Award winning work experience, internships and volunteering

Being able to demonstrate your experience of the world of work, when coupled with an excellent degree from a respected university can really help you on your career journey.

At Birmingham we give you all the support you need to secure work experience, internships and volunteer placements which can help you to develop personal and professional skills that are highly valued by employers. At the same time you’ll demonstrate your commitment to your chosen career path and be building a valuable network of contacts. 

Work experience and internships

Internships and work experience really make you stand out in a competitive jobs market. Research has shown that students that undertake some form of work experience are more likely to succeed in graduate recruitment processes.

Careers Network can help you make it happen with support to find, secure and finance work experience opportunities. From conservation projects in China, to working for a social enterprise in the UK, our students undertake exciting and rewarding work opportunities.

Industry placements

A number of our schools and departments give you the opportunity to take a year in industry as part of your degree.  UK and European Economic Area students can also undertake a year-long placement by requesting a ‘leave of absence’. 

Financial support

Our work experience bursary schemes enable undergraduate students to undertake opportunities that they might not otherwise be able to afford.

Bursaries are awarded following a competitive applications process in which successful candidates are selected by a panel of experts, on their application form and interview performance.

We also target some funding for specific priority groups, ensuring everyone has equal access to good quality work experience.


Volunteering is fast becoming an essential part of the student experience, and research tells us that 93% of our volunteers believe that taking part in volunteering has increased their employability.

The University's Guild of Students has different volunteering opportunities that students can participate in on a regular or one-off basis. You could support a local voluntary organisation or international charity such as Oxfam or the British Red Cross, or even set up and run your own project.

Intervol (International Volunteering Society) also sends students every year to projects across the globe, including promoting sexual health awareness, nutrition and maternity care in developing countries; animal rescue and conservation in Ecuador and other long-term initiatives.

Guild volunteers have an induction and receive advice and support before and during the period of volunteering. Specialised training including Child Protection and First Aid, and free Disclosure and Barring Service checks (a requirement of UK law) are also provided to those volunteering with a Guild project. Volunteering undertaken through the Guild of Students is also recognised as part of the Personal Skills Award (PSA).


Mentoring is a great way to gain insight into your future. The Mentoring Programmes Careers Network offers provide students the opportunity to receive one-to-one mentoring from high-profile Birmingham alumni.

The leadership mentors – experts in their fields, from media to medicine – spend time with you to provide practical advice on employability and offer invaluable support as you prepare to enter the workplace.

Further information can be found on the Careers Network Mentoring Programme pages.