Sandwich Courses in UK: Types, Eligibility, Top University, Etc.

When Monica, a young aspiring designer, applied to university, she knew securing graduate-level work in her chosen field would be daunting. Cognizant of the fact that employers were eager to hire graduates with industry experience, she decided to opt for sandwich courses in the UK. Why? Because this program encapsulates a placement year or internship in the industry. 

Monica’s story isn’t a one-off. Research by ASET – the Work Based and Placement Learning Association – suggests that sandwich degrees, designed by both employers and universities, make students more employable.

What is the best way to stay ahead of the competition in the current landscape? Or deciding what will make for the best option between studying for a degree or going straight into work? Then sandwich courses in the UK will help to keep your worries at bay. 

Sandwich Program in the UK: Earn Work Experience While You Study 

A sandwich course is a four to five years course that amalgamates an undergraduate/postgraduate degree along with a year-long placement in a professional setting. It also includes time away from the regular lectures on a placement; it can be an entire year or a thin sandwich degree with multiple internships across the program. Originated in the UK in the 1950s, sandwich courses are today popular across the globe. For instance, Canada’s sandwich degree is equivalent to a co-op program. Co-operative (co-op) education is a program where you can gain industry experience linked with your field of study. 

Are you considering pursuing a sandwich degree offered in the UK? Then it is a prudent choice to understand the different types of sandwich degrees – thick and thin. 

Sandwich Course Vs. Full-time Course

A regular undergraduate or postgraduate program sandwich course in the UK can be distinguished based on a dedicated year for placement and work experience. Students who desire to pursue their degree without taking time off for work experience should opt for a full-time sandwich program. Many universities in the UK have introduced mandatory placements for certain subjects like engineering, psychology, business, and design. 

You might get the opportunity to do internships for up to 12 weeks while pursuing a regular full-time course, whereas while pursuing a sandwich course – the placement year lasts 9 to 12 months. Another difference between the two is that placement is not optional in a sandwich course. Students are required to acquire work experience to complete their degrees. 

Types of Sandwich Program in UK

You have the option to pursue one of the two types of sandwich programs in the UK  – thin and thick. We have juxtaposed the two types to make it easier for you to make  a prudent decision. 

Thick Sandwich  Thin Sandwich 
Course Structure  Most of the modern courses adhere to a similar structure

1st and 2nd Year: University academic year

3rd Year: Sandwich year

4th Year: Academic year

An interval of two shorter periods is encapsulated in this sandwich program 
Opportunities  A spectrum of opportunities are available, from Forensics to Politics, including Business, Sociology, Engineering, History, and Geography These sandwich courses are primarily offered in –Sport Studies,  Business, Finance, Sport Studies, Psychology, and Engineering
Placement Options  You can spend your internship in a plethora of ways:

i) You can opt to be a professor/teacher

ii) You can explore an industrial placement opportunity

iii)You can study abroad at any partner university

The courses are inclined towards experience-based learning, wherein universities offer internships with organizations either in the global or  UK opportunities

Top Universities for Sandwich Courses in UK

A slew of universities across various disciplines offer sandwich courses in the UK. Here is a quick run of the UK universities offering sandwich years.

University Course  Duration
The University of Sussex  Computer Science (MComp) 5 years full time with a sandwich year
Kingston University London  Aerospace Engineering (MEng) 5 years full time including a sandwich year
The University of Greenwich Business Logistic and Transport Management (BA Hons)  5 years with a sandwich degree
Loughborough University Bioengineering (BEng Hons) 4 years full-time with placement year
Staffordshire University Fashion (BA Hons) 4 years with 1-year placement
Middlesex University Business Accounting (BSc Hons) 4 years full-time with placement
Manchester Metropolitan University  Banking and Finance (Bsc Hons) 4 years with placement

Moreover, some courses like non-vocational sandwich degrees encapsulating an additional year of study abroad will allow the student to acquire a new language and cultural experiences.

Eligibility Criteria for Sandwich Degrees in the UK

The eligibility criteria for Sandwich Courses in the UK is similar to other programs in the UK.

We have listed the main prerequisites for studying in the UK. 

  • Academic Transcripts
  • At least 60% from a recognized university.
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Proof of English proficiency tests such as TOEFL/IELTS.
  • GMAT/GRE scores for Master’s degrees.
  • Updated CV
  • Letter of Recommendation (LOR)

Advantages of Pursuing Sandwich Courses in UK

Advantages of Pursuing Sandwich Courses in UK

There are a slew of ways a sandwich degree UK can be used to give you a career edge. 

  • Financial Incentives:  You manage your expenses while living abroad with the stipend paid during the internship.
  • Personality Development: You will acquire indispensable skills to move up in the corporate world. 
  • Competitive Edge: Getting insights into your favored industry will help you to stay ahead of your peers.
  • Enhanced Pre-Placement Opportunities: In most scenarios, if you build a good working reputation, you can receive a pre-placement offer from the internship organization after graduation to work as a full-time employee.


Do all the universities offer sandwich degrees?

All universities do not offer sandwich degrees. In some cases, universities might provide placement options; however, your field might not.

What is the essential thing that you need to know before applying for a sandwich course in the UK?

Before applying for a sandwich course in the UK, it is indispensable to be aware of the extent of engagement of the university with students regarding placement and support. Also, it would help if you scoured the placement options mentioned on the website and their scope.

What is the length of the sandwich course in the UK?

The length of a sandwich course in the UK varies on the level of study. The course duration while pursuing a bachelor’s degree is four years; for a master’s degree, it is two years. However, an integrated master’s degree – is five years. Students are allowed to pursue internships and training only for 9 to 12 months.

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