Internships and Placements

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All types of vacancies, employer directory

Common Best Practice Code for High Quality Internships

The Gateways to the Professions Collaborative Forum is an ad hoc advisory body. Its membership is voluntary and represents around 60 professional bodies and related organisations.

Graduate Directories

This year's Graduate Directories are available in digital format.

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An internship or placement with an organisation is a great way to find out about an organisation and whether you'd like to work there (or not!) when you graduate. Many of the major graduate recruiters offer summer internships and placements to undergraduates. Increasingly, employers are using their penultimate year summer internships as part of their graduate recruitment programmes ie they offer graduate jobs to students who successfully complete an internship or placement.

Finding Vacancies

Internships and placements are advertised via MyCareerHub Strathclyde (login with DS username and password).

Presentations/Events

Some employers offering internships and placements will opt to hold a presentation for students either on campus or in the Glasgow area. Make sure you know which employers will be holding presentations for students via MyCareer (login with DS username and password) and by checking the EVENTS calendar regularly (you can also access it via the University App)

If you are looking for an internship or placement with some of the major graduate recruiters start early - some closing dates are as early as October and November.

What is an internship?
  • Internships are short periods of professional experience. During an internship you will be doing similar work to a normal employee of the organisation. They give you a taste of what graduate work is like and can help you make industry contacts.
  • Summer Internships are a useful way for you to develop and enhance your skills during the vacation periods. They normally can last between 2 – 12 weeks and are generally paid. Most internship opportunities advertised by large graduate recruiters are aimed at penultimate (pre-final) year students. However, many smaller businesses offer internship opportunities and do not stipulate a year of study.
  • Some companies will also offer Easter or Christmas opportunities (often called spring internships or insight days). These are often targeted at first and second year students, however, there will be a limited number of these opportunities available.
  • There are some unpaid opportunities but these should be very short in duration and not last more than 4 weeks.
What is a placement?
  • A placement may form part of your course and it could be anything from a few weeks to a year. If you are on a course with an accredited placement requirement, your academic or placement adviser will provide you with information about the requirements for your placement and possibly advise you of opportunities posted directly by employers to your academic department.
  • Many Strathclyde courses don’t include an industrial placement year as part of the course. However it is possible to interrupt your studies for one year, with support from your academic department, to complete a year long work placement. 
  • If your placement is less than a year or is not in summer then you may need to be a little more creative in your jobsearch see Making Speculative Applications.

Research Interns at Strathclyde

SME internship programme (part-funded by Santander)

Bright Green Business (formerly Environmental Placement Programme)

Careerwise Summer Internships (STEM placements - female only)

Change 100 - programme of paid summer internships, professional development and mentoring for talented students and graduates with disabilities or long-term health conditions

e-Placements Scotland

Medical Research Scotland Vacation Scholarships

Step into Industry 6-12 month placements for undergraduates looking for a sandwich ‘year-out’ and with work closely related to your area of academic study.

Year In Industry provides talented young people with paid, relevant work placements during their university course.

See our International section for international internships and placements

BBC offers work experience opportunities. Placements are unpaid and last anything from a few days to 4 weeks.

e4s search on Internships & Placements

Milkround.com has a section on internships

Gradcracker search via Placements/Internships

Graduate Recruitment Bureau has a section on internships and placements

Graduate-jobs.com has a section on internships

Inside Careers has a section on internships

Placement UK assists students in finding placements up to one year in duration.

Prospects search on work experience, also has a section on Work Experience and Internships 

Rate My Placement find out where students at UK universities have undertaken internships / placements and what the students thought about their placements

TargetJobs website site advertises internships, placements and work experience

These are schemes offered by larger recruiters and are usually targeted at earlier years undergraduates.  See our page on Insight Days.

It's very important to be pro-active in your job search. Don't wait for vacancies to be advertised - it might never happen.

Many organisations simply do not need to advertise their work experience opportunities as they receive hundreds of speculative applications from students. Get advice on making speculative applications to employers.

The vast majority of students leave university with some work experience, so how do you create a competitive advantage?

Do this by learning from your experience and applying your newfound knowledge.  Whether you are stacking shelves in a supermarket, working in a call centre or designing web pages for an SME, you are gaining skills that employers want.

Record/Reflect 

Use the HEA Student Internship Planner to help you plan, prepare and make the most of your internship
Keep a record/diary of your duties.

  • Reflect on what you did at work at the end of each day/week.
  • What did you learn about the systems/procedures in place?
  • What did you learn about the structure of the organisation and the different jobs/staff in your workplace?
  • Have you taken on more responsibility as the weeks progressed?
  • Did you identify areas that could be improved or developed?
  • Did you contribute ideas/write a report?
  • Would you want to go back and work for that organisation again?  If so, why?  If not, why not?

Update Your CV

With every new job make sure you update your CV with details of the employer/organisation, dates of work, duties, skills gained etc.  The Careers Service can help with your CV.