please submit a Project Proposal Form.

What is a Micro-Placement?

Micro-placements are:

  • Focused on the assignment of a specific project which is provided for the student by the host organisation which solves a business problem and has a clear deliverable for your organisation e.g. report, whitepaper, presentation etc
  • Work experience opportunities lasting between 3-5 weeks between 1st June-17th July 2020
  • Part or full-time, depending on your needs.

Why host a Micro-Placement?

  • Have a project with a tangible deliverable completed which adds value to your business and can solve real business problems
  • Benefit from students’ transferable skills and help develop students’ soft skills
  • You will be helping students become more employable and enhancing your Corporate Social Responsibility Agenda, with many students being from under-represented backgrounds
  • It’s time-efficient and flexible- students come to your office when it suits you
  • Take the hassle out of recruitment with very little cost to your organisation.
  • Have direct contact with our diverse pool of students - the 2019 publication of the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide included rating of institutions by the proportion of undergraduate students from ethnic minority groups for which City was ranked first in London and third nationally.
  • Establish long-lasting links for future employment - many students have been extended or hired as a direct result of Micro-Placements.
  • Give students keen to work in your sector vital work experience which could improve the quality of graduate applications.

Frequently asked questions about the Micro-Placements Programme

How does the scheme focus on social mobility?

The Micro-Placements Programme is a great way of getting involved with outreach work and giving back to the community as part of your corporate social responsibility agenda. We encourage students from under-represented backgrounds to apply, as approximately 60% of students at City, University of London are from a widening participation background.

Widening participation students include the following:

  • Students from families where there is no previous history of higher education
  • Under-represented groups
  • Students from low-income backgrounds or low participation neighbourhoods
  • Looked after children or Care Leavers
  • Disabled students.

For more information on how Micro-Placements focuses on social mobility, please check out Office for Students blog post.

The Micro-Placements Programme was runner up for Best University Initiative at the inaugural Student Social Mobility Awards 2018 at the House of Lords


What types of projects can Micro-Placements include?

Micro-Placements must focus on the completion of a project which solves a business problem and results in a tangible deliverable of benefit to your organisation.

Micro-Placements projects:

  • Are self-contained projects with the aim to solve a business problem for you
  • Result in the creation of a deliverable of benefit to your organisation e.g. report, whitepaper, presentation, one pager, database etc
  • Are of sufficient complexity and have clear learning outcomes as the Micro-Placement is a non-credit bearing module in the student’s curriculum
  • Are small-scale: for completion within a minimum of three working weeks and a maximum of five working weeks

Examples of projects our students worked on in the past include:


How detailed does the project description need to be in the project form?

Please provide as much detail as possible in the project form so we can best assess whether the project is a good fit for the scheme.

We particularly ask for detail in the following areas:

  • Business question the student will answer
  • At least 3 tasks the student will complete
  • Deliverable the student will produce for you e.g. report, research paper, presentation etc
  • At least 3 learning outcomes/objectives for the student

Please see a link to an example project description, tasks, objectives and deliverable sections to give you an indication of the detail required. Please note you will be asked for more information in the project form you will submit e.g. address where the project will take place, person specification etc.


Can I submit multiple projects?

You can host any number of projects, with a recommended maximum of two students per project. Please submit one form per project as this will help us match the most appropriate student candidates for each opportunity.


Can multiple students work on the same project?

Multiple students can work on the same project. Please provide clear, distinct objectives and deliverables for each student to ensure a valuable learning experience for each student.


Which degree disciplines are Micro-Placements students from?

Micro-Placements students are from the following disciplines: Accounting and Finance, Actuarial Science, Economics, English, History, Law, Management, Mathematics, Music, Politics, Psychology and Sociology, Speech and Language Science.


What’s required of the host organisation?

  • Employer’s liability insurance and Public Liability insurance
  • London-based office space (zones 1-4) and equipment needed to complete the project
  • Ability to cover lunch and travel expenses.
  • Provision of a daily supervisor for the student
  • Provision of training if necessary
  • Have a health and safety policy in place.

Will Micro-Placement students be paid?

Participating organisations must cover travel expenses (where applicable) and either provide lunch or cover the costs of lunch (recommended £5-£10).

We strongly encourage the payment of National Minimum Wage or the payment of a stipend or bonus in addition to expenses.


The student application process

Students undergo a highly competitive recruitment process to be successful on the Programme. The application process includes the following:

  • A mandatory workshop on CVs, applications, and email etiquette prior to submitting applications
  • Assessment Centre and Interviews for shortlisted applicants
  • Selected students will also be attending a pre-placement webinar prior to starting their Micro-Placement in order for them to learn how to make the most of the experience.

What if I want the student for longer than five weeks?

At City, we also have access to the Santander Internship Scheme for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which could be an option worth exploring for offering paid internships if you would like to keep the student for longer. Please note that any time worked after the 5 weeks should be covered by a separate agreement between the host organisation and the student and falls outside of the Micro-Placements Programme.


I would like to offer a Micro-Placement- what are my next steps?