Internships and placements
Internships can be a good way to improve your employability skills and find out whether a job is right for you without signing up for a long period of time. They offer work experience and training but unlike graduate schemes do not necessarily end in a formal job offer.
We recommend that you look for paid internships where possible, however some internships are unpaid or only pay expenses, so think carefully when applying for these about whether you can afford to live and whether the experience will be worth it overall.
Placements are usually undertaken during your studies and are usually related to the subject you are studying, and are designed to provide practical industry experience. They can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a full year as part of a sandwich placement course.
Career and Employability Services runs programmes for both undergraduates and recent graduates to gain valuable work experience:
- Summer Experience is our programme of six-week paid projects for first and second year undergraduates.
- The Bradford Graduate Internship programme provides recent graduates with 10-week paid internship projects to improve employability skills, which can often lead on to full-time employment.
- Erasmus+ work experience opportunities in Europe. Speak to our International Opportunities team to find out more.
Tilly's story - watch the video
Hear Tilly (a University of Bradford student) talk about the support she received from Career and Employability Services throughout her Summer Experience internship:
Where to look
Below is a list of websites that feature opportunities for work experience in a range of sectors and work experience types, followed by sites with specific opportunities for each faculty.
- Prospects work experience
- My Career and Employability Centre (select internship under 'contract' in Jobs section)
- Summer Experience at Bradford – A summer programme with local employers offering work experience to University of Bradford undergraduate students.
- You can also search for placements within Build My Career under the My Jobs tab. (For graduates or if you are using a personal email, use this link.
- Graduate Talent Pool - a government-backed initiative to link up recent graduates with local and national businesses for internships.
- Rate My Placement - Internships
- Glassdoor (includes some interview questions that organisations commonly use)
- All About Careers
- Indeed (search for sandwich year placements)
- Law Careers (law placements)
- Step – Placements and work experience in smaller businesses
- E Financial Careers
- Going Global (overseas opportunities)
Management, Law and Social Sciences
School of Management and School of Law
- See the information below about placement years at the School of Management
- Inside Careers Accounting, Tax, Banking, IT, Insurance and Pensions
- Law Careers
- All About Finance Careers
School of Social Sciences
Internships and placements for International Students
Internships are periods of paid work experience of up to three months and in order to comply with visa regulations, any internship carried out by an international student must fit the description outlined in the British Council / Education UK website. To comply with the regulations, all internships must be paid and this can be a problem for international students as some internships are unpaid. If you are offered a period of unpaid work experience, you could classify this as temporary or part-time work and not as an internship.
Sandwich placements (also known as Industrial Placements or Year in industry) are periods of paid work experience, normally carried out in the third year of a four year undergraduate degree. For some courses, sandwich placements are compulsory and if this is the case, then you will be provided with support from your faculty. Find out if your faculty has a Placements Tutor or Coordinator as they will have important information on undertaking placements as part of your degree course and where to look for vacancies.
International students can participate in sandwich placements with the current Tier 4 Student visa. However, as a placement student, you are still registered and will receive support as a student at the university and hence will still have to pay fees (albeit much reduced fees) – please check with your faculty.
This is a very good opportunity for you to gain practical work experience in your relevant field and experience working in the UK. Over the years, many international students have been successful in getting industrial placements in major companies as well as in small medium size enterprise (SMEs). Applications for these placements can be very competitive, especially in large national or international companies, so you should start applying early as most have closing dates between December and February.
It is also possible to do an industrial placement in your own country. However, you will need to check the suitability of each placement with your faculty’s Placement Tutor / Coordinator.