Manchester Metropolitan University

Job market head start with 'Agency Life'

Student placements in Manchester’s top digital firms

Graduate Harriet Wright landed a job with her Agency Life placement company

AN INNOVATIVE marketing module is giving students CV-boosting skills through hands-on work in companies across Manchester.

Students from advertising, digital marketing, public relations, retail and joint-honour degrees spend one day a week on placement during their second year for the Agency Life course.

The module allows them to hone their talents in blogging, copy writing, market research, Google Analytics and networking, while picking up all-important work experience at one of a host of top Manchester digital and marketing firms.

Many of the students go on to land full-year placements and jobs thanks to Agency Life, now in its third year with a current cohort of 45 active placements.


Sarah Penney, associate lecturer and Agency Life course leader, said: “It is a perfect opportunity to build up a profile of work that students can show to employers.

“Agency Life gives them a head start in the job market with real employability skills, learned in real-life situations. They come out with skills, a good reference and in many cases, a job.

“Everyone who comes back off the course says it improves their employability - they know how it is to work in a digital marketing agency.”

Students spend two terms, from September to April, with their chosen company. They decide from a list of agencies but must pass an interview with their company. The module is marked 70 per cent on a portfolio and 30 pc on employer review.


Harriet Wright graduated from her BA (Hons) Advertising and Brand Management degree in the summer and started her new job in September as a Marketing Executive with recruitment firm The Candidate, her placement company from Agency Life.

“Agency Life offers undergraduates invaluable work experience in the industry of their choice,” she said.

“It gives students a real taste of what they can expect once they graduate and it also makes their CV stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs. The Agency Life programme takes the learning out of the classroom and into a real, hands-on working environment.”

Agency Life was originally developed by David Edmundson-Bird, Principal Lecturer in Digital Marketing Communications.

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