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 put your theoretical skills into practice.
- experience what it is like to solve problems in an actual workplace
- get the 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?
A work placement is not only good for you, but it is also beneficial for the company/organisation. As a student you offer a fresh perspective based on the latest theories and methods. Consequently, a work placement gives the company access to the newest knowledge and a chance at development.
How to plan your project-oriented course
In some programmes a project-oriented course is mandatory. You can check if that's the case in your programme in your process model.
If a project-oriented course is not a mandatory part of your programme, you may still have the option to change one or more electives/non compulsory courses into a project-oriented course. If a project-oriented course is an option you will be able to find the course description under current courses.
When is the best time to take a project-oriented course?
Often the best time to place a project-oriented course is at the end of the Bachelor's programme or in the Master's programme. This is because it requires a certain academic foundation to manage a project position.
Before you start applying for a place to do your project, you need to consider where you would find it interesting to do a project and what areas and tasks you would like to work with. Some companies/organisations have specific projects that they would like help to address, but often you need to define the work assignments and tasks you would like to work with yourself.
Identify your competences
Try to express your competences and what you can offer a company/organisation. That is also what will be the basis of your application. Contact the Career Guidance to get help. They can help clarify your competences and they also offer feedback on your application and resumé.
In the course description for the project-oriented course there may be a specified number of hours for the project at the company/organisation, that need to be evident from the project agreement (see section 6). If the number of hours is not specified in the course description, you can assume that the following hours apply:
|5 ECTS||10 ECTS||15 ECTS||20 ECTS|
|140 work hours||280 work hours||420 work hours||560 work hours|
The work hours include:
- work hours at the company/organisation
- writing the project report
- other preparation
- possibly an oral defence of the project report
You may not receive a salary during a project-oriented course
You may not receive a salary during a project-oriented course, if it needs to be ECTS credited. You can still receive SU and may also be compensated by the company/organisation to cover documented expenses related to your project, e.g. transportation, rent and phone bills.
The company/organisation may give you a gratuity, that is a kind of reward or gift as a thank you for your effort. This may be as much as 3.000kr per month that the project lasts. See a description at SU.
You are responsible for finding a company/organisation to work with yourself. It can be both a Danish or foreign company/organisation. If you are doing a project-oriented course abroad you can contact SDU International to get help with planning your stay.
4 things that you can do to find a company/organisation to work with
There are multiple things you can do to find a company/organisation to work with:
- Look for project postings in SDU Jobbank or other job search portals.
- Seek out interesting companies/organisations and send an unsolicited application.
- Ask your programme (Study Secretary or Head of Studies), if they have a list of where former students have done a project.
- Talk to the lecturers in your programme. They may have contacts both within and outside the university.
When you have established contact with a company/organisation it's important that you align your expectations:
- what do you expect from the company/organisation?
- what can the company/organisation expect from you?
- in what period will you be at the company/organisation?
- who is your contact person?
Get a contact person
The contact person should function as a person to ask questions and receive feedback from in everyday work life and should also create a nice setting for your stay.
Based on the oral agreement you and the company/organisation must draw up a written agreement. You can find the project agreement template under Forms. The agreement is approved by both you and the company/organisation.
Your programme must approve the academic content
The project agreement's academic content must be approved by your programme. Your programme considers if the tasks you do for the company/organisation is academically relevant and that it's aligned with the course description.
Your supervisor at SDU functions as a person to get feedback from and discuss challenges with, both with regards to the academic content of the project agreement and when your write your project report. Your Study Secretary can inform you whether or not you need to find a supervisor yourself or will be assigned one.
You complete the project-oriented course by writing a project report. The length of the report depends on how many ECTS your project-oriented course is credited with. In the course description you can see the requirements for the length of the report and the examination.