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business Postgraduate Business Professional Practice Year

Undertaking a Professional Practice Year is a great way to put academic theory into business practice, gain significant professional skills and enhance your future career prospects.

What is a Professional Practice Year?

Taking place in the year following the completion of a Master’s programme, a Professional Practice Year is an opportunity to gain valuable business experience related to your study and develop professional skills that will increase your future employment prospects.

What work counts towards a Professional Practice Year?

You can choose between an academic dissertation, business or consultancy project, business plan or paid placement in industry to complete your Professional Practice Year, depending on which is best suited to your future career path.

Here are the options in more detail:

  • Academic Dissertation: Conduct a comprehensive review of relevant academic literature to identify a gap in the literature which requires research. Design, develop, and engage in research aimed at addressing the identified gap, providing your findings and recommendations.
  • Business Project: Identify and assess a business or industry problem, or market gap, and conduct relevant research on how to address the issue, identifying the most appropriate methods of data collection, analysis and evaluation, with the purpose of identifying and formulating a business project.
  • Consultancy Project: Working with a live project to identify a problem/opportunity requiring consultancy services. Identifying the most appropriate consultancy framework, constructing the approach, recommending appropriate outcomes, and evaluating the long-term impact for the client and their industry.
  • Business Plan: Identify a gap in the market for a new product/service, for a new start-up company or as an addition to an existing company’s portfolio of products/services. Formulate a business plan for the planned new product/service, inclusive of the relevant external and internal analysis.
  • Paid Placement in Industry: Secure a one-year paid work-placement with a company in an industry that is of particular interest to you and your future professional development plans.

All of these options are aimed at enhancing your employability, through honing and improving the skills you will have started to develop during the academic year of your two-year course.

So, how does it work?

Each of the five options have been developed for the purpose of enhancing your practical skills. Each option allows you to focus on the industry you are most interested in and within which you want to develop your career. The outcome, regardless of which of the five options you go for, will provide you with the practical skills and knowledge that you will find valuable for your future career.

Should you decide to choose an academic dissertation, business plan, business, or consultancy project, you will be supported by a designated supervisor, who will work with you and guide you in how to approach and develop your work. At the start of the Professional Practice Year, you will attend workshops, tailored to your chosen path, in how to collect, analyse, evaluate and interpret data and how to construct your chosen end-of-year assessment. These take place in the first term and consist of 4 hours of workshops per week, for 9 weeks. In terms 2 and 3, you will be guided by an appointed Supervisor, during sessions you will agree and negotiate with your Supervisor.

Should you decide on a paid placement in industry, you are responsible for finding your own work placement (which is paid employment) and our expert Employability Team and Placements Manager will provide you with guidance and support. Throughout the year, you will receive monthly coaching from a Placement Tutor to help accelerate your skills development and self-awareness within a work environment, complementing the knowledge gained from our academic courses. The minimum hours required are 30 hours of work per week and the minimum period for the duration of the placement is 36 weeks.

How much does a 2-year Master's with Professional Practice Year cost?

See our postgraduate fees and funding page for specific details. We also offer a range of Scholarships and Bursaries and, if you're an international student, be sure to check our international business scholarships and bursaries.

Who can apply?

Our Professional Practice Year courses are open to everyone, whether you are a UK, or international student. It is important to note that international students must hold the appropriate visa and right to work in the United Kingdom throughout their Professional Practice Year, before commencing the eligible course.

Students must select the duration of the master's programme at the outset in order to benefit from the full 2-year professional practice programme.

What to do next?

Contact [email protected] for specific advice and guidance, apply now, or make an enquiry.

For full details on securing a Postgraduate Placement Year as one of the options available, please see our FAQs for Placements.

Make an Enquiry

Benefits of a placement year

businessThe benefits of a work placement year as part of a professional practice year

Considering the option of a paid placement in industry? Take a look at our top reasons for undertaking a work placement as part of your business master's course.