We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Careers & Enterprise Centre

Internships & Placements

Offering an internship or placement is a great way to get some extra help with a project, try out a prospective graduate hire, and bring some fresh talent into your team. An internship or placement with your organisation could help our students gain some real world experience, understand how their academic skills apply in the workplace and make valuable links with businesses and employers.

An internship is usually a short period of paid work ranging from a few weeks to 12 months, and can be part-time or full-time. Summer internships are very popular with Durham students, and many recent graduates undertake an internship as a stepping stone into their graduate careers. Durham University has various schemes available for eligible businesses recruiting a Durham intern, including financial support and help with advertising and recruitment. Please see below for scheme information. Employers ineligible for these schemes but who would still like to recruit exclusively from Durham can access a range of support with recruitment from our Employer Engagement Officer. Contact or call 0191 334 1433 to discuss your requirements.

A placement is sometimes referred to as a 'placement year', a 'sandwich placement' or a 'year in industry'. A placement usually lasts for 12 months and is assessed as part of a student's academic course. Placements are often paid, however they don't need to be. All Durham University students are able to take a placement as part of their academic course, however not all courses formally offer a placement year. For more information about placements please click here.

Placement Year

A Placement Year is an opportunity to add real value to your business and can support your company in many ways.

There are many benefits to hiring a student including access to motivated, intelligent and hardworking individuals who can make valuable contributions to your company. A Placement Year typically occurs in between the penultimate and final year of a degree and last between 9 to 12 months; this can be negotiated with your individual placement student. The timing for recruiting students can vary from company to company, generally the closing dates for year-long placements are between October and November of the year prior to the placement start date. However we still have students who search for opportunities throughout the year, including and up to the placement start date.

There are dedicated Faculty Placement Officer roles employed through the Careers & Enterprise Centre but based within the faculties whose key focus is on increasing the number and variety of placement opportunities available to Durham students. Their role is to help students identify the right placement opportunities for them, ensure the placements are suitable, prepare the student fully for the placement, be a point of contact whilst the student is out on placement and assist the student reintegrate into University life upon their return.

For more information about placements please click here.

Durham Internships and Collaborative Enterprise project “DICE”

The DICE project is an ERDF supported collaboration between Durham University and Business Durham. The internship strand provides SMEs in County Durham with 50% match funding for a full-time paid 3 month internship (based on a salary of £4250 for 3 month internships) aimed at capitalising on the knowledge and enterprising skills of Durham students and graduates, with a view to developing new products or services within the SME. The team offer full recruitment and selection and ongoing support as needed, to assist SMEs with taking on and supporting a student intern. For more information please see the information leaflet attached or contact

Santander Universities SME Internship Programme

In partnership with Santander Universities, this programme creates work experience/internship opportunities for Durham students or recent graduates in local SMEs (Small to Medium Enterprises). Funding is available for a small number of short-term student projects, giving SMEs access to a variety of skilled and highly sought after students to work with them for up to 10 weeks.

Social Enterprise Live Project (SELP) – supported by Santander Universities UK

Careers & Enterprise run Social Enterprise Live Project (SELP), a unique work experience scheme, supported by Santander Universities UK, aimed at supporting and developing local social enterprises. The overall objective of the scheme is to offer a ‘live’ project-based placement for a student within a social enterprise. We bring together students and local social enterprises so that they can work together to make a difference.

If you are a social enterprise and would like to engage with the University community and the skills and knowledge our students can bring the please contact us:

Explore: Work Experience

The Careers & Enterprise Centre at Durham University are running a number of initiatives to help students gain work experience in sectors where opportunities are harder to secure.

Would your organisation benefit from having a student intern bringing additional capacity, skills and new ideas?

If you are a small business or an organisation in the public sector, third sector or arts, media or heritage sectors and are interested in finding out how you could get involved, get in touch: / 0191 334 1406