Work Placement/company-based internship

Why consider a work placement?

There are many reasons why making a work placement part of your course of study is a good idea. The aim is to ensure that you

  • are given the chance to test and practice your theoretical skills
  • experience what it is like to actually solve a problem in reality
  • the perfect chance to start building a professional network.

Numerous studies show that such work experiences will make you a much more attractive job applicant after graduation.

What's in it for the company/organisation?

A work placement is not only good for you, but it is actually also beneficial for the company/organisation. By making you part of their company/organisation for a period of time, it gives them access to the latest research in their field and a chance to be looked over by your unprejudiced scrutiny.

Planning a work placement

The first step towards a successful work placement is planning

The planning process consists of the following 6 steps.

1. Check whether a work placement is an integral part of your programme

Not all programmes have an integrated work placement. Check your curriculum for information about it. In other words, is it an integral part of your programme or is it possible to convert one or more elective elements into a work placement? 

2. If a work placement is NOT an integral part of your programme

In your curriculum you'll find information as to which elements in your programme may be converted into a work placement.

You sign up for the work placement through the Student Self Service as part of the course registration.

3. Finding a work placement

You have the sole responsibility to find a work placement. It may be in a Danish or foreign organisation or company. If you are considering a work placement abroad, please contact SDU International for further information about the process.

If you are in need of inspiration as to where to find a suitable work placement, SDU job bank may have job offers that match your ideas and wishes.

Furthermore, you are welcome to make queries about work placements to your lecturers. A lecturer may very well have relevant contacts both inside and outside SDU. A research project may also be pre-approved as a work placement.

Finally, you may also contact the Career Guidance for help with e.g. a motivated application.

Some companies or organisations may have a specific project that they want help with planning and managing, but mostly, you yourself are expected to describe and define the activities and areas that you think you'll be able to manage during the placement. Therefore, you are suggested to take time to reflect on what activities you would like to handle and have interest in.

4. The first appointment

When you have established contact with a company/organisation, it is important to balance your expectations. You both have to agree on what is expected of the company/organisation and what they can expect of you, the time and duration for the work placement and who your contact will be there.

It is imperative that you have a reliable contact in the company/organisation that can act as your sparring partner and can also be responsible for creating the right environment for you during your time there.

5. Draw up a written work placement agreement

Based on the initial verbal agreement, you must draw up a written agreement between you and the company/organisation. The agreement has to be signed by the company/organisation and yourself. In addition, a supervisory agreement will be drawn up.

Template for project agreement and supervisory agreement.

Who can help me with the agreement?
If you have any questions related to the agreement, you may contact your work placement/project supervisor at SDU. The supervisor should help to ensure that the activities that you will be managing for the company/organisation will be of relevance to your programme.

Submitting the project agreement and supervisory agreement
The supervisory agreement and the academic content of the project agreement shall be approved by the degree programme. You should therefore send these to the degree programme secretarial office, which will circulate them to the supervisor/internship coordinator.

You may not receive any salary during a project-based course
You may not receive any salary during a project-based course if it is ECTS-funded. You may receive funding from The State Education Grant and Loan Scheme in Denmark (SU) and may also receive remuneration from the company for documented expenses associated with your project-based course, e.g. for transport, rent and telephone charges. From 1 July 2017, you may also receive gratuity of up to 3,000 kroner per month, for as long as your course lasts.

For a detailed description see SU.

6. Work Placement Report

The work placement will conclude with a report. The length of the report depends on the ECTS-point weighting of your work placement. It is advisable to discuss and ask the supervisor for help regarding structure and content during the process of writing the report.