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Vacation work and work experience

Most undergraduate and graduate students need to earn money in the vacations and if your vacation work can be related to your longer term career aims then it will be doubly useful! This page includes resources on looking for paid work and also work experience (some of which will be paid) throughout the UK and also overseas. If you know which career path you would like to gain experience in then it may be useful to use one of the specialist Employment Sector career pages. Many organisations which offer graduate jobs also offer vacation schemes for undergraduates. These are usually very competitive and closing dates can be as early as November.

STEP programme

Of special note is the STEP programme (see below) which offers paid 8 week placements - mainly for second year undergraduates throughout the country. However, many students will find vacation employment near their homes using employment agencies and Job Centre Plus.

Job and Information Sources

Reference Books available from the Careers and Employment Service collection: Summer Jobs Worldwide, Vault Top Internships.

Additional Resources


Discipline/Sector Specific:

  • Legal placements - Prospects site.
  • BioCareers - useful resource for STEMM postgraduates, including links to sources of vacation job funding in the microbiology field.

Under-represented Groups:

  • Windsor Fellowships - summer placement and personal programme for undergraduates from ethnic minorities in their first long vacation.
  • EmployAbility supports, advises and advocates on behalf of talented neuro-divergent and disabled university students and graduates to remove barriers to in employment and list jobs from their partner organisations.
  • #10000 Black Interns aims to provide 2000 internships a year for five years.
  • Blind In Business supports blind and visually impaired students and graduates into the workplace, and works with businesses to challenge any misconceptions they might have.
  • Creative Access supports talented people from under-represented groups to enter and thrive in the creative industries. They list internship and work experience opportunities.



  • The Forage provides short virtual internships in a range of sectors, with opportunities to connect with employers.
  • The Bright Network provides virtual internships in a range of sectors and fast-track opportunities for graduate programmes and internships for virtual-intern alumni.