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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


Under-represented Groups:

Please visit our Supportung Equality and Diversity webpages and specific EDI sub-pages.


  • ihipo - jobs/internships for internationally-minded students and graduates, they also provide tips on international recruitment processes.
  • English Speaking Union - grants and scholarships available for projects abroad.
  • IAESTE UK - international work placements for science and engineering students.
  • Council on International Educational Exchange - information and addresses for vacation jobs and internships in the USA.
  • Mountbatten Scholarships - 12 month business internships in USA.
  • BUNAC - work and travel programmes in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
  • Travel Tree - directory of jobs, travel and internships.


  • 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.