Yes, Cooperative Education placement is obligatory. However, you might be eligible for an exemption from the Cooperative Education placement if you have had previous relevant work experience. If this is the case, you should contact the Cooperative Education & Careers Division for details.

The Cooperative Education and Careers Division (CECD) operates a well-defined own placement process in the year proceeding placement commencement, whereby students have the option to submit an Expression of Intent (EOI) to secure an Own Placement (OP) using their own independent employer network and resources. An EOI includes the details of the intended company for placement and allows the student sufficient time to submit full placement supporting documentation to the university for approval within a specified time frame. Students seeking to source their Own Placement must adhere to the application and submission deadlines as specified by CECD.

In the first instance, you are required to choose between a global placement or a placement in Ireland. If opting for a global placement on our GoGlobal@UL programme, you need to register your intention by the deadlines outlined at Employability Programme 1.  Once you have registered your intention, you will be invited to an individual screening interview where your country preferences will be discussed.

Yes, you must accept the first job offer you receive.

UL provides an Alternative Programme for you if you have not been placed. You will receive the same credits for satisfactory completion of this programme as you would for Cooperative Education. As part of the Alternative Programme, you will normally be required to take up to three extra academic modules. Alternative Programme meetings are held in advance of each academic semester. During these meetings placement updates are reviewed and the process is outlined whereby unplaced students identify, select, and register for prescribed modules. You will be notified regarding the Alternative Programme by your Cooperative Education Manager in advance of the commencement of the relevant Cooperative Education placement period.

There is no set pay for Cooperative Education placement. A minimum salary is recommended to cover your living expenses but there is some variation in what is paid by individual employers. The market determines the rate of pay.


While on Cooperative Education placement some students experience difficulties with their work/workplace. If a problem arises, you will firstly need to speak to your direct supervisor to explain the difficulties you are experiencing. If this fails to resolve the situation, you should contact the Cooperative Education & Careers Division (CECD) and either a member of CECD team or an academic member of staff will contact the company on your behalf. You must not leave your placement without the permission of the Cooperative Education & Careers Division. To do so could result in failing your Cooperative Education and/or delaying your graduation.

In most cases, you will be required to pay tax on your earnings. Make sure you contact your local tax office before you start your Cooperative Education placement. For further details, consult

Some companies will require you to sign a contract. This will be sent to your home address prior to your placement. You should read and sign the contract and return it to your employer immediately. Don't worry if you don't receive a contract as many employers are more informal in their approach.

You have no automatic entitlement to holidays while on Cooperative Education placement. However, given that you are a temporary employee, most companies will give you the minimum statutory entitlement for the length of time worked.

All students have to complete their eight-month placement unless there are extenuating and exceptional circumstances. The exception is the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences programmes which have a six month placement.

Cooperative Education is a formal and academically accredited element of your degree programme. Your Cooperative Education grade is decided by an Academic member on a pass-fail basis. This grade is based on your employer's evaluation of your performance and your Cooperative Education Report.

If you are doing Cooperative Education placement in Ireland, you can expect to be contacted by an Academic member of staff to arrange an evaluation visit. You will be contacted in advance of the visit and you must be available on the day. The purpose of the visit is to review your progress with the employer and to get your feedback on your placement to date. On the basis of their discussion with you and your employer, the Academic member returns an interim evaluation form to the Cooperative Education & Careers Division for review. A final assessment of your placement is completed by your employer towards the end of your placement.

For students doing global placements, we try to arrange academic visits where practical. If this isn't possible, an academic member will contact you by telephone. In the event of you not being visited, your Cooperative Education placement will be graded on the basis of your Final Employer Evaluation and your Cooperative Education Report.

Academic Visitors are allocated by your academic department. You will be notified by email when the name of your Academic Visitor is available on your Student Portal.

Applications for Garda vetting must be made through UL’s Student Vetting Office.

For advice and guidance as to vetting process and documentation required  please visit

Whether placement has being organized directly through the Cooperative Education and Careers Division (CECD) or independently under the “Own Placement” process, students cannot commence placement until vetting is successfully secured and recorded on your student record.

Please note that while students will be advised by CECD when a placement is conditional on securing vetting; the steps involved in the vetting process are managed by the UL Student Vetting Office.  As such, all queries in relation to vetting process should be directed to