Uniform on placement

As a Health Sciences student, you will be expected to take part in at least two placements within your degree in Health Studies (Public Health).

Our students usually take part in placements for a variety of institutions, such as public and community health teams in local councils, NHS health projects, housing associations, voluntary organisations or social enterprises. Some of these will be in the local area such as Birmingham Settlement, SIFA Fireside or the Walsall NHS Healthcare Trust. When on placement, you’ll be expected to wear clothing that reflect where you’re working. Usually, this is split into two different environments:

Office Environments

Institutions such as local councils or housing associations will usually be set in an office environment and will therefore require office attire. This will usually require a shirt, or smart top and either a midi-skirt, or tailored trousers. Whilst working in public health, it’s important to have an open mind to what you may be required to wear, so don’t fret too much, however here’s some tips on items of clothing to avoid if you’re placement is in an office environment.

What to avoid
  • Mini-skirts (Skirts should not be 7cm from the knee)
  • Lycra clothing
  • Transparent or ‘see-through’ clothing
  • Tracksuits
  • Low-cut tops or crop-tops
  • Denim
  • Political badges or emblems
  • Large logos or graphics.

Charity Environments

If your placement takes place within a more relaxed environment such as a local charity or a social enterprise, casual clothes such as black jeans and comfortable shoes will be more appropriate, as you’ll more than likely be doing a lot of active work.

On some occasions, organisations that you’re taking your placement with may provide jumpers or uniform for you to wear to represent their brand. Again, it’s always an idea to keep an open mind about what you wear to placement and if you’re worried you can always email the organisation and ask about the uniform policy in advance.  

Footwear

Footwear is entirely dependent on where your placement is, however we usually advise to wear plain black shoes such as boots or brogues if you’re in an office environment. In some instances, it may be possible for you to wear black trainers if you’re placement is somewhere in a charity or public environment, however never assume that trainers are appropriate footwear.

Accessories

Always keep in mind that you need to look smart and approachable on placement, so here’s a few tips on what accessories are acceptable:

  • Tattoos must be covered up and body piercings must be taken out
  • The only jewellery that you should wear on placement is one smooth metal band ring and one plain pair of small stud earrings
  • As a precaution, nails should be trimmed, clean and unvarnished
  • This one isn’t a necessity, but if your hair exceeds shoulder length, it might be an idea to tie it up to avoid it getting in the way if your job is an active role.