Internship Bureau

Internships are for businesses offering one-off specialist projects. The Internship Bureau manages recruitment and payment administration. Full-time summer projects or part-time term-time projects welcomed.

The Internship Bureau offers employers the opportunity to engage the skills, enthusiasm and cutting edge thinking of the University's students and graduates. Project based internships help create cost-effective solutions around the needs of the employer, while also improving their graduate talent pool.

Internship projects are established according to the need of your business, and provide a tangible outcome for both the company and the student.

Once you have read the information below, please email a completed Expression of Interest form 2018 (MS Word , 64kb) to get started!

What is an internship?

We consider an internship to be a project-based, high-quality piece of work, which can be completed within a defined period of time. 

Projects should provide clear and tangible outcomes for the intern and your organisation, and should be of an appropriate standard and nature. For more information, please see our Internship Bureau Leaflet 2018 (PDF , 252kb)‌.

Summer vacation scheme

Projects last between 4 and 12 weeks during the summer vacation and are available for part-time or full-time hours.

Part-time, term-time scheme

Projects last between 4 and 12 weeks during the academic year.  From experience the Internship Bureau recommends that internships do not exceed 20 hours of project work per week.

Internship costs

Cost: Base level of NMW for 25+ - currently £8.21ph. We recommend a higher rate of pay for postgraduate students or undergraduates studying within departments developing specialised skills (e.g. Electronic Engineering).

Student level of study/skill: undergraduates and postgraduates are eligible to apply, however due to course commitments throughout the summer, postgraduate interns are limited to part-time hours during this time.

Funding: we have a number of subsidies available for SMEs. See the Funding for SMEs tab for more information.

Funding for SMEs

Santander Universities SME Internship Programme

Thanks to a generous gift from Santander, the University of York is able to offer funding to support the engagement of SMEs with student and graduate interns. The programme is open to organisations with fewer than 250 employees, which have an annual turnover of up to £50 million. Organisations must be registered and based in the UK.

For the academic year 2018-19, we are delighted to offer SMEs the opportunity to engage the skills of a University of York:

  • student, on a part-time basis (during term-time)
  • student or finalist, on a full-time basis (June - September 2019 only)
  • graduate, on a full-time basis (at any point in the year)

We are able to contribute up to a maximum of £1500 towards the cost of the SME paying the intern a minimum of £8.60 per hour. For students this rate is tax and NI free, for graduates this rate is subject to employer's NI and a contribution to the People's Pension, to be paid by the SME.

Graduate projects must run for a minimum of 2 weeks, and student projects for a minimum of 6 weeks. The maximum project period that the funding covers is 10 weeks, and funding will be applied as per the following table: 

Internship duration

Project hours per week

Eligible candidates

Santander contribution

2 weeks full-time



£600 (internship fully funded by Santander)

6, 8 or 10 weeks part-time

Minimum 10 (max 20)


50% to a max £1500 (min hourly rate of £8.60, tax and NI free)

6, 8 or 10 weeks full-time


Graduates, or (June-Sept 2019 only) students/finalists 

50% to a max £1500 (min hourly rate of £8.60, subject to tax and NI for finalists or graduates, to be paid by the SME)


Cost examples: 

  • 10 week part-time (10 hrs p/wk) student project at a rate of £8.60 per hour; the intern would receive £860 for the project and the total cost to the SME would be £430 (50% contribution from Santander).
  • 8 week full-time (35 hrs p/wk) graduate project at a rate of £8.60 per hour; the intern would receive £2408 (subject to tax and NI) and the total cost to the SME would be £1420 (50% contribution from Santander (£1204), plus £27 p/wk tax and NI (£216)).

Projects can last longer than 10 weeks and companies can choose to pay the intern more than the £8.60 minimum hourly rate. However such projects can only receive a maximum of 50% (up to £1500) funding, and after 10 weeks the arrangement must continue on the company's own HR/payroll systems.


Student Internship Bureau - Business Engagement Process


Step One - Project Scoping

Engage with the Student Internship Bureau (SIB) to discuss your ideas for an internship, the scope of the project and the skills and experience required to achieve your outcomes. Complete an Expression of Interest form. From that, the SIB will prepare a project brief which forms the basis of the advert the students see and apply for.

Step Two - Advertising

Once the project brief is agreed and confirmed, the opportunity will be advertised through our Careers Portal for a minimum of two weeks. SIB will monitor applications throughout this period and publicise the internship through various marketing channels appropriate to your particular role

Step Three - Shortlisting and Interviews

When advertising is completed SIB will shortlist the applications and provide you with the CVs of the most suitable candidates. Once you’ve reviewed the applications you may contact some or all of the candidates to arrange interviews at your convenience. (We are happy to provide interview space on campus if needed)

Keep SIB informed along the way of interview dates agreed and provide some feedback for unsuccessful applicants. Advise SIB of your decision once you’ve chosen your intern and provide additional feedback to unsuccessful interviewees

Confirm to SIB the agreement made with the student regarding a start date, hours / days of work and any flexible working arrangements if applicable (part time roles)

Step Four - Right to Work checks and Paperwork

SIB will complete Right To Work checks and prepare the paperwork for both you and the intern to sign. Once the project starts SIB manages the payment process to the intern on a weekly basis (graduates are paid monthly)

Step Five - Invoicing (external hosts)

SIB will invoice you the total cost of the project less any Santander funding agreed in advance that is applicable.

SIB will contact you in the first couple of weeks of the project to ensure that everything is progressing as expected. Interns may be visited in the workplace during the project and an evaluation will be sent electronically to all intern hosts at the end of the project.


Past projects

Previous projects, which have produced significant benefits for the hosting company, have included:

  • Establishing a China desk and creating the content for an inward investment page for a chartered accountant's website in Mandarin and English by two of our international students.
  • Researching, developing and implementing a more comprehensive customer outreach and engagement plan for a heating and renewable energy company.
  • Investigating the removal of chemicals from hard surfaces by rainfall and washing for a research agency.
  • Executive assistant to senior management team for a mental healthcare provider, creating an electronic record of serious incidents and ensuing investigations.
  • Carrying out detailed household surveys with a housing trust's residents to ascertain household characteristics, circumstances and their awareness of key issues. 

International talent

Did you know that just over 20% of the University of York's student population come from outside the UK, from almost 100 countries across the world? Many international students are actively seeking work experience and internship opportunities both to develop their skills and knowledge in the workplace, and to contribute to UK business' competitive advantage in the global market.

Contact the Internship Bureau to discuss how the University's international student population can drive your business forward this year! Email or call 01904 324240.

Previous University of York interns have undertaken a wide range of projects with companies in York and the North Yorkshire region, giving businesses a unique insight into overseas markets, and for potential import and export activities. Example projects include:

  • Multilingual web content translation project: Executive search agency
  • Establishing an inward investment China Desk in York: Accountancy firm
  • Researching the latest products being used and marketed abroad, and their success and viability in the UK: Renewable energy company
  • Organising a business summit for international visitors to York: Conference business
  • Developing a market report exploring the opportunities for export to the Far East: Food manufacturer 

Case study: Developing a China desk in York

Garbutt & Elliott LLP engaged two Chinese postgraduate students, Jingwen Feng and Xu Wang, to develop a China Desk for the company and to create content for an inward investment web page in Mandarin.

Garbutt & Elliott Senior Partner, David Dickson, commented that, ‘Jingwen’s and Xu’s outstanding commitment has enabled us to begin development of a reputation as a trusted advisor to Chinese firms investing in the UK. It is important for world-class universities such as the University of York to demonstrate the great opportunities available to students by taking on internships in companies with vision.’


Some recent employer hosts

Contact us