Frontrunners is the university’s own work placement scheme, helping you to develop your skills, knowledge, and experience in a supportive, familiar environment. We offer a range paid placements across the university, so, whatever your interests and career aspirations, make sure you get involved.

This unique placement scheme allows you to:

  • Gain valuable experience that will develop your skills and knowledge and enhance your C.V.
  • Gain insight to working within a university environment.
  • Combine work experience with your studies.
  • Receive support from a professional mentor.
  • Contribute units towards The Big Essex Award.

Applications are currently closed. The next round will open in late 2022.


Frontrunners is specifically for those with limited or no previous work experience. The scheme offers you the opportunity to be challenged, to question, and to reflect on your own skills development in a supported, structured environment.

If you have previously completed a Frontrunners placement or have gained other work experience, Frontrunners Plus offers you the opportunity to develop your knowledge by completing a placement involving more advanced tasks or with increased responsibilities.

Placements are open to registered students at all levels of study at the University of Essex. You must have a right to work in the U.K. to be able to participate. Full details on eligibility are available in the terms and conditions below.

Terms and conditions

Before you apply, it is important that you familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions below.  As an educational work placement scheme, it is important to understand that there is an expectation that, if you take on a role, you will demonstrate commitment and a desire to develop within it.

Your pay

Placements will run for up to a maximum 150 hours over a period of 10-15 weeks depending on requirement. You will be paid an hourly wage for your time as follows:

  • Frontrunners £9.24 per hour
  • Frontrunner Plus £9.50 per hour

You will be paid monthly in arrears into your UK bank account, according to how many hours you've spent on placement in the previous month.

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