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Student Business Partnership (SBP)

Would you like a bright University student to work for you, dedicated to solving just one of your business challenges? Our Student Business Partnership scheme brings together the best of South West businesses with talented and motivated interns. To advertise an internship, please complete this the External Internship Vacancy Form and return to internships@exeter.ac.uk. To discuss your internship please contcat the Employment Schemes Manager at internships@exeter.ac.uk.

 “Exeter's student internships have been so helpful for our business yet again. The interns are always conscientious, hard working and fit into our company culture quickly, as a result. They’ve helped to spread the word about our services with their consistently high-quality marketing efforts. They have been open to the training provided and given their ideas on how our processes can be improved. Would definitely hire again!”  Dan Wiseman, Web Wise Media                                                                                                              

(If you are a current student please see our student page).

  1. Employer completes External Internship Vacancy Form
  2. ‌Internships Team will liaise with employer and aim to place the SBP to advert within 2 days
  3. The vacancy is normally advertised for 2 weeks (see below in 'advertising and promoting your vacancy' for the recommended times to advertise your vacancy). However given the current climate and the number of applications we are currently receiving for some roles, we may need to consider a shorter time-frame and we will advise accordingly where we think this is necessary.
  4. Interns apply using our standard ‘Internship Application Form’ sending to internships@exeter.ac.uk
  5. Where time permits we communicate with applicants before the closing date to advise if they need to improve their application form
  6. The next working day following the closing date, the Internships Team will send via email, the applications and guidance on the next steps
  7. Employer can send rejection emails to those not called to interview, or ask the Internships Team to do this.
  8. Employer needs to shortlist and invite selected candidates to interview asap (you may wish to use our Guidance for interviews via video call)and ask candidates for their Right to Work evidence-please see Guidance to Verify Right to Work (RTW) Evidence for UoE Interns.
  9. Employer conduct interviews
  10. Employer offers SBP role to successful candidate.
  11. Employer rejects the unsuccessful candidates, offering feedback. 
  12. Once job offer has been accepted, employer completes the SBP Appointment Form and return to internships@exeter.ac.uk.
  13. The Internships Team will send the employer an Internship Agreement and further guidance.
  14. The Internships Team will send the intern a congratulations email and guidance.
  15. The Internships Team will send you and your intern follow up emails to check on progress and offer support.
  16. The Internships Team seek feedback and create an Internships Case Study to publish here: http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/internships

Student Business Partnership (SBP) Scheme Requirements

  • Applicants must have current student status or proof of an acceptance on a degree programme at the University of Exeter.
  • Applicants must be a University of Exeter student for the full duration of the internship.
  • The University of Exeter is committed to developing an environment which promotes equality of opportunity, values diversity and inclusivity. 
    • The University of Exeter is a Disability Confident Employer, committed to attracting and recruiting people with disabilities and retaining and supporting staff with disabilities. If an applicant declares a disability and meets all the essential criteria, they will be invited to interview. 
    • We welcome applications from all eligible students and in particular those from underrepresented groups. Selection and recruitment itself will be based entirely on merit alone unless there are multiple applicants demonstrating equal merit. In this clear circumstance, preference would be shown to applicants from under-represented groups. This is in line with lawful positive action measures under sections 158 and 159 of the Equality Act 2010.
  • All applicants are required to provide the university with their Right to Work in the UK evidence, before or at the interview and have this documentation verified by the university, if appointed.
  • All interns need to reside in the UK whilst undertaking this role.
  • Undergraduate students can work a maximum of 15 hours per week in term-term or full-time hours in vacation.
  • Full time Postgraduate students can work a maximum of 6 hours per week and no more than 180 hours per year, this includes those already working as Postgraduate Teaching Assistants (PTA).
  • For further details on the Scheme eligibility, please see below.


Student Status Explained

  • When applying for an SBP position the applicant must either have:
    • current student status or
    • proof of acceptance of an offer of an undergraduate or postgraduate course at Exeter to begin by the start of the SBP internship.
  • To undertake an SBP internship, the applicant must be a current University of Exeter student for the full duration of the internship.
  • If the applicant is an undergraduate (UG) student, their student status will expire one month after the end of their course. 
  • If the applicant is a postgraduate (PG) student, their student status will expire 6 weeks after the end of their course.
  • PG students have restricted hours if work in accordance to the Employment of Postgraduate students- Code of Good Practice.
  • For both UGs and PGs if their graduation ceremony occurs before this period is over, they will automatically assume graduate status.
  • If the applicant is an interrupted student, they will not have current student status and are therefore ineligible to apply for or continue with an SBP internship.
  • If the student status ends early the SBP internship will also need to end early.


Right to Work

  • All students are required to provide Right to Work in the UK evidence, before the interview and have this documentation verified, if appointed.
  • Applicants should reside in the UK whilst undertaking this role.


International, EU and EEA Students

  • Applicants must have right to work in the UK and provide their visa status and explanation on their application form. When called to interview they will be asked to present evidence of their right to work status.
  • EU/EEA students are not eligible for funding as a migrant worker under Student Finance Regulations if solely employed on the SCP or SBP scheme. Please see Student Finance for Migrants Workers for more details.
  • To work in the UK, students need a National Insurance Number.


Postgraduate Teaching Assistants (PTAs) 

    • Full-time PG students should not normally exceed 6 hours per week and in all cases must not exceed 180 hours per year averaged over the course of the academic year.
    • Part-time PG students can work the maximum 15 hours per week during term time and more during vacation, but no more than 814 hours per year.
    • All PG students working as Postgraduate Teaching Assistants (PTA) cannot work in total (PTA and SCP work) more than 6 hours per week and more than 180 hours per year.

Best time of year to advertise for a student intern

Students are available to work between 6-15hrs a week, during term-time, and if they remain in the South West up to 36.5 per week in vacation for undergraduates. We can advertise for you any time of the year, but we know you will get the best reponse if you advertise a student role during the following periods:

  • third week of Sept-mid October
  • third week Jan- end Feb
  • final week of March-end of April
  • third week May- end of June

Advertising your vacancy

To discuss your vacancy please contact the Employment Schemes Manager at internships@exeter.ac.uk.

The next step is to complete the External Internship Vacancy Form‌ and send your completed from to internships@exeter.ac.uk. We will review your vacancy and place it to advert within 2 working days.

Promoting your vacancy

We advertise and promote your SBP vacancy by using:

  • 'Handshake'- our careers portal
  • targeted emails to students by career sector; occupation; and discipline
  • social media- Career Zone; Internships: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
  • jobs bulletin sent weekly to hundreds of students
  • relevant Societies to add to social media
  • Employability Officers in the Colleges to add to social media and newsletters
  • People of influence e.g. academics 
  • targeting students who have applied for similar roles
  • 'What's On' weekly employability e-newsletter to all students (term time only with ad-hoc sending during vacations)
  • events e.g. Fairs


  • Applications will be made using the Internship Application Form and sent to internships@exeter.ac.uk
  • On average you can expect to receive between 5-20 applications.
  • We check all applications meet the SBP scheme eligibility criteria and highlight any issues i.e. disability; right to work; and restrictions on working hours.
  • We send all the applications by email the following working day after the closing date.


  • The employer shortlists the applications. You may wish to use our Shortlisting Scoring Grid.
  • As the University of Exeter is a 'Disability Confident' organisation we ask that you interview all applicants who have declared a disability and who meet the essential criteria for the role.

 Inviting to Interview

  • If you can, we suggest inviting 5-6 candidates to interview.
  • The employer invites the shortlisted candidates to interview as soon as possible. We tell students to expect to hear if they have been shortlisted 5 days before the scheduled interview date. We recommend you call candidates to book an interview time and date and follow this up with a confirmation email. You may wish to use this invitation to interview email.
  • When inviting your candidates to interview please ask them to share the Right to Work evidence with you, To read more about this please see the Guidance to Verify Right to Work (RTW) Evidence for UoE Interns
  • For the candidates you do not wish to call to interview we ask you let them know as soon as possible by email. You may wish to use this Not called to interview emaill‌. Alternatively the Internship Team can do this for you, if you send us the names of the rejected candidates.

Conducting the interview

  • You may wish to interview by video. Please see our Guidance for interviews via video call.
  • Assess each candidate against the selection criteria published in the Internship Vacancy Form. You may wish to use the Interview Scoring Grid for this purpose.
  • You may wish to use these Interview Questions or these Strengths based interview questions.
  • You may also wish to conduct a short test e.g. manipulating data in a spreadsheet or writing a short communication with a client.
  • We ask that you respond to candidates who have not been successful at interview and be willing to provide constructive feedback if requested by them. If this is not possible you may wish to use our standard email unsuccessful after interview.
  • Please check all interviewees' right to work (see below)

Right to work

Informing interviewees the outcome of their interview

  • At the end of the interview please let the interviewees know when you will be in touch to let them know the outcome of the interview. We require this to take place within 3 days of the interview and that you make all efforts to speak to the candidates.
  • When you contact the successful candidate to offer them the job, please ask them to confirm they would like to accept the job and agree a start date. 
  • For the unsuccessful candidate we ask that you offer feedback. Inexperienced students really benefit from learning what they did well on in interview and what and how they could improve. If you thought they were appointable (just not the top candidate), please let them know!
  • For further information please view our Guidance on Informing Candidates of Interview Outcome


  • As the employer, it is at your discretion if you decide to take up references.  If you wish to do so, you may like to use the ‌Reference Template 
  • Please ensure that any references not required after appointment, are destroyed or retained, as applicable, in accordance with GDPR

Retaining Interview Evidence

We recommend you retain evidence of scoring and selection for all the candidates you interview for 6 months, after which please destroy or delete. 

Once your chosen candidate has been identified and has accepted the position, we will ask you to complete the SBP Appointment Form. You will issue the Contract of Employment. Please note: interns are required to be employed, not self employed. For more information, please go to the HMRC website.

The Internship Induction Checklist is a tick list of some of the areas you may wish to cover with your intern during their induction period, including:

  • Personnel documentation and information
  • Health and Safety (includes COVID-19 issues)
  • IT  
  • Getting to know your organisation
  • Getting to know who the intern will be working with
  • Expectations of how the intern will work
  • Support and Training

This guide, Making the Most of Your Intern explains how you can manage and develop your intern. 

The intern can expect to have regular 1:1 sessions with their line manager. We recommend daily catch-ups during the induction period or if working remotely.

If in the workplace with other team members, 1:1 catch-ups with line mangers can reduce in frequency, depending on the intern’s need for direction, decision making and information. This can range between once a week to once every 4 weeks.

We will be in regular email communication to check the internships progressing well and offer support to you or your intern if needed. 

We ask employers to set clear objectives, and review and evaluate progress with your intern. You have the option to use our Internship Performance Development Review paperwork, or use your current internal performance indicators.

We rarely hear that employers are experiencing problems with their interns. However, in the unusual situation that this does occur we ask you inform your HR team if necessary. The Employment Schemes Manager is also available to offer advice and guidance to you and the intern at every stage.  If your organisation has its own HR department or staff member we would also advise consultation with them. We recommend using performance management techniques, for example:

Meeting 1

Present concerns, discuss reasons and agree action with support and training, where relevant.

Meeting 2

After at least one week, review the agreed action. Has the support and training made a difference? Is there anything else that can improve the situation? If performance has not improved you can provide the intern with a week’s notice of terminiatuion of their contract.

Meeting 3

After at least one week, review performance again. If it has not improved you can terminate contract. 

If your intern is leaving, here are a few actions to undertake to end their internship:

  1. If resigning forward the resignation to internships@exeter.ac.uk, we will update our records.
  2. Ensure all provided property and equipment is returned e.g. laptops, mobile phones, keys to buildings/offices etc. 
  3. If required, provide summary of training undertake for intern’s CV. 
  4. Complete an evaluation of the Internship: 
    Internship Feedback Form - Employer Submission
    Internship Feedback Form - Intern Submission
  5. If your intern has had access to any company systems or shared drives please ensure this access is removed.
  6. Ensure Ensure you issue your intern with a P45.

We really appreciate your feedback on the internship. Please complete and return this Case Study Form, with a picture of your intern in the workplace. We would like to use these Case Studies for marketing purposes, please contact us if you would prefer for your case study not to be used in our marketing material. 

We would welcome the opportunity to help you recruit another intern via our Student Business Partnership do please get in touch with the Employment Schemes Manager at internships@exeter.ac.uk to discuss.

We ask that you please complete the Internship Feedback Form - Employer Submission and also encourage your intern to complete the  Internship Feedback Form - Intern Submission.

If you would like to read feedback from previous SBP employers, take a look at our case studies.

Student need to be paid a minimum of National Minimum Wage. When setting the rate of pay, we ask you to consider pay expectations in your sector, for that role, and the location of your business. In Exeter most companies offer between £8.75- £10.50 an hour. Advice on rates of pay can be provided.

If you are employing a student part-time and prefer to offer the statutory holiday entitlement of 10.8% included, please explain this in the hourly rate e.goffer an hourly rate with 10.8% holiday pay included, please explain this in the hourly rate e.g.

  • £10.65 an hour (£9.50 basic+£1.15 holiday pay)
  • £10.00 an hour (£8.92 basic+£1.08 holiday pay)
  • £9.50 an hour (£8.47* basic+£1.03 holiday pay)
  • £9.00 an hour (£8.03* basic+£0.97 holiday pay)
  • £8.75 an hour (£7.80* basic+ £0.95 holiday pay)

*Please note if you employ a student over the age of 21 and you have originally advertised your SBP role with an hourly rate of less than £9.50 an hour (inclusive of holiday pay) you will need to increase the rate to:

  • £9.99 an hour (£8.91 basic+ £1.08 holiday pay) -23yrs+ old- National Living Wage
  • £9.37 an hour (£8.36 basic+ £1.01 holiday pay) -21-22yrs old- National Minimum Wage

We are occasionally able to offer funding to subsidise salary costs and other expenses, and information on funding schemes and eligibility criteria can be provided in more detail here.

All parties must adhere to the following SBP T+Cs

Any data provided to the University by any party will be processed in accordance with Student Employability and Academic Success (SEAS) Privacy Policy


Internships Team, The Careerzone Balcony, The Forum, Stocker Road, Streatham Campus, Exeter, EX4 4SZ