Sandwich Programs in the UK: Study and Work Experience

The Sandwich Course in the UK is a degree course where you could work for 9 months to a year before going back to classes for the rest of the program. Such courses obviously are longer than a regular degree but the advantage is that Universities usually get you the placement and this work experience is all important when you graduate and are looking for employment opportunities.

Difference between  full-time and sandwich course

Students who want to finish their degree without any breaks for industry experience should opt for a full-time course. Many universities in the UK have made placements for certain subjects mandatory.  For example, University of Bath’s School of Management has various ‘thick’ and ‘thin’ sandwich degrees (more on thick and thin later in this article). Their Psychology degree also comes with mandatory placement.

A difference between full-time and a Sandwich course is also that while there might be internship opportunities in a regular course, it is usually only for up to 12 weeks. Sandwich degrees require you to work at least for 9 months if not a year.

Pros and cons of a sandwich course in the UK

First the pros

  • In a competitive job market, you must get every advantage you can. Industry experience helps you to stand out among the other college graduates applying for the same job.
  • With a years industry experience, you might not need to try for entry-level jobs
  • Employers are always looking for educational qualification along with industry experience
  • There is also the possibility that the placement company you were with could offer you a full-time position. 

And here are some cons

  • One of the disadvantages is that while studying you are also applying for a placement. The whole process can take months and you are studying while spending time applying and going through different stages of interviews.
  • Check with the university before accepting an offer about the extent of assistance they provide in getting a placement. The variety of placements is also important.
  • Be clear about how the industry year is graded so you are prepared.
  • Be sure that having your studies interrupted by an industry year is not an unwelcome interruption to your studies.

There are 2 kinds of Sandwich Courses

Not all sandwich courses in the UK are the same. They could be either ‘Thick’ or ‘Thin’.

A Thick Sandwich Course is generally part of a four-year degree. You study for the first two years before you take up a year placement in the third year. 

You could choose to work in the EU and complete your final year of study abroad at a sister university there. This is the Erasmus programme and is run in the UK by the British Council.  Erasmus In full is the European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students.

The Thin Sandwich Course is part of a three-year degree. In this type of sandwich course, The work placement is split into two i.e there will be 6 months of industry experience in your first year and then again another 6 months in your third year. 

Universities that do sandwich courses in the UK 

There are several universities offering Sandwich Courses especially in subjects related to Business, Humanities, Engineering, Computer Science and Maths. Some universities have tie-ups with companies, and students get an opportunity to work in a specific company.

Here are few Universities offering Sandwich Courses at the undergraduate or postgraduate level

1.Manchester Metropolitan University

Course: Banking and Finance (BSC Hons)

Course duration: 3 years full-time

Placement / overseas study: 1 year

Course: International Hospitality Business Management (BSC Hons)

Course duration: 3 years full-time

Placement/ overseas study: 1 year

2.Staffordshire University

Course: Mechanical Engineering (BEng and MEng)

Course duration: 4 years full-time

Placement year: 1 year

Course: Cyber security (BSC Hons)

Course duration: 3 years full-time

Placement year: 1 year

3.Middlesex University

Course: Fashion Design (BA Hons)

Course duration: 3 years full-time

Placement: 6 weeks

Course: Business Management (Marketing) (BA Hons)

Course duration: 3 years full-time

Placement: 1 year

4.Leeds Beckett University

Course: Accounting and Finance (BA Hons)

Course duration: 3 years full-time

Placement: 1 year


This might interest you: Top 5 Reasons to Choose the UK as Your Study Destination 


If you want to do an  MBA sandwich course in the UK, it will be a 2-year course with an internship for 45-52 weeks. 

Universities that do sandwich courses in the UK for MBA studies are

1.Loughborough University

 Course: MBA

Duration of the course: 2 years

Placement: 1 year

2.Birmingham City University

Course: MBA

Duration of the Course: 12 months

Placement: 4 months internship

3.University of Sunderland 

Course: MBA

Duration of the Course: 18 months and 24 months

Placement: 1 year

4.Kingston University London

Course: MBA

Duration of the Course: 2 years

Placement: 1 year

This might be of interest  why do so many international students choose to study business

If you are not sure if a Sandwich Course is right for you then just ask yourself if hand-on practical experience is an important part of your course. If the answer is yes, then you should consider getting both theoretical and practical experience.