Work experience and summer programme opportunities

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Work experience and summer programme opportunities

It may sound like it's a long way off yet, but the summer before S6 is a really good time to get some great work experience and/or attend a summer programme. As we've discussed before, these kinds of activities are great to use as evidence in S6 on your application to show that you're committed to your chosen course and that you have knowledge of the subject/career that you're going into. 

A lot of these opportunities have application deadlines so it is worth doing your research as early as possible so you don't miss out! Note those dates down. So below, we've put together a list of some of the work experience opportunities available and some summer programmes from across the UK that you may want to consider. Have a browse and see what you think. If you have any questions, get in touch with the LEAPS office.

Work Experience

Summer Programmes

These are more formalised programmes of work experience but if you have your own idea of somewhere you'd like to check out then you should contact them directly either by phone, email or in person. 

Websites that are good to check out for tips on work experience are:

- My World of Work 

- Plan It Plus to get some ideas of the areas/roles you might be interested in.

Ernst Young Smart Futures - Business and Management

Apply here.

Have a look at the programme brochure here.

Nuffield Foundation - Sciences

Find out more about the chances to develop your scientific skills over the summer here.

Law Society

The Law Society's Insight Weeks offer a great chance to find out more about working in the legal sector. Click here for more info.

National Museums Scotland - History/Archaeology

A great chance for hands on experience. Find out more here.

Scottish Water - Environmental Science/Geography/Engineering

Have a look at the website here to find out more about how to apply for a work placement.

Scottish Rugby - Sport

Keep an eye on this website to apply for opportunities become available.

National Galleries - Art

Have a look at the website here to find out more about working with the National Galleries of Scotland.

Scottish SPCA - Animal Care

If you're interested in working with animals then click here to find out more about volunteering for the SPCA.

BBC - Media/Journalism/Broadcasting

A broad range of experiences working within the BBC. Find out more here.

NHS - Health Professions

NHS Lothian offers up to one-week work experience placements for pupils who are currently in education, and interested in pursuing a career in the NHS. Find out more here


A lot of these summer programmes take place at English universities so they're advertised as 'Year 12' summer schools. Year 12 is the equivalent of S5 and all of these summer schools are open to you to apply for. In fact, for some of them, being a Scottish student may be an advantage as they won't have many people applying from Scotland. Applications are still open for these summer school (as of mid Feb 2019) but some are closing very soon so have a look now!

Science Insights (University of Edinburgh) - Biological Sciences, Medicine and Veterinary Medicine 

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland - Performing Arts - There may be discounts available for RCS summer programmes so it is worthwhile asking about this! 

Edinburgh College of Art at the University of Edinburgh - This page should be updated soon with information on a summer programme so keep checking back for updates about what's on offer.

University of Cambridge - Various Subjects

University College London - Various Subjects

University of Lancaster - Various Subjects 

Sussex University - Various Subjects 


Key things to remember:

1. Get applying! A lot of these opportunities will only have their applications open for a short amount of time!

2. Talk to your teachers at school. Chances are they will be more than happy to support your application/help you make sense of it.

3. These kinds of opportunities really *can* set you apart from other applicants and will give you a key insight into a career or university life. It's worth taking the time to apply. You'll hopefully have a lot of fun too!