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There are two common ways of finding internships. Applying for advertised opportunities and seeking out hidden opportunities by networking and applying speculatively.

About internships

Internships provide an opportunity to gain graduate-level work experience. They usually take place during summer vacation or term-time.

Large companies look for undergraduate students in their second, or penultimate, year of study. They usually fill a third of their graduate vacancies with students who have done an internship or placement year with them.

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) also offer internships. They may be more flexible in who they will consider. Some internships are also open to graduates.

The two most common ways of finding internships are:

  • applying for advertised opportunities
  • seeking out hidden opportunities by networking and applying speculatively

We organise NCL internships, both on campus and with SMEs in the North East. These are available throughout the year.

Benefits of internships

Internships can help you to:

  • gain hands-on experience and develop industry knowledge. Having evidence of skills and motivation is useful when you apply for graduate jobs
  • decide where your future career interests lie
  • gain an insight into UK business culture
  • make contacts within the sector. Some students secure graduate jobs with their internship provider
  • gain positive feedback and references, useful for future applications

Many internships are paid or provide a bursary. We don't advertise unpaid internships, but we offer advice on funding.

When to apply

It is best to start looking as early as possible to make sure you don't miss opportunities.

Large organisations:

  • open applications in September, the year before the internship will take place
  • start to close applications between November and February
  • involve a lengthy application process

Small or medium sized organisations (SMEs):

  • recruit all year round
  • don't always advertise their opportunities

Our NCL internships are advertised all year round. See below for details.

NCL Internships

The Careers Service organises internships for current students called NCL internships.

They can be off campus with local businesses or on campus with Newcastle University. They are available in a range of occupational areas, from marketing and research to IT and project management.

See examples of previous NCL Internships (PDF, 163KB).

We offer internships during term-time and over summer. Summer internships are offered on either a flexible or full-time basis.

All current undergraduate and postgraduate students are eligible to apply. You can find full eligibility details for each individual internship on the vacancy advert.

Benefits of NCL Internships

  • Develop graduate skills for your CV
  • Receive a tax-free bursary for completing an internship with a local business
  • Get paid per hour for completing an internship on campus
  • Work flexibly around your studies
  • Gain insight into a particular role or sector to help you decide on your future career interests
  • Gain practical experience and build your network
  • Access support from the Careers Service throughout your internship

How to find and apply for NCL Internships

NCL internships are advertised throughout the academic year. Usually:

  • term-time internships are advertised from October
  • summer internships are advertised from March

To search for opportunities, go to MyCareer. Click on 'Search' then 'Vacancies' and type ‘NCL Internships’ in the text search box.

Search for advertised internships

Use the resources below to look for advertised paid internships.

Finding hidden internships

Not all internships are advertised. In fact, many people create opportunities through:

How to access hidden internships

To find hidden internships, start by identifying companies you would like to work for. Our guide to finding companies below can help. Then use the following steps to approach them speculatively about possible opportunities:

  1. Identify a contact name to address your cover letter to. Call or email to find out who handles recruitment within the organisation. Or, find a key contact in the department you want to work in.
  2. Send them a tailored CV and cover letter. Express your enthusiasm for the sector. Show that you have researched the company.
  3. Follow up your speculative application with a phone call, or email, around a week later. This shows you are serious and motivated.
  4. If your application was unsuccessful, ask for feedback or advice, and keep trying!

For more information read this guide from targetjobs on finding hidden internships.

How to find companies

  • Find organisations on MyCareer. Select ‘search' then 'organisations’.
  • Look up organisations in specific sectors on our Explore occupations pages.
  • Use the business directories and databases on our Researching employers page.
  • Search for companies on LinkedIn. The Find Alumni tool shows you where Newcastle graduates are currently working.
  • Browse our NU Work Experience Directory. This shows the internships and placements Newcastle University students have had previously.
  • Explore our NCL Graduate Employment Outcomes directory. See examples of what our graduates were doing 15 months after their studies.

Rate my Placement have a guide to The Top Undergraduate Employers, ranked by students.

Other ways to find internships

In your school

Speak to your academic school to find out if they offer internships or similar schemes. They may offer:

  • research scholarships
  • externally-funded vacation studentships. These can be through research institutes and charities. For science-related scholarships, see our Life Science and Physical Science sector pages.
  • contacts you could approach.

The Business School offer global experience internships. They also advertise internships and placements on their Student Experience Blog.


Some student competitions offer a paid internship as a prize.

Virtual opportunities

Forage offers free virtual internship programs. These are built and endorsed by leading companies, such as KPMG, Deloitte, PwC and Unilever. Their tasks and resources simulate the real-world experience of starting a career.

You can add them to your CV as achievements and as certificates on LinkedIn. Forage advises not to include them in your main work experience section. For more information about describing your experience, view Forage's Referencing Policy.

For information see the SRS guide to Everything you need to know about virtual internships (39:55)

Events to look out for

Recruitment events are not just for graduate jobs. Most employers at our events also offer internships.

Attend our recruitment events and employer and sector insights to:

  • hear about internship schemes
  • build your network
  • ask questions.

We also list events from external organisations. These can include opportunities to find out about work experience.