Get work experience: finding opportunities
Find out where to look for work experience opportunities and the different options that are available.
Finding work experience guide
This is our guide that provides information and advice about vacation work and work experience, including:
- vacation work
- boosting your employability
- planning early for graduate jobs.
Hard-copy information about finding work experience and gap year opportunities can also be found in the maroon Work Experience Plus and purple Gap Year files in the Careers Service's information room.
View work experience vacancy listings on MyFuture.
Opportunities are published all year round and include:
- internships, vacation and other work experience (including gap years)
- sandwich placements
- undergrad sponsorship
- employer open days and courses
- employer competitions.
There are paid and voluntary types of work experience opportunities. You can use the 'Search Opportunities' box on your MyFuture homepage to specify what kind of opportunities you want to see.
Your search can be narrowed down by using the free-text field. Select the type of opportunity you are looking for from the drop-down list and specify the location of the opportunity.
Use 'More Search Options' to filter your search further by employer industry, career option, contract type and contract hours. Your search results will be listed in order of date added to the system.
Finding work experience in the South West
See the page on job-hunting by UK region for information to help with this.
The Careers Service has a programme of recruitment and skills development events that can help you develop your workplace skills and find out more about particular careers. Find out more and view the programme.
Summer Internships Fair
At this event you can find out about a range of summer placements. Some are open to all years and disciplines so please read the information available before attending. Find out more.
Taking a gap year
If you are in your final year you might want to consider taking a gap year after graduation. You'll need to plan it properly so you have a productive experience. Our Taking a gap year page will help you get started with your plans.
If you'd like to discuss a potential gap year please arrange an appointment with a Careers Adviser.
The Directory of Charities, Volunteering & Gap Year Opportunities below provides details of organisations that run gap year programmes in the UK and overseas. There are also an increasing number of internships which are available to graduates who are taking a gap year before finding a graduate job or taking further study - look on MyFuture or Graduate Talent Pool for some examples.
Directory of Charities, Volunteering & Gap Year Opportunities
This publication gives details of organisations which regularly run expeditions, voluntary work schemes, internship schemes and gap years both in the UK and overseas. It summarises costs and other key facts, and is compiled by us.
Funding for your work experience
There is no easy way to secure financial support to help you get work experience. However, there are two possible sources within the University which you may want to explore:
Discretionary Internship Bursary
These are for UK Home undergraduates to undertake activities which are outside the sandwich placement scheme. Example activities include internships, research or project related opportunities and voluntary placements. Find out more about the Discretionary Internship Bursary.
Alumni Fund Placement Grants
Go to the second half of the Alumni Fund grants page to see key details and links to the application form and guidance notes. These are for students to undertake any off-campus activity which will enhance your career prospects or contribute something extra, or which is not usually part of your degree studies. You would be unlikely to get a grant to cover study-based activities, but the fund managers may be able to consider funding for current students to do work placements (paid or voluntary) of one month or more which do not form part of a sandwich placement e.g. vacation internships. You can try searching for potential funding sources using the University Library or public library resources related to grants and funding.
It's possible that you may also find some relevant leads in the Further study & funding section of our resources catalogue, but bear in mind that these have been selected for their relevance to funding for further study, not work experience.
Work experience feedback
We hold feedback from other students on their work experience. If you would like to find out what other students did during their summer, come in and ask to see our feedback forms. You can contact the students to chat about their experiences.