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UK Game Industry Student Placements

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SopheeJay polycounter lvl 2
Hi everyone :)

I'm in my second year of studying Game Art at university and I have the opportunity to do a placement year in industry.
Unfortunately I've had no luck after a month of checking job sites, advertisements and studio websites, as well as my own universities Placement recourses and emailing individual companies myself to enquire about possible placement opportunities!

So far I've only gathered the following:
  • Rare - advertisements are usually put out in December
  • Sumo Digital - they may start advertising in November?
  • Climax Studios - has been said to keep an eye on their socials for any updates
Studios I confirmed that offer no placements, only work experience, only graduate schemes or are in the wrong area of study:
  • Ubisoft
  • Playground Games
  • Rare
  • Creative Assembly
  • Rocksteady
  • TT Games
  • Splash Damage
  • Frontier
  • Firesprite
  • Two Point Studios
  • Coatsink
So I'm wondering if anyone has any tips or experience with finding student placements?
I realise they're quite Rare (haha funny) but I'm really set on doing a placement and I believe I have the skills to be accepted!

TLDR: does anyone know of any game studios offering student placements in the UK?


  • poopipe
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    poopipe godlike master sticky
    How does a placement year differ from an internship?

  • SopheeJay
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    SopheeJay polycounter lvl 2
    @poopipe Placements last for a year, so count as a 'sandwich' year/extra year of university, whereas internships are usually a lot shorter, also placement years are also paid, but not all internships are.
  • poopipe
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    poopipe godlike master sticky
    I see,

    I suspect it's a case of unfortunate timing more than anything else .
    Remote working puts a significant strain on every part of the business and because of that it wouldn't surprise me if any studio felt they couldn't spare the resources to do a placement/internship justice.

    That doesn't help you I know but hopefully it helps frame it from the studio perspective - at the moment theres a lot more to it than whether you're good enough or not.

    I wish you the best of luck finding a placement.

    I'm pretty disappointed to hear unpaid internships might still be a thing - apart from it being shitty and exploitative behaviour, a UK studio would be on very shaky ground legally speaking if they tried it  (I've had some experience in this area) 
  • YF_Sticks
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    YF_Sticks polycounter lvl 5
    Hey Jay,

    I don't know too much about placements since I've never went the University path. Especially in times like these, it might be difficult for a studio to hire someone for a placement.

    Now, from looking at your portfolio you got a lot of things going, which is good. What I recommend you do is to focus on one craft. Environments or Characters (or whatever you choose). You might even want to use that year and polish and work hard on your portfolio. Because if you nail it, you might just get a job as a junior. 

    Studios tend to hire someone who can do the task necessary to bring the game further. Also our art jobs are technical and we need to finish certain tasks in order to meet the deadline. Because in the end, it's about shipping a finished product. This is why a certain skill level is required so people can rely on you to get something done with speed and quality (which is exactly why finding placements is very hard because they rather hire a junior).
    Now, it's not impossible of course to find a placement and I encourage you to keep searching. I know my answer probably isn't exactly what you were looking for, but I hope this may help you to make some decisions!
  • SopheeJay
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    SopheeJay polycounter lvl 2

    I understand that completely, and it's a shame that the pandemic, lockdowns and remote working has affected it, because from what I've heard from other students, industry placements are extremely worth it!
    Though obviously I get times are hard right now and respect the challenges studios are facing, so they of course must prioritise a lot of other things above placements, which is fine :)

    But as my placement would take place in a years time, I know we all hope that the situation will have changed by then, so I'm still on the look out for possible opportunities!

    But thank you for the kind wishes!  :3
  • SopheeJay
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    SopheeJay polycounter lvl 2

    Thank you for taking a look at my portfolio, it's appreciated!

    I'm working on focusing my craft at the moment, though during my current studies we're still required to complete all kind of projects, so all environments, characters, vehicles etc. and I feel these projects (if successful) would be wasted if I didn't show them in my portfolio!  :'(
    But I do plan to focus on environments, mainly 3D, so I'll definitely keep that advice in mind, thank you.

    I understand your point completely and that all makes fair sense to me!
    I know I can survive without a placement year, I just think it'd be really beneficial to get an early view of how projects actually work in industry, and how development takes place for a finished product (compared to assessed university projects) 

    Thanks again for the input! :)
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