Information for Students
The third year of the Bachelor of Arts degree is dedicated to the Off-Campus Programme. This programme enables students to expand their knowledge and skills through study abroad and/or work placements. Students undertake either one placement for the full academic year or two placements of one semester each.
See below for a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Off-Campus Programme.
Ahead of the Off-Campus Programme (OCP) in Year 3 of the BA, there is a full preparatory programme for Year 2 students via weekly OCP seminars and individual placement consultations with the Placement Officer.
The off-campus programme takes place in Year 3 of the BA degree. Most students will be out on placement for the full academic year with the exception of students studying Psychology, who undertake their off-campus placement in Semester 1 only and are required to take modules at MIC in Semester 2.
Students undertake either one placement for the full academic year or two placements of one semester each. Placements broadly align with the academic calendar i.e. September–December/January, January to May or September to May.
The Off-Campus Programme provides students with opportunities to discover the world and experience working environments which may also provide future employment. Students will build valuable experience to include on their CVs, thereby giving them an edge over graduates from other BA programmes.
Through both work and study abroad placements, students will gain/improve upon key transferable skills such as communication, interpersonal, analytical, problem-solving, teamwork and initiative, all of which are highly valued by employers.
International placements offer added cultural and linguistic benefit to students, fostering adaptability, independence and a global outlook. Students of languages will have opportunities for full language immersion through work placements in Ireland, for students of Gaeilge, and for students of French and German, through participation in work and/or study placements abroad.
Study abroad and overseas placements provide an opportunity to experience and understand other cultures, and, in the case of placements in continental Europe, to improve foreign language skills. Students are encouraged to make full use of the consequent opportunities for further travel, fostering adaptability and a global outlook to enable them to succeed in today’s rapidly changing world of work. Furthermore, travel abroad provides students with more stimulation and entertainment than they would probably experience at home!
Students can choose from the following three main placement categories:
- Work placement in Ireland: The MIC Placement Office is connected to a vast network of organisations, across a broad range of economic sectors that facilitate student placements including: Education; Heritage and Tourism; Arts and Culture; Irish Language Organisations; Higher Education; Media Organisations; Financial Services; Public Sector; Psychology and, Social and Pastoral Organisations.
- Work placement Abroad: These options are mainly education-related placements such as TEFL and Language Assistantships in Europe. Students can avail of EU funding in the form of an Erasmus+ grant for traineeships undertaken with eligible host organisations/enterprises.
- Study Abroad: Students can choose from a large range of study abroad partner universities in Europe, North, South and Central America, Australia, China, Africa and Japan. Students opting to study at one of our European partner universities can avail of EU funding in the form of an Erasmus+ grant. Full details regarding study abroad options and destinations as well as Erasmus+ funding are available from the International Office.
Note that it is possible to combine options e.g. one semester work placement and one semester study abroad.
The Off-Campus Programme enables students of languages to fully immerse themselves in their language(s) of study through study and/or work placements.
Students of Gaeilge are required to spend a period of time in an approved Irish language setting. Work placements for students of Gaeilge are organised in a variety of settings such as Irish language organisations, Gaelscoileanna and Gaeltacht organisations. Furthermore, students of Gaeilge also have an opportunity to undertake an academic semester, living and studying in the Gaeltacht.
Students of French and/or German are required to complete at least one semester in an environment where the relevant language(s) is/are spoken. Typically students would spend a minimum of one semester studying at one of our Erasmus+ partner universities or a full academic year on a Language Assistantship placement in France, Germany or Austria.
Application and selection for work placements–Ireland and abroad–are processed through the Placement Office whereby students’ preferences/ profiles are matched with work placement opportunities. Most work placements are secured via a CV and placement interview.
Study abroad placements are arranged through the International Office.
A full OCP preparatory programme is provided for Year 2 BA students from early in the autumn semester via weekly OCP seminars. Additionally, individual placement consultations are organised for students whereby students can discuss their specific placement preferences and requirements on a one-to-one basis with an experienced staff member.
Students can also propose their own work placement so long as it complies with OCP criteria and is approved in advance by the staff of the Placement Office.
The Off-Campus Programme is a compulsory and fully accredited component of the BA degree.
Mature students (aged 23 or over on 1 January on the year of entry to the BA), however, have the option of applying for an exemption from third year and opting instead to progress directly to Final Year or to split their two degree subjects over third and fourth year. The process of applying for an exemption from the OCP will be explained to the relevant students in Year 2. Of course, mature students are welcome to participate in third year should they choose to do so and can opt to apply to undertake a work placement and/or to study abroad in the same way as the rest of the BA cohort.
Students out on placement are assigned a Placement Tutor (work placements) or Academic Advisor (study placements) from the College, typically a member of the Arts Faculty, who will link in regularly with both the student and placement host and act as the main point of contact for the duration of the placement. The staff of the Placement Office are also on hand to address any queries or issues and welcome feedback on any aspect of the programme.
Additional supports are available for students who are registered with a disability and who may require more specialist advice and supports for their third year placement/s through the MIC Access & Disability Office.
Work placements are assessed by means of the Work Placement Report which the student writes up towards the end of the work placement experience for submission to the Placement Office early in the autumn semester of final year. An end-of-placement evaluation form is also completed by the Placement Provider based on the student’s work performance and also forms part of the assessment process.
Placements are assessed on a Pass/Fail basis.
Study Abroad: Participants are expected to produce a transcript of results from their host institution and to have attained sufficient academic credits in modules taken abroad, in line with their study abroad Learning Agreements.
Your MIC Academic Advisor will assess your study abroad transcript(s) on a Pass/Fail basis.
Students are notified of their results in the autumn semester (November/December) following the Off-Campus Programme.
The staff of the Placement Office have a wealth of experience working with students in respect of both study and work placements options for third year and are available to assist, inform and guide you through all stages of your Off-Campus Programme journey.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Placement Office for further information and advice.
The following are recent testimonials from MIC students who took part in the Off-Campus Programme.
|“I gained great experience & knowledge from placement that I will have forever, and I was provided with a lot of advice that I will be able to adapt for my career planning.”|
|“The experience was amazing especially to be able to have the opportunity to learn as well as be given responsibility.”|
|“The placement was an extremely worthwhile experience. My Gaeilge improved hugely and the placement has solidified my decision of wanting to be a primary school teacher.”|
|“I thought my work placement year was an extremely enjoyable year and I felt as if it really gave me an insight into what a career in teaching would be like.”|
|“It was a brilliant opportunity. I learned so much. The knowledge and memories I gained will stay with me forever.”|
|“I really enjoyed and benefitted from my work placement experience. The Off-Campus programme was incredibly beneficial and enjoyable, and the staff in the placement office went above and beyond.”|