The University of Aberdeen Careers and Employability Service is offering Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity to employ a current student or recent graduate. The initiative is sponsored by Santander Universities UK and provides employers with a subsidy of up to £1,531.25 to recruit a student or graduate for an internship. 

Internships are often offered over the summer vacation but can be undertaken with an earlier start date on a flexible, part-time basis subject to the student's study status and visa conditions (if applicable).


  • The Programme is aimed at Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) employing up to 250 people, and with a maximum of £50 million annual turnover.
  • The SME must commit to pay each intern a minimum of £306.25 per week, based on a 35 hour week for the duration of the internship.
  • SMEs can be based locally or nationally from any industry or employment sector.
  • The SME can recruit a maximum of 2 Santander-subsidised interns through each cycle of the programme.

Types of internships you can offer

Internship opportunities from all employment areas are encouraged, including: Businesss and Marketing, Life Sciences, Computer Science/IT, Food & Drink, 3rd Sector, Social Enterprises and Social Sciences. 

The internships are a great way to bring innovative ideas to existing projects, address skills or workforce gaps, or head up dedicated projects and campaigns. The Programme is particularly suited to SMEs wishing to employ students or graduates with a view to offering a permanent role.

As a small business we have really benefitted from having two Santander Interns, which has helped enormously as this is our very busiest time, but the best thing of all is having people working with us who are keen to learn!

Penny Lewns, MCIEEM CEnv, Protected Species Ecology Ltd.

Internship proposal form and next steps

  • Complete the proposal form (Adobe Acrobat Reader required), ensuring you read and agree to the terms & conditions. 
  • The deadline for internship proposal submissions is Friday 14th December 2018.
  • The Careers and Employability Service will inform you mid January 2019 whether or not the internship has been awarded funding.
  • Funded internships must be advertised on the University of Aberdeen Careers and Employability Service website to our students/ recent graduates.
  • Applications will be collated by the Careers and Employability Service and then sent to SMEs for selection. The SME then organises the interview stage.
  • The SME confirms the Intern start date with the successful candidate/ Careers and Employability Service and provides both parties with the employment contract, at least 2 weeks before the internship start date.
  • Santander funding is provided to the SME halfway through the internship.
  • The SME completes an online Santander feedback form at the end of the internship.

Salary, payment and contract of employment

  • SMEs will pay the Intern(s) a salary of at least £306.25 per week, based on a 35 hour week via their payroll. For 2 week internships, Santander will fund £612.50. Internships between 3 and 10 weeks will be part-funded by Santander at a rate of £153.13 per week to a maximum of £1,531.25, to be matched by the SME. The University is not involved with the payment process between the Intern and the organisation. Any additional costs, such as holiday and sick pay, must be met by the organisation as appropriate.
  • The University of Aberdeen will reimburse the SME for the agreed amount on submission of the Intern’s employment contract. The employment contract must be submitted to the Careers and Employability Service 2 weeks prior to the Intern’s start date.
  • The Careers and Employability Service will register the SME on the University’s finance system. SMEs must invoice the University of Aberdeen for the agreed Santander funding. Please note payment may take up to 30 days, after receipt of invoice. No VAT is applied to the invoice. Organisations taking part in the scheme receive financial support towards the Intern’s salary and are responsible for making the remuneration to the Intern by PAYE.

Relationship with Santander UK

Please note that your details are passed to Santander UK as part of this funding agreement. For more information read the Santander Data Protection Statement.

Contacting us

Please contact the Careers and Employability Service for further details. Tel: +44 (0)1224 273601.