School of Physics & Astronomy


Doing an internship or placement can be a great way to gain valuable experience within your career sector of interest.  It can help you develop key employability skills, increase your commercial awareness and build professional contacts. Moreover, with nearly a third of graduate roles going to those previously known to the organisation, it can give your graduate employment prospects a real boost. Internships or placements can last from a few weeks over the holiday period to a full year and are most commonly taken up between the penultimate and final year of your degree. There are also a number of shorter insight weeks and work experience opportunities aimed at first and second year students.

If you decide you would like to take a year out to gain experience of working in industry through the Year in Industry programme you will need to speak to the school's Placements Officer to arrange to take a year’s leave of absence.  However, there are also a number of opportunities available over the summer months. See below for some information and resources on where and how to find internships.

The IoP have some good general advice on applying for internships 

You may also find the Gradcracker website a good source of information for internships and summer placements. Other sources of information include StudentJob.

Below we provide links to a variety of major internship programmes, separated into academic placements (e.g. at universities, observatories etc) and placements within industry. We will endeavour to keep this list as up-to-date as possible. Please contact the school's Placements Officer Olga Fernholz with any questions regarding internships.

Academic Placements

ISIS summer student scheme allows students studying for a degree in Science, Engineering or Computing to gain experience working in the scientific environment at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source.

This is part of the Science and Technology Facilities (STFC) summer scheme which runs every year and opens for applications in January. Students can work for 4 -12 weeks at either the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Harwell, Oxfordshire), Daresbury Laboratory (Warrington) or The UK Astronomy Technology Centre (Edinburgh) on projects relevant to their intended or current course of study, under the supervision of experts in their chosen field.

The Space Placements in INdustry (SPIN) scheme provides placement opportunities for those considering employment in the space sector and connects space sector organisations who want to find the most talented and enthusiastic people to ensure the future success of their businesses. The scheme is managed by the UK Space Agency and supported by the Satellite Applications Catapult.

Diamond Light Source

ASPIRE: Astrophysics Summer Program for International Research Experience

European Southern Observatory (ESO) Summer Research Programme 2019 



Space Telescope Science Institute

IoP Placements List 

RISE Programme (Germany)

American Astronomical Society (list, mainly US-based)

American Physical Society (list, mainly US-based)

Astrobetter (list of astronomy internships)

Argonne National Laboratory

Industrial Placements

The STEP programme 

Renishaw (physics and scientific internships)



BAE systems



Buro Happold (civil engineering, sustainable engineering. International intenships in New York, Berlin, Hamburg)

Centrica (energy service and solutions)

Glaxo Smith Kline



IBM Summer Internships




Met Office

National Grid

Thales Internships

Unilever (consumer good company with strong orientation on sustainable living)

School of Physics and Astronomy

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD

For all enquiries please visit: