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Internships are a great way to gain work experience during your time at University and we recommend all undergraduates consider completing one during their studies. Whether days, weeks or months in duration, this can be invaluable experience for your CV, future job applications and employability prospects.
Here at the University of Plymouth we have a range of initiatives available to you, via your dedicated Careers Service and other funded projects. Each providing you with a great introduction to the world of work.

Internship benefits

An internship provides you with the opportunity to gain an understanding for a particular role, profession or sector. Like a taster before you undertake a placement or graduate, an internship will help you with making informed decisions upon leaving University.
You will also develop:
  • key skills in communication, time management, problem solving, creativity, adaptability, team work and commercial awareness
  • your own professional network
  • confidence in your own abilities.

Micro-Internships

Micro-internships are an established and bite-size internship offer available to undergraduate students, with cycles taking place at various points across an academic year. These short experiences are a great way to enhance your CV and employability skills before embarking on a placement year or prior to entering the graduate market.
What are the Micro-Internships?
  • Bite-size, voluntary experiences
  • 3 – 10 days in duration. Max 37 hours per week (if during vacation periods) or 20 hours per week (if during term time)
  • Students assist our partners (a department internal to the University or an external business) with a focused project and have the opportunity to work shadow
  • Opportunities can be remote, in person or hybrid
Examples of previous Micro-Internships
A diverse range of opportunities are typically available through this programme, from a wide range of sectors. Previous internship examples include:
  • Animator
  • Market and Competitor Analyst
  • Marketing Media Developer
  • Publishing Marketing Assistant
  • Procurement Assistant
  • Social Media Assistant
  • Finance & Sustainability Intern
  • Engineering Researcher 
  • Student Engagement Researcher 
  • Video Editor & Marketing Content 
  • Education Project Researcher 
  • Resource Developer 
  • Business & Manufacturing Assistant
  • Digital Content Creator
  • Oxygen Concentrator & COVID 19 intern
  • Seagrass Research Assistant 
  • Sustainability & Science Research Assistant
  • Data and Evaluation Analyst
  • Cybership Assistant
How do Micro-Internships work?
  • All opportunities will be posted on . Once you have submitted your application(s), for up to 3 roles of interest, you’ll know within one week if you have been successful in securing a Micro-Internship.
  • Micro-Internships usually involve hybrid working, which means your time will be split between being on-site with the employer and sometimes working remotely from home. However, some experiences can be done completely remotely depending on the project.
  • If successful, you’ll be provided with a start date and confirmation of the internship you’ve secured. It will be within the specified cycle.
  • You’ll complete a training workshop and e-learning prior to starting, covering a number of useful ‘work place’ topics.
  • Day one: An introductory call or meeting with your supervisor which will be your induction to the team. You’ll find out more about the department/company and talk through the project you will be working on.
  • Throughout the week you’ll have catch up points with your supervisor.
  • You’ll get to meet and collaborate with other team members.
  • At the end you’ll have a concluding meeting with your supervisor to talk through the project and experience overall.
How do I get involved with Micro-Internships?
The dates for 2023/24 are:
  • SPRING CYCLE: Monday 25 March – Friday 12 April 2024
  • SUMMER CYCLE: Monday 17 June – Friday 2 August 2024
You can to hear about future opportunities. We will send updates and announcements for each cycle, to those registered and via emails. You can book an appointment with our team via , to find out more or contact us on internships@plymouth.ac.uk.

Summer Internships

A summer internship (also referred to as a summer placement) has all the benefits of a shorter internship, and more, as these can last between one and three months.
An increasing number of students and employers are seeking/offering these opportunities each year because a lot can be achieved over a summer experience. Also, as great as a placement-year can be, it’s not necessarily possible for everyone, but if you did three summer internships whilst at University you could be graduating with up to nine months of work experience on your CV. Perhaps with the same company or three separate ones, which is very appealing to employers at the graduate level.
Where to look?
The Careers Service advertise summer internships via , so check this regularly for new opportunities.
Other recommended platforms include:

SailGP 2021 and 2022

Micro-Internships have grown in popularity with our internship hosts and on occasions we are asked to support with high profile projects, where a dedicated team of UOP students support through a variety of Micro-Internships. In the summer of 2021 and 2022 we worked in partnership with SailGP, who provided ten exciting internships for students wanting to gain practical experience. The students worked alongside high profile teams, cutting edge technology and experienced being part of a world renowned event. The internship roles included: 
  • Sustainability Team Member - Best Practice Event Recycling (Waste Management)
  • Sustainability Team Member - Driving up reuse at events (Reusable Behaviour)
  • Events & Hospitality Team Member
  • Technical Team Member - (Ropes and Rigging)
  • Technical Team Member (Wing Department)
  • Technical Team Member (Boat Building)
  • Technical Team Member (Hydraulics)
  • Data Analyst.
We will advertise any internships offered through summer projects we partner with, via MyCareer and information about upcoming opportunities will be available on our webpages.

“My main role in this internship was to assist the hydraulics team with the setting up, maintenance, and disassembly of the F50 catamarans. The highlight for me was feeling like a useful part of the team. This was a great feeling. I can recall several occasions where I was trusted to work alone, using the boat breaker tool where I had the whole team waiting for me to complete the vital task.” 
Kristian Hookham (MSc Mechanical Engineering) – Technical Team Member (Hydraulics) 2021

“During my internship, I investigated the current sustainability practices. Our daily activities varied but during this time, I inspected the current bins in place and whether they were used effectively whilst generating/discussing ideas to improve this. I also attended a seagrass mapping activity which was in partner with Ocean Conservation Trust. I developed and utilised many innovation skills such as communication skills, problem solving skills and strategic thinking. I worked collaboratively with another intern and the sustainability lead at SailGP, so team working abilities were useful too.” 
Shana Clarke (Stage 2 BSc (Hons) Environmental Management and Sustainability) – Sustainability Team Member 2021

Overseas summer work

Working abroad over your summer vacation is a popular choice for many. It’s an excellent opportunity to gain a unique experience (up to three months long) whilst developing a range of life skills in the workplace. Such an experience can also benefit you when making future job applications and an interesting talking point during interviews. Think of it like this; overseas summer work experience shows you have done something useful with your spare time and that you are employable.

Possible funding available to you

Summer work can range from something more formal, like a structured internship with a business, to something more casual, such as working in a summer camp. Whichever route you take, and if you are successful in securing an opportunity, some funding could be available to you to help towards costs. To find out more about this funding contact the Global Opportunities team, who will assist you with the grant process.

Where to look?

As well as and those platforms highlighted in the above ‘Internships’ section, we recommend utilising . Going Global is a dedicated platform for a range international opportunities but also contains useful advice for experiences overseas.

Other (funded) work-experience opportunities

The Careers Insight Programme 

The Careers Insight Programme is a newly designed scheme aimed to be a career enhancing experience for our Widening Participation (WP) students, over a short period of time and whilst the funding is available.
The programme will replicate the process of graduate recruitment and provide you with some excellent experience for your CV and future job applications, whilst at the same time you’ll be in a position to start developing your own professional network.
This programme and overall experience will include:
  • a hands-on experience with an internal department to the University or an external business
  • up to 100 hours work experience over 5-weeks (up to 20 hours per week term time)
  • assisting your host with a small project and other associated tasks and work shadowing
  • induction to the team, daily check-ins with your host and an end of experience debrief to talk through your project
  • workplace e-learning in H&S and GDPR 
  • support from the careers service available before and after the experience
  • a generous bursary payment upon completion of the experience
  • completion of a short case study.
How do I apply?
To be eligible for this scheme students need to have UK-home tuition fee status and meet the WP criteria. For more information please see our equality, diversity and social mobility page.
Projects are advertised across the year and we will advertise opportunities as and when they are available. If you qualify for this scheme and are interested in finding out more, you can email internships@plymouth.ac.uk or can book an appointment through the .
Please note, students need to have UK-home tuition fee status to be eligible for this scheme.

What help is available?

We have a dedicated team available to support you with securing an internship. Throughout the year you have access to:
  • weekly internship drop-in’s, for help with all stages of your application(s)
  • the Careers Hub - open daily with a large number of on-line resources to benefit your search.
  • book an appointment via or contact us on internships@plymouth.ac.uk.

Finding your own internship

Sourcing your own internship is entirely possible, if you haven’t seen something that appeals online then why not try finding your own? This is called a speculative application and this is a great way to potentially create an opportunity yourself.

For some employers it might be something they would consider but simply haven’t advertised an opportunity. For others it could be they haven’t offered one before, perhaps by you approaching them to request some summer employment or work shadowing might make them think and help open that door.

Remember the Careers Service is here to help you. You can book an appointment via or contact us via internships@plymouth.ac.uk. 

Top tips

  • Stay flexible and realistic with your requests.

  • Remember to remain polite and efficient in your communication with an employer, first impressions are key.

  • Keep a log of all the companies you have approached to stay on top of your search.

  • All stages of your application are important and if you secure an interview preparation is essential. Let our team help you prepare by booking an appointment via .
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    Hear what past interns have to say about their experience

    I had great fun working with the Ocean Conservation Trust seagrass team and learning all about growing seagrass in an enclosed aquaculture system. I got the opportunity to plant seagrass, watch it being deployed, and most importantly get covered in sand!

    Isabella Allen, Ocean Conservation Trust - Seagrass Research Intern, Summer 2023

    The micro-internship with Make South West was a great experience, I made contacts, and working with a range of people was a great opportunity. They were all very friendly. I was tasked with finding an environmentally friendly alternative for a textile printing technique and I was successful.

    Hermione Graham
    Make South West - Sustainability & Science Research Assistant, Summer 2023

    It was a great learning opportunity while working as a Micro-Intern. Post project completion and submission, Sentinel was impressed with the work I completed and has offered me work in their company within my hours limitations as an international student!

    Sandesh Shettigar
    Sentinel Healthcare, Social Media Intern, Winter 2022
    Eliot New - micro internship image
    The Micro-internship was a saving grace experience after losing my original placement, so it really put a spring back in my step and as you can see I had a lot of fun too!
    Eliot New, University of Plymouth - Cybership Intern & “Caught on Internship” winner, Summer 2023 
    Max Griggs applied for an internship via the University of Plymouth Careers Service, for SailGP2021. Max explains the internship process, why he applied, what the role entailed and how he was offered a full time role after the Plymouth event.
    Careers Service