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When to apply

It’s never too soon to start thinking about getting some work experience. You can find opportunities from your first year onwards.

You should aim to gain a range of work experience during your time at University, including at least one substantial work placement (commonly called an internship). This is often undertaken during the summer between your penultimate and your final year of study.

Many organisations actively seek students at this stage, as they use internships and placement schemes as part of their wider graduate recruitment strategy.

It's worth noting that, while larger organisations advertise work experience vacancies in the autumn or early winter, many small-to-medium enterprises advertise work from January up until May.

You can also increase the opportunities open to you by proactively contacting organisations to arrange your own work experience – this is called making a speculative approach.

Your work experience plan

If you’re looking for work experience during the academic year, then here are some suggestions about when to start looking and applying for opportunities. You can also speak to a Careers Adviser for more detailed suggestions related to your career plans.

You can join our Talent Pool to be granted access to apply for extra-curriculum work experience opportunities. To join, you simply need to upload your CV to the 'CV and Application Form Management Tool' via your Careers Account and request it for review. Once your CV is approved, you will enter our Talent Pool and unlock exclusive paid Internships.

October, November and December
January and February 
March and April 
  • Start targeting your contacts to research possible opportunities and try to set up some networking meetings during the Easter vacation.
  • Research local businesses that interest you. If possible, make some direct approaches using a CV and covering letter addressed to a specific contact name.
May and June

Additional valuable experience

Remember that gaining a range of experience during your time at University will help you decide on your next steps and boost your CV – so also look at the opportunities for going abroad, becoming a student mentor or undertaking voluntary work, work shadowing or part-time work.

Find out more

Careers and Employability