The BSc Mathematics (with Placement), G108, is a four-year degree programme in which you spend your third year on a placement, in industry, a company, or other organization (e.g. the Civil Service), returning to finish your degree in your fourth year. The placement year does not count towards your degree, making G108 very similar to the BSc (European Studies) programme, G104.
Going on a placement has many benefits. Amongst others: you acquire skills that you would not otherwise acquire during a maths degree; you get to see how maths is applied 'in real life', which may motivate you and change your perspective on your studies; you acquire job experience that can only help in finding a job after you have graduated; and you become known to a prospective employer, who may look favourably on a future application. Indeed, it often happens that offers of a job on graduation are made during the placement, although of course this cannot be guaranteed!
If the idea of spending a year on a placement interests you, do read on for more information, and then get in touch with the departmental Placement Coordinator, Ian Jermyn (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you have any questions.
How do I transfer to G108?
The formal change of programme to G108 happens at the end of Level 2, but the process starts at the end of Level 1. You may change programme provided you have:
Achieved a minimum of 55% in examinations at Level 1.
Expressed a formal interest in G108 at the start of Level 2 via enrolment on the Mathematics Placement module in Duo.
Completed the preparatory course in Michaelmas Term of Level 2.
Found a placement with an approved placement provider.
Performed sufficiently well at Level 2 to be eligible to enter Level 3.
The placement year itself becomes a module in your degree. When you change programme to G108 at the end of Level 2, you must also register for this module, MATH3976. The placement module is assessed on a pass/fail basis via a report describing how the placement met the learning outcomes of the module.
Students on a visa
If you are studying at Durham on a Tier 4 or pre-Tier 4 visa, then you need to take particular care when changing programme. If your new programme end date is later than your current visa expiry date, then you will almost certainly need to apply for a new Tier 4 visa from outside the UK. You may read more about the visa situation here. However, we strongly advise you to contact the Student Immigration Office as well.
Finding a placement
To transfer to G108, you have to find a placement with a placement provider. Although we cannot guarantee you a placement, we offer support to help you find one:
During Michaelmas term, you will attend the preparatory course. The course is designed to increase your chances of finding a placement, and of having a valuable and enjoyable placement experience. It does not require a big time commitment (no more than 10 hours), and it is non-credit bearing (i.e. it does not count towards your final degree and is taken in addition to your six regular credit bearing modules). The course covers most aspects of job applications; gives opportunities to meet with potential placement providers; and an opportunity to discuss with past and current placees.
We are building up lists of online resources curating and advertising placements, of companies that offer placements, and, as the programme matures, a list of companies that have already taken Durham Maths students as placees, and where, therefore, we think the chances of success may be higher than elsewhere.
We receive a number of announcements of placement opportunities, and we circulate these as they arrive.
Placements abroad are possible, but due to the university's responsibility for student welfare, placement providers will be vetted especially carefully.
It may happen that you do not find a placement. Although this will be disappointing, provided you meet the normal progression requirements for continuing to Level 3 of your current degree programme, you will simply stay on your current degree, having received a significant amount of training and advice on job applications and related topics, and having built up a lot of experience in job hunting.
During the placement
You will receive a salary from the placement provider In your year away, Durham will charge you a lower tuition fee (20% of full fee).
During your placement, you will have an assigned 'placement advisor' staff member. The placement advisor will contact you regularly during the placement to check how the placement is going and to see if you need any advice and guidance. In some cases, a visit may be made to the placement provider premises. In case an urgent issue arises, you can contact your placement advisor.