Internships and placements

A person walks down a corridor carrying a laptop


Internships and placements allow you to apply your skills and knowledge in a real work setting.


Internships are work experience opportunities that students and graduates can access. They vary in length but can last as long as 12 months, internships can be paid or unpaid. Some employers use internships as a way of identifying future employees that they may wish to recruit.

You can expect a competitive recruitment process – be prepared for this, by visiting our CVs, Applications and Interviews pages or accessing support from a careers adviser. Applications can open around September and close between November to February.

When searching for opportunities, it is important to consider both large and small to medium-sized employers (SMEs), as often SMEs recruitment windows can be longer.

Do apply early to give yourself the best chance of securing a place.

How to apply for an internship

Our Advantage service advertises our internalSantander Universities Employability Programme, as well as external internships. Typically, students will secure internships by applying for vacancies advertised online or by networking to uncover hidden vacancies.

Useful websites to use are:

The Santander Universities Employability Programme

Applications for this year's Santander Internship Programme are open until August 2022. It's a fantastic scheme that gives you the opportunity to complete paid work in a supervised environment with an organisation in the Greater Manchester area.

The programme offers the opportunity to apply your skills and knowledge in a real work setting, helping you build experience and develop your employability skills. The opportunities will also support you to develop your core skills (such as leadership, communication and team working).

The opportunities provided through the Santander Universities Internship Programme are intended to give you a taste of potential career paths and provide you with access to industry leaders and professionals, which is great for growing your contacts and professional network.

The internships and are available across a variety of sectors and run for up to eight weeks based on the opportunity and needs of the employer.

Interns will be paid £9.90 per hour and could earn up to £346.50 per week based on a 35-hour week.

Eligibility Criteria

Whilst a paid internship or undertaking a work-based project are excellent opportunities, it's important that you understand what's involved before you apply:

  • To participate in the programme, you must be either a final year student or have graduated within the last three years.
  • The Internships are based on a 35-hour working week. However, opportunities can be flexible, but hours and duration should be discussed with the employer.
  • You can only work for one organisation over the course of the internship.
  • You can only access the Santander Internship Programme if you have not previously participated in a Santander funded internship.
  • If you are in full-time study, you can only work full-time during the inter-trimester breaks.
  • If you take up part-time work whilst studying, you must make sure that your studies are not negatively affected.
  • You must have the necessary right to work in the UK, so if you're an international student or graduate, please be aware that you may be subject to visa restrictions. Please check your eligibility before applying. For internships, employers will carry out the right to work check before you start your employment.
How to apply

All vacancies and opportunities offered through the Santander Universities Internship Programme are advertised on Advantage. If you've checked your eligibility:

  • Select the role you wish to apply for via our Vacancies page. Funded internships will be labelled "Santander" and numbered.
  • Create a CV and covering letter that is tailored to the role for which you are applying, then attend a Careers & Enterprise drop-in to get your CV reviewed by a Trained Advisor.
  • Apply by emailing your completed CV and covering letter to as a Word or PDF attachment. Be sure to include the name and reference number of the role you are applying for in the subject line, along with your student ID number.
  • Your CV will be checked for suitability, and we will let you know if it has been forwarded to the employer.
  • The employer will contact you if you are successful. Please note: timescales may vary depending on the employer and the volume of applications.
  • Once you have accepted an opportunity are required to register and confirm this through the Santander BECAS website.
What if I can't find an internship?

A number of students internships were unable to go ahead in the last year due to the pandemic. If you are in a position where you are finding it hard to secure a role, you should consider virtual internships, volunteering or part-time work.

Virtual Internships
  • There are many sectors that are, after a year of remote working, more set up to offer virtual internships.
  • In the spring and summer of 2020, some employers were able to offer virtual internships: Sky, EY and IBM were just some of them. Since then many more employers have investigated the technology platforms that will enable them to offer online opportunities. If in-person opportunities can't go ahead, we hope, therefore, that there will be fewer cancellations and more virtual opportunities available. At least in those sectors that can offer homeworking.

Find out more about virtual internships and how they work. Look at these advertisements for virtual internships.


Work-based or Placement learning in the UK or overseas can provide you with a valuable opportunity to develop your employability skills and gain vital professional experience, which will give you an advantage when you apply for jobs. Placements usually take place during term time, as part of a sandwich year – often between the second and third year of a degree. Placements will link to a module and you will receive academic credit on completion.

If you are interested in gaining overseas experience for your placement, it is important you speak to the International Opportunities team, to find out the options available to you within your degree programme.

Take a look at our guide, Placements and work experience, which provides further detail on what types of placements are out there.

You might also find useful our guide: Work Based Learning: Placements and Work Experience

How to find a placement

Employers are actively advertising work experience opportunities. Please speak to your school placement staff for information on subject and programme specific placement details. These opportunities could include summer internships, vacation schemes and placement years.

Be proactive, start to research opportunities and apply straight away – don't wait until nearer the deadline in case you miss out. Be aware that employers receive unprecedented numbers of applications for their placement vacancies. Consequently, some employers have to bring their deadlines forward and close their schemes early, so that they can properly assess the applications they have received.

Some great places to start your search are:

We recommend that you use our template to keep a journal of all the applications you have made. You will be better able to chase up responses and you'll know where you are up to in the application process at a glance.

Our Careers Advisors can discuss the best way to approach gaining a placement, check your application and ensure your submission is the best it can be.

Still finding it difficult?

Don't worry! When employing graduates, employers seek evidence that you would make a good employee, are someone that is interested in the company and the sector and who has the skills, abilities, and knowledge they are looking for.

These qualities do not have to be gained in a placement or internship. You can develop further skills and knowledge through:

  • LinkedIn Learning - Use the University's partnership with LinkedIn Learning courses to develop skills and knowledge, the modules cover a huge range of subjects, topics, and specific skills.
  • Volunteering - A great addition to your CV. Volunteering can help you to develop employability skills such as flexibility and adaptability. You can volunteer online - charity sector organisations such as Amnesty International, Be My Eyes, The Prince's Trust and Zooniverse are just some of the organisations looking for online volunteers all-year-round.
  • Networking - Join LinkedIn and start networking! Simply by reaching out to people, you could build up a good relationship with professionals in your chosen sector. They may be able to recommend you for any work experience opportunities in future. Watch our Using social media for your career LinkedIn Learning pathway to learn how to create the perfect LinkedIn profile.
  • Keeping up to date with News - Being able to talk about what is happening in your chosen sector, industry or, even better, within the company, is one of the best ways to show enthusiasm for the job and in working for the company.
  • Watching for updates on the companies and employers you are interested in - Follow the social media accounts of employers and professional bodies - a great place to do this is through LinkedIn. Read the 'industry press' - specific news publications/websites catering to the sectors you might be interested in. Some employers produce podcasts to engage with potential employees, clients and customers.

If you are unable to do any of the above because of the pandemic, please don't worry. Graduate employers are aware that this is an unprecedented and anxious time. Remember that any previous part-time jobs or involvement in extracurricular activities will provide examples of your skills. It's not all about what you have done in 2020 and 2021.

Speak to a careers adviser

Our Careers Advisers are on hand to help. Book an appointment on Advantage or by calling 0161 295 0023 (option 5).

Appointments are available for current students and graduates of the University of Salford only.