Placement project examples by sector

Scientific Research

Our students have been involved in a variety of scientific research projects - ranging from ecotoxicology studies to physics based research - that have assisted with product development and innovation. Examples include:

  • Creating and developing a Microsoft Excel database of historical control data to assist in the interpretation of ecotoxicology studies, undertaken as part of the environmental risk assessment of new pharmaceutical products.
  • Carrying out a series of trials on a new revolutionary piece of equipment designed to detect early stage faults and cracks in concrete.


Marketing projects continue to be popular with host organisations. Students have completed work across the broad marketing spectrum of disciplines including: market research and planning, sales, branding, digital marketing and graphic design. Examples include:

  • Developing a five year business plan and preparing a marketing strategy that identified existing and potential target markets.
  • Developing a re-branding proposal and assisting in the co-ordination of the re-branding process.

Business Management

Business Management students are always in demand as organisations often want specific knowledge and business management disciplines to aid their business plans. Students have worked on a variety of projects including; stock reduction, business development and data cleansing. Examples include:

  • Carrying out background research needed to support a Government funding application for a new product.
  • Researching a business plan that re-orientated the company with a more business-to-business focus.


Research is a popular project that businesses feel they can outsource as most projects can be scoped easily into an 8 to 12 week placement period. Last year students brought their research disciplines and focus to carry out specific surveys and research ranging from outdoor geographical surveys to engaging with local communities and student groups. Examples include:

  • Carrying out research and interviews to form case studies for the Sustainable Building Guide.
  • Carrying out a habitat survey for Exmoor National Park.


Environmental projects that need the latest technological developments and theories are well suited to the academic background of many students. Environmental projects undertaken have varied from planning and regeneration at a county wide level, to sustainable building development and analysis of environmentally friendly products. Examples include:

  • Carrying out an environmental audit which evaluated the ‘carbon footprint’ of individual products produced by a company. Advising on energy saving and resource efficiency to maximise profit and efficiency.
  • Creating a ‘new products presentation’ to train employees and carry out research into the products’ environmental impact.

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering skills are much in demand to assist businesses’ innovation and product design. Students have been successful in integrating with organisations to design and develop cutting edge technologies and apply the latest techniques in engineering. Examples include:

  • Effectively designing and developing a micro-bar air pressure measuring sensor.
  • Analysing and developing a plant’s existing database used to monitor production processes and efficiency.

Information Communication Technology

Information Communication Technology (ICT) is a diverse field that continues to be popular with organisations. Students have been recruited to undertake projects including; software development, digitising data and creating improved data storage systems. Examples include:

  • Designing and developing a new ‘lean’ Supply Chain Management (SCM) computer system for use by SME manufacturing companies.
  • Implementing a new intranet system in order to improve communication and knowledge sharing within the firm.