The University of Southampton
Careers and Employability ServiceStudents

Business Innovation Programme

The Business Innovation Programme
Business Innovation Programme student group with client Zurich

The Business Innovation Programme is designed to offer you the opportunity to gain invaluable experience of working on a real-life business issue put forward by local businesses or not-for-profit organisations.

This is an opportunity to develop your business acumen, team working and problem solving skills by working on an 8 week project during term-time, in either Semester 1 or 2. Although the amount of effort to put in is your choice, typically students spend approximately 4-6 hours per week for the duration. Successful students will be provided with professional training prior to projects commencing. 


Because of the programme I have been able to secure a graduate scheme placement with FDM, an IT solutions company, as a business consultant. Without the programme I do not think that I would have even considered applying to work for FDM.


How the Programme Works

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Taking part in the Business Innovation Programme has a number of benefits including:

  • The development of a number of employability skills, such as teamwork, communication and problem solving, that will enable you to enhance your CV and improve your employability prospects
  • Professional training delivered to help you effectively complete the project
  • The opportunity to work with a local business or charity on a real business issue
  • A contribution of £150 will be made towards any expenses you may incur 
  • Develop a network of contacts from within the University and externally
  • An opportunity to work in a team of peers from faculties that you may not normally engage with


To participate in the Business Innovation Programme, you will need to complete an online application form via MyCareer explaining why you wish to take part in the programme. Due to the programme's limited spaces and increasing popularity, you must ensure you answers all questions thoroughly.

If your application is successful, the programme will involve the following:

  • The attendance to a mandatory training day to prepare you for your projects
  • Assignment of projects to teams
  • An initial meeting with your Client to discuss their business needs
  • Support throughout the project will be available from your Client and the Careers and Employability Service 
  • Work to be carried out on the project for the duration of the 8 weeks – all team members to play an active role in the project and to work together to fit around other commitments
  • Final report to be produced and team presentation to your Client and members of the Careers and Employability Service at the end of the 8 weeks
  • Attending the reflection event, to help you recognise the skills you have acquired from participating in the Programme and how best to present these in future applications
  • You will be invited to, and have the chance to be nominated for, the Employability Awards - an opportunity to recognise the work done by all student groups; an opportunity for us to thank you for participating in the programme; time to meet other clients, University of Southampton staff and the student teams


If you have any queries regarding the Business Innovation Programme that you could not find the answers to in the student handbook below, please contact the Work Experience Team:

Telephone: 023 8059 3501


Applications for the Business Innovation Programme will open 16th April 2018. Please visit this page after that date for a quick link to the vacancy to apply.

Please note: The Business Innovation Programme is only available to students currently studying at the University. As such, if you will be graduating before October 2018, when projects commence, and will not be continuing your studies, you will not be eligible for the programme. 



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Register your interest here

If you are considering taking part in the Business Innovation Programme, please fill in your details below to register your interest. You will be added to a mailing list and will receive emails regarding the Programmes status and application deadlines.

    Register your interest here

    You are registering your interest in BIP semester 1 2018/19 - The Programme is only open for current students, and so if you will be graduating from university before October, you will not be eligible for the programme.

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